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Collection Total:
4842 Items
Last Updated:
Sep 16, 2019
The Land Before Time [VHS]
k7dg Don Bluth This 1988 animated feature from Don Bluth (An American Tail) focuses on an orphaned young dinosaur, Littlefoot, who has to make his way to the paradise of the Great Valley in order to survive a plague. Along the way, he meets up with some other dinos from different species, and they all bond and travel together. On the way, they have plenty of adventures. Even with elements of suspense, this is a pretty relaxed movie that isn't in a particular hurry to roll out its story. Kids will like the originality of the concept, and the themes of friendship and cooperation are well woven into the fabric of the entertainment, plus the music is great. Bluth's artwork looks good, though—as always—he never seems to quite catch up with the quality of the Disney machine. —Tom Keogh
Twister [VHS]
k7dg Jan de Bont This is a suspense-filled movie about tornados. Great special effects!
My Girl [VHS]
k7dg Wendy Greene Bricmont, Howard Zieff A doomed Macaulay Culkin becomes the object of affection for a little girl (Anna Chlumsky), estranged from her widowed father (Dan Aykroyd). This somewhat daring premise has various emotional buffers to keep young viewers from going into shock from Culkin's demise, but the film is also not shut off from real feelings. And while the story remains safely predictable, at the end of the day it is still a bittersweet experience. Culkin's performance is okay in that somewhat mannered way of his post-Home Alone career, but Anna Chlumsky is unusually sophisticated in her understanding of her character and situation. Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis are perfectly stable as the kids' single parents. Directed by Howard Zieff (Private Benjamin). The DVD release has a full-screen presentation, Dolby sound, theatrical trailer, and optional French and Spanish soundtracks. —Tom Keogh
Space Jam: Bugs Bunny [VHS]
k7dg Treg Brown, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Robert McKimson Even when Space Jam's Bugs Bunny is on terra firma, the fun is out of this world! Six uncut fully-animated cartoons. Year: 1996 Starring: Bugs Bunny,
Gone Fishin [VHS]
k7dg Christopher Cain Gone Fishin' has been called "the Ishtar of the '90s," but that's giving it too much credit. Danny Glover and Joe Pesci (who could have used their Lethal Weapon series buddy Mel Gibson in here) star as slow-witted friends who take their dream fishing vacation in the Florida Everglades and end up having a series of disasters. Trouble is, director Christopher Cain can't get a handle on any of the comedy essentials for a project such as this. The result is a badly timed, badly toned, unfunny movie wasting a lot of great talent across the board. —Tom Keogh
The Last Starfighter [VHS]
k7dg Nick Castle At the time of its original release in 1984, this modestly budgeted sci-fi excursion had the distinction of offering some of the first examples of purely computer-generated animation, an apt (and frugal) special-effects solution for a movie with a plot line rooted in computer games. Both the computer-generated visuals and the arcade game now look quaint, but writer-director Nick Castle's affable, good- hearted adventure holds up nicely, thanks to a clever premise—the title game is actually a test for prospective starship pilots, planted by embattled aliens under siege from an evil invader. When a restless teenager (Lance Guest) racks up an impressive score, he finds himself spirited away to the besieged planet and thrust into the midst of an intergalactic war. Apart from Castle's skill at contrasting his extraterrestrial settings with the mundane details of his hero's earthbound life, the movie gets lift-off from two thorough pros, Robert Preston, who makes the alien recruiter, Centauri, a planet-hopping cousin to The Music Man's Harold Hill, and Dan O'Herlihy, the alien copilot, who suggests a scaly Walter Brennan. Older fans will snicker, but kids and young teens will find this rite of passage absorbing, while their folks will savor Preston's brash charm. —Sam Sutherland
Watcher (2000) [VHS]
