DVD & Video Guide 2004

DVD & Video Guide 2004

by Mick Martin, Marsha Porter

Paperback

$19.95 View All Available Formats & Editions

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345449948
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/26/2003
Pages: 1616
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.26(h) x 2.26(d)

About the Author

Mick Martin, a lifelong film fan, has been reviewing movies professionally for thirty-one years in all forms of media. He worked for The Sacramento Union from 1976 until its demise in 1993. His other passion is blues music, which has resulted in ongoing tours of Europe and twelve CDs with his band, Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers. Their latest releases are In One Ear and Blues Rock, USA.

Marsha Porter, author of numerous short stories, articles, and a teacher’s handbook, holds a master’s degree in educational administration. She’s taught a foreign-films class and written a monthly column. Currently, she does freelance writing and editing and teaches English.

First Chapter

A COEUR JOIE (HEAD OVER HEELS) T Sixties fluff about a woman torn between two men. Original title in its American release: Two Weeks in September. In French with English subtitles. 89m. DIR: Serge Bourguignon. CAST: Brigitte Bardot, Laurent Terzieff. 1967

A LA MODE HHH A French teenager (Ken Hegelin) becomes apprenticed to an eccentric Jewish tailor and dreams of success in the world of fashion design. This lightweight, easygoing, coming-of-age comedy profits from good performances, especially by Jean Yonne as the old tailor, and from its witty, satirical jabs at the flashy world of haute couture. In French with English subtitles. Rated R for sexual scenes and mild profanity. 81m. DIR: Remy Duchemin. CAST: Ken Hegelin, Jean Yonne, Francois Hautesserre, Florence Darel, Maurice Benichou. 1993

A NOS AMOURS HHH This winner of the Cesar (French Oscar) for best film of 1983 examines the life of a working-class girl of 15 (Sandrine Bonnaire) who engages in one sexual relationship after another. In French with English subtitles. Rated R for nudity. DIR: Maurice Pialat. CAST: Sandrine Bonnaire, Dominique Besnehard, Maurice Pialat. 1983

A NOUS LA LIBERTE HH1/2 Louis and Emile are two prisoners who plan an escape. Only Louis gets away and, surprisingly, he becomes a rich, successful businessman. There are some slapstick segments, and many believe that this film was the inspiration for Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times. In French with English subtitles. B&W; 87m. DIR: René Clair. CAST: Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand. 1931

AARON LOVES ANGELA HHH This Harlem love affair features a black youth (Kevin Hooks) falling for a sweetPuerto Rican girl (Irene Cara). Their relative innocence contrasts with the drug-dealing violence around them. Rated R for violence and profanity. 99m. DIR: Gordon Parks Jr. CAST: Moses Gunn, Kevin Hooks, Irene Cara, Ernestine Jackson, Robert Hooks. 1975

•ABANDON HHH1/2 Creepy but mesmerizing thriller puts Benjamin Bratt, as a struggling alcoholic cop, on the lookout for the missing millionaire boyfriend who seems to be stalking Katie Holmes. Holmes believably portrays a self-made success who is ready to sell out to the corporate world. Director Stephen Gaghan flawlessly builds the tension for the twisted yet satisfying conclusion. Rated PG-13 for violence, profanity, sexual situations, and drug abuse. 93m. DIR: Stephen Gaghan. CAST: Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt, Charlie Hunnam, Zooey Deschanel. 2002 DVD

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO GO TO MARS HH1/2 The comedy team was getting a little tired when they made this movie, which has become a cult favorite. It's set in space, but the plot is the same as a TV sitcom. B&W; 78m. DIR: Charles Lamont. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Mari Blanchard, Jack Kruschen, Horace McMahon, Martha Hyer, Robert Paige, Anita Ekberg. 1953

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN HOLLYWOOD HH Lesser Abbott and Costello effort has Bud and Lou trying to make it big as movie stars. Best scenes occur early in the film, with Lou playing a barber. B&W; 83m. DIR: S. Sylvan Simon. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Frances Rafferty, Robert Stanton. 1945

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN THE FOREIGN LEGION HHH1/2 Lou Costello inadvertently buys a slave girl in the Sahara just because he waved at the girl flirting with him. Watch for some of the team's funniest routines. B&W; 79m. DIR: Charles Lamont. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Walter Slezak, Patricia Medina, Douglass Dumbrille. 1950 DVD

