This week on DVD

A "Trek" geek's dream box set, John Ford's WWII propaganda classics, John Hughes' '80s teen angst, "The Addams Family," "Terms of Endearment" and its less endearing sequel.


Salon Staff
May 14, 2003 12:00AM (UTC)

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"The Addams Family" (1991). Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Starring Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd (Paramount). Did this movie invent '90s retro-kitsch? Guess not, but it sure played a role.

"Analyze That" (2002). Directed by Harold Ramis. Starring Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Lisa Kudrow. Extras: Commentary by Ramis, "The Making of Analyze That: HBO First Look Special," M.A.D.E. (Mafioso Associate Degree Exam), interactive challenge: Do you have what it takes to be a mobster? (Warner).

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"Bad Company" (1972). Directed by Robert Benton. Starring Jeff Bridges, Barry Brown, Jim Davis (Paramount). Drifters rob and steal their way westward during the Civil War. Has a good reputation.

"Boomerang" (1992). Directed by Reginald Hudlin. Starring Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, Robin Givens, Grace Jones, Chris Rock (Paramount). Eddie's a ladies' man who meets his match (in Givens). Quite a cast for 11 years ago, but never quite gels.

"Clockstoppers" (2002). Directed by Jonathan Frakes. Starring Jesse Bradford, French Stewart, Paula Garces (Paramount). Kids can stop time.

"Clue" (1985). Directed by Jonathan Lynn. Starring Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Lesley Ann Warren (Paramount). Definitely Col. Mustard, in the library, with the candlestick. Comes with three alternate endings -- in theatrical release, you didn't know which one you were going to see!

"Comedian" (2002). Documentary by Christian Charles (II). Extras: Deleted scenes with optional commentary, advertising material, interviews by Jiminy Glick with Jerry Seinfeld and with Orny Adams, Letterman appearances by Seinfeld (3/21/01) and Adams (12/13/00), "Where Is Orny Now?"; commentary tracks with director Christian Charles and producer Gary Streiner, commentary by Seinfeld and Colin Quinn; "Anatomy of a Joke" (Miramax). Seinfeld and his sphere of influence.

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"Commandos Strike at Dawn" (1942). Directed by John Farrow. Starring Paul Muni, Lillian Gish, Cedric Hardwicke (Columbia TriStar). WWII propaganda: Norwegian rebels aid invading Brits.

"Crocodile Dundee" (1986). Directed by Peter Fairman. Starring Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski. Extras: deleted scenes, music videos (Paramount). The movie that paved the way for Hogan's career as Subaru pitchman.

"Crossroads" (2002). Directed by Tamra Davis. Starring Britney Spears, Zoë Saldana, Taryn Manning, Dan Aykroyd. Extras: deleted scenes, music videos (Paramount). Lots of worse movies have been made than Britney's road-trip saga. Let's leave it at that.

"Dark Angel": Season One. Starring Jessica Alba, John Savage (Fox). Bad scheduling killed James Cameron's mutant drama, which at one point looked like the "X-Files" of the 2000s.

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"Different for Girls" (1997). Directed by Richard Spence. Starring Steven Mackintosh, Saskia Reeves, Rupert Graves, Miriam Margolyes (Fox Lorber). Transsexual meets old school chum in this modest, challenging, agreeable English indie.

"El Dorado" (1967). Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt (Paramount). Late in the game for both Hawks and the Duke, but this follow-up to "Rio Bravo" goes down easy.

"Equilibrium" (2002). Written and directed by Kurt Wimmer. Starring Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, Emily Watson, Sean Bean. Extras: Commentary by director Wimmer and producer Lucas Foster, "Finding Equilibrium" behind-the-scenes featurette (Dimension). Chilly sci-fi action thriller generated little buzz, but has a following.

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"The Evening Star" (1996). Directed by Robert Harling. Starring Shirley MacLaine, Bill Paxton, Juliette Lewis (Paramount). Weak sequel to "Terms of Endearment" features brief late appearance by Jack Nicholson.

"Extreme Ops" (2002). Directed by Christian Duguay. Starring Devon Sawa, Rupert Graves, Bridget Wilson-Sampras, Rufus Sewell (Buena Vista). "XXX," except not.

"Falling in Love" (1984). Directed by Ulu Grosbard. Starring Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro (Paramount). They're married -- not to each other -- and fall in love. Worth it for the stars.

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"Fashion Victim: The Killing of Gianni Versace" (2001). Documentary directed by James Kent (Wellspring Media).

"5 Card Stud" (1968). Directed by Henry Hathaway. Starring Dean Martin, Robert Mitchum, Inger Stevens (Paramount). Murder mystery out West. How bad can it be, with those two guys?

"Forrest Gump" (1994). Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starring Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Robin Wright Penn, Sally Field (Paramount). Life is like a box of -- well, you know what.

"Full Contact" ("Xia dao Gao Fei," 1992). Directed by Ringo Lam. Starring Chow Yun-fat, Anthony Wong, Simon Yam (Columbia TriStar). Near-classic Hong Kong actioner features Chow Yun-fat as a ruthless killer double-crossed by his boss.

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"Goin' South" (1978). Directed by Jack Nicholson. Starring Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenburgen, John Belushi, Danny DeVito (Paramount). Offbeat western shows off Jack's weird sense of humor. One of only four films he has directed.