k7dg Joe Charbanic James Spader stars as Joel Campbell, a former detective traumatized by the death of his lover at the hands of a serial killer he'd been hunting—a psychopath who has taken their combative relationship a little too personally, and has now tracked the retired Campbell down in Chicago. The killer, who methodically studies his victims before killing them, starts sending Campbell photographs of prospective victims and gives him a day to find them before they're killed. Campbell rises to the challenge, returns to his role as detective, and launches a comprehensive manhunt for the killer and the women in the photographs. The Watcher is surprisingly watchable—though it does suffer from an excessive use of arty cinematography. But while the psychological interpretation of the killer's behavior is a little too schematic to be convincing, the portrayal of Campbell is quite strong, particularly due to Spader's performance. A much-underrated actor, Spader is lean and efficient in his portrayal, rarely given to flashy histrionics, but compelling and emotionally complex. Unfortunately, the killer is played by Keanu Reeves; and though Reeves isn't as terrible an actor as some critics may say, he's out of his depth here. Still, Spader carries most of the movie, and the sequences in which the police are trying to track down the victims are nicely suspenseful—in fact, the movie is overall more interested in suspense than gore, making it a pleasant change from most contemporary thrillers. Also starring Marisa Tomei as Campbell's psychiatrist and budding romantic interest. —Bret Fetzer
Home Alone [VHS]
k7dg Chris Columbus Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) has become the man of the house, overnight! Accidentally left behind when his family rushes off on a Christmas vacation, Kevin gets busy decorating the house for the holidays. But he's not decking the halls with tinsel and holly. Two bumbling burglars are trying to break in, and Kevin's rigging a bewildering battery of booby traps to welcome them!
Mulan (Disney's Masterpiece) [VHS]
k7dg Barry Cook, Tony Bancroft Solid entertainment from a new group of Disney animators. The story source is a Chinese fable about a young girl who disguises herself as a man to help her family and her country. When the Huns attack China, a call to arms goes out to every village, and Mulan's father, being the only man in the family, accepts the call. Mulan (voiced by Ming-Na Wen, sung by Lea Salonga) has just made a disastrous appearance at the Matchmaker and decides to challenge society's expectations (being a bride). She steals her father's conscription notice, cuts her hair, and impersonates a man to join the army. She goes to boot camp, learning to fit in with the other soldiers with some help from her sidekick, Mushu, a wise-cracking dragon (voiced by Eddie Murphy). She trains, and soon faces the Huns eye-to-eye to protect her Emperor.

The film is gorgeous to look at, with a superior blend of classic and computer-generated animation. Directors Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook make the best of it: a battle in the snowy mountains is as thrilling as the best Hollywood action films. The menacing Huns are not cute but simple and bad. The wickedness is subtle, not disturbing. The film is not a full-fledged musical, as it has only five songs (the best, "Be a Man," is sung during boot camp). Eddie Murphy is an inspired choice for the comic-relief dragon, but his lines are not as clever as Robin Williams's in Aladdin. These are minor quibbles, though. The story is strong, and Mulan goes right to the top of Disney animated heroines; she has the right stuff. —Doug Thomas
The Wedding Singer [VHS]
k7dg Frank Coraci You're better off having been born after, say, 1965, if you really want to enjoy this corny romantic comedy and its abundant references to the MTV culture of the mid-1980s—and even then the odds are only 50-50 that you'll have a shamelessly good time. But a lot of people beat those odds, because The Wedding Singer was a surprise box-office hit when released in early 1998, and it resulted in Saturday Night Live graduate Adam Sandler's salary going ridiculously sky-high. It's a schizophrenic film about a seemingly schizophrenic wedding singer (Sandler) who's charmingly sweet to some people but a tongue-lashing maniac to others, probably out of frustration over his fading ambition as a wannabe rock star (not to mention Sandler's penchant for loud-mouthed lunacy). When he meets an admiring young waitress (delightfully played by Drew Barrymore), it's love at first sight, complicated by their pending marriages to much less appealing fiancés. The plot then contorts itself to accommodate this contrived will-they-or-won't-they? scenario, so you're better off ignoring the love story and focusing on the comedy, which is sporadic but occasionally hilarious. This is also a lighter, friendlier Sandler than moviegoers had seen before, which probably accounts for the movie's success. Toss in a fine supporting cast—including a show-stopping drunk act by indie-movie stalwart Steve Buscemi—and you've got the ingredients for a no-brainer that's ultimately more fun than it is annoying. —Jeff Shannon
Beethoven's 2nd [VHS]