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD HH One of Abbott and Costello's few color films, this is strictly preschooler fare. The boys get chased around uncharted islands, pirate ships, etc., by the infamous Captain Kidd, as portrayed by Charles Laughton, who makes every effort to retain his dignity. 70m. DIR: Charles Lamont. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Charles Laughton, Hillary Brooke, Leif Erickson. 1952

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE HHH1/2 Fun mixture of comedy and horror has the team up against the smooth Dr. Jekyll and the maniacal Mr. Hyde. One of the boys' better films of the 1950s. Boris Karloff is in top form in the dual role, and don't miss the hilarious scene in which Lou is turned into a mouse! B&W; 77m. DIR: Charles Lamont. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Boris Karloff. 1953

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN HHHH For Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, this film meant a resurgence of popularity after a slow fall from favor as the 1940s box-office champs. Yet it never compromises the characters of Dracula (Bela Lugosi), the Wolfman (Lon Chaney Jr.), or the Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange). B&W; 83m. DIR: Charles Barton. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Glenn Strange. 1948

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN HH Bud and Lou are private eyes hired by a prizefighter to clear him of his manager's murder. The fighter injects himself with a serum that renders him invisible and helps Lou kayo his opponents in the ring before the real murderer is exposed. B&W; 82m. DIR: Charles Lamont. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Arthur Franz, Nancy Guild, Adele Jergens, Sheldon Leonard, William Frawley. 1951

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KEYSTONE KOPS HHH1/2 A boon for nostalgia buffs, this film features pie-in-the-face director Mack Sennett and three of the surviving Keystone Kops in a climactic chase scene. B&W; 78m. DIR: Charles Lamont. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Maxie Rosenbloom, Lynn Bari, Mack Sennett, Harold Goodwin, Heinie Conklin, Hank Mann, Carol Costello. 1955

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, BORIS KARLOFF HHH Second in the duo's Abbott and Costello Meet . . . series, brought on by the tremendous popularity of their Frankenstein send-up the year before. In this enjoyable outing, Bud and Lou match wits with Boris Karloff, in classic form as a sinister swami doing away with his enemies at a posh hotel. B&W; 84m. DIR: Charles Barton. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Boris Karloff, Lenore Aubert, Gar Moore, James Flavin. 1949

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY HH Final (and overdue) entry in the seven-year cycle of "horror comedies" pitting Abbott and Costello against Universal Pictures' monster stable. Not without amusing moments, but mostly, the same tired vaudeville routines are dragged out as the boys flee two mummies—one real, one fake—in Egypt. B&W; 79m. DIR: Charles Lamont. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marie Windsor, Richard Deacon. 1955 DVD

ABBOTT AND COSTELLO SHOW, THE (TV SERIES) HHH Set in Hollywood, this comedy series depicts Bud Abbott's and Lou Costello's efforts to improve their financial situation. Though the comics appear somewhat weary and the humor is often forced, enough of the gags work to make the episodes worth a glance. Many of Abbott and Costello's classic routines are incorporated into the shows, boosting the slim plots. 53m. DIR: Various. CAST: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Sidney Fields, Hillary Brooke, Joe Besser. 1952–1954 DVD

ABDUCTED HH1/2 This is not as sleazy as the video box art would have you believe. A backwoods jogger (Roberta Weiss) is abducted by a crazed mountain man and taken back to his cabin. Nothing new, but some good chase scenes. Not rated, but has violence, profanity, and adult subject matter. 87m. DIR: Boon Collins. CAST: Roberta Weiss, Lawrence King Phillip, Dan Haggerty. 1985

ABDUCTED II HH1/2 Less a sequel than a remake, this time with three young lovelies terrorized by mountain man Lawrence King. Rated R for violence and nudity. 91m. DIR: Boon Collins. CAST: Jan-Michael Vincent, Dan Haggerty, Raquel Bianca, Lawrence King. 1994

ABDUCTION HH This film comes across as a cheap exploitation of the Patty Hearst kidnapping. It includes theories that may or may not be true. As in the real incident, Patty is kidnapped from the house she shares with her boyfriend. Rated R for profanity, violence, nudity, and sex. 100m. DIR: Joseph Zito. CAST: Gregory Rozakis, Leif Erickson, Dorothy Malone, Lawrence Tierney. 1975 DVD

ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS HHHH Based on Sherwood Anderson's Broadway play, this is a reverent look at the early career and loves of the sixteenth president. As contrasted to John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln, this is a more somber, historically accurate, and better-acted version. B&W; 110m. DIR: John Cromwell. CAST: Raymond Massey, Ruth Gordon, Gene Lockhart, Mary Howard. 1934

ABEL GANCE'S BEETHOVEN HHHH Originally titled Un Grand Amour de Beethoven, this contains some of Abel Gance's finest work with sound, especially in the scene at the Heiligenstadt Mill when Beethoven first begins to lose his hearing. In French with English subtitles. B&W; 116m. DIR: Abel Gance. CAST: Harry Baur, Annie Ducaux. 1937

ABERRATION T A bunch of rubber lizards attacks a young couple in their cabin in the hills. Dullsville. Rated R for language and gore. 93m. DIR: Tim Boxell. CAST: Pamela Gidley, Simon Bossell, Valery Nikolaev. 1997

ABIGAIL'S PARTY HHHHH A superb slice of acerbic British social commentary. Beverly is a gin-sodden shrew with middle-class aspirations, who holds a small get-together for the neighbors. This movie is like an English version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, a group of adults congregate, imbibe vast amounts of alcohol, and squirm-inducing disaster ensues. 105m. DIR: Mike Leigh. CAST: Alison Steadman. 1977

ABILENE TOWN HHH Cattlemen and homesteaders are at loggerheads in the 1870s in this fast-paced shoot-'em-up. Randolph Scott is the trusty tall man with the star. Edgar Buchanan is sly, as always. B&W; 89m. DIR: Edwin L. Marin. CAST: Randolph Scott, Ann Dvorak, Rhonda Fleming, Lloyd Bridges, Edgar Buchanan. 1946

ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, THE HHH1/2 Stylish horror film features Vincent Price in one of his best latter-day roles as a man disfigured in a car wreck taking revenge. Rated PG-13. 93m. DIR: Robert Fuest. CAST: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Hugh Griffith, Terry Thomas. 1971

ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN OF THE HIMALAYAS, THE HHH The writer and director of the British Quatermass series worked on what is probably the only intelligent yeti movie. Peter Cushing and Forrest Tucker are a botanist and an exploitative promoter (American, of course) searching for the legendary giant creatures in Nepal. B&W; 85m. DIR: Val Guest. CAST: Peter Cushing, Forrest Tucker, Maureen Connell. 1957

•ABOUT A BOY HHHH Hugh Grant works his charm overtime in this delightful, crowd-pleasing tale about a financially independent cad who hits upon the perfect technique for meeting women: fabricate a child, pretend to be a single parent, and crash group meetings of single mothers. All goes well until the 38-year-old Londoner encounters a 12-year-old misfit in serious need of an adult-male role model. What follows, lifted more or less faithfully from Nick Hornby's novel, is quite a lot of fun. Rated PG-13 for profanity and mild sensuality. 101m. DIR: Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz. CAST: Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult. 2002 DVD

ABOUT ADAM HHHH Enchanting romantic Irish comedy stars a lovely Kate Hudson as Lucy Owens, a Dublin care singer who has just met Adam, the man of her dreams, well played by Stuart Townsend. When Lucy introduces Adam to her family, including sisters Laura and Alice, his charm wins them over, perhaps too well. It's not long before Adam is juggling the romantic overtures of all three sisters, all the while trying to decide whether or not to marry Lucy. Sharp production values and a winning cast turns this regional comedy into a universal valentine. Rated R for adult situations and language. 97m. DIR: Gerard Stembridge. CAST: Stuart Townsend, Kate Hudson, Frances O'Connor, Charlotte Bradley. 2000 DVD

ABOUT LAST NIGHT . . . HHHH A slick adaptation of David Mamet's play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago. Demi Moore and Rob Lowe meet for a one-night stand and then realize they like each other. Jim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins turn in solid performances, but the film belongs to Moore. Rated R for nudity and explicit adult situations. 113m. DIR: Edward Zwick. CAST: Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi, Elizabeth Perkins, George DiCenzo. 1986 DVD