"Hellcats of the Navy" (1957). Directed by Nathan Juran. Starring Ronald Reagan, Nancy Davis (Columbia TriStar). OK, it feels like they're scouring the bottom of the barrel now.

"The Hot Chick" (2002). Directed by Tom Brady. Starring Rob Schneider, Anna Faris, Matthew Lawrence, Rachel McAdams. Extras: Commentary by director Brady, "The Hot Chick Yearbook," deleted scenes, alternate ending, Zed music video "Starlight" (Buena Vista). Maybe the alternate ending makes all the difference.

"The Jeffersons" (1976). The Complete Second Season. Starring Isabelle Sanford, Sherman Hemsley (Columbia TriStar). We're movin' on up!

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"Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" (2001). Directed by John A. Davis. Starring the voices of Debi Derryberry, Rob Paulsen, Megan Cavanagh (Paramount). Acclaimed animation.

"Kandahar" (2001). Directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Starring Niloufar Pazira, Hassan Tantai (New Yorker Films). Afghan woman, now living in West, returns home in odd, distinctive, visually rich work from one of Iran's most distinctive directors.

"Major League" (1989). Directed by David S. Ward. Starring Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes (Paramount). Launched a wave of rowdy sports comedies.

"The Mission" (1986). Directed by Roland Joffe. Starring Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn, Cherie Lunghi, Ronald Pickup, Chuck Low, Liam Neeson. Two-disc special edition. Extras: Commentary by Joffe; "Making of 'The Mission'" (Warner). Literate drama set in 18th century Brazil; amazing cinematography.

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"Mister Roberts" (1955). Directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy. Starring Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon (Warner). WWII-set comedy/drama was one of the most acclaimed Hollywood films of its time. Certainly offers a great cast.

"Orange County" (2002). Directed by Jake Kasdan. Starring Colin Hanks, Kyle Howard, Mike White, Jack Black (Paramount). Likable teen comedy; Mike White's script lifts it above the mean.

"Pretty in Pink" (1986). Directed by Howard Deutch. Starring Molly Ringwald, John Cryer, James Spader (Paramount). Well, geez, a John Hughes-scripted classic of a certain kind. Even though it's actually a terrible movie, and any "Buffy" episode makes the same points more elegantly.

"Sabrina" (1995). Directed by Sydney Pollack. Starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear (Paramount). The Audrey Hepburn original is so much better it's not even funny. Why did they bother?

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"Seven Days in May" (1964). Directed by John Frankenheimer. Starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner (Paramount). Military leaders plot to overthrow the president for pursuing peace with the Reds. Sort of like "24," only whiter.

"Sleepy Hollow" (1999). Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Christoper Lee (Paramount). As usual with Burton, the production design sticks with you, but not much else.

"Some Kind of Wonderful" (1987). Directed by Howard Deutch. Starring Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson (Paramount). More '80s teen angst from writer-producer John Hughes, but without Molly Ringwald things were never the same.

"Star Trek: Motion Picture Collection" Contains all nine Star Trek features: "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (The Director's Edition), "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (The Director's Edition), "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (Special Edition), "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier," "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," "Star Trek: Generations," "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Star Trek: Insurrection" (Paramount).

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"Terms of Endearment" (1983). Directed by James L. Brooks. Starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito (Paramount). Effective, well-balanced blend of humor and melodrama. Easy to make fun of, but one of those movies that captured a moment. Hollywood could use a bit of classic Brooks magic these days

"They Were Expendable" (1945). Directed by John Ford and Robert Montgomery. Starring John Wayne, Robert Montgomery, Donna Reed (Warner). PT boats in the Philippines. Good action scenes; might be the best of the propaganda films actually made during the war.

"This Boy's Life" (1993). Directed by Michael Caton Jones. Starring Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin, Leonardo DiCaprio, Eliza Dushku (Warner). Gripping story of abused child growing up in 1950s Washington state. Great acting throughout; one of DiCaprio's first attention-getting roles.

"Top Secret!" (1984). Directed by David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams. Starring Val Kilmer, Omar Sharif, Lucy Gutteridge (Paramount). Cold War spy spoof from the "Airplane!" gang. Kilmer plays Elvis, sort of.

"The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze" (1963). Directed by Norman Maurer. Starring Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Joe DeRita (Columbia TriStar). Needs no justification.

"Vampire in Brooklyn" (1995). Directed by Wes Craven. Starring Eddie Murphy, Angela Bassett, Kadeem Hardison (Paramount). Whoa. Years before "Pluto Nash," there was this.

"Vanilla Sky" (2001). Directed by Cameron Crowe. Starring Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Jason Lee, Kurt Russell (Paramount). Is reality what we think it is? Mind-bending game movie, adapted from Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar's "Open Your Eyes" (which also stars Cruz, but not Cruise).

"The War Lover" (1962). Directed by Philip Leacock. Starring Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner, Shirley Anne Field (Columbia TriStar). WWII pilots in England, in love with same woman. From John Hersey's novel.

"Will Penny" (1968). Directed by Tom Gries. Starring Charlton Heston, Joan Hackett, Lee Majors (Paramount). Obscure but great late western. Might be Heston's finest role.

"The X-Files" (2000). Complete Seventh Season. Starring David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson (Fox). Was the truth, in fact, out there?


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