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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 54 - September, 1999

Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

 

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She's All That"She's All That", Miramax Films, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.76:1, 2-Channel Stereo, 1 Hr 36 min, Rated PG-13; Freddie Prinz, Jr., Rachel Leigh Cook, Matthew Lillard, Paul Walker, Jodi Lyn O'Keefe; In a Los Angeles high school, Zack Siler (Prinz) is suddenly given the heave ho by his girlfriend Taylor Vaughan (O'Keefe). Zack brags that he will soon be back in business, but friend Dean Sampson (Walker) offers him a challenge. He will pick out someone and Zack must turn her into the prom queen. Dean picks nerdy Laney Boggs (Leigh). Zack only has a few weeks so he must work fast, and Laney is not very cooperative. Fortunately, she warms up, but Zack has fallen in love with her in the meantime, and must explain the challenge without losing her. It is a predictable story, but nicely done. - JEJ -

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

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The Mummy"The Mummy", Universal Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.27:1, Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 5 min; Rated PG-13; Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, Jonathan Hyde, Kevin J.O'Connor; Circa 2000 BC, Seti I is 2nd Pharoh of the 19th Dynasty in Egypt. His son Imhotep (Vosloo) and the Queen, Anck-Su-Namun, murder Seti. They are both sentenced to death, and Imhotep is buried alive, along with a substantial supply of scarabs, which are insects that feed on flesh. 3000 years later, treasure hunter Rick O'Connell (Fraser) is hired by an Egytologist (Weisz) to find the ancient city of the dead, Hamunaptra, where they will uncover the book of the dead and other artifacts. Unfortunately, Seti guards the book, and he is just a little upset when the treasure hunters dig him up. The digital effects are spectacular, but it has the feeling of one of the old Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy kind of movies. I suppose that is what the producers intended, and it should be great fun for the teenagers. - JEJ -

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

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The Matrix"The Matrix", Warner Brothers, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.32:1, Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 16 min, Rated R; Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving; Computer hacker Tom Anderson (Reeves), whose pseudonym is Neo, wakes up one afternoon to find his computer sending him messages, apparently observing his every move. The computer tells him he is about to discover the nature of The Matrix, something he is aware of but does not understand. A stranger named Trinity (Moss) takes him to meet the leader, named Morpheus (Fishburne), of an underground movement that seeks to destroy the Matrix. Morpheus explains that the Matrix is a netherworld, run by machines that have used Artificial Intelligence to take over the world. They need humans to supply their energy, and have placed human minds into a dream-like state, which is governed by computer software. Neo is seen as the chosen one who will lead the human race out of this bondage. Unfortunately, it is not so easy with "Agents" running around trying to kill all those who seek the Matrix' destruction. The movie is superb, and easily the best sci-fi thriller of 1999, so far. - JEJ - For two years, Thomas Anderson (Reeves) has been leading a double life searching for a man called Morpheus (Fishburne). Meanwhile, Morpheus has been searching for Thomas Anderson, the man whom he believes has the ability to unlock the hidden powers of the Matrix.  Nicknamed Neo, Thomas has just been shown the truth of human existence and the reality that has been forced into their minds.   The battle over free-will has begun.  The abundance of dialogue explaining what the Matrix is and how they are going to unlock its powers, feels more like a lecture than a movie.  Although the action sequences are state of the art, they are too far in between to really appreciate.  The creative story line makes this movie.  Three and a half stars. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Ravenous"Ravenous", Fox Studios, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented in measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.85:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 40 min, Rated R; Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Davies, Jeffrey Jones, David Arquette, Stephen Spinella; In 1847, in the mountains of the Sierra-Nevada, something wicked is about to happen.  It begins when a stranger, Colqhoun (Carlyle), clinging to his own life, begs for help to save the life of another when he arrives at an isolated fort deep within the mountains.  He relays a horrible survival story of how the rest of his party struggled to stay alive. Captain John Boyd (Pearce) and Hart (Jones), both stationed at the fort, form a search party to rescue any survivors and head off even deeper into the unforgiving terrain of the Sierra-Nevada.  Only the remains of the party they are searching for, with no survivors, are found, and there is only one possible explanation for their demise.  However, it may already be too late for this band of rescuers to fight for their own lives against this devilish stranger, who has already begun to set the table for his next big meal.  This movie is full of dark humor that paces the movie quite well in between scenes of explicit violence and blood shed.  - Jared Baldwin -

