A Brentwood housewife and her DA husband. A Persian store owner. Two police detectives who are also lovers. An African-American television director and his wife. A Mexican locksmith. Two car-jackers. A rookie cop. A middle-aged
Korean couple. They all live in Los Angeles. And during the next 36 hours, they will all collide. Challenging and thought-provoking, "Crash" takes a provocative, unflinching look at the complexities of racial tolerance in contemporary America. Diving headlong into the
diverse melting pot of post-9/11 Los Angeles, this compelling urban drama tracks the volatile intersections of a multi-ethnic cast of characters' struggles to overcome their fears as they careen in and out of one another's lives. In the gray area between black and white,
victim and aggressor, there are no easy answers. Funny, powerful, and always unpredictable, the film reminds us of the importance of tolerance as it ventures beyond color lines ... and uncovers the truth of our shared humanity. "Crash" is the directing debut of
award-winning writer-producer Paul Haggis ("Million Dollar Baby") from a story by Paul Haggis and a screenplay by Haggis and Bobby Moresco.
Director: Paul Haggis. Stars: Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Dashon Howard, Ludacris, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate, Tony Danza, Keith David, Shaun Toub, Loretta Devine .
2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Drama, Box office gross: $46.422 million, Lions Gate, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.x
Fear and Trembling
A dream job rapidly becomes a nightmare for
Amelie, a Japanese-born Belgian woman, who suffers a series of increasingly
humiliating demotions after she lands a job as an interpreter at a large
Japanese corporation. Sylvie Testud earned the French equivalent of the Academy
Award for her haunting performance as the put-upon, but indomitable Amelie.
Director Alain Corneau's perversely funny adaptation of Amelie Nothomb's 1999
autobiographical novel loses nothing in translation in deftly dissecting the
universal absurdities of corporate culture. In French and Japanese with English
Director: Alain Corneau. Stars: Sylvie Testud, Kaori Tsuji, Taro Suwa, Bison
Katayama, Yasunari Kondo, Sokyu Fujita, Gen Shimaoka, Heileigh Gomes. 2004,
CC, MPAA rating: NR, 107 min., Comedy, Home Vision Entertainment.
The Coast Guard (Hae anseon)
Private Kang, a member of Coast Guard Platoon 23, monitors a stretch of beach lined with barbed-wire fencing. Driven by the belief that killing a spy is the highest honor, Kang eagerly awaits a chance to prove
his worth as a soldier. One night Kang mistakes a promiscuous couple for a North Korean spy and shoots without hesitation. Despite receiving honors, Kang slowly begins to unravel under the grief of his actions. Losing his grip on reality, he tries to revert to the life he
once knew. But tensions and paranoia escalate and further tragedy becomes unavoidable. In Korean with English subtitles.
Director: Ki-duk Kim. Stars: Dong-Kun Jang, Jeong-hak Kim, Ji-a Park, Hye-jin Yu. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Drama, Tartan Video. DVD only.
The moving tale of two lost souls who meet amid the wreckage of both their lives. Mysterious drifter Tae-suk enters other peoples' lives as easily as he breaks into their unoccupied homes. Instead of stealing their riches, he repays his
hosts' unknowing hospitality by fixing broken items, cleaning up, even doing their laundry. But when he sneaks into a sprawling mansion, he discovers a beautiful, lonely wife named Sun-hwa, trapped in a loveless marriage. Without saying a word, the pair begin an
erotic game of cat-and-mouse, until her abusive husband returns home, unleashing a shocking burst of violence. Tae-suk defends Sun-hwa with the aid of her husband's golf club. The lovers run away together, finding domestic bliss inhabiting strangers' homes. Later,
when Tae-suk is framed for a murder, even prison walls can't keep them apart for good. Winner, Best Director, 2004 Venice Film Festival. In Korean with English subtitles.
