The sequel to the $100 million, "Underworld: Evolution" continues the saga of war between the aristocratic Death Dealers (vampires) and the barbaric Lycans (werewolves). The film traces the beginnings of the ancient
feud between the two tribes as Selene (Kate Beckinsale), the beautiful vampire heroine, and Michael (Scott Speedman), the lycan hybrid, try to unlock the secrets of their bloodlines. Selene and Michael's quest for peace, truth and the destruction of the evil powers lurking
on the seat of the vampire throne takes them into the battle to end all wars as the immortals finally face their retribution.
Vitals: Director: Len Wiseman. Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Tony Curran, Shane Brolly, Derek Jacobi, Bill Nighy. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 106 min., Horror thriller, Box office gross:
$62.318 million, Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Harrison Ford stars as bank security expert Jack Stanfield, whose specialty is designing infallible theft-proof financial computer systems. But there's a hidden vulnerability in the system that he didn't account for -- himself. When a
ruthless criminal mastermind (Paul Bettany) kidnaps his family, Jack is forced to find a flaw in the system and steal $100 million. With the lives of his wife and children at stake and under constant surveillance, he has only hours to find a loophole in the thief's own
impenetrable system of subterfuge and false identities to fight back and beat him at his own game.
Vitals: Director: Richard Loncraine. Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Robert Patrick, Robert Forster, Alan Arkin, Carly Schroeder, Jimmy Bennett.
2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 105 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $47.775 million, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
After a drug deal goes wrong and some dirty cops end up dead, low-level mobster Joey (Paul Walker) has to dispose of the guns from the shootout. Things get complicated when his neighbor's young son snatches the gun and
uses it to shoot his father. Once this happens, Joey has to race all night to find the kid, cover up the shooting, and get the gun back -- all while keeping both his own mob associates and the cops at bay.
Vitals: Director: Wayne Kramer. Stars: Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, Vera Farmiga, Chazz Palminteri, Johnny Messner. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $6.651
million, New Line, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The
Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) is a veteran cowboy who embodies the values of the Old West, living in a small Texas town bordering the U.S. and Mexico. He hires Melquiades Estrada as a ranch
hand and quickly befriends the man. But when Estrada is gunned down under mysterious circumstances, Perkins takes justice into his own hands and kidnaps a trigger-happy border patrolman (Barry Pepper), forcing Perkins to unearth Estrada's body and accompany
Perkins on horseback on the long and treacherous journey through the frontier mountains and back roads of Mexico to bring his friend's body home. A modern-day Western directed by Jones.
Vitals: Director: Tommy Lee Jones. Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, January Jones. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 121 min., Western, Box office gross: $3.992 million, Sony,
No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Josh Lucas stars as Hall of Fame coach Don Haskins, in the true story of the team that changed the game of basketball forever. In the 1960's, Texas Western (now the University of Texas El Paso) hires Haskins to coach a
small-time, losing basketball program. Through vigorous recruiting, Haskins assembles a line-up with many African-Americans, a novelty in college basketball at the time. With a grueling coaching regime and tough love, Haskins molds his recruits into a promising team.
Amidst the country's burgeoning civil-rights movement, the players and coaches endure racially-charged insults as they go forward in the national college tournaments. Haskins fields the first all African-American starting line-up in a championship game, and together they
defy the odds and win the 1966 NCAA Championship.
Vitals: Director: James Garner. Stars: Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Mehcad Brooks, Emily Deschanel, Al Shearer, Tatyana Ali, Jon Voight. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 118 min., Biodrama, Box office
gross: $41.672 million, Disney, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Pink Panther, The
A reworking of Blake Edwards' "The Pink Panther," set up as a prequel rather than a redo. A world-famous soccer coach has been murdered and his priceless, legendary ring with the stunning diamond known as the "Pink
Panther" has been stolen. Bumbling Inspector Clouseau (Steve Martin) tries to solve the crime and recover the gem. One by one, Clouseau narrows his search and tracks down the most likely suspects. Clouseau and his new assistant, the steadfast, stoic Gendarme Gilbert
Ponton (Jean Reno), follow a tangle of clues that leads them all over Paris and, eventually, New York City. The suspects include a stunning pop star (Beyonce Knowles), a spurned soccer player, a millionaire casino owner and a flirtatious publicist. Clouseau and Ponton
must unmask the murderer and keep their boss, Dreyfus (Kevin Kline), from taking credit for the victory, all without bringing the French legal system to a screeching halt.