 

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

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Corruptor"The Corruptor", New Line Cinema, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 2.35:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 40 min, Rated R; Chow Yun-Fat, Mark Wahlberg, Ric Young, Paul Ben-Victor, Jon Kit Lee, Byron Mann;  With the turf battle between the Triads and the Fukienese dragons boiling over, the city is quickly becoming a very unsafe place to live.  Nick Chen (Yun-Fat) has been patrolling these streets for a long time and is not about to let the dispute get out of his hands.  However, Bobby Vu (Mann), leader of the Fukienese dragons, has his own plans of who's going to run this town, and he's ready to turn up the heat.  All of a sudden, Chen's hands aren't going to be big enough to handle what Bobby Vu and his gang are about to dish out.  Enter Danny Wallace (Wahlberg), Chen's newest member of the Chinatown police division.  Although new to force and still a little rough around the edges, Wallace is just who Chen needs to keep these two rival gangs under contro.  This movie has just enough action to keep the viewer involved and puts a little different spin on an old plot. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Idle Hands "Idle Hands", Sony Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented in measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 40 min, Rated R; Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Ratliff, Jessica Alba, Christopher Hart, Vivica A. Fox;  One day, Anton (Sawa) wakes up to find his parents dead and a murderous hand in place of one of his own.  Apparently an evil derived of the idle and lazy has now attached itself to marijuana's new poster child.  He then promptly kills his two best friends Mick (Green) and Paub (Ratliff) when they find out. If this doesn't sound ridiculous enough, his best friends return in the state of "undead" to help Anton save his girlfriend Molly (Alba), who just happens to be a virgin, from the now severed evil hand.  The film could have definitely done without Vivica Fox's character and a worn out subplot to save the universe alone. When bad 80's horror and dead-on 90's humor collide, "Idle Hands" is what we are left with. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Can't Hardly Wait"Can't Hardly Wait", Columbia Pictures, 1998, Color, Filmed spherically and presented in measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.85:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 41 min, Rated PG-13; Ethan Embry, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Marisol Nichols, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, Seth Green;  Now that Preston Myers (Embry) has waited through the four longest years of his life, he is ready to make his move for the girl of his dreams, Amanda Beckett (Hewitt). Amanda immediately faces the spoils of single life when every guy, including her ex-boyfriend Mike Dexter (Facinelli), takes a shot at the most eligible girl at the most important event of the year, graduation party.  Fate is to play the biggest role as to what happens next. With good acting and a unique story line, this is definitely one of the best teen movies in recent years.  Also some of the party music will really give your home theater a workout.  Excellent soundtrack! - Jared Baldwin -

Entertainment: *****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: *****
Photography: ***
Violence: a fistfight or two
Sex: suggestive
Language: the "F" word

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What Dreams May Come"What Dreams May Come", Polygram Video, 1998, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.35:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 54 min, Rated R; Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra, Cuba Gooding Jr., Max von Sydow, Jessica Brooks Grant, Josh Paddock; Chris (Williams) and Annie Nielsen (Sciorra) have found each other.  The search for the perfect life is now over.  This story book ending is cut short by the untimely death of their two children and Chris four years later.   With the help of a guardian angel, Albert (Gooding Jr.), the driving force that fueled Chris in life burns even brighter after his quest to find his wife begins once again.  Chris and Annie must now confront their worst fears and past failures as their search for each other rages on in the afterlife.  This film is full of emotion, with a very dynamic relationship built between Chris and Annie.  The movie also communicates an interesting interpretation of what Heaven and Hell could be like. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Copyright 1999 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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