Director: Ki-duk Kim. Stars: Seung-yeon Lee, Hee Jae, Hyuk-ho Kwon, Jin-mo Ju, Jeong-ho Choi. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 88 min., Drama, Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Twenty years in the making, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" brings the story that became beloved by millions -- and a part of the world's pop cultural zeitgeist -- to the big screen. Mix-mastering
science fiction, comedy, adventure and philosophy into one original entertainment experience, acclaimed author and Renaissance man Douglas Adams' novel was always considered ahead of its time. The story, which originally started as a radio series, went on to become
a five-part trilogy of novels, a BBC TV series, a groundbreaking computer game, the subject of college courses and more, begins with Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman), a typical guy having a very bad day. Arthur's house is about to be bulldozed, his best friend turns out
to be an alien and, to top things off, it appears that Earth will be demolished in mere seconds to make way for a hyperspace freeway. Arthur's only chance for survival: hitch a quick ride on a passing spacecraft, with the help of best friend Ford Prefect (Mos Def). Jetting
off into the complete unknown, Arthur makes some major, mostly harmless, discoveries about the true nature of the universe. He finds that a towel is the most massively useful thing a person can carry. He uncovers the precise meaning of life. And he learns that the
answers to everything anyone ever wanted to know -- and plenty that no one in his right mind could possibly have expected -- are all to be found in one fantastically entertaining electronic book: "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
Director: Garth Jennings. Stars: Martin Freeman, Bill Bailey, Anna Chancellor, Warwick Davis, Mos Def, Zooey Deschanel, Stephen Fry. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 109 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $50.000 million, Buena Vista, No VHS SRP,
Priced for rental.
A contemporary romantic comedy about a high school teacher who meets and falls in love with a successful businesswoman. Although their lives are vastly different, the relationship seems perfect until the baseball season begins and
she has to compete with his first true love: the Boston Red Sox. High-school teacher Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon) is a good catch. He's charming, funny and great with kids. When he meets Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), an ambitious business consultant whose
spirit is as luminous as her beauty, their attraction is immediate. Sure, they have their differences. She's a workaholic; he loves his summers off. He lives and breathes the Red Sox; she doesn't know Carl Yastrzemski from Johnny Damon. But true love overcomes all ...
at least until Red Sox spring training rolls around. As Ben's beloved Bosox launch one of the most incredible seasons in baseball history, Ben and Lindsey must decide if they, as a couple, will strike out or fight to keep love alive through extra innings. Based on Nick
Hornby's ("High Fidelity") autobiographical book "Fever Pitch," which recounted the author's obsession with English football (better known to Americans as soccer). Screenwriters Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel took his premise of an obsessive sports fan, and
fashioned a contemporary romantic comedy in the classic tradition.
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly. Stars: Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, Jason Spevack, Jack Kehler, Ione Skye. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min., Romantic comedy, Box office gross: $41.705 million, Fox, No VHS SRP, Priced for
Amid the decaying elegance of cold-war Vienna, psychoanalyst Dr. Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel) becomes mired in an erotically charged affair with Milena Flaherty (Theresa Russell). When their all-consuming passion takes a
life-threatening turn, Inspector Netusil (Harvey Keitel) is assigned to piece together the sordid details. Acclaimed for its innovative editing, raw performances, and stirring musical score, featuring Tom Waits, the Who, and Billie Holliday, Nicolas Roeg's "Bad Timing" is
a masterful, deeply disturbing foray into the dark world of sexual obsession. The Criterion Collection DVD marks the U.S. home video premiere of this acclaimed film.
Director: Nicolas Roeg. Stars: Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel, Denholm Elliott. 1980, CC, MPAA rating: R, 129 min., Drama, The Criterion Collection. DVD Only
EXPO: Magic of the White City
The 1893 Chicago World's Fair, known as "The World's Columbian Exposition," is brought to life in this high definition DVD documentary. "EXPO: Magic of the White City" explores the world of 1893
through a cinematic visit to Chicago's Columbian Exposition. Many of the world's greatest achievements in art, architecture, science, technology and culture were unveiled there. The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for his design of New York
City's Central Park, and constructed under the supervision of Daniel Burnham. The Fair was an engineering marvel. On opening day, President Grover Cleveland depressed a golden telegraph key which sent the first courses of electricity throughout the Fair powering
fountains, machines, electric railways and thousands of lights. It was the first use of electricity on such a massive scale. In addition, fairgoers enjoyed the Midway Plaisance where a one-mile boulevard of fun offered camel riding and guilty pleasures such as belly dancing,
street fighting and beer drinking. Nearly 28 million visited the "White City," which inspired future innovators like Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Frank Lloyd Wright, and debuted the Ferris Wheel and Cracker Jack. Narrated by Gene Wilder, the film immerses viewers
in one of the world's biggest extravaganzas and one of the most unforgettable events in American history.
Director: Mark Bussler. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 116 min., Documentary, Inecom Entertainment. DVD only.
