Written by: Skip Woods Directed by: Dominic Sena Starring: John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle, Vinnie Jones
My Advice: Matinee.
Gabriel (Travolta) is a man with a mission. Suffice to say that mission involves a lot of guns, cigars, high speed chases, and Halle Berry topless. But of course, those are the elements of all good missions. Anyway, the one thing this mission is lacking is a world-class hacker. Gabriel finds one in Stanley (Jackman), a burnt-out computer cowboy with an ex-wife and a daughter living in stepfatherly hell. Gabriel has something up his sleeve you see, and it involves a lot of money and an intricate plan to get at it. Hot on the trail of everybody is Agent Roberts (Cheadle). And of course, Vinnie Jones is quickly becoming the Danny Trejo of the next millennium.
Written & Directed by: Steve Gordon Starring: Dudley Moore, Liza Minelli, John Gielgud, Geraldine Fitzergerald, Ted Ross
“Behind the Scenes” information
Released by: Warner Brothers Region: 1 Rating: PG Anamorphic: Hell no.
My Advice: Avoid it because of the crappy DVD presentation.
Arthur Bach (Moore) is a millionaire playboy. He’s also a drunk and an embarrassment to his family. Constantly going out at night, picking up hookers and bringing them home to his stately manor–he keeps winding up in the papers. It’s only through the efforts of his manservant Hobson (Gielgud) that you imagine he’s survived this long. But hey, he’s enjoying life, he’s about to get married to a wonderfully rich girl, and he’s got fifty pairs of short pants hanging in his closet. What could possibly go wrong? Well, he just might slip up and fall in love with the wrong girl for his family, but the right one for him.
Written & Directed by: Guy Ritchie Starring: Nick Moran, Jason Flemyng, Jason Statham, Dexter Fletcher, Vinnie Jones
U.S. & U.K. theatrical trailers
Cast & crew bios
Cockney rhyming dictionary
Released by: Universal Region: 1 Rating: R Anamorphic: No
My Advice: Rent it.
It seemed like the perfect plan. Four friends decide to pool their resources and give the card playing prodigy among them, Eddie (Moran), the chance to win at high stakes poker. Unfortunately, like most perfect plans, the thing goes right into the toilet, threatening to drag all four of them down, taking Eddie’s dad (Sting) and most of the neighborhood with them.
Written by: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Roger S.H. Schulman & Joe Stillman, based on the book by William Steig Directed by: Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow
My Advice: Matinee
Shrek (voiced by Myers) is an ogre who lives a pretty good life. He has his own swamp to live in, mud to wash himself with, and villagers to terrify. Farquaad (voiced by Lithgow) is lord of the nearby lands, and wants to create the perfect realm for himself. In order to do so, he forces all of the fairytale creatures out, relocating them right onto Shrek’s doorstep. Now all Farquaad needs is a bride, and guess who shows up in time to strike a deal to get him one?
Developer: Croteam Publisher: Gathering of Developers Platform: Win 95/98/Me ESRB Rating: M (Blood & Gore, Violence)
First off, don’t worry if you haven’t played the first Serious Sam. I hadn’t and it’s not necessary. Second, while it’s called Serious Sam, the game is in fact, very silly. The chainsaw-wielding maniacs with jack-o-lantern heads are a big clue. There is a plot, but it’s not that important to your gaming experience. You’re killing alien invaders in pre-Columbian South America, ancient Babylon, and medieval Europe. And killing lots and lots of alien baddies. Did I mention the killing?
On paper, Serious Sam 2 sounds like another Duke Nukem clone. Clearing levels of bad guys, picking up keys, ammo, and power ups, and taking out the boss creature at the end while talking trash. However, within that formula the development team from Croatia (yes, Croatia, really) has worked in a lot of originality and style. The enemies have definite attack strategies that require the player to use the various moves and weapons available. And their design runs the gamut from silly (the above mentioned pumpkin-headed maniacs with chainsaws) to the scary (bigass demons that toss massive fireballs at you).
Written by: William Broyles, Jr. Directed by: Robert Zemeckis Starring: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Nick Searcy, Christopher Noth
My Advice: Wait and Rent It.
Chuck Noland (Hanks) is an efficiency expert for Federal Express. He travels around the world, preaching the doctrine that no time should be wasted. For Noland, speed is all that separates FedEx from becoming the Postal Service. So wrapped up is he in his career that many times his relationship with his fiancee, Kelly (Hunt), takes a back seat. During the holidays, he is called overseas to handle an efficiency emergency for the company. But he never reaches his destination. Due to a fairly spectacular plane crash, he finds himself washed up on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. His chances for rescue slim to none, he must find a way to stay alive, despite the odds being stacked against him.
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki, translated into English by Neil Gaiman Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki Starring: Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton, Gillian Anderson
Released by: Miramax Region: 1 Rating: NR Anamorphic: Yes.
My Advice: Own it.
When a demon invades his village and sets in motion events that are certain to eventually claim his life, Ashitaka (voiced by Crudup), must accept his destiny and go forth to find the origins of the demon and end the evil. On his journey he meets the beautiful yet savage San (voiced by Danes), who, with her family of wolves, is at war with the Lady Eboshi (voiced by Driver). Eboshi wants all the wilderness destroyed so she can mine for iron ore, whereas San is the forest’s protector. They want to kill each other. Out of all of this conflict, Ashitaka must somehow find a way to bring all the sides in this war to peace–lest no one survive.
Written and Directed by: Cameron Crowe Starring: Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Philip Seymour Hoffman
My Advice: Don’t Miss It.
William Miller (Fugit) is a young aspiring writer who is given music by his sister (Zooey Deschanel) as a parting gift when she runs off with her boyfriend to escape their mother (McDormand), who isn’t exactly domineering–let’s just say she cares a lot. He takes the music and makes it his life, and at the age of fifteen, William meets Lester Bangs (Hoffman). Bangs, an editor for Creem magazine gives William his first assignment–to write an article on Black Sabbath. While trying to get into the concert, he meets not only the band Stillwater but also their lead “band-aid”, Penny Lane (Hudson). His relationships with Lane, the band, and music journalism all come to a head as this young man comes of age on Stillwater’s tour.