Index to Articles in this Issue Home Page

 

Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 34 - January, 1998

Staff

Divider

Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

 

Divider

 

Conspiracy Theory"Conspiracy Theory", Warner Brothers, 1997, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 2.37:1, Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 15 min, Rated R; Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart; Jerry Fletcher (Gibson) is a New York cab driver who is paranoid, and tells everyone about his theories of conspiracy in the Federal Government. Alice Sutton (Roberts), a Justice Department attorney is the main object of his unwanted attention, and she ingnores him until he walks in one day with blood on his shirt and a fantastic story of being tortured. Mysterious Dr. Jonas (Stewart) tries to have them both killed, since at least one of the stories appears to be true, and Jerry finds that just because he is paranoid does not mean someone isn't trying to kill him. - JEJ -

Entertainment: ***
Video Quality: ****
Audio: **
Photography: ****
Violence: extreme
Sex: no
Language: the "S" word

 

Divider

 

Speed 2: Cruise Control"Speed 2: Cruise Control", Twentieth Century Fox; 1997, Color, Filmed anamorphically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 2.42:1, Surround Sound, 2 Hr 5 min, Rated PG-13; Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe; Annie Potter (Bullock) has just come off a relationship with a policeman, and finds that her new boyfriend Alex (Patric) is a SWAT team member. Alex takes her on a Caribbean cruise to propose. On board is John Geiger (Dafoe) who takes over the ship, wanting to destroy it because he was fired after designing the software that runs it. Alex and Annie try to stop him. Just about everyone I have spoken with said this movie stinks, but I hoped I might find something redeeming about it. Unfortunately, they were right. The story is poorly assembled, and the direction is choppy. Too bad. A bomb like this hurts the reputations of the actors, director, studio, and the credibility of those reviewers who rated it as a good film. - JEJ -

Entertainment: **
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ****
Photography: *
Violence: yes
Sex: no
Language: the "S" word

 

Divider

 

Con Air"Con Air", Touchstone Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 2.27:1, Surround Sound, DD, THX, 1 Hr 55 min, Rated R; Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovitch; When Cameron Poe's (Cage) wife is assaulted by a group of thugs, he kills one of them and is put in prison for seven years. He is parolled, and goes onto a plane with convicts who are being transferred. Cyrus Grissom (Malkovitch) and the other convicts commandeer the plane, diverting it to an abandoned airfield where they will transfer to another plane headed for Mexico. Police agent Vince Larkin (Cusack) attempts to communicate with Poe in order to capture the other convicts before they escape the country. Fast paced, and filled with great special effects, this film will satisfy all action film aficionados. - JEJ -

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

 

Divider

 

Fire Down Below"Fire Down Below", Warner Brothers, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.70:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 45 min, Rated R; Steven Segal, Marg Helgenberger, Kris Kristofferson; EPA Marshal Jack Taggert (Segal) is sent to a small town in Kentucky to get evidence about possible dumping of toxic waste into an abandoned coal mine. The townspeople are getting sick, so he doesn't have a lot of time, and a previous agent was murdered trying to get the same information. The movie is a typical Segal vehicle, as he beats the daylights out of just about everyone, including the police. The acting is not bad, and the scenery is beautiful, but the script is pathetic. - JEJ -

Entertainment: *
Video Quality: ***
Audio: ***
Photography: ***
Violence: Segal style
Sex: no
Language: the "S" word

 

Divider

 

Hoodlum"Hoodlum", United Artists, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.78:1, Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 10 min, Rated R; Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Vanessa Williams, Andy Garcia; During the Depression, several gangs in New York are running the "Numbers" (gambling). A person can gamble less than a dollar on a number and win if that number comes up in the stock market. The total amounts to a lot, and the gangs, including those run by Dutch Schultz (Roth) and Luck Luciano (Garcia) fight over the "turf". Ellsworth ("Bumpy") Johnson (Fishburne) takes command of the numbers racket in Harlem, and attempts to negotiate with the other gangs about retaining it rather than sharing. A bloodbath erupts, and Luciano tries to keep the peace in light of a corrupt police department who promises to investigate all gang activities unless he stops the fighting. Unfortunately, the film wastes too much time on character development, as if we did not know the type of characters who run gangs with blood and bullets. There is some action, but not enough to take this out of the yawn category. - JEJ -

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

 

Divider

Copyright 1998 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
Return to Table of Contents for this Issue.