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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 25 - July, 1997

Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

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The Mirror Has Two Faces"The Mirror Has Two Faces", TriStar, 1996, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 1.78:1, Surround Sound, 2 Hr 6 min, Rated PG-13; Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Lauren Bacall; Dr. Rose Morgan (Streisand) is a Professor of Romantic Literature at Columbia University, but does not have any romance in her own life. Dr. Greg Larkin (Bridges), a Professor of Mathematics, also at Columbia, wants a platonic relationship, claiming that romance is something that passes with time, so why not just start out with it being a thing in the past. She agrees, and they get married. Things don't work out quite as they expected, and Rose's mother (Bacall) says, "I told you so." This film, like Streisand's earlier directorial works, "Yentyl", and "The Prince of Tides", searches for the inner self. Perhaps a catharsis of sorts, as Hitchcock did with his films. - JEJ -

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ***
Photography: ****
Violence: no
Sex: no
Language: the "F" and "S" words

 

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My Fellow Americans"My Fellow Americans", Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.33:1, Surround Sound, AC-3, 1 Hr 41 min, Rated PG-13; Jack Lemmon, James Garner, Dan Akyroyd; Former Presidents Kramer (Lemmon) and Douglas (Garner) find themselves in trouble when the current President (Akyroyd) frames Kramer for taking a kickback during his administration. After a helicopter that they were supposed to be in blows up, they make their way to Ohio, where Kramer's museum library would have contained records to show that Kramer was not at the luncheon during which the illegal deal was supposed to have been made. The film blends a proper amount of political hilarity with serious issues of the heartland, and comes off a winner. - JEJ -

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: *****
Audio: ***
Photography: ***
Violence: yes
Sex: yes
Language: the "F" and "S" words

 

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Absolute Power"Absolute Power", Castle Rock Entertainment, 1996, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.32:1, Surround Sound, AC-3, 2 Hr 1 min, Rated R; Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, E.G. Marshall; Luther Whitney is an old jewel thief who is back in business. He breaks into Walter Sullivan's (Marshall) home and opens a vault full of valuables. While he is in there, the President of the United States, Alan Richmond (Hackman), and Walter's wife, Christine, come into the bedroom where the vault is. They can't see Whitney, but he can see them through a one-way mirror. They are drunk, and get into a fight. The Secret Service comes in and shoots Christine, killing her. The Chief of Staff and the Secret Service clean up the murder scene and leave. They soon discover that Luther was there as a witness, and attempt to murder him. A policeman, Seth Frank (Harris), and Luther's daughter, try to bring him in before he is killed. It sounds like a great plot, but the film is one of the dreariest I have ever seen. It takes half an hour before the viewer finds out who anyone is. Bummer. Could have been terrific, even if it is one of those "can 5% of the world survive in spite of the other 95% belonging in front of a firing squad" stories. Frankly, I was surprised, since the screenplay is by William Goldman. - JEJ -

Entertainment: **
Video Quality: *****
Audio: **
Photography: ***
Violence: yes
Sex: yes
Language: the "F" and "S" words

 

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Vegas Vacation"Vegas Vacation", Warner Brothers, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.33:1, Surround Sound, AC-3, 1 Hr 35 min, Rated PG; Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid; The vacationing Griswolds are back, this time, in Las Vegas. Clark Griswold (Chase) takes his wife Ellen (D'Angelo), the kids Rusty and Audrey, to the Mirage Hotel in Vegas, planning to remarry Ellen as a romantic gesture. While Ellen has an amorous fling with Wayne Newton, Rusty gets a false ID and wins four cars, and Audrey meets some professional dancers, Clark loses $22,000 on the gambling tables. Cousin Eddie (Quaid) shows up (again), and makes life miserable, but funny. If you enjoyed the previous installments of the "Vacation" series, you will probably like this one too. - JEJ -

Entertainment: ***
Video Quality: *****
Audio: ****
Photography: ****
Violence: no
Sex: no
Language: no

 

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Shine"Shine", Fine Line Features, 1996, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD)1.81:1, Surround Sound, AC-3, 1 Hr 45 min, Rated PG-13; Geoffrey Rush, Lynn Redgrave, John Gielgud; David Helfgott (Rush) is a young piano prodigy trying desperately to please his father. Unfortunately, the father is selfish and brutal, abusing David verbally and physically. When David receives a scholarship to the Royal Music Academy in London, dad disowns David. The trauma induced by father's brutality (apparently) causes David to incur a psychiatric breakdown, and he suffers the torment of the hospital for years. After being released, David entertains in a small bar, and then rediscovers himself and marries Gillian (Redgrave). David re-enters the world of concert piano with great success. The film is brilliantly directed and acted. Rush certainly deserved the Academy Award for Best Actor. - JEJ -

Entertainment: *****
Video Quality: *****
Audio: ****
Photography: *****
Violence: yes, child abuse
Sex: innocuous
Language: the "S" word


Copyright 1997 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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