•ABOUT SCHMIDT HHHH Retired, depressed insurance agent Warren Schmidt searches for meaning in his life after his wife dies in this bittersweet drama and social satire. Schmidt snakes through the Midwest in a Winnebago on his way to his resentful daughter's wedding to a ponytailed water-bed salesman. Between sending money and writing convoluted letters to an African foster boy, Schmidt stumbles into our heartland's Trailer Park Nation for some challenging misadventures and soul searching. Rated R for profanity and nudity. 124m. DIR: Alexander Payne. CAST: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates, Howard Hesseman, June Squibb. 2002 DVD

ABOVE AND BEYOND HHH1/2 Good account of the secret training led by Paul Tibbets (Robert Taylor) to prepare for the first atomic-bomb attack on Hiroshima. Bogs down some when dealing with his home life, but overall a fine biographical drama. Jim Backus has a cameo as General Curtis E. LeMay. B&W; 122m. DIR: Melvin Frank. CAST: Robert Taylor, Eleanor Parker, James Whitmore, Larry Keating, Jeff Richards, Jim Backus. 1952

ABOVE SUSPICION (1943) HHHH Newlyweds Joan Crawford and Fred MacMurray, while honeymooning on the Continent at the outbreak of World War II, innocently become involved in espionage. Conrad Veidt, who died before the movie was released, steals every scene in which he appears. Not rated, but good family entertainment. B&W; 90m. DIR: Richard Thorpe. CAST: Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Conrad Veidt, Basil Rathbone, Reginald Owen. 1943

ABOVE SUSPICION (1994) HHH1/2 In a positively spooky precursor to the accident that would end his career, Christopher Reeve stars as a dedicated cop who becomes crippled during a bust gone sour. Confined to a wheelchair and clinically depressed, he begins to question the wisdom of staying alive. Ah, but things are not as they seem in this deliciously twisty script from Jerry Lazarus, W. H. Macy, and Steven Schachter. You'll be guessing to the last frame—this one's very clever. Rated R for nudity, violence, profanity, and simulated sex. 92m. DIR: Steven Schachter. CAST: Christopher Reeve, Joe Mantegna, Kim Cattrall, Edward Kerr, Geoffrey Rivas, Finola Hughes, William H. Macy. 1994

ABOVE THE LAW HHH1/2 Director Andrew Davis, who gave credibility to Chuck Norris in Code of Silence, teams up with karate expert Steven Seagal (who cowrote the story and coproduced with Davis) for this tough, action-filled cop thriller. Seagal is a Chicago cop and Vietnam veteran who takes on the CIA. The result is a strong entry for action buffs. Rated R for lots of violence, profanity, and drug use. 97m. DIR: Andrew Davis. CAST: Steven Seagal, Pam Grier, Sharon Stone, Daniel Faraldo, Henry Silva. 1988 DVD

ABOVE THE RIM HH1/2 Two brothers clash as they try to influence a morally struggling young man in this Manhattan melodrama about inner-city crime, broken dreams, and one high-school athlete's attempt to climb out of the dangerous Harlem street scene. The laws and rhythms of the street are brought to life by a magnetic cast, but this bold bite out of the dark side of the Big Apple has a familiar taste to it. Rated R for violence and language. 96m. DIR: Jeff Pollack. CAST: Duane Martin, Leon, Tupac Shakur, Bernie Mac, Marlon Wayans. 1994

ABRAHAM HHH1/2 Abraham and Sarah prove their faith by obeying a divine command to undertake a difficult journey to the Promised Land and later to sacrifice son Isaac. Handsome production values and a fine cast. Not rated. 150m. DIR: Joseph Sargent. CAST: Richard Harris, Barbara Hershey, Maximilian Schell, Vittorio Gassman. 1994

ABRAHAM LINCOLN HHHH A milestone in many ways, this episodic film is legendary director Griffith's first "talkie," Hollywood's first sound biography of an American, the first attempt to cover Lincoln's life from cradle to grave, and the first about the martyred president to include the Civil War. Walter Huston's peerless performance in the title role dominates throughout. B&W; 91m. DIR: D. W. Griffith. CAST: Walter Huston, Una Merkel, Kay Hammond, Ian Keith, Hobart Bosworth, Jason Robards Sr., Henry B. Walthall. 1930

