AMERICAN HISTORY X
Two brothers become involved in the neo-Nazi movement in this disturbing look at hate, racism, and anti-Semitism. Stirring performances by Edward Norton, as a hateful young man incarcerated for a hate murder, and Edward Furlong, as the boy who picks up where his older brother left off. Unfortunately the film's topic makes for heady going.
Director: Tony Kaye. Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angeleo, Fairuza Balk, Avery Brooks, Stacy Keach. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 119 min.), Drama, 1998, Box office gross: $6.314 million, (New Line), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/6, DVD: Day & Date.
A high school honor student discovers that a Nazi war criminal has been quietly living in his hometown and, obsessed with the history of the Holocaust and its atrocities, he blackmails the old man, opening up a riveting game of cat and mouse. Stars Brad Renfro, Sir Ian McKellen and David Schwimmer.
Director: Bryan Singer. Stars: Brad Renfro, Sir Ian McKellen, David Schwimmer. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 112 min.), Drama, 1998, Box office gross: $8.838 million, (Columbia TriStar), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/13, DVD: Day & Date.
AT FIRST SIGHT
A story of faith, hope and love about a blind young man whose sight is restored by a remarkable operation. Val Kilmer is a blind masseur whose hands heal stressed out Manhattanite Mira Sorvino, and they promptly fall in love. But their burgeoning romance is put to the test after the surgery when he has to learn to see the world for the first time.
Director: Irwin Winkler. Stars: Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly McGillis, Steven Weber, Bruce Davison, Nathan Lane. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min.), Romantic Drama, 1999, Box office gross: $21.825 million, (MGM), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/27, DVD: Day & Date.
Based on Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this over-long melodrama centers on the tribulations of a former slave tortured by the ghosts of her horrific past, marring her attempts to free herself emotionally and spiritually. Stars Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Lisa Gay Hamilton and Beah Richards.
Director: Jonathan Demme. Stars: Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Beah Richards. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 172 min.), Melodrama, 1998, Box office gross: $22.746 million, (Touchstone), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/13, DVD: No.
BUG'S LIFE, A Delicious story and fabulous 3-D computer animation made this family feature a smash hit. A group of ants -- toiling for their grasshopper overlords -- enlist the aid of out-of-work bug performers from a second-rate flea circus to save their society from oppression. Spirited and goofy, with the voices of Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Phyllis Diller, David Hyde Pierce.
Director: John Lasseter. Voices of Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Phyllis Diller, David Hyde Pierce. CC, (MPAA rating: G, 94 min.), Animated, 1998, Box office gross: $155.000 million, (Buena Vista), $26.99 SRP, Available: 4/20, DVD: Day & Date.
I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
Weak sequel to the smash horror hit of 1997, this one has the survivor of the original's bloodbath taking a holiday in the Bahamas with some friends in hopes of shedding her paranoia and hallucinations about the original killing spree a year earlier. Naturally the vacation is ripped apart when she's again confronted by the crazed murderer. Stars Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr.
Director: Danny Cannon. Stars: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy, Muse Watson, Mekhi Phifer. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 100 min.), Horror, 1998, Box office gross: $39.842 million, (Columbia TriStar), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/6, DVD: Day & Date.
MEET JOE BLACK Loose remake of "Death Takes a Holiday," with Brad Pitt as the personification of death come to visit a media tycoon (Anthony Hopkins), who's on the verge of a heart attack. The otherworldly presence decides to give the businessman a new lease on life, sticking around to learn the ways of the world and to savor this thing called life. Matters become complicated when Death falls for the mogul's daughter. At three hours it's way too long and overblown. In widescreen and pan-and-scan.
Director: Martin Brest. Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Tambor, Claire Forlani, Marcia Gay Harden. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 180 min.), Drama, 1998, Box office gross: $44.522 million, (Universal), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/6, DVD: Day & Date.
NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY, A
Dumb teenage boy oriented comedy about a pair of losers who are the epitome of unhip. Because of a fluke car accident with Richard Grieco (playing himself), these clueless dunderheads have their dreams come true: they get into the fashionable Los Angeles Roxbury club and actually meet women! Things go down hill from there. Stars Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan; the film is based on their "Saturday Night Live" skits.
Director: John Fortenberry. Stars: Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, Dan Hedaya, Loni Anderson. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 81 min.), Comedy, 1998, Box office gross: $30.324 million, (Paramount), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/20, DVD: No.
SIEGE, THE New York City comes under siege by a group of Arab zealots who blow up, first, a bus loaded with passengers and then a full-house Broadway theater in an effort to blackmail the government into freeing one of their leaders. Counterterrorist Denzel Washington gets on the case, but his pursuit of terrorist cells is hampered by the CIA (Annette Bening) and the military (Bruce Willis). What starts out as an exciting thriller bogs down into a misguided and misplaced anti-Fascist tract.
Director: Edward Zwick. Stars: Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis, Tony Shalhoub. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 120 min.), Thriller, 1998, Box office gross: $40.932 million, (Fox), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/20, DVD: Day & Date.
SIMON BIRCH Simon Birch was the smallest birth at Gravestown Memorial Hospital and his mischievous idyllic childhood is lacking only one thing: parental love. With an old soul and a funny voice, he hangs with a loser friend -- being troublemakers and just having fun -- until a chain of events change their lives forever. A charming, humorous period piece. Stars Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Ashley Judd, Oliver Platt and David Strathairn.
Director: Mark Steven Johnson. Stars: Ian Michael Smith, Joseph Mazzello, Ashley Judd, Oliver Platt, David Strathairn. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 110 min.), Comedy-Drama, 1998, Box office gross: $18.239 million, (Buena Vista), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available:4/20, DVD: No.
SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER NEVER CRIES, A
Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Kaylie Jones, daughter of author James Jones ("From Here to Eternity," "The Thin Red Line"), about her family's life first as expatriates in Paris in the '60s and '70s, then their return to the States, focusing on the young girl's rites of passage in a turbulent time. Wonderfully moving melodrama with fine turns by Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Hershey.
Director: James Ivory. Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey, Jane Birkin, Jesse Bradford, Leelee Sobieski. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 128 min.), Drama, 1998, Box office gross: $1.738 million, (Universal), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/6, DVD: No.
Weepy melodrama from director Chris Columbus ("Mrs. Doubtfire," "Home Alone") about the turmoil of an upper-middle class family when mom (Susan Sarandon) and dad (Ed Harris) separate and dad takes up with a younger, career-minded fashion photographer (Julia Roberts) who's forced into the role of stepmother for his two kids. The amicable split-up gets testy when mom begins to resent the younger woman's "intrusion" into her family and her handling of the kids -- and the kids in turn aren't too crazy about their stepmom. Plenty of laughs, warm moments and tears before the final reel.
Director: Chris Columbus. Stars: Julia Roberts, Ed Harris, Susan Sarandon. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 125 min.), Melodrama, 1998, Box office gross: $90.002 million, (Columbia TriStar), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 4/27, DVD: Day & Date.
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