Writer-director Todd Solondz has made his reputation by creating a gallery of suburban icons of ostracism: think Dawn Wiener from "Welcome to the Dollhouse," Dr. Maplewood from "Happiness," and Consuelo from
"Storytelling." In his latest film, "Palindromes," we find the work of a more mature artist who is clearly savoring the profound flavor of moral complexity. "Palindromes" is a fable of innocence: 13-year-old Aviva Victor wants to be a mom. She does all she can to make
this happen, and comes very close to succeeding, but in the end her plan is thwarted by her sensible parents (Ellen Barkin and Richard Masur). So she runs away, still determined to get pregnant one way or another, but instead finds herself lost in another world, a less
sensible one, perhaps, but one pregnant itself with all sorts of strange possibilities. Like so many trips, this one is round-trip, and it's hard to say in the end if she can ever be quite the same again, or if she can ever be anything but the same again. Seven different,
risk-taking actors of different ages, races and sizes play the young heroine Aviva. An official selection at the 2004 Telluride, Toronto, Venice and New York Film Festivals, "Palindromes" may be Solondz' most political and philosophical film yet, but in many ways it is
also his most tender.
Director: Todd Solondz. Stars: Ellen Barkin, Richard Masur, Matthew Faber, Angela Pietropinto, Bill Buell, Emani Sledge, Valerie Shusterov, Hannah Freiman, Will Denton, Rachel Corr, Sharon Wilkins, Shayna Levine, Jennifer Jason Leigh. 2005, CC, MPAA
rating: NR, 100 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.547 million, Wellspring, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Albert (Troy Garity), a young man labeled mentally ill, has spent his entire life under the watchful eye of his domineering mother (Debra Monk). Living in frigid Minnesota, he works part-time at a local copy shop run
by Mr. McNally (Bruce Dern), a well-intentioned father figure. Albert's one joy in life is ice fishing, for which he exhibits an extraordinary talent. But Albert's life is suddenly turned upside down when his mother is killed by a hit-and-run driver, an event that coincides
with the arrival of three strangers: a sleazy businessman (Randy Quaid), a trashy con artist (Alison Folland) and her hypochondriac brother (Hank Harris). Confused and alone, Albert is baited by the strangers in an attempt to manipulate him out of his inheritance. But
using the skills that made him a gifted fisherman, Albert turns the tables to capture the heart of the woman most eager to deceive him and fool the man most intent on destroying him. Nothing is quite what it seems in this Midwestern tale of love and deceit.
Director: Allan Mindel. Stars: Troy Garity, Alison Folland, Randy Quaid, Bruce Dern, Hank Harris, Debra Monk, Josh Brolin, Holly Woodlawn. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 95 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.011 million, Tartan Video. DVD
First time feature documentary filmmaker Don Argott
traces the ups-and-downs of the Paul Green School of Rock Music, a unique
institution founded in Philadelphia in 1999, dedicated to teaching children ages
nine through 17 the ins-and-outs of rock and roll, allowing misfit kids get in
touch with their inner rock star. That's rock and roll, not hip-hop. Not
Britney. Not Limp Bizkit. But a thunderous roll call of musical greats: Led
Zeppelin. Pink Floyd. Black Sabbath. Carlos Santana. Frank Zappa. Filmed cinema
verite to provide an intimate portrait of this one-of-a-kind instructor and his
eagerly aspiring students, "Rock School" reaches its climax in Bad Doberon,
Germany, where the School of Rock Music honor roll is invited to perform the
music of Zappa.
Director: Don Argott. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Documentary, Box
office gross: $0.058 million, Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
"Madison" is a father-son action/drama based on the
inspiring true story of the tiny river town of Madison, Indiana and its
legendary efforts during the hydroplane racing season of 1971. In addition to
the thrills of 180-mph flat-bottomed boat racing, the picture captures the
spirit of a small American River town struggling to stay alive as water
transportation has virtually disappeared. In 1971, Jim McCormick (Jim Caviezel)
has left the dangers of hydroplane boat racing behind him in favor of a wife, a
family and a job as the town's air-conditioner repairman. But deep inside, the
dream of once again piloting the community-owned Miss Madison lives on. Sadly,
like the town of Madison itself, the Miss Madison is a shadow of her former
self. Several years old and in constant disrepair, the boat has become the
laughing stock of hydroplane racing. And the make matters worse, Madison's
competitors on the circuit, such as the Miss Budweiser, have rich corporate
sponsorships, top-of-the-line equipment, round-the-clock maintenance and huge,
well-paid crews. The Miss Madison struggles to even make an appearance in the
distant cities of Seattle, Chicago and Miami where the boats must race.