Vitals: Director: Shawn Levy. Stars: Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer, Henry Czerny, Kristin Chenoweth. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 93 min., Comedy,
Box office gross: $80.752 million,
Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Neal Young: Heart of Gold
Director Jonathan Demme's intimate musical portrait of legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young, filmed on the occasion of the world premiere of Young's Prairie Wind concert at Nashville's hallowed Ryman
auditorium in the summer of 2005. Young's music provides an emotionally rich view into this unique artist's relationship to family, friends, mortality and the passage of time. Young is accompanied on stage by many longtime musical companions, including country star
Emmylou Harris, Neil's wife Pegi Young, and band leader/steel guitarist Ben Keith. A groundbreaking union of film and music, it's the permanent record that emerged from these two concerts at the Ryman. Young, accompanied by musicians -- strings, horns, and
singers, including a gospel choir -- performed, in its entirety, "Prairie Wind," the album Young had finished recording only months earlier. Following that, Young offered a selection of other songs, mostly from the "Harvest" and "Harvest Moon" albums, which, taken
with "Prairie Wind," together feels like a trilogy. This was not, however, just another concert of new work and past hits randomly patched together. All of the works melded into a rational whole, a connected body of work.
Vitals: Director: Jonathan Demme. Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ben Keith, Spooner Oldham, Rick Rosas, Karl Himmel, Chad Cromwell, Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns, Pegi Young, Anthony
Crawford, Diana Dewitt, Gary Pigg, Grant Boatwright, Tom McGinley, Jimmy Sharp, Clinton Gregory, Fisk University Singers, The Nashville String Machine.
2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 103 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $1.283 million, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a broken-down, aging New York City police detective assigned to escort a petty criminal (Mos Def) from the precinct to the courthouse. The seemingly simple 16-block journey becomes a test of
character for them when Jack's ex-partners attempt to stop them. Battling against time and the corrupt cops gaining on their every move, Jack and Eddie fight their way to the courthouse block by gut-wrenching block. It's a gripping tale of how two men change each
other during a tense 118-minute struggle between life and death.
Vitals: Director: Richard Donner. Stars: Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse, Jenna Stern, Casey Sander. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 105 min., Action thriller, Box office gross: $36.212
million, Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
World's Fastest Indian, The
Centers on the life of Burt Monro, a New Zealander who invested several decades perfecting his classic 1920 Indian motorcycle. In the 1960s Burt sets off from New Zealand to clock his bike at the Bonneville Salt
Flats in Utah. With all odds against him Burt puts his kiwi spirit to the test, braving the new world on a shoestring budget. Burt's quest culminates in an unlikely conclusion and remains legendary within the motorcycle community to this day: in 1967 he set the
land-speed world record of 183.586 mph.
Vitals: Director: Roger Donaldson. Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Saginaw Grant, Diane Ladd, Walton Goggins. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 127 min., Drama, Box office gross: $3.380 million,
Magnolia Home Entertainment, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Dave Chappelle's Block Party
A mix of Dave Chapelle's sketch comedy and musical interludes, inspired in part by the 1973 documentary Wattstax. Spotlights comedy superstar Chappelle as he presents a Brooklyn neighborhood with its very
own once-in-a-lifetime free block party. Combination of comedy and music was shot on location. In addition to Chappelle performing all-new material, the roster of artists includes Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, the
Roots, Cody ChesnuTT, Big Daddy Kane, and -- reunited for their first performance in over seven years -- the Fugees.