ABRAXAS GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE HH A renegade alien peace officer flees to Earth and impregnates a young woman, only to be caught and sent to prison. Five years later he escapes and returns to Earth to engage in countless, violent chase scenes. Not rated; contains violence. 87m. DIR: Damien Lee. CAST: Jesse Ventura, Marjorie Bransfield, Sven-Ole Thorsen. 1992 DVD

ABSENCE OF MALICE HHHH Sally Field is a Miami reporter who writes a story implicating an innocent man (Paul Newman) in the mysterious disappearance—and possible murder—of a union leader in this taut, thoughtful drama about the ethics of journalism. It's sort of All the President's Men turned inside out. Rated PG because of minor violence. 116m. DIR: Sydney Pollack. CAST: Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban, Melinda Dillon, Wilford Brimley. 1982 DVD

ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR, THE HHHH One of Disney's best live-action comedies, this stars Fred MacMurray in the title role of a scientist who discovers "flubber" (flying rubber). Only trouble is, no one will believe him—except Keenan Wynn, who tries to steal his invention. B&W; 104m. DIR: Robert Stevenson. CAST: Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Tommy Kirk, Ed Wynn, Keenan Wynn. 1961

ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS HHHH Based on the cult novel by Colin MacInnes, who chronicled the musical and social scene in London during the pivotal summer of 1958. Occasionally the accents are too thick and the references too obscure for Americans, but the overall effect is an unequivocal high. Rated PG-13 for stylized, but rather intense, violence and some profanity. 107m. DIR: Julien Temple. CAST: Eddie O'Connell, Patsy Kensit, David Bowie, James Fox, Ray Davies, Anita Morris, Sade Adu, Mandy Rice-Davies. 1986

ABSOLUTE POWER HHHH A gripping thriller in the tradition of Tightrope, this is Clint Eastwood at his most cynical. He is a professional thief in the middle of plying his trade when a middle-aged man brings a young woman into the bedroom. Hidden in a vault behind a one-way mirror, Eastwood witnesses the woman's rape and murder. He also gets a clear look at the killer: the president of the United States (Gene Hackman). Now the question is what to do about what he's seen, and how to stay alive long enough to do it. Rated R for violence, rape, profanity, and simulated sex. 121m. DIR: Clint Eastwood. CAST: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Judy Davis, Scott Glenn, E. G. Marshall. 1997 DVD

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS HHHHH This is not your parents' sitcom. Two middle-aged English tarts smoke, swallow, and bed everything in their paranoid paths, and are all the more fun for being unedited and abashedly vulgar. Jennifer Saunders is the queen of excess and Joanna Lumley her promiscuous best friend in this ground-breaking, sidesplitting satire. Available on video are all eighteen 30-minute episodes, a 30-minute special, and a 90-minute made-for-television movie. Not rated; contains profanity and adult themes. 660m. DIR: Bob Spiers. CAST: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks, June Whitfield. 1993–1996

ABSOLUTION HH1/2 Slow-moving but interesting tale of a priest's emotional and physical battle with one of his students at an English school for boys. As the priest, Richard Burton gives his usual compelling performance. Nice plot twist at the end. Not rated; contains violence. 91m. DIR: Anthony Page. CAST: Richard Burton, Dominic Guard, Andrew Keir, Billy Connolly. 1977

ABYSS, THE HHHH After suffering the deep-sea disappointments in Leviathan and Deepstar Six, viewers are likely to be a little cautious of getting back into the water with this thriller–adventure–fantasy film. They shouldn't be. The third time's the charm with the underwater plot, thanks to the inventiveness of director James Cameron (The Terminator, Aliens). Rated PG-13. 145m. DIR: James Cameron. CAST: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn. 1989 DVD

ACCATTONE HH1/2 Director Pier Paolo Pasolini's first feature film adapted from his own novel follows the desperate existence of a pimp living in the slums of southern Italy. Lacks emotional depth and raw power. In Italian with (virtually unreadable) English subtitles. B&W; 116m. DIR: Pier Paolo Pasolini. CAST: Franco Citti. 1961

