VideoView -- UPI Arts & Entertainment

By JACK E. WILKINSON, United Press International   |   May 30, 2002 at 11:20 AM

What's new in the world of video...


"The Mothman Prophesies" -- Richard Gere plays a Washington Post reporter caught up in strange happenings in this compelling and suspenseful supernatural thriller. Gere's character, John Klein, has just lost his wife in a car crash caused when a giant moth apparition averted her attention. She left behind crude drawings of a dark-winged man-creature. Two years later, not long after midnight, Klein is on his way to an assignment in Richmond, Va., when his car breaks down and, looking for help, is confronted by an angry man who accuses him of stalking him the past three nights. It's then that he realizes he's in Point Pleasant, W. Va., but has absolutely no idea how he got there, hundreds of miles out of the way. While trying to find his way out of this "twilight zone," Klein is filled in by local cop Connie Mills (Laura Linney) about weird goings-on among some residents; the "mothman" apparently has been to see them, too, each time as a prophet of doom. After considerable investigation, strange voices and other oddities, it's a mysterious prophesy that leads to the chilling finale, Director Mark Pellington's splendid climactic staging of a true-life major disaster. 2002. 119 minutes. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. Rated PG-13 (terror, some sexuality and language).

"Born Romantic" -- This light and likable British yarn follows three loosely connected romantic stories set against the backdrop of a London salsa club that's visited by the six main characters. Fergus (David Morrissey) is an ex-musician trying to rekindle his romance with Mo (Jane Horrocks), a woman he jilted eight years ago. Eddie (Jimi Mistry), an inept, dyslexic thief, unexpectedly falls for shy Jocelyn (Catherine McCormack). And Frankie (Craig Ferguson) wants the aloof Eleanor (Olivia Williams), who doesn't want him. There are some funny lines and the characters are easy to take. And so is the music. 2000. 95 minutes. MGM Home Entertainment. Rated R (Language and sexuality).

"Five Aces" -- With his wedding day approaching, Chris (Charlie Sheen) returns home for a reunion with his old high school buddies. They used to be known as the Five Aces, but most of them, as it turns out, felt they got a bum deal from life and waste no time in testing Chris' resolve with horror stories about failed marriages. Behind all the talk, however, come thoughts of what might have been. Not great but not bad. 1999. 100 minutes. Fox Home Entertainment. Rated R (language, some sexual content).


Coming up: a June 11 variety pack, something for everyone: "Black Hawk Down," "Monster's Ball," "Kate and Leopold" and, from Brazil, "Behind the Sun"... On June 25, the Oscar-winner, "A Beautiful Mind," a runnerup, "Gosford Park" plus "A Rumor of Angels"... And, coming June 18, "The Shipping News," "I Am Sam," "The Majestic," "Rollerball" and "Max Keeble's Big Move"...

"Ocean's Eleven" tops the video rental chart for another week... The rumor mill has "Spider-Man" and "Star Wars Episode 1: Attack of the Clones" headed for video in November in time for the holidays... One report has a three-disc DVD special edition of "E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial" set for Oct. 22...

New on DVD: Paul Newman and Blake Edwards.

Newman ran the table in "The Hustler" (Fox, 1961) with an excellent portrayal of "Fast Eddie" Felson, a cocky, self-destructive pool hall drifter gunning for his hero, the legendary pool shark Minnesota Fats, played expertly by Jackie Gleason, a man with a mean cue, himself. "You shoot a good stick, kid," the old pro compliments the arrogant young hustler who doesn't know when to rack 'em up. A memorable, seamy movie, shot in stark black and white with great atmosphere. DVD extras include a demonstration by trick pool shot artist Mike Massey on how some of those fancy shots in the film were made. Also just out on DVD two other Newman nifties: "The Verdict" (1981), with another Oscar-worthy performance as an on-the-skids lawyer rising to a major challenge, and the gritty Western "Hombre" (1967)...

Edwards' wild and wacky "S.O.B." (Warner, 1981) paints a blistering satire of Hollywood where rulers of that magic kingdom are interested only in money, fame and debauchery. Distraught director Felix Farmer (Richard Mulligan), after a string of hits has an expensive flop on his hands and the vultures are circling. To save his movie, a frothy musical starring his popular, seemingly wholesome wife (Julie Andrews), he decides to reshoot it as an adult erotic fantasy. And, yes, this is the movie where, shockingly, Mary Poppins goes topless. Other Edwards comedies newly released on DVD for the first time include "The Great Race," "Victor/Victoria" and "Skin Deep"...

Along kid row: With a live action version of Scooby-Doo coming to the big screen this summer, Warner Home Video has brought out four new DVD's of the animated television series, "Scooby-Doo's Original Mysteries," among them the series pilot "Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School"...

One of the best spoofs of "Star Wars" was 1977's "Hardware Wars," now on DVD, featuring such characters as Fluke Starbucker, Ham Salad, Augie Ben Doggie and Princess Anne-Droid.

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