Vitals: Director: Michel Gondry. Stars: Dave Chapelle, Talib Kweli, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Bilal Ahmir, Big Daddy Kane, Cody Chestnutt, Common, Kool G. Rap, Wyclef Jean, Freeway, Pras, Fred Hampton
Jr., James Gray, Leonard Hubbard, Tariq Trotter, Tiffany Limos, Dead Prez, Kanye West, Dante 'Mos Def' Smith, Erykah Badu. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 103 min., Comedy Doc, Box office gross: $11.694 million, Universal.
Green Street Hooligans
Journalism student Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) has been expelled from Harvard for a crime he didn't commit. His promising career ended and his future looking bleak, he heads for London to seek refuge with his
married sister Shannon (Claire Forlani) and her husband Steve (Marc Warren). Steve introduces Matt to his younger brother Pete (Charlie Hunnam) and, through their friendship, Matt enters the world of football fanaticism and the secrecy and intrigue of the "football
firm." Pete and his close knit group of friends make up the Green Street Elite, a hard core group of West Ham United supporters -- and one of the toughest London football firms. All the football clubs have a firm and they all have one aim -- to be the most feared and
respected mob in the country -- no matter what it takes. Matt is not only drawn into the sheer excitement of the game of football itself, but also the brotherhood and loyalty of life inside the GSE. The buzz that violence brings to him produces a sense of power that he has
never before experienced. Soon, however, his past catches up with him.
Vitals: Director: Lexi Alexander. Stars: Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Forlani, Marc Warren. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 108 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.344 million,
Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Cute comedy about friendship and the foibles of love. It's the end of summer in a small Florida resort town and Claire (Emma Roberts) and Hailey (JoJo) have a major problem. In just five days, Hailey's family is moving half the
world away. The girls need a major miracle, and they get one in the form of Aquamarine (Sara Paxton), a beautiful mer-gir who has set out on a journey to escape her predestined undersea life, insisting that true romance is more than just a myth. Washed ashore during a
major tropical storm, she ends up in a swimming pool and is discovered by Claire and Hailey. Aquamarine takes a crash course in terrestrial life with her newfound friends, including non-stop shopping, dancing and meeting the hunky boy of her dreams. Sweet but
clueless to the ways of romance, she offers to grant the girls one wish if they help. But when they attempt to reel in the cute local lifeguard for her, the result is something none of them expect É and they discover that sometimes what you wish for isn't what you really
want after all.
Vitals: Director: Elizabeth Allen. Stars: Emma Roberts, JoJo, Sara Paxton, Jake McDorman. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 103 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $18.007 million,
Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
End of the Spear
True story about the slaughter of missionaries by Ecuador indians in the mid-1950s. Mincayani is born into the most violent society ever documented by anthropologists, the Waodani in the eastern rainforest of Ecuador. As he
grows he learns what every Waodani understands, he must spear and live or be speared and die. Mincayani's world changes in 1956 when he and his family kill five missionaries -- Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming and Roger Youderian -- believing all
foreigners are cannibals. This incident propels Mincayani's family group down an extraordinary path that culminates in them not only departing from violence, but also caring for the enemy tribe they had once violently raided. Nate Saint's son Steve was a boy when his
father and friends were killed. He returns to the Waodani as an adult and finally learns from Mincayani what happened during the last minutes of his father's life. Together Mincayani and Steve find that what Nate accomplished in his death gave them both a new life and
Steve's family becomes part of Mincayani's family.
Vitals: Director: Jim Hanon. Stars: Louie Leonardo, Chad Allen, Jack Guzman, Christina Souza, Chase Ellison. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 111 min., Drama, Box office gross: $11.703 million,
Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) is basically a decent guy. Sure, he's a petty thief who skates through life on a shaky cocktail of dog-eared charm and cockeyed optimism, but he wants to do the right thing. He just
doesn't know how, exactly. Harry's perpetual bad luck takes a turn for the better when he and his partner are doing some after-hours Christmas "shopping" at a New York City toy store and the security alarm breaks up the party. In making his frantic getaway from the
cops, Harry inadvertently stumbles into an audition for a Hollywood detective movie, and faster than you can say Jack Robinson, the producer flies him to Los Angeles for a screen test.