ACCEPTABLE RISK HHH Decent adaptation of Robin Cook's science-fiction thriller. Chad Lowe stars as the overly ambitious researcher determined to find a shortcut to medical fame. Living in a home belonging to a woman accused of witchcraft, he discovers a powerful mold that brings out the beastly side of the researchers during the trials. Lowe flexes his dramatic muscle to pull off his horrific transformation in this TBS Superstation original. Not rated; contains violence, gore, and profanity. 94m. DIR: William A. Graham. CAST: Chad Lowe, Kelly Rutherford, Sean Patrick Flanery. 2001 DVD

ACCEPTABLE RISKS HHH Heavy-handed message film about the risks a chemical plant poses to the inhabitants of a new housing development. Unbelievable amount of carelessness by plant workers and blind greed by owners reduce this TV movie to near sci-fi rather than gritty docudrama. 97m. DIR: Rick Wallace. CAST: Brian Dennehy, Kenneth McMillan, Christine Ebersole, Cicely Tyson. 1986

ACCESS CODE T Dreadful action film about an Orwellian Big Brother surveillance system that takes over the country's national security complex. Not rated, has profanity. 90m. DIR: Mark Sobel. CAST: Martin Landau, Michael Ansara, Macdonald Carey. 1984

ACCIDENT HHHH Harold Pinter's complicated play retains its subtleties in this sometimes baffling British film. Dirk Bogarde is excellent as a married professor pursuing an attractive student. There are enough twists and turns in the characters' actual desires to maintain your complete attention. 105m. DIR: Joseph Losey. CAST: Dirk Bogarde, Stanley Baker, Jacqueline Sassard, Michael York. 1967

ACCIDENTAL MEETING HH In this made-for-cable movie, two women joke about having each other murder someone they don't like. However, one of the women takes it seriously. For a better version of this plot, rent Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train. Not rated; contains violence and sexual situations. 95m. DIR: Michael Zinberg. CAST: Linda Gray, Linda Purl, Leigh McCloskey, Ernie Lively, David Hayward, Kent McCord. 1993

•ACCIDENTAL SPY, THE HH1/2 Enjoyable Jackie Chan romp finds the martial arts star playing the long-lost son of a Korean double agent, whose simple life as a salesman is thrown into a chaotic whirlwind after his dying father gives him the key to a mystery left unsolved. Watching the mild-mannered salesman, named Jackie Chan, attempt to solve his father's unfinished business is a lot of fun, and provides Chan with plenty of opportunities to flex his martial arts muscles and dry wit. Not great Chan, but enough of a diversion to make up for some of his throwaway efforts. Rated PG-13 for nudity and violence. 87m. DIR: Teddy Chan. CAST: Jackie Chan, Vivian Hsu, Eric Tsang, Min-jeong Kim, Alfred Cheung. 2001 DVD

ACCIDENTAL TOURIST, THE HHHH William Hurt and Kathleen Turner team again for this compelling adaptation of Anne Tyler's novel. Hurt's the writer of travel guides who distances himself from everybody—including wife Turner—after the death of their young son; Geena Davis is the earthy, colorful free spirit who tries to break through his wall of self-imposed isolation. Filled with strong emotional highs and lows. Rated PG. 120m. DIR: Lawrence Kasdan. CAST: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis, Bill Pullman, Amy Wright, David Ogden Stiers, Ed Begley Jr. 1988

ACCOMPANIST, THE HH1/2 In Nazi-occupied Paris, a young pianist works for, and later flees to London with, a famous concert singer and her manager/husband. Lovely pastel photography and wonderful music but it's a bit too measured and deliberate. In French with English subtitles. Rated PG. 111m. DIR: Claude Miller. CAST: Richard Bohringer, Elena Safonova, Romane Bohringer, Samuel Labarthe, Julien Rassam. 1993

ACCUSED, THE HHHH Superb, emotionally intense retelling of the precedent-setting New Bedford, Massachusetts, gang-rape case, with Jodie Foster as an innocent but definitely not saintly victim, and Kelly McGillis as a tough DA. An excellent and wrenching film. Rated R for adult themes, language, nudity, and sexual violence. 105m. DIR: Jonathan Kaplan. CAST: Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis, Bernie Coulson, Steve Antin, Leo Rossi, Woody Brown. 1988 DVD

