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VideoView -- UPI Arts & Entertainment

By
JACK E. WILKINSON, United Press International

, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- What's new on the home video scene...

MOVIES

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"Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas" -- A massive holiday hit at the box office last year, Ron Howard's festive fable based on the beloved Dr. Seuss children's book reappears on video for this holiday season. Chances are, the response will be pretty much the same. Narrated soothingly by Anthony Hopkins, the live-action tale centers on Whoville, a happy hamlet where everyone is busily getting ready for Christmas. Everyone, that is, except the town outcast, the bitter, green and fuzzy Grinch, more a What than a Who, played with his usual giddy abandonment by Jim Carrey. This rubber-faced Grinch lives as a recluse atop a garbage mountain, loves to scare kids -- there's nothing like saying "Boo" to a Who -- and flat-out hates Christmas. As we learn, that's due largely to an unhappy childhood and not just because his heart is "two sizes too small." Taking all he can of this intensive holiday frivolity, the mean ol' Grinch plots a plot to ruin Christmas for all the Whozits. It takes an angelic little girl (Taylor Momsen) to show him that it's no fun being Scrooge. Carrey's a hoot, more silly than scary, still recognizable under all that makeup and making the most of it, his frantic antics generally working pretty well alongside Suess' sing-song poetry. A bit overblown but solid family entertainment. 2000. 104 minutes. Universal Studios Home Video. Rated PG.

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"Planet Of The Apes" -- Director Tim Burton doesn't call his film a "remake" of its famous 1968 predecessor but rather a "reimagination," one that while similar to the earlier work and obviously pays homage to it, heads down many different paths. Set in the year 2029, the premise is basically the same: an astronaut, Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg), is caught in a time warp and thrown far into the future where he crash lands on a planet run by brutal, human-like apes running roughshod over enslaved, primitive humans. The allegorical notion of racism and intolerance is still there as well, though soft-pedaled. Much of the rest is different from the original as Leo is attracted to the simian daughter (Helene Bonham Carter) of an influential senator and eventually leads a small band of humans and apes toward freedom and a surprise ending. Tim Roth is menacing as the fierce ape general and Charlton Heston, star of the original, shows up in a cameo as an ape with, what else, a gun. While this could have been better and lacks the overall punch of its inspiration, drenched in a sea of sequels, it is quite entertaining on its own and a visual treat. 2001. 119 minutes. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Rated PG-13 (some sequences of action/violence).

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"The Point Men" -- Israeli secret service agent Tony Eckhardt (Christopher Lambert) is assigned to track down and assassinate Amar (Vincent Regan), a vicious Palestinian terrorist threatening the Middle East peace process in this violent action thriller. But the mission fails and Tony and his men are disgraced and demoted. No one believes Tony that it was all a setup, as Amer goes about his merry murderous way, so he does what all heroes do in movies like this: he takes matters into his own hands. 2001. 90 minutes. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. Rated R (violence, language, some sexuality).


"The Breed" -- In the distant future, vampires have at last come out of the shadows and, despite their nocturnal nibbling nature, are trying to live among ordinary people as a special and peaceful breed. Even the FBI has a "good" vampire agent (Adrian Paul) and when a series of murders breaks out, and it looks like the work of a "bad" vampire, he's the logical one to go after the culprit. His reluctant, "normal" partner (Bokeem Woodbine) would rather not work after dark. 2001. 91 minutes. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. Rated R (strong violence and gore, language and some sexuality).

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VIDBITS

Coming up next: "Made," "Pootie Tang," "Bread and Roses," "The Road Home,"

"Divided We Fall" and a look at "Matrix Revisited"... Billboard says "Swordfish" and "Shrek" are running 1-2 among the nation's video rental enthusiasts while "Shrek" is No. 1 in sales...


In "Apocalypse Now Redux," Francis Ford Coppola has given a new look to his controversial 1979 Vietnam War epic, a memorable, often mesmerizing movie experience. The film's sights and sounds have been lushly enhanced and restored footage adds 49 minutes to the already lengthy original. Based on Joseph Conrad's "Heart Of Darkness," the film follows Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) on a surreal journey deep into Vietnam to find and assassinate the renegade Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Most of the additional footage deals with Willard and his crew in a stopover at a French plantation that somehow survives and a romantic interlude among the madness. From Paramount, it now runs three hours and 17 minutes and is rated R for disturbing violent images, language, sexual content and some drug use...


For kids: "Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed In At The Mouse House" gets many of the Disney animated characters together for a holiday bash. The gang includes Mickey, of course, as well as Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Snow White, Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh and so on... "Newton In A Bottle," for three months and up, offers an amusing, beginner's look at physics...

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New in stores: widescreen DVD version of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -- 20th Anniversary Edition"... Quick turnaround: "Uprising," the recent NBC miniseries about the people's World War II revolt against the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto, reaches video Dec. 18... Blockbuster, the video rental giant, plans to donate DVDs and VHS movie cassettes to USO centers and U.S. warships at sea in a morale-boosting wartime gesture... Release of the World Series video has been pushed back a week, to Nov. 27. Word is, New Yorkers are not that interested any more

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