Vitals: Director: Shane Black. Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, Dash Mihok, Larry Miller, Rockmond Dunbar, Shannyn Sossamon. 2006, CC, MPAA
rating: R, 103 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $4.243 million, Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Big oil means big money. Very big money. And that fact unleashes corruption that stretches from Houston to Washington to the Mideast and ensnares industrialists, princes, spies, politicos, oilfield laborers and terrorists in a deadly,
deceptive web of move and countermove. This lightning-paced, whip-smart action thriller grips your mind and nerves with an intensity that doesn't let go for an instant.
The intrigue takes place against the backdrop of an oil-producing Gulf country, where young, charismatic and reform-minded Prince Nasir (Alexander Siddig) is seeking to change long-established relationships with U.S. business interests.
Nasir, the apparent heir to the throne, has just granted natural gas drilling rights -- long held by Connex, a Texas energy giant -- to a higher Chinese bid. This is a huge blow to Connex and American business interests in the region. Killen, a smaller Texas oil company
owned by Jimmy Pope (Chris Cooper), has just won the very competitive drilling rights to coveted fields in Kazakhstan. This makes Killen very attractive to Connex, who now needs new territory to maintain its production capacity. When the two companies merge, the
pending deal attracts the scrutiny of the Justice Dept., and Sloan Whiting, a powerful white-shoe Washington law firm, is brought in to perform due diligence.
Bob Barnes (George Clooney) is a veteran CIA agent nearing the end of a long and respectable career, with the possibility of spending the latter days of his service in a cushy desk job. A devoted company man, Bob's always been a true
believer that his work benefits his government and makes his country a safer place. In Bob's last assignment, an assassination of two arms dealers in Tehran, a Stinger missile falls into the hands of a mysterious blue-eyed Egyptian. On his return to Washington, Bob is
promised a promotion after one last undercover mission -- assassinating Prince Nasir. But when one of his field contacts turns on him and the assassination attempt goes terribly awry, Bob is scapegoated by the CIA, betrayed by the organization to which he has devoted
his life. As he searches to understand what has happened, he begins to realize that he has been lied to -- used as a pawn and never privy to the real motivation for the assignments he has blindly carried out for years.
Bennett Holiday (Jeffrey Wright) is an ambitious Washington attorney at Sloan Whiting, in charge of the delicate task of guiding the Connex-Killen merger through the deep waters of D.C. He needs to give the Justice Department enough
material to make their case against Killen for its shady dealings in Kazakhstan without jeopardizing the entire deal. It's in the company and the country's interest that the merger go through.
Energy analyst Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) is a rising star at an Energy Trading Company, living with his wife Julie (Amanda Peet) and their two young sons in Geneva. When he attends a party thrown by Prince Nasir's family, a
tragic accident results in the death of Bryan's young son. Nasir attempts to make amends for what happened, offering Bryan a business opportunity to help the young leader realize his reformist ideas -- an opportunity Bryan embraces, to the dismay of his grieving wife.
Dean Whiting (Christopher Plummer), Bennett's boss, the head of Sloan Whiting and one of the most powerful men in Washington, is trying to undo Nasir's deal with the Chinese. He knows that Nasir's younger, more callow brother, Prince Meshal (Akbar Kurtha), will
be more amenable to American business interests and he pressures the aging Emir to choose his younger son to succeed him, effectively engineering Nasir's political demise.
At the other end of the wage scale in Nasir's country are the migrant laborers toiling in its energy fields, whose lives are directly and drastically affected by the royal family's policies and the vagaries of the industry. Connex workers
Saleem Ahmed Kahn (Shahid Ahmed) and his son Wasim (Mazhar Munir) have just been laid off from their jobs in the fields when the Chinese take them over, and their future becomes increasingly uncertain as they search in vain for work before their visas run out.
Saleem dreams of someday returning to Pakistan; his son hopes for a better life but quickly becomes disillusioned and angry at the way he and his father are treated as immigrant workers in the Gulf. Wasim and his friend Farooq (Sonnell Dadral) find solace at the local
madrassa, a place where they are treated with dignity in an otherwise bleak and unfamiliar world. At the madrassa, Wasim and Farooq are taken under the wing of a charismatic and dangerous recruiter -- the blue-eyed Egyptian with the missing Stinger missile.