ACE DRUMMOND HH1/2 An arch villain known as The Dragon has thwarted every effort by an international group attempting to establish a round-the-world airline service. Aviation whiz Ace Drummond jumps from the Sunday funnies to the silver screen. Laughable in many respects, this is still a pretty good serial and the only filming of this character's adventures. B&W; 250m. DIR: Ford Beebe, Cliff Smith. CAST: John King, Jean Rogers, Noah Beery Jr., Lon Chaney Jr. 1936

ACE HIGH HH In this violent spaghetti Western written and directed by Giuseppe Colizzi, a condemned outlaw is offered a chance to save himself from the hangman's noose. Having just completed the entertaining The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Eli Wallach is wasted. There is some humor, but the dialogue and dubbing are simply terrible. 123m. DIR: Giuseppe Colizzi. CAST: Eli Wallach, Brock Peters, Terence Hill, Kevin McCarthy, Bud Spencer. 1969

ACE OF ACES HHH1/2 Aviation drama set in World War I. Richard Dix, as the hero, raises this tough film above literally dozens of flying ace movies made in the early 1930s. B&W; 70m. DIR: J. Walter Ruben. CAST: Richard Dix, Elizabeth Allan, Ralph Bellamy. 1933

ACE OF HEARTS HH1/2 Unlikely love triangle between a girl and two ardent anarchists. Lon Chaney Sr. plays the weepy suitor who loses the girl but redeems himself when he saves the loving couple. Chaney plays it low-key throughout the film, but there's a great segment featuring his character and an attentive dog and the finale is one of his finest moments. B&W; 62m. DIR: Wallace Worsley. CAST: Lon Chaney Sr., Leatrice Joy, John Bowers, Raymond Hatton. 1921

ACE VENTURA: PET DETECTIVE HH1/2 Gangly Jim Carrey of TV's In Living Color proves that comedy doesn't have to be pretty to be a scream. Carrey hams it up as a goofy Florida gumshoe who cracks missing-animal cases. This giddy, crude comedy doesn't really have a personality of its own—it's an extension of Carrey's own hyper-nuttiness. Ace must locate the Miami Dolphins' mascot and star quarterback just before the Super Bowl. Rated PG-13 for violence, profanity, and suggested sex. 85m. DIR: Tom Shadyac. CAST: Jim Carrey, Sean Young, Courteney Cox Arquette, Tone Loc, Dan Marino. 1994 DVD

ACE VENTURA: WHEN NATURE CALLS HH Diminishing returns hit this series pretty quickly, with Jim Carrey's patented gross-out humor employed to shore up a thin script. This time out our hero must retrieve a sacred animal abducted from an African tribe, before war is declared. Although only small children are likely to enjoy the infantile slapstick, they're hardly the right audience for some of Carrey's tasteless sexual gags. Rated PG-13 for profanity, violence, and blue sexual material. 91m. DIR: Steve Oedekerk. CAST: Jim Carrey, Ian McNeice, Simon Callow, Maynard Eziashi, Bob Gunton. 1995 DVD

ACES AND EIGHTS HH1/2 Although lacking in action, this Tim McCoy Western nevertheless has its moments. McCoy comes to the aid of a young Mexican unfairly accused of murder. B&W; 62m. DIR: Sam Newfield. CAST: Tim McCoy, Luana Walters. 1936

ACES: IRON EAGLE III HHH1/2 Surprisingly—effective and entertaining—reworking of The Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai formula bears no resemblance to the other two films in the Iron Eagle series. It features Lou Gossett Jr. as the character of Chappy. This time, he must lead a group of World War II veterans on a mission to save a village from drug dealers. Rated R for violence and profanity. 98m. DIR: John Glen. CAST: Louis Gossett Jr., Rachel McLish, Paul Freeman, Horst Buchholz, Christopher Cazenove, Sonny Chiba, Fred Dalton Thompson, Mitchell Ryan. 1992

•ACID HOUSE, THE HH1/2 Three short stories from Trainspotting scribe Irvine Welsh come together in another exploration of London drug culture. Two tales of exchanging bodies are sandwiched around the worst neighbor ever; each is filled with all of the British slang, sexual deviance, and bad trips that you'd expect. Too often it sacrifices character development for cheap shocks. For us Americans, English subtitles are provided. Not rated; contains sex, violence, and constant profanity. 118m. DIR: Paul McGuigan. CAST: Ewen Bremner, Martin Clunes, Kevin McKidd, Jemma Redgrave, Maurice Roëves. 1998 DVD