k7dg Rod Daniel This 1993 sequel to the St. Bernard hit finds big, fluffy Beethoven now at home with gruff-but-lovable dad Charles Grodin, supermom Bonnie Hunt, and their three kids. The story continues with Beethoven falling for a female St. Bernard and having a litter, unbeknownst to Grodin, while the new dog's owner (Debi Mazar) starts angling for benefits from this union. The larger dog pool certainly adds more cuteness and laughs to this follow-up, and Grodin and Hunt—consummate professionals—don't let sequel-itis lower their energy or their wonderfully idiosyncratic way with dialogue. Mazar brings her own edge to the proceedings, too, but in the end, the film's accent is still very much on a feel-good experience for everyone. —Tom Keogh
Rebel Without a Cause (Widescreen Edition) [VHS]
k7dg James Dean, Natalie Wood When people think of James Dean, they probably think first of the troubled teen from Rebel Without a Cause: nervous, volatile, soulful, a kid lost in a world that does not understand him. Made between his only other starring roles, in East of Eden and Giant, Rebel sums up the jangly, alienated image of Dean, but also happens to be one of the key films of the 1950s. Director Nicholas Ray takes a strikingly sympathetic look at the teenagers standing outside the white-picket-fence '50s dream of America: juvenile delinquent (that's what they called them then) Jim Stark (Dean), fast girl Judy (Natalie Wood), lost boy Plato (Sal Mineo), slick hot-rodder Buzz (Corey Allen). At the time, it was unusual for a movie to endorse the point of view of teenagers, but Ray and screenwriter Stewart Stern captured the youthful angst that was erupting at the same time in rock & roll. Dean is heartbreaking, following the method acting style of Marlon Brando but staking out a nakedly emotional honesty of his own. Going too fast, in every way, he was killed in a car crash on September 30, 1955, a month before Rebel opened. He was no longer an actor, but an icon, and Rebel is a lasting monument. —Robert Horton
Clay Pigeons [VHS]
k7dg David Dobkin Set in Montana's Big Sky country, shot in Utah, lensed by Eric Alan Edwards (cinematographer of My Own Private Idaho)—no wonder it's hard to tell where Clay Pigeons lives, or where it's going. A Ridley Scott protégé previously at home in commercials and videos, debuting director David Dobkin aims to deliver us into the blackly comedic badlands of neo-noir, territory mined by the likes of Red Rock West and Fargo. Pigeons launches strongly, with several cruel turns of the screw. Out target-shooting, Clay Birdwell (Joaquin Phoenix) is hit with the news that his best pal knows he's been boffing his ur-slut wife (Georgina Cates) and could take Clay out on the spot, but chooses a creepier revenge—committing suicide in order to frame the guy who's cuckolded him. Naturally, Clay covers up the mess, thereby opening the film's can of very nasty worms. A slick, fast-talking cowboy (Vince Vaughn)—the funhouse-mirror-opposite of Phoenix's sweet, slow farmboy—turns up, and a string of ugly murders begins to play out. Once Vaughn's Lester Long is on the scene, spreading his psychotically giggling bonhomie, Dobkin's skin-deep riff on Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train pretty much belongs to him. The rest of the cast looks more or less like clay pigeons set up by a scattershot script: exceptions include the always-estimable Scott Wilson who transforms his caricature-prone Sheriff Mooney into a character of nuanced humanity, and Janeane Garofalo, as an urban-hip FBI agent, whose single-chick sarcasm goes down in flames when Lester unholsters those big guns of come-hither charm. John Lurie of Lounge Lizards fame contributes a distinctive score, but Elvis Presley acts as the film's patron saint in more ways than one: Clay Pigeons' sexiest, scariest wet work is choreographed to "It's Now or Never." —Kathleen Murphy
Lethal Weapon 2 [VHS]
k7dg Richard Donner The series formula started to kick in with this immediate sequel to Lethal Weapon, but that doesn't necessarily make it a weak movie. Joe Pesci joins the fold, Richard Donner directs again, and Mel Gibson and Danny Glover return as LAPD partners, their relationship smoother now that Gibson's character has recovered from his maddening grief over his wife's death. But the reckless Mel and cautious Danny equation, good for a million laughs, settles into place in this story involving a South African smuggler and a new girlfriend (Patsy Kensit) for Gibson. The movie is hardly comfy, though. The last act gets nasty, and a climactic fight between Gibson (who gets the worst of it) and some high-kicking villain is ugly. —Tom Keogh
Maverick [VHS]