Sheiks and field workers, government inspectors and international spies, rich and poor, the famous and infamous -- each plays their small part in the vast and complex system that powers the industry, none realizing the true extent of the
explosive impact their lives will have upon the world.
Vitals: Director: Stephen Gaghan. Stars: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, William Hurt, Tim Blake Nelson, Amanda Peet, Christopher Plummer, Alexander Siddig, Mazhar
Munir, Shahid Ahmed, Akbar Kurtha, Sonnell Dadral. 2005, CC,
MPAA rating: R, 126 min., Drama, Box office gross: $45.419 million, Warner, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
The Hills Have Eyes
The dysfunctional Carter family sets off on a cross-country road trip in a weathered Suburban pulling an '88 Airstream trailer. Heading West, they take an unexpected detour on a desolate stretch of desert, with nothing
seemingly alive for miles. When they run into a little unexpected vehicle trouble, they realize they are in dire straits, far from help, with a relentlessly sweltering desert sun overhead. But even as they fight to survive the deadly desert, a far greater threat emerges. Now
the Carters become aware that they are not quite as alone as they first thought. There is another group of survivors in the hills surrounding the desert: a genetically mutated, insatiably hungry, blood-thirsty clan -- the terrifying offspring of miners left behind in the days
when atomic tests spread radioactive fallout across the desert -- who will stop at nothing to prey on the Carters one by one. Facing the very depths of savagery, the Carter family must pull together if they are to find any hope of returning to civilized life again ... alive.
Modern take on Wes Craven's 1977 cult classic.
Vitals: Director: Alexandre Aja. Michael Bailey Smith, Ted Levine, Kathleen Quinlan, Dan Byrd, Emilie de Ravin, Aaron Stanford, Vinessa Shaw, Billy Drago.
2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 108 min., Horror, Box office gross: $35.717 million, Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Thrilling and heartwarming adventure of loyalty, courage and the bonds of friendship between eight incredible sled dogs and their human leader. In Antarctica during the most unforgiving winter on the planet, members of a
scientific research station suffer a sudden accident and are forced to leave behind their team of beloved sled dogs. Alone and stranded, the dogs courageously struggle to survive for six months in the intense frozen wilderness, relying only on each other. The intelligent,
courageous dogs -- including noble pack leader Maya, rambunctious rebel Shorty and rising leader Max -- fight overwhelming odds. Driven by unwavering bonds of friendship, both the dogs and their human handler -- who stops at nothing to attempt a rescue mission --
make incredible journeys to reunite with each other.
Vitals: Director: Frank Marshall. Stars: Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, Jason Biggs. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 120 min., Adventure, Box office gross: $79.172 million,
Disney, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
The first installment of a remarkable mind-bending trilogy based on the best-selling sci-fi novels of Sergei Lukyanenko, "Night Watch" features the cinematic vision of cutting-edge director-writer Timur Bekmambetov, who uses a
dazzling mix of state-of-the-art visual effects, amazing action sequences, and nail-biting horror to depict the epic battle between the forces of good and evil. Shattering all boxoffice records in its native Russia, the film was also the official Russian contender for Best
Foreign Language Film for the 2004 Academy Awards. The forces of Light and Darkness have co-existed in a delicate balance for hundreds of years ... until now. For centuries, the undercover members of the Night Watch have policed the world's Dark Others --
vampires, witches and shape-shifters that wage treachery in the night. But now in modern-day Moscow, a chain of mysterious events triggers a dreaded, age-old prophecy: an immortal with special powers will come to switch sides, shattering the balance between good and
evil, unleashing an apocalyptic war unlike any the world has ever known.
