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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 36 - March, 1998

Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

 

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187"Air Force One", Columbia Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.32:1, Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 5 min, Rated R; Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close; US President Jim Marshall (Ford) is in Moscow to discuss terrorism, and states that the free world will no longer make deals with murderers who hide behind a mask of patriotism. He boards the Air Force One jet to go back home, and the plane is hijacked by Russians who want General Alexander Radek, their rebel leader, released from a prison in Kazakhstan. Ivan Korshunov (Oldman) threatens to kill one hostage every 30 minutes until their demands are met. Unfortunately, they did not count on the President being so resistant, and he makes trouble in the air, while Vice President Kathryn Bennett (Close), in Washington, D.C., tries to negotiate with Russian President Petrov for the rebel commander's release. The movie is extremely well done, and non-stop action with plenty of great special effects make this a must-see for action film buffs. - JEJ -

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

 

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Demolition Man"Demolition Man"; Director: Marco Brambilla; Producer: Joel Silver; Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, and Nigel
Hawthorne.

DVD 12985; Warner Brothers; Production notes; Theatrical Trailer; Running Commentary; English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono; Double Sided, Side A Pan & Scan, Side B Letterbox/16x9 Enhanced; 1 hour 55 minutes; 30 chapter stops.

Simon Phoenix (Snipes) is one of the worst criminals ever, and he is apprehended by John Spartan (Stallone). Upon P:hoenix' arrest, several bodies are discovered and Sgt. Spartan is blamed. Both men are frozen in a cryo-prison in 1996. Thirty six years later, Phoenix escapes from the deep freeze, so the cops thaw out Spartan, because he is the only one violent enough to retrieve him. Lenina Huxley (Bullock) plays future cop who longs for something to put excitement into her dull life. Her office is packed with lots of goodies from the 20th century.

The future has changed, and cops are no longer trained to handle violence. There seems to be no physical contact, so sex is done through some type of virtual reality, and 3 seashells have taken the place of toilet paper! A computer voice fines you one credit each time you curse. A bleak future I must say, especially when the theme song to Armor Hotdogs is a classic. Oh yeah, did I mention that Taco Bell won the franchise wars? Now all restaurants are Taco Bell.

When this film was first released, I had absolutely no desire to see it. When it came out on video, somehow I ended up watching it, and I'm glad I did. I had a great time with this movie. Who wrote the script?! It’s not quite Tarrantino, but good nonetheless. The transfer, while a little soft compared to some of the some of the other DVDs out there, still looks great. There are times when the fleshtones look a little on the red side. Good shadow detail in the interior scenes. Being 16x9-enhanced helps the movie. The aspect ratio is right on at 2.35:1.

The soundtrack is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital, and they have done a good job with it, although there are a couple of spots where the dialogue seems to distort slightly. The mixers did not go overboard on the surrounds and they seem to be used quite well. - SLS -

 

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ****
Photography: ***
Violence: yup
Sex: only through virtual reality
Language: the "F" and "S" words (several violations of the verbal morality stature)

 

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Out to Sea"Out to Sea", Twentieth Century Fox, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 1.78:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 46 min, Rated PG-13; Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Dyan Cannon; Herb Sullivan's (Lemmon) wife passed away recently, and he is depressed. Her brother Charlie Gordon (Matthau) wants to cheer him up, so he gets a couple of tickets for a cruise to South America. Unfortunately, Charlie didn't tell Herb that he also signed them both up as Dance Hosts, in order to pay for the tickets. They both meet some ladies on the ship, and in between dances, have their romances. This is obviously an attempt to follow on the success of their two films about grumpy old men, and there are a few laughs, but this will go down as the worst of their 9 movies together over the past 30 years. - JEJ -

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

 

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Critical Care"Critical Care", Live Entertainment, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.71:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 49 min, Rated R; James Spader, Kyra Sedgwick; Dr. Werner Ernst (Spader) is a second year resident in a hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU). One of the patients is in a vegetative state, and his daughter Felicia (Sedgwick) wants him to be taken off artificial life support and allowed to die, while another daughter Connie insists on keeping him alive. In between visits from angels, devils, and lawyers, Werner learns what it really means to be a doctor. That's really about it. Boring, boring, boring, and I understood the medical terms too. - JEJ -

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

 

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G.I. Jane"G.I Jane", Hollywood Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (Laserdisc) 2.27:1, Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 5 min, Rated R; Demi Moore, Viggo Mortensen, Anne Bancroft; When a US Senator (Bancroft) asks the Secretary of the Navy to include women in the combat units, Liutenant Jordan O'Neil (Moore) is selected to try out the Navy SEALs. She is fully up to the mark, but finds that there are many in the corridors of power who don't want her to succeed. This makes her even more determined to prove that women are just as good as men when it comes to killing or being killed. Directed by Ridley Scott ("Alien"), the story is action-packed, and is one of Moore's best efforts. - JEJ -

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

 

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Most Wanted"Most Wanted", New Line Cinema, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (Laserdisc) 2.32:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 39 min, Rated R; Keenan Ivory Wayans, Jon Voight, Paul Sorvino; When Marine Sgt. James Dunn (Wayans) is sentenced to death for refusing to obey an officer, and then killing him in a fight, he escapes while being transferred to a prison. He is offered a position in a covert operation, with the assignment of killing the president of a pharmaceutical company. A government executive is killed instead, and Dunn is framed. The Deputy Director of the CIA (Sorvino) finds that the CIA is being set up as well, and he helps Dunn uncover the real murderers. There are lots of good character actors, but the plot is just a bit absurd. If you have Dolby Digital, you will want to see this one, because it has some of the best digital surround I have heard. - JEJ -

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

 

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Copyright 1998 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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