k7dg Richard Donner The joined-at-the-hip team of director Richard Donner and star Mel Gibson (all the Lethal Weapon movies and Conspiracy Theory) had obvious fun resurrecting the Wild Western comedy television series about a roguish rambler-gambler. Gibson assumes the role of cardsharp Bret Maverick, equally quick with a pair of aces and a pair of guns. Good sport James Garner (who played Maverick on TV) takes another role, as a lawman who travels alongside the hero to a big-money poker game on a riverboat. The real peach in this fruit salad of satire and broad jokes, however, is Jodie Foster, who plays a crafty Southern belle quite adept at poker herself. Sexy, funny, and (from the onscreen evidence) a great kisser, Foster has never been more of a delight. Written by William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). The DVD release offers production notes, optional French and Spanish soundtracks, and optional full-screen or widescreen viewing. —Tom Keogh
The Mummy [VHS]
k7dg Bob Ducsay, Stephen Sommers A non-stop action movie set in Egypt!
Independence Day [VHS]
k7dg Roland Emmerich One of the biggest box office hits of all time delivers the ultimate encounter when mysterious and powerful aliens launch an all-out invasion against the human race. The spectacle begins when massive spaceships appear in Earth's skies. But wonder turns to terror as the ships blast destructive beams of fire down on cities all over the planet. Now the world's only hope lies with a determinded band of survivors, uniting for one last strike against the invaders - before it's the end of all mankind.
Beyond the Mat - Special Edition (Unrated) [VHS]
k7dg Mick Foley, Terry Funk, Jake Roberts (II) At first, this behind-the-scenes documentary about professional wrestling seems as if it will be an unabashed fan's whitewash of the increasingly bizarre and popular world of "sports entertainment," as it is known. But director Barry Blaustein (a Saturday Night Live veteran who has cowritten many of Eddie Murphy's films) goes much deeper than you'd expect in a film that is at once entertaining and disturbing. By focusing on a trio of wrestlers who give him surprising access, Blaustein uncovers human stories that can be wrenching in their stark honesty. That's particularly true of one-time superstar Jake "the Snake" Roberts, whose career has fallen on hard times because of a crack habit; Roberts brings Blaustein along for his first encounter in several years with his grown, estranged daughter. Blaustein also goes into the lives of Terry Funk and Mick "Mankind" Foley in ways that are both revealing and, at times, upsetting. More than just a fan's appreciation, this is that rare documentary that shows you sides of a familiar subject you never knew existed. —Marshall Fine
Full Monty [VHS]
k7dg David Freeman, Peter Cattaneo A group of unemployed Yorkshire steelworkers hopes to replenish their empty wallets and boost their flagging morale by following in the footsteps of the Chippendale's strippers. These guys are hardly what you would think of as buff, and few can even dance. They simply take these problems in stride, because these are men with a plan—displaced, unemployed, and feeling suffocated by the women in their lives, they just want to earn a little respect. The dialogue and interaction between these men will have you screeching with laughter, but of equal importance is their sense of camaraderie and caring. First-time director Peter Cattaneo is a name to watch for; he easily conveys the sheer humanity of these people in their small town with their sad stories and irresistible sense of optimism. —Rochelle O'Gorman
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas [VHS]
k7dg Terry Gilliam The original cowriter and director of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was Alex Cox, whose earlier film Sid and Nancy suggests that Cox could have been a perfect match in filming Hunter S. Thompson's psychotropic masterpiece of "gonzo" journalism. Unfortunately Cox departed due to the usual "creative differences," and this ill-fated adaptation was thrust upon Terry Gilliam, whose formidable gifts as a visionary filmmaker were squandered on the seemingly unfilmable elements of Thompson's ether-fogged narrative. The result is a one-joke movie without the joke—an endless series of repetitive scenes involving rampant substance abuse and the hallucinogenic fallout of a road trip that's run crazily out of control. Johnny Depp plays Thompson's alter ego, "gonzo" journalist Raoul Duke, and Benicio Del Toro is his sidekick and so-called lawyer Dr. Gonzo. During the course of a trip to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, they ingest a veritable chemistry set of drugs, and Gilliam does his best to show us the hallucinatory state of their zonked-out minds. This allows for some dazzling imagery and the rampant humor of stumbling buffoons, and the mumbling performances of Depp and Del Toro wholeheartedly embrace the tripped-out, paranoid lunacy of Thompson's celebrated book. But over two hours of this insanity tends to grate on the nerves—like being the only sober guest at a party full of drunken idiots. So while Gilliam's film may achieve some modest cult status over the years, it's only because Fear and Loathing is best enjoyed by those who are just as stoned as the characters in the movie. —Jeff Shannon