Vitals: Director: Timur Bekmambetov. Stars: Konstantin Khabensky, Vladimir Menshov, Valeri Zolotukhin, Mariya Poroshina. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 114 min., Horror-Thriller, Box office
gross: $1.454 million,
Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Set in the late 21st century, a subculture of humans have emerged who have been modified genetically by a vampire-like disease (Hemophagia), giving them enhanced speed, incredible stamina and acute intelligence, and as they are
set apart from "normal" and "healthy" humans, the world is pushed to the brink of worldwide civil war (a war between humans and hemophages) aimed at the destruction of the "diseased" population. In the middle of this crossed-fire is - an infected woman - Ultraviolet
(Jovovich), who finds herself protecting a nine-year-old boy who has been marked for death by the human government as he is believed to be a threat to humans.
Vitals: Director: Kurt Wimmer. Stars: Milla Jovovich, Cameron Bright, Nick Chinlund, Sebastien Andrieu, Ida Martin, William Fichtner. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 88 min., Sci Fi thriller, Box
office gross: $18.500 million,
Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Failure to Launch
Matthew McConaughey stars as thirtysomething yacht broker Tripp who still lives with his parents. Life can't be any more easier -- all his material and emotional needs are met by his parents, in particular his mother, who
waits on him hand and foot. And when he tires of his female trysts, its all so easy to use his parents as an excuse to break up any threatening involvement. But now his desperate parents have had enough. They hire the gorgeous and talented Paula (Sarah Jessica parker) --
who makes a living by getting young men to leave their parent's nests -- to get him to move out of the house. For Tripp, Paula turns out to be the woman of his dreams, until he begins to suspect she was hired by his parents. For Paula, her professional duties start to
falter as she falls for Tripp. A moderate, low-key romantic comedy.
Vitals: Director: Tom Dey. Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel, Justin Bartha, Bradley Cooper, Terry Bradshaw, Kathy Bates. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13,97
min., Comedy, Box office gross: $85.604 million,
Georges (Daniel Auteil), a television talk show host, and his wife Anne (Juliette Binoche), are living the perfect life of modern comfort and security. One day their idyll is disrupted in the form of a mysterious videotape that
appears on their doorstep. On it they are being filmed by a hidden camera from across the street with no clues as to who shot it, or why. As more tapes arrive containing images that are disturbingly intimate and increasingly personal, Georges launches into an
investigation of his own as to who is behind this. As he does so, secrets from his past are revealed, and the walls of security he and Anne have built around themselves begin to crumble. A tense thriller with a streak of social criticism. In French with English subtitles.
Vitals: Director: Michael Haneke. Stars: Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil, Maurice Benichou, Annie Girardot, Bernard Le Coq, Nathalie Richard. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 118 min.,
Suspense-Thriller, Box office gross: $3.381 million,
Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Why We Fight
Named after the series of short films by legendary director Frank Capra that explored America's reasons for entering World War II, "Why We Fight" surveys a half-century of military conflicts, asking how -- and answering why
-- a nation of, by and for the people has become the savings-and-loan of a government system whose survival depends on an Orwellian state of constant war. "Why We Fight" features interviews and observations by a "who's who" of military and Washington insiders
including Senator John McCain, Gore Vidal, and Dan Rather. Beginning with President Dwight D. Eisenhower's prescient 1961 speech warning of the rise of the "military industrial complex," "Why We Fight" moves far beyond the headlines of various American
military operations to the deeper questions of why America seemingly is always at war. What are the forces -- political, economic, and ideological -- that drive us to clash against an ever-changing enemy? Just why does America fight? Unforgettable, powerful and at
times disturbing, "Why We Fight" will challenge viewers long after the last fade-out.
Vitals: Director: Eugene Jarecki. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 98 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $1.146 million,
Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Madea's Family Reunion
Based on Tyler Perry's acclaimed stage production, "Madea's Family Reunion" continues the adventures of southern matriarch Madea begun in the hit 2005 film "Diary of a Mad Black Woman." An unstoppable force
of nature, Madea (played by Perry) may have finally taken on more than she can chew. She has just been court ordered to be in charge of Nikki, a rebellious runaway; her nieces Lisa and Vanessa are suffering relationship trouble; and through it all she has to organize
her family reunion. As the reunion approaches, secrets are revealed and tensions rise. Madea must use every tactic in her arsenal to not only keep the peace, but keep her family together.
