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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 55 - October, 1999

Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

 

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Very Bad Things"Very Bad Things", Polygram Video, 1998, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.85:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 40 min, Rated R; Christian Slater, John Favreau, Cameron Diaz, Jeremy Piven, Daniel Stern, Jeanne Tripplehorn;  Kyle Fisher (Favreau) is going to marry Laura Garrety (Diaz).  There's just one little problem that needs to be taken care of, the bachelor party.  After one crazy night in Las Vegas, now there's one BIG problem that needs to be taken care of, a dead hooker.  Thanks to the distorted thinking of Kyle's buddy, Robert Boyd (Slater), a trail of blood leads back to the party.  Even after learning about the body count Kyle's faced with, Laura puts getting married above all (and adds to it a body of her own).  This movie breaks every sacred bond that we humans could possibly make including marriage and friendship, irradicating any inclination of human decency along the way.  Hot off the box office smash, "There's Something about Mary", it's hard to believe Cameron Diaz couldn't find a better role than the neurotic head case she plays in "Very Bad Things".  This has to be the most blatant misuse of star power in recent times, and I think the title refers to the movie quality very accurately.  - Jared Baldwin -

Entertainment: **
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ***
Photography: ***
Violence: graphic
Sex: yes
Language: every terrible word you can think of

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200 Cigarettes"200 Cigarettes", Paramount Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.85:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 41 min, Rated R; Ben Affleck, Janeane Garofalo, Gaby Hoffmann, Courtney Love, Jay Mohr, Christina Ricci, Martha Plimpton;  Lucy (Love) and Tom (Affleck) are headed to a party.  First they decide to stop off for some drinks to kill some time, but almost end up killing each other instead.  Somewhere else on the same evening, in the same city, Val (Ricci) and Monica (Plimpton) are trying to get to the same party.  Lastly, one lonely bartender gets invited by accident.  Surprise, surprise, in the end everyone ends up at the party.  This movie plays out like it was written down on a napkin in a moment of haste.  The only concurrent theme: a pointless convergence we don't even get to see. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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The Mod Squad"The Mod Squad", MGM Studios, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.76:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 34 min, Rated R; Claire Danes, Giovanni Ribisi, Omar Epps, Dennis Farina, Josh Brolin, Steve Harris;  Hollywood, looking for movie ideas, revives the 1970s TV series by the same title. I guess they didn't learn their lesson with "The Avengers". The plot centers around three delinquent kids who are offered a job with the police, with the alternative being that they go back to jail. The movie version looks just like the TV version, but with explicit sex and language. The script is terrible, and the actors probably wish they had never been in the movie. - JEJ - The troubled lives of Julie (Danes), Pete (Giovanni), and Lync (Epps) have brought them together as the newest members of the LAPD.  By striking a deal with Captain Greer (Farina) of the LAPD, they keep themselves out of the slammer and on the streets. While working undercover in a club suspected of dealing drugs and selling women, these three stumble upon an illegal operation that points to the very heart of the police force they've just signed on to.  This movie feels like you're jumping in to the second half of a two-part episode on a weekly TV series.  Can Julie, Pete, and Lync foil the bad guys and save the day?  Tune in next week to find out . . . or just rent the movie. Two and a half stars. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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The Faculty"The Faculty", Dimension Films, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.85:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 44 min, Rated R; Elijah Wood, Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Laura Harris, Josh Hartnett, Shawn Wayne Hatosy, Salma Hayek, Robert Patrick;  Meet Casey (Wood) the school nerd, Stan (Hatosy) the quarterback, Delilah (Brewster) the cheerleader, Zeke (Hartnett) the dropout, Stokley (DuVall) the loner, and Marybeth (Harris) the new girl.  If this group sounds like an odd combination, then how about having aliens for teachers?  Assimilation of the student body has begun, and only this diverse group of students is left to stop the alien siege.  This movie plays out like a scholastic version of  "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", but is still worth seeing. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Twin Dragons"Twin Dragons", Disney Studios, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented in measured aspect ratio 2.35:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 30 min, Rated PG-13; Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung, Teddy Robin Kwan, Anthony Chan;  Action superstar Jackie Chan stars in a duel role in yet another English dubbed film filled with comical action.  He plays Boomer and John, a pair of twins separated at birth.  Boomer is a thuggish martial arts expert, who must repay a heavy debt in order to rescue his friend.  Conversely, John is a world famous pianist and orchestral leader, who has just arrived in the city to give the concert of a lifetime.  When they meet up in the same hotel, a simple twist of fate leads to mistaken identities that equal loads of hysterically funny situations getting the both of them into some big trouble along the way.  This movie is very enjoyable if you can get past the dubbed over English dialogue. - Jared Baldwin -

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: *****
Audio: ***
Photography: ****
Violence: martial arts
Sex: suggestive
Language: mild

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Office Space"Office Space", 20th Century Fox, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 30 min, Rated R; Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Ajay Naidu, David Herman, Gary Cole, Stephen Root;  Peter Gibbons (Livingston) is sick of work, and he's ready to do something about it.  That something is absolutely nothing.  Now that his friends Michael (Herman) and Samir (Naidu) have been fired, his personal pursuit of relaxation has landed him several promotions not to mention Joanna (Aniston), the girl of his dreams. So, Peter decides the only way to stand up for his friends is to get rich . . . off the company that is.  This movie proves that the art of procrastination and willingness to do nothing about it can really get you ahead in life. Sort of the same theme as in the classic film "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying". - Jared Baldwin -

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

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A Night at the Roxbury"A Night At The Roxbury", Paramount Pictures, 1998, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.85:1, 1 Hr 21 min, Rated PG-13; Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Elisa Donovan, Gigi Rice, Dan Hedaya, Loni Anderson, Richard Grieco; Steve Butabi (Ferrell) and Doug Butabi (Kattan) only want two things in life.  First, open up the ultimate dance club ever.  Second, get in to the current greatest dance club ever, The Roxbury.  Fate shines down one Saturday night when they save the life of none other than Richard Grieco, who happens to be a club favorite at The Roxbury.  Just when the Butabis finally meet their dream, high society begins to tear these two brothers apart.  Following in the footsteps of "Wayne's World", "A Night At The Roxbury" also represents a SNL skit turned big-screen hit.  This movie is funny from the get-go thanks to Ferrell and Kattan, the lone bright stars remaining on SNL. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Forces of Nature"Forces of Nature", DreamWorks Entertainment, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 46 min, Rated PG-13; Sandra Bullock, Ben Affleck, Maura Tierney, Steve Zahn, Blythe Danner, Ronny Cox;  Ben Holmes (Affleck) and Sarah Lewis (Bullock) are boarding the same plane to Alabama for two very different reasons.  Sarah is headed to reclaim her stake in a new business and to win back the heart of her son, while Ben is on his way to get married.  Mother Nature throws a wrench in both of their plans when a hurricane keeps all planes grounded after their plane's engine took on an unfortunate passenger (a bird).  Still eager to get down south, both Ben and Sarah decide to take the train instead.  Fate tempts them one more time when they end up on the wrong train, heading for Chicago.  Now stranded 2000 miles away from their destination, Ben and Sarah decide to travel together to save on expenses.  Their time together and relationship that has developed between them forces Ben to question his decision to get married.  The opposite personalities these two characters reveal throughout the movie gives few, if any, reasons for them to fall in love.   In this case it is doubtful that these opposites would attract. Bottom Line: the plot fails. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Copyright 1999 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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