Video / DVD
A look at what's coming to the shelves next week
By Times Staff
Published June 30, 2005
DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN
DIRECTOR: Darren Grant
CAST: Kimberly Elise, Steve Harris, Tyler Perry, Shemar Moore, Cicely Tyson, Tamara Taylor, Lisa Marcos
SYNOPSIS: Blend of crude humor and religious piety, in which a wife (Kimberly Elise) begins a new life after her husband cheats.
WHAT WE SAID: St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall gave the movie a C. "The movie is a bit of a mess, a lumpy mixture of soap opera hysterics, Big Momma's House buffoonery and B movie vices, with a generous topping of Bible-thumping salvation," he wrote. "I think Perry could make a compelling religious film, a solid comedy, a feminist rouser or a gritty thriller. But he shouldn't try to do them all at once."
MPAA RATING: PG-13; crude humor, drug abuse, sexual references, profanity, domestic violence
RUNNING TIME: 117 min.
DIRECTOR: Adam Shankman
CAST: Vin Diesel, Lauren Graham, Faith Ford, Brittany Snow, Max Thieriot, Chris Potter, Carol Kane, Brad Garrett, Morgan York, Keegan and Logan Hoover, and Bo and Luke Vink
SYNOPSIS: Action star Diesel goes the family-film route, playing a special operations commando who protects the children of a murdered scientist.
WHAT WE SAID: Times reviewer Philip Booth gave the movie a C. "It's not exactly the year's riskiest concept for a family movie: Drop a beefy tough guy into a houseful of bratty children, including a pair of impudent teenagers and an infant with a talent for projectile vomiting. Have the macho man encounter dirty diapers, baby bottles, bedtime stories, a little girl's bicycle and the emotional crises of the older kids. Watch as hilarity ensues, followed by much tugging of heartstrings," he wrote. "Diesel, unfortunately, doesn't demonstrate any greater emotional range than he did in The Fast and the Furious, Triple X or The Chronicles of Riddick."
MPAA RATING: PG
RUNNING TIME: 93 min.
DIRECTOR: Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker
SYNOPSIS: Documentary filmmaker Michael Tucker spent weeks with a U.S. Army unit patrolling Baghdad, revealing the soldiers' dangerous jobs and irreverent ways off-duty.
WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave the film an A-. "This is an astonishingly balanced film for such a divisive subject, focusing on soldiers rather than politicians, more interested in what happens in Iraq than whether we should be there," he wrote. "The movie's strength of impartiality also creates a weakness of dramatic effect. Tucker's catch-as-catch-can method doesn't allow him much chance to trace entire stories, and some questions raised by the footage are unanswered. There's no arc of storytelling, just a scrapbook impression of war. But the random, unresolved nature of Gunner Palace somehow suits its subject."
MPAA RATING: PG-13; for strong language throughout, violent situations and some drug references. The rating was changed from an R after an appeal to the MPAA board.
RUNNING TIME: 86 min.
DIRECTOR: Simon Fellows
CAST: Wesley Snipes, Tamzin Outhwaite, Tamer Hassan, Pete Lee-Wilson, Dhobi Oparei
SYNOPSIS: Two thieves accidentally steal a Van Gogh, and one is kidnapped by gangsters trying to get the painting. The other tries to rescue his partner.
WHAT WE SAID: The Times did not review this movie, which was released straight to home video.
MPAA RATING: R; language, violence and brief sexuality
RUNNING TIME: 101 min.
TV ON DVD
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Indecision 2004 . . . The Doris Day Show, season 1 . . . Homicide: Life on the Street, season 7 . . . La Femme Nikita, season 3 . . . Revelations . . . Touch of Frost, season 6 . . . The Twilight Zone, season 3 . . . The Twilight Zone, seasons 2 and 3.
[Last modified June 29, 2005, 09:43:07]
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