Never Been Kissed (Rpkg) [VHS]
k7dg Raja Gosnell In this hilarious, heartwarming comedy, Drew Barrymore shines as a budding journalist who's determined to go from 'geek' to 'chic' when she is sent back to high school on her first undercover assignment to lern about today's teens. At first, Josie is thrilled with the opportunity until she remembers her nickname from years ago: "Josie Grossie!" Can a former clueless nerd navigate the hallways of high school without trippin over her own feet?
One Good Cop [VHS]
k7dg Heywood Gould
Fletch [VHS]
k7dg Richard A. Harris, Michael Ritchie Gregory McDonald's lightweight mystery novel about an undercover newspaper reporter cracking a police drug ring is transformed by screenwriter Andrew Bergman (Blazing Saddles, and writer/director of The Freshman and Honeymoon in Vegas) into a fairly sarcastic and occasionally very funny Chevy Chase vehicle. Enjoyment of the film pivots on whether you find Chase's flippant, smart-ass brand of verbal humor funny, or merely egocentric. If you don't like Chase, there's really no one else worth watching (Geena Davis is sadly underused). Chase seems born to play I.M. "Fletch" Fletcher, a disillusioned investigative reporter whose cynicism and detached view on life mirrors the actor's understated approach to comedy. Fletcher offers Chase the opportunity to adopt numerous personas, as his job requires numerous (bad) physical disguises, and much of film's humor centers on the ridiculous idea that any of these phony accents or bad hairpieces could fool anyone. These not-so-clever disguises are put to use when Fletch becomes involved in the film's smart but continually self-mocking two-part mystery. As well as trying to gather drug-smuggling evidence against the LAPD for a long-overdue newspaper story, a rich and apparently terminally ill stranger also offers Fletch a large payoff to kill him. While the film does a fairly good job juggling both of these plots, not to mention tossing in a love interest as well, it's subservient, for better or worse, to Chase's memorable one-liners and disguises. Followed by two forgettable sequels that lack both the original's wit and Chase's attention span. —Dave McCoy
Fletch Lives [VHS]
k7dg Richard A. Harris, Michael Ritchie Before his movie career completely tanked, Chevy Chase made one of the few films that gave him a chance to display his comic versatility: 1985's Fletch, the Michael Ritchie-directed comedy about an investigative reporter who specializes in going undercover on big stories. Lightning, however, didn't strike twice when Ritchie and Chase went back to Gregory MacDonald's novels for a second helping. This sequel features Chase once again as Fletch, super-reporter, who heads from L.A. to the South, where he supposedly has inherited an estate. Before long, he's become involved in a murder plot and is trying to stay out of the killer's sights himself. The material is considerably weaker, revealing Chase's shortcomings as an ad lib comic. —Marshall Fine
Silver Streak (1976) [VHS]
k7dg Arthur Hiller Despite the presence of hack director Arthur Hiller, this hybrid comedy-thriller works most of the time as pleasant faux Hitchcock. Gene Wilder is a book editor who is relaxing by taking a cross-country train ride. Then he gets caught up in a murder—and becomes a suspect. It's up to him to prove his own innocence. As noted, the script, by Colin Higgins, owes a big debt to Alfred Hitchcock; but the mystery isn't all that mysterious and the comedy isn't all that hilarious—at least not until Richard Pryor shows up, which is at least halfway through the film. Things definitely pick up from there. Jill Clayburgh, as the love interest, is merely along for the train ride. Wilder and Pryor eventually teamed up for several other films, but they were never as funny together as they are in this one. —Marshall Fine
Splash [VHS]
k7dg Ron Howard Academy Award(R)-winner Tom Hanks (Best Actor, 1995, FORREST GUMP) ~stars as Allen Bauer, a workaholic who's convinced he can't fall in love — that is, until he's mysteriously rescued from a boating accident by the woman of his dreams! Before you can say "mermaid," Allen and Madison (Daryl Hannah, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN) are swept away on the tide of a hilarious and heartwarming romance. But when the world discovers Madison's secret, it's sink or swim for the two new lovers! Master filmmaker Ron Howard (A BEAUTIFUL MIND) directs a star-studded cast, including John Candy (UNCLE BUCK) as Hanks' hilariously obnoxious brother in a magical tale that you'll fall for hook, line, and sinker!
