Go to Home Page

Go to Index for All Movie Reviews

 

Movie Renter's Guide
 

Number 108 - March, 2004

Staff

 


Now Playing
Divider

Runaway Jury The Rundown
Gothika

Divider

Regency Enterprises

2003, Color, Rated PG-13

2 Hr 7 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (16:9 Enh)

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French, Spanish  Stereo

 

Starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz

Directed by Gary Fleder

 

DVD Release Date 2/24/04

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

MPEG Flags

N/A

Violence

Yes

Sex

Mild

Language

Mild

"Runaway Jury"

Synopsis

Plot Overview

In New Orleans, a fired employee of a law firm takes an assault weapon and murders 11 people in the firm, then kills himself.

The wife of one of the murdered lawyers sues the firearms manufacturer for being careless about the way they sell assault weapons. Wendall Rohr (Hoffman) represents the wife, and Rankin Fitch (Hackman) represents the gun manufacturer as a jury consultant, working behind the scenes to gather information on the jury members before they are selected.

Nick Easter (Cusack) manages to get himself onto the jury, but has ulterior motives. He and his accomplice Marlee (Weisz) are going to control the outcome of the trial, and offer both Rohr and Fitch a positive decision for 10 million dollars.

Although Nick and Marlee are hoping for things to go smoothly, Fitch decides to play rough, eventually burning down Nick's apartment.

But Nick and Marlee are willing to play that game, and Fitch knows that he must win at any cost, because a loss would be a precedent that could spell the doom of gun makers across the country.

Commentary

The film is based on the John Grisham novel and is rapid fire from beginning to end. The acting is first rate, and the action is non-stop. I had no idea there was so much information gathering on jury members. It might make you a little paranoid about serving on a jury.

Extras

These include a Commentary by the Director, Scene Rehearsal Footage, Commentary by Hackman and Hoffman, Deleted Scenes, Making Of, Cinematography, Production Design, and Editing.

 - John E. Johnson, Jr. -

Divider

Universal Pictures

2003, Color, Rated PG-13

1 Hr 45 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (16:9 Enh)

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French, Spanish  Stereo

 

Starring The Rock, Seann William Scott, Christopher Walken, Rosario Dawson

Directed by Peter Berg

 

DVD Release Date 3/23/04

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

MPEG Flags

N/A

Violence

Yes

Sex

No

Language

Mild

"The Rundown"

Synopsis

Plot Overview

Beck (The Rock) works as a debt collector for a loan shark named Walker (William Lucking). Walker tells Beck that he will give him enough money to start his own business if he goes to the Amazon jungle in Brazil to find his son Travis (Scott) and bring him home.

When Beck gets to a small town in Brazil near the Amazon River where Travis was last seen, he finds that a local businessman named Hatcher (Walken) controls the entire region and wants $10,000 from Beck to let him take Travis back.

It gets more complicated when Travis decides he does not want to go back home to papa, but instead wants to search for a treasure called the Gatto, which is worth enough money to help the locals rid themselves of the greedy Hatcher.

So, off go Beck and Travis, aided by Mariana (Dawson), a local girl, hoping to find the Gatto treasure on their way to escaping from Hatcher and get out of the Amazon.

Commentary

The film was produced by Vince McMahon and the WWA, which is a professional wrestling association. So, you can imagine the quality. Namely, it is bad, bad, bad. Maybe even terrible.

The Rock is the heir apparent to Schwarzenegger's role as action film hero, and he does as good a job as Schwarzenegger ever did ;->

Extras

These include Deleted Scenes, Rumble in the Jungle (choreography of the stunts), Appetite for Destruction (special effects), The Amazon, Hawaii Style (how they made Hawaii look like the Amazon), and The Rundown Uncensored (role of Camilla the baboon).

 - John E. Johnson, Jr. -

Divider

Warner Brothers/Columbia Pictures

2003, Color, Rated R

2 Hr 7 min

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (16:9 Enh)

English Dolby Digital 5.1

French, Spanish  Stereo

 

Starring Halle Berry, Robert Downey, Jr., John Carroll Lynch, Penelope Cruz, Charles S. Dutton

Directed by Matthew Kassovitz

 

DVD Release Date 3/23/04

 

 

0

5

Entertainment

*

Video

*

Audio

*

Extras

MPEG Flags

N/A

Violence

Yes

Sex

No

Language

Bad

"Gothika"

Synopsis

Plot Overview

Dr. Miranda Grey (Berry) works at a Penitentiary for the Criminally Insane, for women.

One of her patients, Chloe (Cruz), claims to have been visited by the devil, who rapes her in her cell. Of course, Miranda takes this as part of Chloe's psychosis.

On her way home one evening, Miranda runs into a ditch trying to avoid hitting a girl who is standing in the middle of the road. When Miranda and the strange girl have a psychic experience, Miranda wakes up in a cell at the hospital, and her colleague, Dr. Pete Graham (Downey) tells her that she is there because she is suspected of murdering her husband, Dr. Douglas Grey (Dutton), by butchering him with an axe.

Miranda is now a patient, but knows she is innocent, so she escapes, and discovers to her horror, that perhaps Chloe was telling the truth, and that she was being raped, but by whom?

It gets worse.

Commentary

The film is very stylish, and Berry does a great job in her role. I don't know if I would have voted for her as Best Actress a couple of years ago, but she is certainly versatile in the types of characters she can play.

If any movie could make you fear ever being a patient in a psychiatric hospital, this one will do it for you. The director makes you feel like you are having a nightmare while you are awake, just like it must be for these patients. And, it was much more terrible for psychiatric patients in the 1700s, when they were considered to be possessed, and treated like animals.

Extras

These include a Commentary by the Director and a Music Video.

 - John E. Johnson, Jr. -

Divider

 

Copyright 2004 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
Return to Table of Contents for this
Issue.

Go to Home Page

 

About Secrets

Register

Terms and Conditions of Use