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Movie Renter's Guide

Current Movies - Part 33 - December, 1997


Staff

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Ratings:
Extraordinary
Good
Acceptable
Mediocre
Poor

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Men in Black"Men in Black", Columbia Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 1.78:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 38 min, Rated PG-13; Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino; In the middle of the night on a lonely road near the American/Mexican border, police stop a truck full of illegal immigrants. Special Agent "K" (Jones) takes charge and uncovers an interstellar alien. He invites Jim Edwards (Smith) of the New York Police Department to join him as one of the Men in Black, whose job is to protect earth from outerspace beings. Edwards accepts and becomes "J". An alien lands on a farm, and it takes over the body of the farmer. He searches for the "good" aliens in New York, wanting to destroy them. "K" and "J" have to find him in time to save earth from destruction. Toung-in-cheek all the way, this movie is a combination of "Ghost Busters", "Mars Attacks", and Cow Dung of the Third Kind. - JEJ -

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

 

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Romy and Michele"Romy and Michele's High School Reunion", Touchstone Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 1.78:1, Surround Sound, DD, 1 Hr 32 min, Rated R; Mira Sorvino, Lisa Kudrow; Ten years after they graduated from high school, Romy (Sorvino) and Michele (Kudrow) are invited to their high school reunion. Romy is a cashier, and Michele is unemployed. In order to impress their old high school chums, they invent a successful career for themselves, and set off for Tucson, Arizona. Unfortunately, a jealous former classmate knows what Romy and Michele are up to, and lets the cat out of the bag. The film is a combination of "Clueless" and "Dumb and Dumber", but isn't as ingenuous as the former, nor is it as slapstick as the latter. - JEJ -

Entertainment: ***
Video Quality: ****
Audio: ***
Photography: ****
Violence: no
Sex: reference
Language: vulgar

 

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My Best Friend's Wedding"My Best Friend's Wedding", TriStar, 1997, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.37:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), 1 Hr 45 min, Rated PG-13; Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz; Julianne (Roberts) and Michael (Mulroney) were lovers years ago and are now just friends who confide in each other about everything. Mike calls Julianne and tells her he is about to get married to someone named Kimmy (Diaz). Suddenly, Julianne decides she wants to marry him herself, and sets out to break up the engagement. With help from another friend, she pretends to be engaged so she can make him jealous. Other antics ensue, and the ending is surprising. - JEJ -

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

 

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Night Falls on Manhattan"Night Falls on Manhattan", Spelling Films, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 1.81:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), 1 Hr 44 min, Rated R; Andy Garcia, Richard Dreyfuss, Leno Olin, Ian Holm; Sean Casey (Garcia) is an Assistant DA in New York City, and gets the chance to prosecute a local drug dealer, defended by Sam Bagoda (Dreyfuss). He succeeds, and when the DA becomes ill, he is nominated to run for the office of DA himself. He wins, and then finds that widespread police corruption exists, and even his policeman father Lliam (Holm) may be involved. The movie is fast paced, with good action and dialogue. - JEJ -

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

 

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George of the Jungle"George of the Jungle", Walt Disney Pictures, 1997, Color, Filmed spherically and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 1.33:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), 1 Hr 30 min; Rated PG; Brendan Fraser, Leslie Mann; In this "Rocky and Bullwinkle" version of Tarzan, it is George Primate (Fraser) who is cast into the jungle as a baby, to be raised by gorillas, one of whom speaks and wonders what happened to his egg timer. Instead of Jane, it is Ursula Stanhope (Mann) who finds him as an adult. At first, George thinks Ursula is a fella, although an unusual one, and then finds that she is much more interesting. She brings him to San Francisco, where she was engaged to marry stuffy old Lyle Van de Groot, but ends up with the king of the jungle instead. This film is nothing but silliness (but good natured silliness), and is strictly for the kids. - JEJ -

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

 

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Contact"Contact", Warner Brothers, 1997, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (DVD) 2.32:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), 2 Hr 30 min; Rated PG; Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods; Dr. Ellie Arroway (Foster) spends her time listening to high frequency radio signals from deep space, hoping to receive messages from life on other worlds. Her friend Palmer Joss (McConaughey) disagrees with pure science, and believes we should take the great unknown on faith, rather than trying to search for empirical truth. Meanwhile, the National Science Foundation cuts the funding for her project. Suddenly, the gigahertz airwaves are alive with signals from Vega star system, and she decodes the messages as a blueprint for space/time travel. All the governments of the world pay to have the ship built, and she is selected as the person to go. The film revolves around the old controversy as to whether or not science and religion are mutually exclusive. It is very well done, but you will appreciate it more if you are interested in astronomical science. The advantages this movie has over other such stories is that it was written by a genius (Carl Sagan), directed by a genius (Robert Zemeckis), and has lots of very fine actors. - JEJ -

 

Entertainment: *****
Video Quality: *****
Audio: ***
Photography: *****
Violence: yes
Sex: sensuality
Language: the "S" word

 

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Face/Off"Face/Off", Paramount, 1997, Color, Filmed in Panavision and presented at measured aspect ratio (laserdisc) 2.27:1, Surround Sound, DD (AC-3), THX, 2 Hr 20 min; Rated R; John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Gina Gershon; FBI Officer Sean Archer (Travolta) is obsessed with capturing terrorist Castor Troy (Cage), since Troy was responsible for his son's murder. Sean finally captures Castor, but his brother has planted a bomb that will go off in one week. In order to get the information from the brother, who is now in prison, Sean goes through unusual surgery to transfer Castor's face to his own. Castor wakes up and transfer's Sean's face to himself, kills the scientific staff who knows about the surgery, pardons his brother, and takes over Sean's life. Meanwhile, Sean, with Castor's face, must escape the prison to unmask the imposter. The motion picture is one big chase scene after another, and WOW, they are really something. There is no question that John Woo is one of the very finest action directors in Hollywood. - JEJ -

 

Entertainment: ****
Video Quality: ****
Audio: *** Not enough use of the rear surround
Photography: *****
Violence: yes
Sex: no
Language: the "F" and "S" words


Copyright 1997 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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