Director: William Bindley. Stars: Jim Caviezel, Jake Lloyd, Mary McCormack,
Bruce Dern. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 99 min., Action, Box office gross:
$0.508 million, MGM/Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Jim Winters (Anthony LaPaglia) is a widower
raising two teenage sons in a modest New Jersey home where the unspoken presence
of the boys' mother -- killed in a car accident five years earlier -- lingers
with a quiet intensity. Gabe (Aaron Stanford), the oldest son, wants nothing
more than to get out of the New Jersey suburbs and start a new life in Florida,
even if it means leaving behind his girlfriend Stacey (Michelle Monaghan), his
younger brother Pete (Mark Webber) and his father, who has tried to be strong
for his boys, but still clearly misses his wife. Jim doesn't have a clue that
Gabe wants to leave town. He's busy trying to run a small landscaping business
and keep Pete on track to finish high school, something at which Pete's teacher
Mr. Bricker (Ron Livingston) is working hard as well. The emotional impasse is
about to be bridged when Molly Ripken (Allison Janney) moves into the quiet
little community to housesit for a friend. Looking for help with her unpacking,
Molly borrows a dolly from Jim, and when she returns it, she invites him and his
boys to dinner as a gesture of thanks. With this subtle act of boldness, Molly
ignites a spark in Jim that he'd long since let die. It's as though she empowers
the man to let go of the emotional baggage that has long kept him from exploring
intimacy and perhaps even life itself.
Director: Josh Sternfeld. Stars: Anthony LaPaglia, Aaron Stanford, Mark Webber,
Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Michelle Monaghan. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R,
93 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.315 million, Paramount, No VHS SRP, Priced
Four children are forced to rely on one another
after they are abandoned by their mother.
Director: Hirokazu Koreeda. Stars: Yuya Yagira, Ayu Kitaura, Hiei Kimura, Momoko
Shimizu, Hanae Kan. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 141 min., Drama, Box
office gross: $0.683 million, Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Longest Yard, The
Adam Sandler and Chris Rock star in the comic story of a former pro quarterback trying to make good in the toughest possible situation. When former NFL player Paul Crewe (Adam Sandler) is sent to prison, the warden
forces him to transform a diverse group of inmates into a football team. Unlikely teammates, the convicts unite when they find out who they are playing: the guards. With the help of fellow inmates Nate Scarborough (Burt Reynolds) and Caretaker (Chris Rock), Crewe
promises the cons a chance to exact revenge in a bone-crushing showdown where anything goes. The Mean Machine returns to the gridiron in this update of the 1974 classic -- but be sure to rent the original first.
Director: Peter Segal. Stars: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, James Cromwell, Walter Williamson, Michael Irvin, Nelly, Nicholas Turturro. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 113 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $140.000 million, Paramount, No
VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Born Into Brothels
A tribute to the resiliency of childhood and
the restorative power of art, "Born into Brothels" is a portrait of several
unforgettable children who live in the red light district of Calcutta where
their mothers are prostitutes. Zana Briski, a New York-based photojournalist who
travelled to India to document the lives of women in the brothels, gives these
youngsters cameras and teaches them how to take pictures, leading them to look
at their world with new eyes. Together with co-director Ross Kauffman, Briski
captures the magical way in which beauty can be found in the most unlikely of
places and how a promising future becomes a possibility for children who
previously had no future at all. Touching and heartfelt, yet devoid of
sentimentality, "Born into Brothels" defies the tear-stained tourist snapshot of
the global underbelly. Zana Briski spent years with these children and became a
part of their lives. Their photographs are prisms into their souls, rather than
anthropological curiosities, and a true testimony to the power of the indelible
creative spirit. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary, the Audience
Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and more than 20 other major film
Director: Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski. Stars: . 2004, CC, MPAA rating: R,
85 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $3.410 million, ThinkFilm, No VHS SRP,
Priced for rental.