Vitals: Director: Tyler Perry. Stars: Tyler Perry, Blair Underwood, Lynn Whitfield, Boris Kodjoe, Henry Simmons, Lisa Arrindell Anderson, Maya Angelou, Rochelle Aytes, Jenifer Lewis, Tangi Miller, Keke
Palmer, Cicely Tyson. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $63.126 million, Lionsgate.
Find Me Guilty
It was the longest criminal trial in U.S. history: After years of federal investigation, 20 members of New Jersey's notorious Lucchese crime family were brought to court on 76 different charges. Lasting 21 months during
1987-88, the Lucchese trial became the longest in U.S. criminal history. It has continued to stand out over the years as an epic moment in courtroom history: 20 defendants, 20 defense attorneys (one for each defendant), eight jury alternates (due to the anticipated length
of the trial and the fear of bribery), and unusually extensive summations (one defense lawyer's closing statement ran for five days). In fact, most of the courtroom testimony in the movie is drawn from actual trial transcripts. The film revolves around Giacomo "Jackie
Dee" DiNorscio (Vin Diesel), a member of the Lucchese crime family. Already in the midst of serving a 30-year sentence, Jackie is offered an opportunity to shorten his time by testifying against many of his closest friends. Disgusted with the legal system bureaucracy,
and refusing to betray his "family," Jackie stands trial as defendant and attorney. "I'm no gangster, I'm a gagster," insists Jackie as he overcomes the complicated politics of the courtroom, and comfortably takes over the spotlight. With his outrageous sense of humor,
raw determination and unconditional loyalty, Jackie proceeds to turn the courtroom upside down in a fight that culminates in one of the most shocking verdicts in judicial history.
Vitals: Director: Sidney Lumet. Stars: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Linus Roache, Ron Silver, Annabella Sciorra, Alex Rocco. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 124 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $1.173
Jake (James Franco) was raised to believe his future lay as a laborer in the Annapolis shipyards -- like everyone else in his family before him. But Jake has defied the odds and become one of the rare few accepted to the Annapolis
Naval Academy along with some of the most elite young men and women in the country. When he arrives, his dream soon looks like it might turn into a nightmare. As a freshman "plebe," Jake is immediately thrown into a pressure-cooker atmosphere that threatens to be
his undoing. Just as it seems Jake could become another Annapolis statistic, he takes one last shot at proving his potential. He meets an unlikely ally in his beautiful, stunningly strong military superior, Ali (Jordana Brewster), who also happens to secretly be a skilled
boxing trainer. Jake decides to train for the legendary Navy boxing competition, a creator of future leaders known as the Brigade Championships. Now, there remains only one thing standing between Jake and the triumph he needs -- the steel-jawed company commander,
Midshipman Lt. Cole (Tyrese Gibson). Everything Jake has ever hoped for stands in the balance -- the chance to make his father proud, the chance to stand up for his fellow plebes and, most of all, the opportunity to fight for a better future.
Vitals: Director: Justin Lin. Stars: James Franco, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Donnie Wahlberg, Chi McBride. 2006, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 104 min., Drama, Box office gross: $16.988
million, Buena Vista, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Imagine Me & You
Sly comedy about a young woman who falls in love on her wedding day ... but not with the man of honor. Heck (Matthew Goode) and Rachel (Piper Perabo) are a happy young couple about to embark on life together. But
at the church, Rachel catches the eye of an unexpected guest ... with a surprising twist. The object of Rachel's affection is a smart and sensuous woman. In that moment, she realizes that maybe Heck isn't the one for her. Of course, they'll never know for sure unless they
give it a shot. The romance causes a stir among her family and friends as Rachel must now chose between her husband and the girl of her dreams.
Vitals: Director: Ol Parker. Piper Perabo, Lena Headey, Matthew Goode, Celia Imrie, Anthony Head.
2006, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $.671 million, Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Rotel RDV-1060 DVD Audio/Video Player, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.