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VideoView -- UPI Arts & Entertainment

By JACK E. WILKINSON, United Press International   |   May 8, 2003 at 9:45 AM   |   Comments

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

MOVIES

"Analyze That" -- Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal return as the neurotic mob boss and his psyched-out psychiatrist in writer-director Harold Ramis' sequel to their clever 1999 comic hit "Analyze This." DeNiro's Paul Vitti, behind bars at Sing Sing, is doing plenty of singing -- afraid of an assassination plot, he appears to have gone bonkers and spends his waking hours singing the score from "West Side Story." (It's something to watch the weathered mug do "I Feel Pretty.") Unsure whether he's faking, prison officials decide to release him in the custody of his former shrink, Crystal's Dr. Ben Sobel, who doesn't want him but has no choice. Vitti also has to live with the Sobels, which greatly distresses the doc's wife (Lisa Kudrow) and he has to try to find a job, bombing hopelessly at everything he tries. When old buddy Jelly (Joe Viterelli) shows up, it's obvious something devious is being planned. "That" is no "This" though it tries and while sometimes looking like a retread with an iffy plot, it's funny and offers a chance to watch a very talented "odd couple" go at it again. 2002. 95 minutes. Warner Home Video. Rated R (language and some sexual content).


"Talk To Her" -- Spanish writer-director Pedro Almodovar, in his latest, acclaimed work, tells of unusual, obsessive love involving two couples who will never be together in the conventional sense. We first see Bernigno (Javier Camara) and Marco (Dario Grandinetti), two strangers sitting next to one another at a modern dance performance. Bernigno, a nurse, notices Marco crying at the performance and mentions it the next day while caring for the beautiful ballerina Alicia (Lenor Watling) but she doesn't respond because she's in a deep coma after a car crash. The devoted Bernigno is sure she hears all he says and he is with her almost all of the time. Marco meanwhile becomes infatuated with Lydia (Rosario Flores), Spain's foremost female bullfighter, but as they grow close she's badly gored by a bull and is also plunged into a deep coma. Coincidentally, Lydia is hospitalized in the same facility as Alicia and Bernigno and Marco, two very different, very lonely men, become close friends, bonded by a need to communicate with someone. Winner of the Oscar for best original screenplay, the film takes a while to grab hold, but once it does, it doesn't let go. 2002. 112 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. Rated R (nudity, sexual content, some language).


"Equilibrium" -- It's a few years in the future and world leaders have determined that emotions lead to wars and that the only way to have global peace is to outlaw all emotions, all feelings, and by extension all art, literature and music. Even wanting to have a pet puppy can lead to immediate extermination by the super secret police force that patrols the streets looking for those guilty of a "sense offense." Dictators from the right and left, obviously afraid of governing people who think too much, keep everyone on obligatory doses of Prozium, a drug that dampens the emotions and shuts down the sensual side. The top cop is John Preston (Christian Bale), a mighty warrior skilled in all forms of combat, untouchable in the movie's many gunbattles and martial arts duels. But despite his dispassionate demeanor and apparent invincibility, he begins showing signs of being human, especially after skipping his Prozium, and displays a dangerous interest in a condemned woman (Emily Watson) and the aforementioned puppy dog. "Equilibrium" borrows elements from sci-fi epics from "Fahrenheit 451" and "1984" to "The Matrix" and generally comes off well. 2002. 107 minutes. Dimension Home Video. Rated R (violence).


"Comedian" -- Watching this revealing documentary about Jerry Steinfeld and what it takes to do standup comedy, one must ask why this famous, very wealthy man who starred in one of the most popular TV sitcoms of all time is going through the agony again to re-establish himself as a club comic. He has, after all, been there, done that. Yet, there he is, in Cleveland, starting from scratch again with new material, joking with the audience but struggling. During one session he gets off track and just stands there, starring into space, trying to remember where he was headed. Finally, a woman in the audience breaks the silence by asking, "Is this your first gig?" Steinfeld and his fellow comics parade on stage and off, agonizing before and after about what they said, what they meant to say, etc. Even for a big star like Steinfeld stand-up comedy can be a knock-down proposition. 2002. 81 minutes. Miramax Home Entertainment. Rated R (for language).


"Hot Chick" -- Rob Schneider plays a crook named Clive who, through an ancient spell, accidentally swaps bodies with a pretty teenage cheerleader named Jessica (Rachel McAdams) in this crude gender-shifting satire. Now, this ugly 30-something man with Jessica inside has to try to convince fellow students he's really she though being crowned prom queen will be somewhat of a stretch. And, Jessica, with Clive inside, becomes a stripper and hooker who preys on johns. Mostly vulgar humor, overall not so hot. 2002. 101 minutes. Touchstone Home Video. Rated PG-13 (crude, sexual humor, language and drug references).


VIDBITS

Coming up:"Antwone Fisher," "Adaptation," "25thHour," "Star Trek: Nemesis" and "Atlantis: Milo's Return"... "Drumline" continues its steady beat atop the nation's video rental charts this week, joined by newcomer "Darkness Falls"...


Indiana Jones is at last coming to DVD with a wise eye on the lucrative holiday season. Paramount has announced the Nov. 4 release of "The Adventures of Indiana Jones -- The Complete DVD Movie Collection," a four-disc set that includes the three movies in the Harrison Ford adventure series --"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981), "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984) and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989) -- plus a bonus disc loaded with extras...


New on DVD:

Roland Joffe's sweeping historical spectacle "The Mission" (1986, Warner), starring Robert DeNiro, Jeremy Irons and Liam Nesson, is bowing on DVD in a two-disc set... "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980, Universal), one of Hollywood's best musical biopics ever, stars Sissy Spacek in her gutsy Oscar-winning performance as country music legend Loretta Lynn...

James Stewart is the peace-loving sheriff who tames a town without violence and tangles with boisterous dancehall girl Marlene Dietrich in the classic Western "Destry Rides Again" (1939, Universal)... Pierce Brosnan, whose latest James Bond caper, "Die Another Day" is due on video June 3, is showcased by New Line in a pair of DVD action adventures from a decade ago, "Detonator" (1993) and "Live Wire" (1992)...

The lavish A&E production of "Napoleon" that aired recently on cable TV is back as a three-disc DVD set and a four-volume VHS edition, starring Christian Clavier, John Malkovich, Isabella Rosselini and Anouk Akimee.

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