Inside Deep Throat
Examines the unanticipated lasting cultural
impact generated by "Deep Throat," a sexually explicit film (starring Linda
Lovelace) first shown in a midtown Manhattan adult theater in June 1972 that
quickly became the flashpoint for an unprecedented social and political
firestorm. Features a parade of larger-than-life personalities that includes not
only some of the filmmakers and stars of Deep Throat -- director Gerard Damiano
(a.k.a. Jerry Gerard), production manager Ron Wertheim and assistant cameraman
turned leading man Harry Reems -- but also an array of esteemed authors,
filmmakers, opinion-makers and idealogues representing virtually every side of
the sexual revolution and battle for First Amendment rights -- among them Alan
Dershowitz, Gore Vidal, John Waters, Norman Mailer, Erica Jong, Camille Paglia,
Hugh Hefner ... and many more.
Director: Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. Stars: Narrated by Dennis Hopper.
2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 92 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $0.653
million, Universal, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-
Based on the
intergalactic journeys and superhero stories created by Director Robert
Rodriguez's seven year-old son Racer Max. Sometimes the most amazing superheroes
are the ones inside your dreams. So discovers 10-year-old Max (Cayden Boyd), an
outcast little boy who has become lost in his own fantasy world in an attempt to
escape the everyday worries of dealing with parents (David Arquette and Kristin
Davis), school bullies and no-fun summer vacations. But when Max realizes the
cool characters, high-flying adventures and incredible secret powers that dwell
in his imagination might be far more real than anyone is willing to believe, his
whole world changes. Now, Max is blasting off on a mission to Planet Drool where
Shark Boy (Taylor Lautner) -- a kid once lost at sea and raised under the
watchful fins of sharks only to become half-shark -- and Lava Girl (Taylor
Dooley) -- a volcanic beauty who emits leaping flames and red-hot rocks -- live
in a realm of astonishing wonders, one in which the Train of Thought can whisk
you off to the mouth-watering Land of Milk and Cookies. Teeming with mountainous
roller coasters and violet skies, Planet Drool looks like the perfect kid
paradise until Max meets up with the shocking Mr. Electric (George Lopez) and
his sidekick Minus (Jacob Davich) who are trying to do away with all dreams
forever. With Shark Boy and Lava Girl in trouble, only Max can guide them -- by
imagining every clever move of their wily escape from Mr. Electric's Lair.
Speedily conjuring up an incredible array of gadgets, gizmos, contraptions and
cool ideas, Max learns the power of turning his dreams into reality.
Director: Robert Rodriguez. Stars: Taylor Lautner, Taylor Dooley, Cayden Boyd,
George Lopez, David Arquette, Kristin Davis, Jacob Davich. 2005, CC, MPAA
rating: PG, 93 min., Family, Box office gross: $30.539 million, Dimension. DVD
On a remote island, the FBI has a training program for their psychological profiling division, called "Mindhunters," used to track down serial killers. The training goes horribly wrong, however, when a group of seven young
agents discover that one of them is a serial killer, and is setting about slaying the others. Can the few that are left figure out who the killer is in time? Completely isolated, the agents have no choice but to solve the heinous crime on their own. But how can they trust one
another when they each possess the skills, the motives and the means to be the murderer? No one is above suspicion, or the perils of overwhelming fear, as they use everything in their power to uncover the killer's identity and end the relentless hunt.
Director: Renny Harlin. Stars: Val Kilmer, Jonny Lee Miller, Kathryn Morris, Christian Slater, LL Cool J, Patricia Velasquez. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 106 min., Action-thriller, Box office gross: $4.480 million, Dimension, No VHS SRP, Priced for
It's All Gone Pete Tong
Based on a true story. Paul Kaye stars
as Frankie Wilde, the legendary British DJ and musical mastermind of the
underground club scene whose career is cut down at its pinnacle by an
unthinkable tragedy -- the loss of his hearing. Darkly funny and inspirational,
with fierce performances by both Kaye and Kate Magowan as his sex-crazed Mrs.
Director: Michael Dowse. Stars: Paul Kaye, Mike Wilmot, Beatriz Batarda, Kate
Magowan. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 90 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.118
million, Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Few films have dealt with the Holocaust as freshly and gracefully as this haunting, subtle, and touching first feature. "Voyages" is an ingeniously linked tale centered on three contemporary Jewish women at the crossroads of life.
