Video / DVD
A look at what's hitting the shelves
By Times Staff
Published January 19, 2006
Lord of War
DIRECTOR: Andrew Niccol
CAST: Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Ethan Hawke, Bridget Moynahan, Eamonn Walker, Sammi Rotibi
SYNOPSIS: The rise and fall of an international gunrunner named Yuri (Cage) at political hot spots worldwide.
WHAT WE SAID: St. Petersburg Times film critic Steve Persall gave the movie an A-. "Lord of War is a thinking person's action flick, written and directed with equal flair by Andrew Niccol," he wrote. "The Die Hard crowd can easily love it - or anything with gun powder - and those thrilled by Niccol's trenchant themes in writing The Truman Show, The Terminal and Gattaca will be rewarded again. Tough messages lurk beneath the fun mayhem, as political dynamics allowing people like Yuri to exist in real life are exposed."
MPAA RATING: R; strong violence, harsh profanity, drug abuse, sexual situations, nudity
RUNNING TIME: 122 min.
Two for the Money
DIRECTOR: D.J. Caruso
CAST: Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Jeremy Piven, Armand Assante, Jaime King
SYNOPSIS: A former football star (McConaughey) picks winners for a sports-betting mogul (Pacino).
WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave the movie a D. "Two for the Money could be subtitled The Devil's Bookie, since Al Pacino again takes a flamethrower to subtlety while making a Faustian deal," he wrote. "Matthew McConaughey may be the only actor who seems more likely to fall for it than Keanu Reeves did in The Devil's Advocate."
MPAA RATING: R; strong profanity, brief nudity, sensuality
RUNNING TIME: 120 min.
DIRECTOR: Marcos Siega
CAST: Nick Cannon, Shawn Ashmore, Roselyn Sanchez, Cheech Marin, Hugh Bonneville, Kelly Hu, Angelo Spizzirri, Johnny K. Lewis
SYNOPSIS: Bicycle patrol officer (Cannon) goes undercover at a prep school to stop a car theft ring, a murder and a drug-running operation.
WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave the movie a D. "Underclassman plays like a Disney Channel movie with guns and diarrhea gags," he wrote. "Cannon has a nice screen presence, kind of Will Smith lite, but has no business yet in this kind of action role."
MPAA RATING: PG-13; violence, profanity, sexual situations, drug content, teen alcohol abuse
RUNNING TIME: 98 min.
DIRECTOR: Jim Gillespie
CAST: Agnes Bruckner, Method Man, Bijou Phillips, D.J. Cotrona, Jonathan Jackson, Meagan Good
SYNOPSIS: Teenagers are chased through Louisiana swamps by Mr. Jangles, whose claim to infamy is being possessed by 13 evil souls.
WHAT WE SAID: The Times did not review this film.
MPAA RATING: R; strong horror violence/gore and language
RUNNING TIME: 85 min.
DIRECTOR: Les Mayfield
CAST: Samuel L. Jackson, Eugene Levy, Miguel Ferrer, Luke Goss, Anthony Mackie, Susie Essman, Horatio Sanz, Rachael Crawford
SYNOPSIS: Tough detective (Samuel L. Jackson) is paired with a meek salesman (Eugene Levy) to investigate the murder of his partner.
WHAT WE SAID: Times reviewer Rick Gershman gave the movie a D. "Seems like the makers of The Man figured Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy could bring something new to action-comedy, but the pairing is so unlikely it somehow comes all the way back around to being obvious," he wrote. " Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte, we've never missed you more."
MPAA RATING: PG-13; language, violence
RUNNING TIME: 83 min.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
DIRECTOR: Alex Gibney
CAST: Peter Coyote, narrator
SYNOPSIS: Documentary filmmaker Gibney traces the corporate scam of the century. Based on the book by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind.
WHAT WE SAID: Times reviewer Philip Booth gave the film a B+. "So the nasty saga is familiar," he wrote. "Gibney nevertheless manages to create a true-life horror tale from the events."
MPAA RATING: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 110 min.
DIRECTOR: David Mackenzie
CAST: Ian McKellen, Natasha Richardson, Hugh Bonneville, Marton Csokas, Natasha Richardson, Sean Harris, Amy Horton, Rhydian Jones, Peter Yates
SYNOPSIS: Repressed 1950s wife (Richardson) of a psychologist falls in lust with one of his patients (Csokas).
WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave the film a C-. "Asylum begins as a nicely detailed period drama, " he wrote. "Then it devolves into softcore porn, and finally into an unintentional parody of feminism-tinged period pieces like Far From Heaven."
MPAA RATING: R; strong sexuality, some violence and brief language
RUNNING TIME: 99 min.
DIRECTOR: Phil Morrison
CAST: Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, Ben McKenzie, Alessandro Nivola, Frank Hoyt Taylor, Celia Weston, Scott Wilson
SYNOPSIS: Embeth Davidtz plays an art merchant visiting her husband's kin in North Carolina.
WHAT WE SAID: Persall gave the film a B. "Junebug is almost too subdued to be liked," he wrote. "Yet something kept pulling me back, not a grandly dramatic moment or surprising twist, but a suspicion that one was always around the corner. By the end of the film, what Junebug means still isn't clear, but its captivating effect lingers."
MPAA RATING: R; sexual content and language
RUNNING TIME: 107 min.
[Last modified January 18, 2006, 16:49:45]
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