Ribald teen comedy about a quartet of high school buddies who vow to lose their virginity before graduation. Each goes after his individual goal in his own way: one becomes sensitive, another tries a joust with a racy Czech exchange student, the third decides that love is the answer, and the fourth starts rumors about his sexual prowess. Despite a fair dose of bathroom humor, the characters (particularly the girls) are likeable enough that you come away enjoying the movie more than you should. For the 18-24 demographic.
Director: Paul Weitz. Stars: Natasha Lyonne, Jason Biggs, Tara Reid, Jennifer Coolidge, Shannon Elizabeth. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 95 min.), Comedy, 1999, Box office gross: $101.502 million, (Universal), No SRP, Priced for rental Available: 12/21, DVD: Day & Date.
DEEP BLUE SEA
Genetically altered 25-foot-long mako sharks make human sushi in this ho-hum modern-day "Jaws." A group of scientists have been enhancing shark brains in an underwater lab to develop a serum for Alzheimer's disease. When the sharks get just too smart for the humans, they make a break for the freedom of the wide open sea. Naturally the beleaguered scientists become fodder for the proceedings. There's a modicum of excitement and plenty of body parts. Stars Laurence Fishburne, Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows and LL Cool J.
Director: Renny Harlin. Stars: Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, LL Cool J, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacqueline Mc Kenzie, Stellan Skarsgard. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 105 min.), Horror Thriller, 1999, Box office gross: $12.100 million, (Warner), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/7, DVD: Day & Date.
Two 15-year-old ditzy girls accidently stumble upon the Watergate break-in and President Nixon's plumber squad in this revisionist-history comedy of life in the White House in the early 1970s. When Nixon appoints them official White House dog-walkers to keep tabs on them, their presence in the Oval Office alters history: they introduce pot-laced cookies into a high level meeting with the Soviets, fomenting a treaty; they persuade Nixon to end the war in Vietnam; and they become the "Deep Throat" source for Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein. While the premise is promising, the execution falls short, with peaks and valleys of humor that leave the talented cast (Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Dan Hedaya, Teri Garr, Harry Shearer and Saul Rubinek) stranded.
Director: Andrew Fleming. Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams, Dan Hedaya, Teri Garr, Harry Shearer, Saul Rubinek. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min.), Comedy, 1999, Box office gross: $6.200 million, (Columbia TriStar), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/14, DVD: Day & Date.
DROP DEAD GORGEOUS
This weak comedy takes a jaded look at beauty pageants in the heartland of America -- with the cameras of a documentary film crew looking on -- where treachery and cheating come to the fore. Two moms (an ex-teen queen played by Kirstie Alley and a washed out trailer trash beauty played by Ellen Barkin) pit their girls (Denise Richards and Kirsten Dunst) against each other for the Miss Teen Princess America pageant, with all sorts of murder and mayhem fair game for the spoils. Unfortunately, the humor goes way over the top, and the intended sizzle only fizzles.
Director: Michael Patrick Jann. Stars: Kirstie Alley, Ellen Barkin, Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Brittany Murphy. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 96 min.), Comedy, 1999, Box office gross: $10.291 million, (New Line), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/14, DVD: Day & Date.
A silly attempt to transfer Jay Ward's classic cartoon character to the big screen in live-action form, with Brendan Fraser as the bumbling Canadian Mountie trying to outwit evil villain Snidely Whiplash (Alfred Molina). The plot is simple: Whiplash wants to take over Semi- Happy Valley by creating a fake gold rush; Do-Right must learn to become a hero to foil the plan and win back his true love, Nell Fenwick (Sarah Jessica Parker). The silly slapstick humor -- mainly a lot of floorboards smacking Do-Right in the head -- is for kids only.
Director: Hugh Wilson. Stars: Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alfred Molina, Robert Prosky, Eric Idle. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 76 min.), Family, 1999, Box office gross: $9.694 million, (Universal), Priced for rental, Available: 12/28, DVD: Day & Date.
GENERAL'S DAUGHTER, THE
Routine detective thriller set on an Army base has Army dick John Travolta investigating the rape and murder of a General's daughter, uncovering a lot of dirt and transgressions along the way. Travolta is at the peak of his acting powers here, thriving on his role as a maverick, hard-nosed investigator, spitting out his lines and challenging his superiors -- and pretty much single-handedly holding the film together. Madeleine Stowe throws her beauty around as Travolta's sleuth partner and old flame.
Director: Simon West. Stars: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell, Timothy Hutton, James Woods, Clarence Williams III. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 116 min.), Thriller, 1999, Box office gross: $102.000 million, (Paramount), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/14, DVD: Day & Date.