Rivka, a French woman on a bus tour of Poland with her husband unexpectedly reconsiders her unsatisfactory marriage; the return of Regine's long-lost father, thought to have perished in the camps, throws her life into turmoil, opening up more questions than answers;
and Vera, a Russian woman, who impulsively emigrates to Israel looking for a long-lost cousin, finds herself a stranger in a strange land. From Poland to Paris to Tel Aviv: "Voyages" is an intimate and personal story of the quests of three women whose lives and
intertwining destinies create a moving and poignant story of survival.
In French, Hebrew and Russian with English subtitles.
Director: Emmanuel Finkiel. Stars: Shulamit Adar, Liliane Rovere, Esther Gorintin, Natan Cogan, Mosko Alkalai. 1999, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 115 min., Drama, New Yorker, $24.95 VHS SRP.
The lives of two very different brothers become intertwined and thrust apart in this intense drama. Jannik (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is released from prison and embraced by his brother Michael (Ulrich Thomsen), an upright soldier and family
man being deployed to Afghanistan. The family tension is palpable as Jannik re-assumes his role of alcoholic deviant while his loving brother prepares for impending deployment. Shortly after commencing his tour of duty, Michael's helicopter crashes and he is presumed
dead. Jannik summons previously untapped maturity, aiding and comforting Michael's two daughters and wife Sarah (Connie Nielsen). As Sarah and Jannik grow closer, their dependence and admiration intensify. But a world away, Michael is alive, enduring the
unimaginable in hopes of surviving to return home. In Danish with English subtitles
Director: Susanne Bier. Stars: Connie Nielsen, Ulrich Thomsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Bent Mejding. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Drama, Box office gross: $0.254 million, Universal, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
Turtles Can Fly
The first film shot in Iraq since the fall of
Saddam Hussein, "Turtles Can Fly" is an unforgettable portrait of refugee
children in an unending war zone. In Kurdish with English subtitles.
Director: Bahman Ghobadi. Stars: Soran Ebrahim, Avaz Latif, Saddam Hossein
Feysal. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 98 min., Drama, Box office gross:
$0.256 million, Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental. DVD only.
"The Brothers Grimm" meets David Lynch in international
award-winning director Alex van Warmerdam's twisted and darkly comic fairy tale
that transports viewers from bleak, snow-frosted woods to a windswept ghost
town. Abandoned by their impoverished parents, adult siblings Jacob and Marie
embark on a surreal, often nightmarish odyssey to Spain to live with their
uncle. Menacing characters, offbeat situations and fantastic circumstance make
"Grimm" a haunting experience that is anything but your ordinary
happily-ever-after bedtime story. In Dutch and Spanish with optional English
Director: Alex van Warmerdam. Stars: Teresa Berganza, Johan Leysen, Halina
Reijn, Jacob Derwig. 2003, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 103 min., Black comedy, Home
A wondrously clanky universe populated solely by mechanical beings that asks -- and answers -- the questions: What if there were a world inhabited entirely by robots? How would it run? What would it look like? How would the robots
act? In this imaginative film, viewers meet memorable bots Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor), a young genius inventor who dreams of helping robots everywhere; Cappy (Halle Berry), a beautiful, dynamic and savvy bot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten;
the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) who locks horns with Rodney; Bigweld (Mel Brooks), a master inventor who has lost his way; and a group of misfit bots known as the Rusties, led by Fender (Robin Williams) and Piper Pinwheeler (Amanda Bynes).
Fender's head, arms, and legs routinely fall off at the most inopportune moments. As Rodney fulfills Fender's ongoing need for repairs, the two become fast friends. Piper is Fender's tomboy kid sister, who surprises everyone with her determination and strength.
Director: Chris Wedge, Carlos Saldanha. Voices of Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey, Jennifer Coolidge, Marshall Efron, Lowell Ganz, Paul Giamatti, Dan Hedaya, James Earl Jones, Greg Kinnear, Jay Leno, Natasha Lyonne, Ewan
McGregor, Al Roker, Stephen Tobolows ky, Stanley Tucci, Dianne Wiest, Harland Williams, Robin Williams. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG,
91 min., Animated, Box office gross: $126.145 million, Fox, $19.95 VHS SRP.
