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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 56 - November, 1999

Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

 

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Wing Commander"Wing Commander",Twentieth Century Fox, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 2.35:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 45 min, Rated PG-13;  Freddie Prinze Jr., Saffron Burrows, Matthew Lillard, Tcheky Karyo, Jurgen Prochonow, David Suchet; Christopher Blair (Prinze Jr.) and Todd "Maniac" Marshall (Lillard) are two of the best young fighter pilots in the galaxy.  When an interstellar conflict arises, these two are cast in the middle of the most important war of all, the war of survival.  Prinze Jr. and Lillard form a very good onscreen pairing with a relationship that just may remind you of your best friend.  The special effects are very good at times, but some things looked like they were skimped on, most importantly the fighter ships. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Life is Beautiful"Life is Beautiful", Miramax Films, 1998, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.77:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 56 min, Rated PG-13; Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini; In 1939, Guido (Benigni) goes to Arezzo, Italy, to work as a waiter in his uncle's restaurant. He meets a school teacher named Dora (Braschi), falls in love, and gets married. A few years later, he and his family are sent to a Nazi concentration camp, and Guido tries his best to keep them all alive until the end of the war. Believe it or not, this is supposed to be a funny movie. Guido is a very happy guy, and he tries to make the best of being in a concentration camp, so that his son Joshua (Cantarini) will not know the fate that is just around the corner (gas chamber). It works, in a strange sort of way, and I guess that is why the film has received such accolades. - JEJ -

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

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eXistenZ"eXistenZ", Dimension Films, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.73:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 37 min, Rated R; Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Ian Holm; At Antenna Research, Superstar Game Designer Allegra Geller (Leigh) demonstrates her new computer game called eXistenZ to a large group of people. To play, a user has to connect a living game pod to a bioport in their own spinal cord. Suddenly, a terrorist tries to kill Allegra, and she runs for her life, along with one of Antenna's other employees, Ted Pikul (Law). Not only are competitors from Cortical Systematics after her, but members of the Realists, who don't like what bioport computer games are doing to humans. The movie box says that it makes "The Matrix" look like child's play. That is nonsense. While Matrix had incredible computer graphics, eXistenZ uses gore. They are two completely different types of movies, but both are very entertaining. - JEJ -

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

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Pushing Tin"Pushing Tin", 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 2 Hr 4 min, Rated R; John Cusack, Billy Bob Thorton, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie, Jake Weber, Kurt Fuller;  Nick Falzone (Cusack) is the top air traffic controller in the busiest airspace in the world.  Things are about to get very competitive when Russell Bell (Thorton), one of the best air traffic controllers in the country, is transferred to work the same airspace as Nick.  This heated rivalry boils over into their personal lives, especially after Nick sleeps with Russell's wife Mary (Jolie).  After Mary has a moment of honesty with Russell, he decides the only way to make things right is to make things even.  So Russell winds up sleeping with Nick's wife Connie (Blanchett).  Isn't the human race terrific? In the aftermath, Russell and Mary have drawn closer together, while Nick and Connie have fallen apart.  In this movie, John Cusack showcases why he is one of Hollywood's elite actors.  The movie also does a fantastic job at bringing the people who are behind the scenes into the forefront. The title refers to tin in the aircraft skins. Actually, they are made of much more sophisticated materials, but "Pushing Carbon Composites" doesn't sound very sexy. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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The Rage"The Rage:Carrie 2", MGM Studios, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 45 min, Rated R; Emily Bergl, Jason London, Dylan Bruno, J. Smith-Cameron, Amy Irving, Zachery Ty Bryan; Rachel's (Irving) best friend Monica (Blanchard) has just committed suicide. Now she is going to get even, after she enjoys being popular.  By accident, Rachel finds out who caused her friend to take her own life, and reports this to the powers that be.  This finding pointed at a few star football players and a "points" game they have been playing off the field.  To save their futures as star football players, Mark (Bruno) and Eric (Bryan) have devised a plan that will keep them on the gridiron and Rachel in the thralls of popularity.  Rachel quickly forgets about her fallen friend and immediately begins to experience the power of being popular in high school.  Little does Rachel know that the whole thing is a charade.  When this is finally revealed to Rachel in the most embarrassing of ways, the entire school is about to feel the power of Rachel.  While the first "Carrie" film was based on a novel written by Stephen King, the second was written by some folks who apparently lost their train of thought, never to regain it. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Lost and Found"Lost and Found", Warner Bros, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented in measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 39 min, Rated PG-13; David Spade, Sophie Marceau, Patrick Bruel, Artie Lange, Mitchell Whitfield, Martin Sheen;  David Spade, co-star of television's "Just Shoot Me", plays Dylan, a recently singled, down on his luck restaurant owner about to go bust.  Life decides to rub it in a little when the girl of his dreams, Lila (Marceau), moves into his apartment complex.  Instead of sulking in his misfortune, he tries to make his own luck when he dog-naps his new neighbor's pet just to get a chance to talk to her.  However, to make things interesting, Lila's ex-fiancé, Rene (Bruel), arrives from Paris with a suitcase full of heartache in one hand and a bag full of empty promises in the other.  Now Dylan must not only fight to keep his restaurant afloat, but also to win over the girl his dreams.  Although this movie has its moments, it proves that it is possible for a comedian to simply run out of jokes.  David Spade should say, "ba-bye", to the big screen. - Jared Baldwin -

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

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Mallrats"Mallrats", Universal Studios, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.72:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD 5.1, 1 Hr 36 min; Rated R; Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Shannon Doherty, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes; The second in a Director Kevin Smith trilogy including "Clerks" and "Chasing Amy," "Mallrats" has six young adults hiding from their relationship problems by seeking refuge at the local mall where, coincidentally, they reunite into their previous couples. Along the way, Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) work to enjoy themselves in the mall while creating as much mayhem as possible. This time, not even the Easter Bunny is safe. Through Animal House style antics that combine slapstick humor with quasi-intellectual language, our heroes find that what they desire most is the relationship they were hiding from. If you're looking for a generally funny movie, and have no reservations about bad dialogue or terrible acting (something almost inescapable these days with fast food cinema), then "MallRats" is for you. Special features include a wonderful alternate-angle commentary track with director Kevin Smith and some of the cast members, over an hour of deleted scenes (including the senseless original beginning), a featurette, and a host of other treats that will have you running to your nearest mall. - Joseph Caraciolo -

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

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Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me", New Line Productions, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.85:1 (DVD), Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 35 min, Rated PG-13;  Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Verne Troyer, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Rob Lowe, Seth Green; That's right, Dr. Evil (Myers), the most lovable bad guy of all time, is back.  A short time after being thwarted by the insatiable Austin Powers (Myers), Dr. Evil resurfaces with a plan to conquer the Earth once more.  Step one is return to 1969 to steal Austin Power's most prized attribute, his mojo (sexual prowess).  Step two is to hold the world hostage for ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS!  Now Austin Powers must also return to the swinging 60's to defeat Dr. Evil's plan of world domination, not to mention regain his mojo.  This movie has two hilarious characters, Mini-Me (Troyer) and Fat Bastard (Myers too), but one very poor performance by Heather Graham as Austin's love interest, Felicity Shagwell.  The sequel doesn't quite live up to its billing as the second best movie to see this summer, but is still very cool baby. - Jared Baldwin -

 

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

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© Copyright 1999 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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