Apollo 13 [VHS]
k7dg Ron Howard NASA's worst nightmare turned into one of the space agency's most heroic moments in 1970, when the Apollo 13 crew was forced to hobble home in a disabled capsule after an explosion seriously damaged the moon-bound spacecraft. Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton play (respectively) astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert, and Fred Haise in director Ron Howard's intense, painstakingly authentic docudrama. The Apollo 13 crew and Houston-based mission controllers race against time and heavy odds to return the damaged spacecraft safely to Earth from a distance of 205,500 miles. Using state-of-the-art special effects and ingenious filmmaking techniques, Howard and his stellar cast and crew build nail-biting tension while maintaining close fidelity to the facts. The result is a fitting tribute to the Apollo 13 mission and one of the biggest box-office hits of 1995. —Jeff Shannon
Harriet the Spy (Clam) [VHS]
k7dg Bronwen Hughes This feature production from Nickelodeon is based on a popular kids' book from the 1960s by Louise Fitzhugh, and stars Michelle Trachtenberg as an 11-year-old wannabe journalist who writes all her observations about friends in a diary. When the book is stolen and read by her peers, she's ostracized. The film is hard to watch for all its sensory overload (rapid cuts, kooky camera angles), but its theme of finding a balance between a commitment to one's voice and one's obligations to others is fairly wise stuff. With Rosie O'Donnell and Eartha Kitt. —Tom Keogh
k7dg Steve James (II) Inspirational and entertaining, PREFONTAINE is another acclaimed success from the makers of HOOP DREAMS. It's the true-life story of legendary track star Steve Prefontaine, the exciting and sometimes controversial "James Dean of Track," whose spirit captured the heart of the nation! Cocky, charismatic, and tough, "Pre" was a running rebel who defied rules, pushed limits ... and smashed records ... in an incredible against-all-odds quest for Olympic gold! Now a major motion picture, the triumphs and heartbreaks of this unforgettable champion will have you riveted from beginning to end!