Lords of Dogtown
The tough, gritty streets of "Dogtown" in
Venice, California didn't look like much to outsiders, but to a handful of
teenage surfers (Stacy Peralta, Tony Alva and Jay Adams) in the 1970s they were
the hard, winding, sloping inspiration for a revolutionary style of
skateboarding. Transferring the aggressive wave-riding moves to concrete from
their death-defying surfing skills at the Pacific Ocean Park pier, the Z-Boys --
mostly kids with rough home lives and rougher attitudes -- became sensations,
local legends. They were freestyle wizards on urethane wheels, turning empty
pools into arenas of wild, beautiful athleticism, the genesis of today's
"extreme sports." Skating competitions didn't know what to make of them, girls
threw themselves at them, and suddenly marketers and promoters wanted to grab a
piece of them and what was fast becoming a worldwide counterculture phenomenon.
But would the friendships of this tightly knit group last as a teenage pastime
turned into big business, and energetic personalities became out-of-control
celebrities? In the spirit of the award-winning documentary, "Dogtown and
Z-Boys," "Lords of Dogtown" showcases the style of skateboarding made famous by
the Z-Boys. The film was shot on location throughout Southern California. From
the dangerous waves off a long-forgotten pier to the concrete wasteland of a
city slum, the film brings to cinematic life the rebel beginnings of some
unforgettable sports culture stars.
Director: Catherine Hardwicke. Stars: John Robinson, Emile Hirsch, Rebecca De
Mornay, William Mapother, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Victor Rasuk, Nikki Reed, Heath
Ledger. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Drama, Box office gross:
$11.008 million, Sony, No VHS SRP, Priced for rental.
A mystery, an adventure, and a pointed commentary on the atrocities committed against Aborigines. In 1922, an Aboriginal tracker leads two mounted policeman and a civilian through the Australian Outback on the hunt for a
black fugitive who is charged with killing a white woman. The group struggles through extremely rugged terrain inhabited by hostile Aborigines, wild animals, and poisonous reptiles. Though treated as a virtual slave by the white men leading the search, it becomes clear
that the Tracker has his own agenda. Through massacre and murder the party falls into disarray, stirring up questions of what is black and what is white and who is leading whom.
Director: Rolf de Heer. Stars: David Gulpilil, Gary Sweet, Damon Gameau, Grant Page, Noel Wilton. 2002, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 95 min., Adventure, Facets Video. DVD only.
Police, hot on the trail of a serial killer who burns away the flesh of his victims with acid only leaving the bones, turns to Hyun-min, a former forensic sculptor adept in reconstructing faces by examining and interpreting skulls. With the
bones of one of the victims in his house, Hyun-min's daughter begins to hear loud screams in the night and experience disturbing visions of a distraught, long-haired woman in a white robe ... a woman she may know. As he races against time to find the answers before
the visions overtake his frail daughter, the deadly truth behind them reveals a sinister conspiracy that threatens everyone involved. In Korean with English subtitles.
Director: Sang-Gon Yoo. Stars: Yun-ah Song, Hyeon-jun Shin. 2004, CC, MPAA rating: R, 88 min., Horror thriller, Tartan Video Asia Extreme. DVD only.
The story takes place in Paris in the years after the World War II. Artist Modigliani (Andy Garcia), a Jew, has fallen in love with Jeanne (Elsa Zylberstein), a young and beautiful Catholic girl. The couple have an illegitimate child,
and Jeanne's bigoted parents send the baby to a faraway convent to be raised by nuns. Modigliani is distraught and needs money to rescue and raise his child. The answer arrives in the shape of Paris' annual art competition. Prize money and a guaranteed career await the
winner. Neither Modigliani, nor his dearest friend and rival Picasso (Omid Djalili) have ever entered the competition, believing that it is beneath true artists like themselves. But push comes to shove with the welfare of his child on the line, and Modigliani signs up for the
competition in a drunken and drug-induced tirade. Picasso follows suit and all of Paris is aflutter with excitement at who will win. With the balance of his relationship with Jeanne on the line, Modigliani tackles this work with the hopes of creating a masterpiece, and
knows that all the artists of Paris are doing the same. Emotionally-charged and bathed in absinthe green, "Modigliani" is the decadent portrayal of this tortured genius, his debilitating addictions, and overwhelming passion. The film delivers nothing short of a deeply
heartfelt tribute to the artist.
Director: Mick Davis. Stars: Andy Garcia, Elsa Zylberstein, Omid Djalili, Hippolyte Girardot, Eva Herzigova, Udo Kier. 2005, CC, MPAA rating: R, 127 min., Bio-drama, Box office gross: $0.195 million, UMVD/Visual Entertainment, No VHS SRP, Priced
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.