Originally created 05/16/03

Video watch

JUST OUT: Analyze That and The Hot Chick

TUESDAY: Star Trek: Nemesis, Antwone Fisher and Adaptation

MAY 27: National Security, The Pianist and The Recruit

JUNE 3: About Schmidt and Die Another Day

JUNE 10: Biker Boyz, Frida, Jungle Book 2 and Old School


Here are reviews from Roger Ebert and other critics of some recent video releases:

ANALYZE THAT (**, R 95 MINUTES) Mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Niro), who seems to have gone nutty in Sing Sing, is released to the personal custody of his shrink, Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal). Over the vehement objections of Mrs. Sobel (Lisa Kudrow), Vitti moves in, tries to hold down straight jobs, and gets her husband involved in a heist. Like the movie, the DVD extras are uninteresting, including lackluster audio commentary from the normally effusive director Harold Ramis.

THE HOT CHICK ( 1/2 -H, PG-13 101 MINUTES) Through an exchange of magic earrings, a thug played by Rob Schneider finds himself changing places with the sexiest girl in high school. Her mind occupies his body, and vice versa, although because Mr. Schneider is the star we have to look at him all the time with her inside, and get only a few glimpses of her (Rachel McAdams) occupied by his mind. The movie is vulgar, tasteless, dumb and not funny. The DVD has a handful of deleted scenes, including an alternate ending.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (***, PG-13, 140 MINUTES) Leonardo DiCaprio stars as a gifted impersonator and con man who, before the age of 21, successfully passes as a doctor, a lawyer and a pilot - and passes a lot of bad checks. Tom Hanks is the FBI agent on his trail, and they develop a strange relationship based on the kid's loneliness and the agent's grudging admiration for his abilities. Directed by Steven Spielberg, who goes for no deep lessons but simply tells a good story that is, incredibly, based on fact. The two-disc DVD set has half a dozen featurettes, the most interesting one a look at the real Frank Abagnale, who talks in wonder about his ability to cash $2.5 million in bad checks in all 50 states and 26 foreign countries.

EXTREME OPS (PG-13, 93 MINUTES) A bad movie that's for extreme-sports fanatics only. Snowboarders, a skier and a film crew set out to shoot a daring stunt for a TV commercial and end up in a fight to the death after they stumble onto terrorists hiding in the Austrian mountains.

THE EMPEROR'S CLUB (***, PG-13, 109 MINUTES) Kevin Kline stars as a beloved teacher at a rich boy's prep school who is challenged by a troubled student (Emile Hirsch) and is so pleased when the student finally improves that - well, the teacher cheats a little on his behalf. But then the student cheats, too, setting up an unusually complex film that is not about absolute ethics but about what a good man does when he finds himself in a bad situation.

TREASURE PLANET (** 1/2 , PG-13, 100 MINUTES) Robert Louis Stevenson meets Star Wars in an animated outer-space version of the pirate classic from Disney. The DVD has commentary from the filmmakers, an alternate opening and ending for the movie, an animation featurette with Disney heir Roy Disney and an interactive ship tour and treasure hunt.

TWO WEEKS NOTICE (***, PG-13, 100 MINUTES) Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant are charming and lovable in an entirely predictable romantic comedy. She's a lawyer dedicated to the environment, he's a billionaire developer dedicated to despoiling it, and it's love at first hate. Writer-director Marc Lawrence writes dialogue that's sharper and wittier than we expect, and the characters have an edge to them, but basically it's a formula picture, done with skill and charm. The DVD has two lengthy extra scenes that were wisely eliminated from the film, including a dull epilogue in which Ms. Bullock and Mr. Grant's characters tie the knot and a making-of featurette.

BLOODY SUNDAY (*** 1/2 , R, 107 MINUTES) On Jan. 30, 1972, a civil rights march in Derry, Northern Ireland, ended with a confrontation between some of the marchers and British Army paratroopers. At the end of the day, 13 marchers were dead and 13 injured, one of whom later died. The army's actions were exonerated by an official inquiry, but for many others it was guilty of a massacre. Paul Greengrass' film, shot in the form of a documentary, is stunningly effective in re-creating events of the day. James Nesbitt plays the march leader; Tim Pigott-Smith leads the army.


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