Honey I Shrunk the Kids [VHS]
k7dg Joe Johnston a very funny video
Jumanji [VHS]
k7dg Joe Johnston Based on the children's book by Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji stars Robin Williams as a man who escapes his confinement within a devilish board game, only to be followed by all kinds of exotic problems: elephants, lions, zebras, monkeys, floods, giant insects, killer plants, and a big-game hunter. The computer-generated effects all wreak havoc through quiet streets, and while most of this is pretty fun, relationship conflicts and character development are weak and forgettable. The high point, in comic terms, is probably David Alan Grier's hilarious performance as a cop catching the worst of these various plagues—one at a time. The DVD release has a widescreen presentation, Dolby sound, optional French and Spanish soundtracks, optional Spanish and Korean subtitles.—Tom Keogh
Daffy Duck: Scrap Happy and Many More
k7dg Cartoons R Fun tapes usually contain 3-4 vintage cartoon reproductions. At least one is Daffy Duck. Others may be Little Audrey or others
Porky Pig Midnight Matinee
Kaoma Worldbeat: The Lambada Videos [VHS]
El Pato Lucas [VHS]
Gasparin:El Fantasma Admirable [VHS]
Trollies Musical Adventure [VHS]
Disney: Monster Bash [VHS]
You're Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley's Sleepover Party [VHS]
k7dg The Olsen twins try their best to pull an all-nighter in this high-spirited, 25-minute slumber party episode. Mary-Kate and Ashley jumpstart the fun by encouraging their three perky guests to learn some new dance moves. Cue the MTV-style musical numbers; these girls just gotta sing! And they have a song for every activity, from playing video games to making pizza (basically ordering a plain pie, then raiding the fridge for a variety of toppings) and scaring each other—and the boys—with spooky stories and makeup. Cute, tame entertainment for 4- to 7-year-olds who enjoy singing and dancing along. While kids 8 and older are much more likely to hold slumber parties, they might find the material too juvenile (sort of like Barney unmasked). —Liane Thomas
The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley - The Case of the Hotel Who-Done-It [VHS]
k7dg The Olsens put on a big birthday celebration with lots of friends and make the viewer feel invited. Singing, games, presents, cake—it's all here. The focus is once again on the girls as celebrities (and therefore as products, like dolls), and that shtick can be a little wearing when so much of the show is concerned with underscoring their self-conscious cuteness. —Tom Keogh
Learn Country Line Dancing 1 [VHS]
Reservoir Dogs [VHS]
k7dg Quentin Tarantino came out of nowhere (i.e., a video store in Manhattan Beach, California) and turned Hollywood on its ear in 1992 with his explosive first feature, Reservoir Dogs. Like Tarantino's mainstream breakthrough Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs has an unconventional structure, cleverly shuffling back and forth in time to reveal details about the characters, experienced criminals who know next to nothing about each other. Joe (Lawrence Tierney) has assembled them to pull off a simple heist, and has gruffly assigned them color-coded aliases (Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink, Mr. White) to conceal their identities from being known even to each other. But something has gone wrong, and the plan has blown up in their faces. One by one, the surviving robbers find their way back to their prearranged warehouse hideout. There, they try to piece together the chronology of this bloody fiasco—and to identify the traitor among them who tipped off the police. Pressure mounts, blood flows, accusations and bullets fly. In the combustible atmosphere these men are forced to confront life-and-death questions of trust, loyalty, professionalism, deception, and betrayal. As many critics have observed, it is a movie about "honor among thieves" (just as Pulp Fiction is about redemption, and Jackie Brown is about survival). Along with everything else, the movie provides a showcase for a terrific ensemble of actors: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, Christopher Penn, and Tarantino himself, offering a fervent dissection of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" over breakfast. Reservoir Dogs is violent (though the violence is implied rather than explicit), clever, gabby, harrowing, funny, suspenseful, and even—in the end—unexpectedly moving. (Don't forget that "Super Sounds of the Seventies" soundtrack, either.) Reservoir Dogs deserves just as much acclaim and attention as its follow-up, Pulp Fiction, would receive two years later. —Jim Emerson
Hollow Man [VHS]
k7dg In Paul Verhoeven's appropriately shallow Hollow Man, Kevin Bacon plays a bad-boy egotistical scientist who heads up a double-secret government team experimenting with turning life-forms invisible. How do we know he's a bad boy? Because he (a) wears a leather overcoat, (b) compares himself to God, (c) drives a sports car, and (d) spies on his comely next-door neighbor while eating Twinkies. Sadly, this is the most character development anyone gets in this undernourished action/sci-fi thriller, which boasts some amazing special effects and some amazingly ridiculous plot twists. After experimenting rather ruthlessly on a menagerie of lab animals, Bacon finally cracks the code that will turn the invisible gorillas, dogs, and so on, back into their visible forms. Does it work on humans? Faster than you can say "six degrees," Mr. Bacon appoints himself human guinea pig, strapping down for an injection of fluorescent-colored serum. Thanks to some phenomenal, seamless and Oscar-worthy computer effects, Bacon is indeed rendered invisible, organ by organ, vein by vein. And what's the first thing you'd do if you were invisible? Why, spy on your female coworkers in the bathroom and molest your comely next-door neighbor, of course! Soon, Bacon is thoroughly psychotic, and it's up to Elisabeth Shue (Bacon's coworker and ex-girlfriend) and hunky Josh Brolin (her current snuggle bunny) to defeat the invisible man, who's picking off the science team one by one. You'd think this would be a prime opportunity for copious amounts of cheesy sex and aggressive violence—which Verhoeven served up so well and so exuberantly in Starship Troopers and Basic Instinct—but if anything, the director seems to tone down the proceedings, and really, who wants a muted Paul Verhoeven movie? Shue (who got top billing and a bad haircut to boot) and Brolin (who, yes, does take off his shirt at least once) generate little heat, and while Bacon does give an effective, primarily voice-oriented performance, his character is so underdeveloped that, well, you can see right through him. —Mark Englehart
Holiday in the Sun [VHS]
k7dg Mary-Kate and Ashley are spending winter break in the Bahamas with their parents, which means they have to miss their school trip to Hawaii with their best friends. Determined to make the best of the situation, the girls decide there's only one thing to do: unleash a tropical hurricane of off-the-hook action and head-over-heels romance!
