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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 53 - August, 1999

Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

 

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Virus"Virus", Universal Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.30:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 40 min, Rated R; Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Joanna Pacula; While monitoring the MIR Space Station, a Russian research ship at sea is suddenly attacked by something that has linked to earth through MIR. A tug boat, the Sea Star, is in the area, and finding the ship apparently abandoned, they prepare to take her to port for salvage. Unfortunately, the alien on board has other ideas, and begins killing the crew one by one. The captain of the tug boat, Bob Everton (Sutherland) will stop at nothing to get the salvage, even if it means the expense of his crew. Although the movie was a failure at the box office, it is worth renting for the myriad special effects. - JEJ -

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

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Affliction"Affliction", Lions Gate Films, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.80:1, Surround Sound, DD (2 channel), 1 Hr 55 min; Rated R; Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, William Dafoe; In a small New Hampshire town, Sheriff Wade Whitehouse (Nolte) battles for the respect of the town, his abusive father (Coburn), and for some quality time with his estranged daughter from a broken marriage. Normalcy cannot be found, and there is no place to hide. Coburn won Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film, but the story is totally negative from beginning to end, and I don't care for having just one emotion carry though an entire movie. - JEJ -

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

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Shakespeare in Love"Shakespeare in Love", Miramax Films, 1998, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.24:1, Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 2 min, Rated R; Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush, Judi Dench, Joseph Fiennes; In the good old days before TV, people like William Shakespeare (Fiennes) were responsible for entertainment. Alas, good actors are hard to find, but in yon window stands newcomer Thomas Kent, who dazzles Billy with his skills. But wait, Thomas is hiding something. He is a she . . . Viola (Paltrow), who must hide her femininity from all, since women are forbidden to be on stage. Bill discovers her ruse, and they fall in love, much to the discontent of her suitor, Lord Wessex. Meanwhile, a lack of money closes The Rose Theatre, and Mr. Henslow (Rush) tries to find other ways of opening Will's new play, Romeo and what's her name. Best Picture, and best of a bunch of other stuff too, this is a wonderful film. - JEJ -

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

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True Crime"True Crime", Zanuck Company/Malpaso; 1999, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.71:1, Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 7 min, Rated R; Clint Eastwood, Isaiah Washington, James Woods; Over the hill reporter Steve Everitt (Eastwood) is notorious for raking up the past when he writes his articles. He is also sleeping with the newspaper editor's wife, so the paper is loathe to give him an assignment of interviewing a death row convict before his execution. Immediately, even though he has promised not to, Steve begins looking into the court proceedings that condemned Frank Beechum (Washington) to death for murder during a grocery store robbery. The story is a little too predictable, but it does have a down to the wire ending. - JEJ -

 

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

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Analyze This"Analyze This", Warner Brothers, 1999, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 43 min, Rated R; Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Viterelli, Chazz Palminteri, Bill Macy;  Paul Vitti (De Niro) is powerful mob boss who can't afford to let his weaker side show.   With a meeting of the other most powerful mobsters in the nation just two weeks away, the pressure is mounting.  Dealing with hiding his innermost fears now becomes a life and death issue.  By chance, Vitti's sidekick, Jelly (Viterelli), bumps into psychiatrist Ben Sobol (Crystal).  After some friendly (and some unfriendly!) coaxing, Dr. Sobol agrees to take on the notorious Vitti as his patient.  Together, they must find the answers behind Vitti's new emotional ties to salvage respectability in front of his colleagues.   De Niro and Crystal are dynamite together.  A convincing performance by Joe Viterelli as Jelly also adds to this very funny film. - Jared Baldwin -

Entertainment: *****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ****
Photography: ****
Violence: yes
Sex: suggestive
Language: mobspeak

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Cruel Intentions "Cruel Intentions", Columbia Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 38 min, Rated R; Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Louise Fletcher, Joshua Jackson; Kathryn (Gellar) and Sebastian (Phillippe) are two of a kind . . .  cold, vindictive, and self-serving beyond compare.  Now that their step-parents have married, these two non-blood-related siblings wage a war of evil against anyone who stands in their path toward high school supremacy.  When Sebastian makes a bet that he can seduce the new virgin in school (Witherspoon), the stakes are raised as he puts his most prized possession up for grabs.  He does so to get what he wants most of all: his step-sister Kathryn.  Their war is about to get very personal.  However, the unexpected happens, and Sebastian falls for their newest victim. Continuing with Hollywood's youth movement, this movie stars three of Hollywood's hottest new actors. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Ed TV"Ed TV", Universal Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 4 min, Rated PG-13;  Mathew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Woody Harrelson, Martin Landau, Ellen DeGeneres, Elizabeth Hurley; In the very near future, one television station has dedicated itself solely to reality programming. Cynthia Topping (DeGeneres), who is one of their best executives, has come up with a new idea, namely, to broadcast the life of one man 24 hours a day. After months of auditioning, they find the perfect guy for the job, Ed Pekurny. It only takes one week before "Ed TV" takes on a life of its own, gaining a national audience. When nothing left is sacred and all is fair game, including his girlfriend Shari (Elfman), Ed finds out that being a big television star isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Woody Harrelson, cast as Ed's brother, Ray, was a perfect fit.  They could easily pass for brothers in real life.  This movie is pleasantly funny and offers a look at the next step up from the Internet's popular web cams. - Jared Baldwin -

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ****
Photography: ****
Violence: mild
Sex: suggestive
Language: the "S" word

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Message in a Bottle"Message in a Bottle", Warner Brothers., 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 2.35:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 11 min, Rated PG-13;  Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, Paul Newman, John Savage, Illeana Douglas, Robbie Coltrane;  While running on a beach, Theresa (Penn) finds a message in a bottle.  Addressed only to Catherine, the content of the letter inspires her like nothing else in her life has ever done.  Trying to fill a void in her own world, Theresa goes in search of the author of this mysterious letter.  After months of tireless searching, she finds the man behind the letter, Robert Blake (Costner).  This movie is a must see for all hopeless romantics. - Jared Baldwin -

Entertainment: *****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ****
Photography: ****
Violence: mild
Sex: mild
Language: the "S" word

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Copyright 1999 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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