, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- What's new on the home video scene...
"Ghost World" -- Social misfits Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) have just graduated from high school and while most of their classmates head for college they focus full time on tormenting everyone around them. They see mostly little people living little, boring lives, to be put down or otherwise made fun of. Enid's dour, frustrated observation: "I am sick of everybody." But their attitude takes an abrupt turn when they try humiliating a pathetic loner (Steve Buscemi), who Enid sees as "such a clueless dork he's kinda cool" while developing an unexpected affection for the older man. A fresh, engaging though quirky coming-of-age film, at times funny, at times grim, taking a sharp salty and satirical swipe at pop culture. 2001. 111 minutes. MGM Home Entertainment. Rated R (strong language, some sexual content).
"Life Without Dick" -- A comedy of sorts about hit men and misses. Colleen (Sally Jessica Parker) loves Dick (Johnny Knoxville) but when she becomes convinced he's cheating on her she hauls out a gun, accidentally killing him. Onto the scene rushes Daniel (Harry Connick Jr.), a professional hit man who had been hired to kill Dick, delighted she beat him to it for while he sings like a songbird he turns chicken when he has to rub somebody out. So begins a strange relationship that seems to fit the rest of the goings-on here. 2001. 96 minutes. Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. Rated PG-13 (thematic elements, sensuality, language, drug reference).
"The Prime Gig" -- Vince Vaughn plays "Penny" Wise, a telemarketing con man who may have met an even bigger con artist in this direct-to-video drama. Wise, who doesn't always live up to his name, signs on with Kelly Grant (Ed Harris) who's running an operation making random phone solicitations trying to sell partnerships in a gold mine. The competition among the callers is fierce and so is the sales pitch. Julia Ormond plays Grant's girlfriend who helps keep "Penny" calm and collecting. 2000. 97 minutes. New Line Home Entertainment. Rated R (language, sexuality).
"Maze" -- An appealing, touching portrait of Lyle Maze, a young man who becomes a successful painter and sculptor despite being afflicted with Tourette's syndrome, the neurological disorder that frequently causes uncontrollable behavior. Director-co-writer Rob Morrow plays Lyle as a man coping with life's misdeal, devoted to his art, a loner by necessity until he finds himself taking care of his best friend's pregnant girlfriend (Laura Linney) while his buddy is off on an extended trip. Despite his affliction, which she sees beyond, and all logic, they fall in love. 2001. 93 minutes. KBK Entertainment. Rated R (language, nudity).
"James Dean" -- In this made-for-cable biopic, James Franco won a Golden Globe Award for playing the moody, troubled but very talented actor. Dean had a lasting impact on his youthful contemporaries though he made but three major movies before his death at age 24 in a 1955 car crash. The inner turmoil Dean so aptly demonstrated in "East Of Eden," "Rebel Without A Cause" and "Giant" are shown here as mirror images of his own wobbly, unsettled life. Based on facts and, at times, "an educated guess," it's an interesting tale about a familiar subject, handled well by Franco and director Mark Rydell, a close friend of Dean. 2001. 120 minutes. Warner Home Entertainment. Not rated.
"American Pie 2" is the hottest rental item across the land right now... At Super Bowl time, Entertainment Weekly fittingly picked its top five football movies of all time: "North Dallas Forty," "Brian's Song," "The Best Of Times," "Horse Feathers" (yes, with those gridiron heroes, the Marx Brothers), and "The Longest Yard"...
It would appear that the reported imminent demise of the videocassette may be a tad premature. Sure, the digital video disc is everywhere, it seems, making great strides toward taking over the everyday video business and many observers are predicting how long it will take for DVD to send VHS reeling into the sunset. But wait. There's hope for tape yet.
Four Hollywood studios announced this week their intention to release feature films this June on the new high-definition D-VHS platform, using totally digital technology, in what will be known as D-Theater.
Fox, Universal, DreamWorks and Artisan are the first to get in on the new project and their first batch of movies will include "Independence Day," "Die Hard," "X-Men," "U-571" and the two "Terminator" films.
The new digital-VHS format, developed by hardware maker JVC, can also record HDTV signals from TV broadcasts. The studios believe this will be a market that will grow in the coming years. The new machine needed for this product also will play regular VHS tapes.