Based on the 1980s cartoon series, this kiddy comedy revolves around the transformation of a bumbling security guard (Matthew Broderick) -- killed in a car crash engineered by a rich villain (Rupert Everett) --into a super-scientific police robot, Inspector Gadget, whose hands, feet and head sprout all sorts of weapons and utensils as the "future of law enforcement." Gadget must foil the evil mastermind while winning the heart of the scientist (Joely Fisher) who created him. Corny as can be but the kids should love it.
Director: David Kellogg. Stars: Matthew Broderick, Joely Fisher, Rupert Everett, Michelle Trachtenberg, Andy Dick, Dabney Coleman. CC, (MPAA rating: PG, 78 min.), Family, 1999, Box office gross: $87.554 million, (Disney), $24.99 SRP, Available: 12/7, DVD: Day & Date.
MICKEY BLUE EYES
When an Englishman who runs a New York auction house (the likeable Hugh Grant) proposes marriage to his girlfriend of three months (Jeanne Tripplehorn), he discovers that he'll be marrying into the mob. After a few Mafia and "Godfather" gags (James Caan plays the "made man" father of the bride) the comedy quickly slides downhill and sours into a serious gangster film as the bride- and groom-to-be find themselves on the wrong end of a vendetta. The film tries to have it both ways -- comedy and drama -- but it has too many frayed edges to click.
Director: Kelly Makin. Stars: Hugh Grant, James Caan, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Burt Young, James Fox. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 103 min.), Comedy, 1999, Box office gross: $32.100 million, (Warner), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/28, DVD: Day & Date.
RUN LOLA RUN
Surprise German hit, first on the international and now U.S. art-house circuit, about a young woman who has 20 minutes to help her boyfriend out of a jam: He's botched a dope deal and lost a bag of DM100,000 that belongs to his gangster boss. Lola sets off to help him, and her journey is told three different ways, each time altering key events that change the outcome. The film is fast, kinetic, and exciting, using animation, music video conceits, jump cuts and fragmented time to propel the multiple story lines. One of the most original films in many a year.
Director: Tom Tykwer. Stars: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Armin Rohde. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 81 min.), Thriller, 1999, Box office gross: $6.548 million, (Columbia TriStar), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/21, DVD: Day & Date.
SUMMER OF SAM
Character study of two couples, set against the rising paranoia in their Bronx neighborhood during the summer of 1977 when New York was immobilized by the murder spree of serial killer "The Son of Sam." One couple's marital bliss is overshadowed by infidelity, the other couple's nontraditional punk rock lifestyle alienates the community. As the temperatures rise, so does the tension between the old friends as betrayal, fear and paranoia change their lives forever. An ambitious but failed outing for director Spike Lee. Stars John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino and Jennifer Esposito.
Director: Spike Lee. Stars: John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Rispoli. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 142 min.), Drama, 1999, Box office gross: $19.283 million, (Buena Vista), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/21, DVD: Day & Date.
TEACHING MRS. TINGLE
Screenwriter Kevin ("Dawson's Creek," the "Scream" series) Williamson's first directorial outing takes another of his stabs -- so to speak -- at high school evil, here in the form of a nasty, holy terror of a teacher (Helen Mirren). It seems Mrs. Tingle takes pleasure in degrading her students, and when she decides that her top student has cheated, she gleefully announces she's going to destroy the youngster's future. But three students have other plans for her -- they're going to get even. A fun outing if a bit far-fetched.
Director: Kevin Williamson. Stars: Helen Mirren, Katie Holmes, Jeffrey Tambor, Barry Wilson, Marisa Coughlan, Michael McKean. CC, (MPAA rating: PG-13, 93 min.), Thriller, 1999, Box office gross: $8.800 million, (Dimension), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/14, DVD: Day & Date.
UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN
Sequel to 1992's hit "Universal Soldier" that pitted Jean-Claude Van Damme against Dolph Lundgren as dead soldiers brought back to life as invincible fighting machines. Here the reformed cyborg Van Damme is a consultant to the lab where a new generation of Unisols are made. When the Army axes the project, the main computer goes mad, setting the Unisols loose on a mission to take over the country. Naturally only Van Damme can come to the rescue. With cheap pyrotechnics, silly computer mumbo jumbo, and enough plot holes to drive a dozen tanks through, this sequel should have remained on the shelf. Co-stars Michael Jai White as the chief bad guy.
Director: Mic Rodgers. Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Jai White, Nill Goldberg, Heidi Schanz, Kiana Tom. CC, (MPAA rating: R, 83 min.), Action, 1999, Box office gross: $10.400 million, (Columbia TriStar), No SRP, Priced for rental, Available: 12/28, DVD: Day & Date.
| Contents/Site Map