ACROSS 110TH STREET HHH1/2 This one is a real sleeper! An action-packed, extremely violent film concerning gang warfare between the Mafia and their black counterparts. Entire cast is very good, as are the action scenes. Rated R for violence and language. 102m. DIR: Barry Shear. CAST: Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa, Richard Ward. 1972 DVD

ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE HH Family entertainment at its most unchallenging. Two kids (Heather Rattray and Mark Hall) meet up with a shifty gambler (Robert Logan), and the three eventually unite for safety on their monotonous trek through valleys, mountains, and rivers. Rated G. 89m. DIR: Stewart Raffill. CAST: Robert Logan, George "Buck" Flower, Heather Rattray, Mark Edward Hall. 1976

•ACROSS THE LINE HH1/2 Insincere attempt to paint a sympathetic face on the illegal immigrant problem at the United States–Mexico border works best as a thriller rather than a drama. Miranda (Sigal Erez) is one such immigrant, who witnesses a murder at the border and seeks protection in the arms of small-town sheriff Grant Johnson (Brad Johnson). Instead of dealing honestly with the problems of illegal immigration, director Martin Spottl turns this plight into mainstream entertainment. Rated R for adult situations, language, and violence. 97m. DIR: Martin Spottl. CAST: Brad Johnson, Sigal Erez, Brian Bloom, Marshall R. Teague, Justin Urich. 2000 DVD

ACROSS THE MOON HHH Personable romantic comedy about two very different women and the circumstances that bring them together: their hoodlum boyfriends botch a robbery and are sent to prison. Elizabeth Peña and Christina Applegate are winning as the sisters-in-arms. Rated R for strong language and adult situations. 88m. DIR: Lisa Gottlieb. CAST: Christina Applegate, Elizabeth Peña, James Remar, Michael McKean, Tony Fields, Peter Berg, Michael Aniel Mundra. 1993 DVD

ACROSS THE PACIFIC HHHH Prior to going off to war himself, director John Huston reassembled three of the stars from The Maltese Falcon for this high-spirited World War II propaganda piece. Humphrey Bogart woos Mary Astor while battling spy Sydney Greenstreet. Hugely enjoyable action film. B&W; 97m. DIR: John Huston. CAST: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Victor Sen Yung, Keye Luke, Richard Loo. 1942

ACROSS THE RIO GRANDE HHH1/2 Jimmy Wakely straightens out a young lawyer involved with border silver-ore smugglers and captures the killer of the lawyer's father. Noteworthy as the first film appearance of Polly Bergen. B&W; 55m. DIR: Oliver Drake. CAST: Jimmy Wakely, Dub Taylor, Polly Bergen. 1949

ACROSS THE TRACKS HHHH Two brothers compete for a scholarship in a county track championship. The soundtrack is excellent, the acting is convincing, and the screenplay deals with believable, real-life situations. Rated PG. 101m. DIR: Sandy Tung. CAST: Rick Schroder, Brad Pitt, Carrie Snodgress. 1990

ACROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI HH1/2 Scenery is the big and only plus in this plotless pedestrian tale of fortune seekers led by a Kentucky trapper seeking wealth in Indian-held virgin beaver territory. 78m. DIR: William Wellman. CAST: Clark Gable, Ricardo Montalban, Adolphe Menjou, John Hodiak, J. Carrol Naish, Alan Napier, Jack Holt. 1951

ACT, THE HHH A comedy-drama with a convoluted plot of political chicanery, double cross, and robbery. The overall quality is erratic and yet this ends up being a good effort from a veteran cast. Trivia fans may note John Sebastian's involvement in the musical score. Rated R for sexual situations and language. 90m. DIR: Sig Shore. CAST: Robert Ginty, Sarah Langenfeld, Jill St. John, Eddie Albert, Pat Hingle. 1982

ACT OF AGGRESSION HH1/2 After his wife and daughter are raped and murdered, Jean-Louis Trintignant takes the law into his own hands in this unpleasant Gallic contribution to the Death Wish genre. In French with English subtitles. Not rated; co


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Copyright© 2003 by Mick Martin and Marsha Porter

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