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Video / DVD

New releases

A look at what's hitting the shelves this week

By Times Staff
Published February 17, 2005


The Motorcycle Diaries

DIRECTOR: Walter Salles

CAST: Gael Garcia Bernal, Jaime Azocar, Rodrigo De la Serna

SYNOPSIS: Future political figure Ernesto "Che" Guevara (Bernal) embarks on a South American odyssey that fuels his revolutionary spirit. Nominated for Academy Awards for adapted screenplay and original song.

WHAT WE SAID: St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall gave the film an A-. "Filmmakers would be more naturally drawn to the latter, dangerous days of Guevara," Persall wrote. "Salles bravely goes the other route, depicting when and how the fuse of revolution was ignited. You don't have to agree with Guevara's politics to admire his personal strength. The Motorcycle Diaries may even inspire younger viewers to assess their own potential to shape the world, and older ones to wonder why they didn't. That's a lot to ask from any film, but Salles delivers."

MPAA RATING: R; profanity, mature themes, brief sensuality

RUNNING TIME: 128 min.

Raise Your Voice

DIRECTOR: Sean McNamara

CAST: Hilary Duff, Jason Ritter, John Corbett, Rebecca De Mornay, Oliver James, David Keith, Rita Wilson

SYNOPSIS: A small-town girl (Duff) attends a performing arts summer school in Los Angeles. Romance, jealousy and musical interludes ensue.

WHAT WE SAID: Persall did not review this film. The Times teen critic Billy Norris gave the movie a C-. "It has all the ingredients of the typical teen movie: the clown, the love interest, the bitter ex-girlfriend, etc.," Norris wrote. "There is nothing here to draw the attention of older teens and adults. . . . Tweens and young teens will be delighted, but that's about it."

MPAA RATING: PG; thematic elements and language

RUNNING TIME: 100 min.

Saw

DIRECTOR: James Wan

CAST: Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith, Leigh Whannell

SYNOPSIS: Two men (Elwes, Whannell) trapped by a serial killer have only one way out and it isn't pretty.

WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave the movie an F. "This is a grotesque quasi-snuff film that stoops to unusually low levels of violent depravity," he wrote. "Saw is bad filmmaking but, more important, it's bad humanity, first for its grisly themes and then for the filmmaker's disregard of viewers' humanity. This movie merely panders to the ghouls."

MPAA RATING: R

RUNNING TIME: 100 min.

Taxi

DIRECTOR: Tim Story

CAST: Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Esposito, Gisele Bundchen, Ann-Margret, Henry Simmons

SYNOPSIS: A New York cop (Fallon) and a tough-talking cab driver (Latifah) pursue supermodels who rob banks.

WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave the movie a D. "Everyone plods through the obligatory explosions and gunfights, car wrecks that went out of style 20 years ago, and a brush with laughing gas when it's the audience that could use it. Tired stuff, and neither Fallon nor Latifah attempt anything to freshen it up," he wrote.

MPAA RATING: PG-13; profanity, sensuality, brief violence

RUNNING TIME: 97 min.

The Yes Men

DIRECTORS: Dan Ollman, Sarah Price, Chris Smith

CAST: Phil Bayly, Andreas Bichlbauer, Andy Bichlbaum, Mike Bonanno

SYNOPSIS: Two pranksters pose as World Trade Organization representatives to protest corporate influence in international affairs.

WHAT WE SAID: The Times did not review this film.

MPAA RATING: R; language

RUNNING TIME: 83 min.

[Last modified February 16, 2005, 15:02:33]


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