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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 32 - November, 1997


Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

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Anaconda"Anaconda", Columbia Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 2.32:1, Surround Sound, 1 Hr 30 min, Rated PG-13; Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight; In the Brazilian Amazon Jungle, a documentary crew attempts to locate a primitive tribe, "The People of the Mist". They stumble upon Paul Sarone (Voight) whose boat has mechanical problems, and they offer to take him with them. He suggests that they take a shortcut, but the real reason is that he wants to capture a huge snake, the Anaconda. Unfortunately, the snake finds them first and proceeds to eat them one after the other. This is truly a ridiculous film, and even the digital effects are poor quality. - JEJ -

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

 

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Batman and Robin"Batman and Robin", Warner Brothers, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.73:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), 2 Hr 5 min, Rated PG-13; Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O'Donell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone; Here we go again, and this time the villain is "Mr. Freeze" (Schwarzenegger) who wants to turn Gotham City into one big snow cone. "Poison Ivy" (Thurman) joins forces with Freeze, but on the side, she says that she appreciates Batman's anatomically correct rubber suit. Meanwhile, Batman (Clooney) takes one look at her and comments, "Why are all the gorgeous ones homicidal maniacs?" Alfred (the butler) is not feeling well, and his niece Barbara (Silverstone) visits to take care of him. She likes to race motorcycles, and discovers Bruce Wayne's secret identity. Barb puts on a rubber suit of her own and becomes Batgirl. Together, they battle the evil duo of Freeze and Ivy. The movie's non-stop action and primary colors will make you numb, but the story is about as original as the title. - JEJ -

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

 

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The Saint"The Saint", Paramount Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 2.23:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), THX, 1 Hr 58 min, Rated PG-13; Val Kilmer, Elisabeth Shue; Simon Templar (Kilmer) is a professional thief who uses aliases from Catholic Saints, and steals important items for big customers. He is hired by a Russian thug named Tretiak to steal the formula for Cold Fusion (an efficient way of extracting energy from heavy water) so that he can take over Russia from President Karpov and return the nation to Communism. Dr. Emma Russell (Shue) is visiting Oxford University to discuss her breakthrough theories, and Templar becomes poet Thomas Moore so that he can woo her into giving him the formula. They fall in love, and he feels guilty for stealing the formula. In the meantime, Tretiak decides to kill them both after getting what he wants. The rest of the movie is the chase, and it is very well done. - JEJ -

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ****
Photography: ****
Violence: yes
Sex: James Bond style
Language: the "F" word

 

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The Lost World"The Lost World", Universal Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 1.81:1, Surround Sound, DD, THX, 2 Hr 9 min, Rated PG-13; Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Attenborough; Four years after the problems on Jurassic Park, John Hammond (Attenborough) asks Dr. Ian Malcolm (Goldblum) to go back, this time to study the remaining dinosaurs on a nearby island. At first, he says no, but after finding that his paleontologist girlfriend Sarah (Moore) is already there, he goes. InGen has been taken over by the board of directors, and they launch a mission at the same time, but to bring a T-Rex back alive so that they can exploit the financial potential, in a San Diego park. Unfortunately, the "Curse of the Sequel" is proactive, and the film simply does not have the magic of the original. Splendid digital effects though. - JEJ -

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

 

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Addicted to Love"Addicted to Love", Warner Brothers, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.73:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 39 min, Rated R; Meg Ryan, Matthew Broderick, Kelly Preston; Sam (Broderick) loves Linda (Preston), but Linda wants to leave the small town and go to New York. Afer arriving, she writes Sam to tell him she has found a new love. Sam rushes to New York and moves into an abandoned warehouse across from where Linda is living with her new boyfriend, Anton. He watches and waits, hoping they will have a fight so he can get her back. Maggie (Ryan) shows up on a motorcycle, and moves in with Sam, telling him that Anton was her former fiance, and she wants to make his life miserable. So, together, they plot their moves, and, what a surprise, they fall in love. Too predictable . . . yawn. - JEJ -

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

 

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The Fifth Element"The Fifth Element", Columbia Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 2.37:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), Rated PG-13; Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Milla Jovovich; Korben Dallas (Willis) is a taxi driver in New York City in the year 2214. Somewhere, in outer space, a huge object is streaking towards earth to destroy it. A priest (Holm) has been waiting, having carried a secret from ancient Egypt about the four basic elements, earth, wind, fire, and water. He needs the fifth element, a perfect human being, in order to prevent evil from destroying life. A beautiful woman named Leeloo (Jovovich) is created from small bits of organic material, and she turns out to be the fifth element. Dallas helps her get to the other four elements before evil can prevent her from reaching them in time to save life on earth. I don't know what goes through producers' minds when they are thinking up ideas for movies, but this is one of the most ludicrous films I have ever seen. - JEJ -

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

 

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Volcano"Volcano", Twentieth Century Fox, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 1.76:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), THX, Rated PG-13; Tommy Lee Jones, Anne Heche, Gaby Hoffman; It's just another sunny day in L.A., and Mike Roark (Jones), with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is fixing breakfast for his daughter, when there is a rumble that shakes the house. Assuming it is an earthquake, he visits a site where steam is escaping from a vent. People are dead, and he does not believe it was from steam, so he takes his assistant and goes below. Lava begins emerging from the La Brea Tarpits, and . . . kaboom . . . there is a volcano in downtown Los Angeles. The special effects whiz kids are really on their toes, as Roark and seismologist Dr. Amy Barnes (Heche) attempt to divert the boiling magma to the Pacific Ocean.

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ***
Photography: ****
Violence: people being burned to death
Sex: no
Language: the "S" word


Copyright 1997 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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