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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 59 - February, 2000

Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

 

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"The 13th Warrior", Touchstone Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.27:1, DD, 1 Hr 43 min, Rated R; Antonio Banderas, Diane Venora, Omar Sharif;  Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan (Banderas), an Arabian messenger, is banished from his homeland, and when he joins a band of Norsemen, he is "drafted" as the 13th warrior to help them fight the Wendol, which is a tribe of men who eat their victims. Although it sounds like a good plot, and the movie is replete with mudslinging, sword swinging action, the story is poorly told. I haven't read the book, but if it is as disjointed as the movie, it would be put away after reading about 10 pages. Action director John McTiernan is a superb talent, however, and the DVD is worth renting. There is so much action, in fact, the Chiropractor actually gets some exposure when the credits roll! - JEJ -

Entertainment: ***
Video Quality: *****
Audio: ****
Photography: ****
Violence: graphically brutal
Sex: no
Language: no

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Stir of Echoes"Stir of Echoes", Artisan Entertainment, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.71:1 (DVD), DD, 1 Hr 34 min, Rated R; Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas, Kevin Dunne; In a suburb of Chicago, telephone lineman Tom Witzky (Bacon) just enjoys his beer and football games. One night at a party, friend Lisa (Douglas) hypnotizes Tom for the fun of it. As a result, Tom has hallucinations about all sorts of past and future life events, including the murder of a neighborhood girl who disappeared six months ago. Although Tom hates the visions, he cannot escape the incredible urge to follow the directions of one of the ghosts who visits him, and he discovers a terrible secret about the house he lives in. The movie is similar to "The Sixth Sense" in theme, and it works very well. I am not a big fan of ghost stories, but I liked this one. - JEJ -

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

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Made Men"Made Men", Decade Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.73:1 (DVD), DD, 1 Hr 31 min, Rated R; James Belushi, Michael Beach, Timothy Dalton; Bill Menuchi (Belushi) is a participant in the witness protection program, but unfortunately, the bad guys know where he is, and they also know he took $12,000,000 from them. So, they send some goons to beat the information out of him, after which, they plan to make Bill to disappear . . . permanently. The local Sheriff (Dalton) is no help, because he would like a piece of the money too. Not only that, but he is messing around with Bill's wife on the side. This, along with a big meth-amphetamine lab in the cornfields sets the stage for lots of pyrotechnics and exit wounds. Too bad that's all there is to this movie. - JEJ -

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

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Blue Streak"Blue Streak", Columbia Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.78:1 (DVD), DD, 1 Hr 34 min, Rated PG-13; Martin Lawrence, Luke Wilson, Dave Chappelle, Peter Greene, William Forsythe; Miles Logan (Lawrence) is the ringleader in a group that pulls off a jewel heist. The robbery goes awry and Miles has to hide the diamond in a heating duct across the street where a new building is going up. He is caught and sent to prison. When he gets out 2 years later, he goes back to retrieve the diamond, but finds that the building is now a Police Headquarters, and the heating duct is part of the Robbery - Homicide Department on an upper floor. So, he pretends to be a new Detective sent to fill a vacancy in the Police Department, and between the times he is being sent out on duty, he tries to get into the duct to get the diamond back. So, that is the plot, and it reminds me of "Beverly Hills Cop", sort of. Lawrence is very funny, like Eddie Murphy, sort of. - JEJ -

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

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Tarzan"Tarzan", Walt Disney Pictures, 1999, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio 1.71:1 (DVD), DD, 1 Hr 28 min, Rated G; Animation, voices of Rosie O'Donnell, Minnie Driver, Lance Henriksen; The classic tale of a little boy raised by gorillas comes to life again, this time animated by Walt Disney Studios. O'Donnell steals the show as Terk, the gorilla about the same age as Tarzan. It is a thoroughly entertaining motion picture, with great music by Phil Collins. And it goes to prove that nobody animates like Disney. This is one DVD that is a must-purchase for family enjoyment, over and over again. - JEJ -

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

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Copyright 2000 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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