Grease (20th Anniversary Gift Edition) [VHS]
k7dg Randal Kleiser Riding the strange '50s nostalgia wave that swept through America during the late 1970s (caused by TV shows like Happy Days and films like American Graffiti), Grease became not only the word in 1978, but also a box-office smash and a cultural phenomenon. Twenty years later, this entertaining film adaptation of the Broadway musical received another successful theatrical release, which included visual remastering and a shiny new Dolby soundtrack. In this 2002 DVD release, Grease lovers can also now see it in the correct 2:35 to 1 Panavision aspect ratio, and see retrospective interviews with cast members and director Randal Kleiser. All these stylistic touches are essential to the film's success. Without the vibrant colors, unforgettably campy and catchy tunes (like "Greased Lightning," "Summer Nights," and "You're the One That I Want"), and fabulously choreographed, widescreen musical numbers, the film would have to rely on a silly, cliché-filled plot that we've seen hundreds of times. As it is, the episodic story about the romantic dilemmas experienced by a group of graduating high school seniors remains fresh, fun, and incredibly imaginative.

The young, animated cast also deserves a lot of credit, bringing chemistry and energy to otherwise bland material. John Travolta, straight from his success in Saturday Night Fever, knows his sexual star power and struts, swaggers, sings, and dances appropriately, while Olivia Newton-John's portrayal of virgin innocence is the only decent acting she's ever done. And then there's Stockard Channing, spouting sexual double-entendres as Rizzo, the bitchy, raunchy leader of the Pink Ladies, who steals the film from both of its stars. Ignore the sequel at all costs. —Dave McCoy
Goodfellas [VHS]
k7dg James Y. Kwei, Martin Scorsese Martin Scorsese's 1990 masterpiece GoodFellasimmortalizes the hilarious, horrifying life of actual gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), from his teen years on the streets of New York to his anonymous exile under the Witness Protection Program. The director's kinetic style is perfect for recounting Hill's ruthless rise to power in the 1950s as well as his drugged-out fall in the late 1970s; in fact, no one has ever rendered the mental dislocation of cocaine better than Scorsese. Scorsese uses period music perfectly, not just to summon a particular time but to set a precise mood. GoodFellas is at least as good as The Godfather without being in the least derivative of it. Joe Pesci's psycho improvisation of Mobster Tommy DeVito ignited Pesci as a star, Lorraine Bracco scores the performance of her life as the love of Hill's life, and every supporting role, from Paul Sorvino to Robert De Niro, is a miracle.
Beethoven (1992) [VHS]
k7dg Brian Levant Put Charles Grodin together with a 200-pound Saint Bernard and you're likely to come up with some good laughs. In this popular family comedy from 1992 Grodin plays a beleaguered dad who reluctantly lets his kids keep the lost puppy they've adopted. The dog quickly grows into the huge and clever hound named Beethoven. In a marked departure from his nice-guy roles in several Disney comedies from the 1960s and '70s, Dean Jones plays the villainous veterinarian who abducts Beethoven to be a subject in his sadistic animal experiments. The kidnapping sets the stage for a raucous rescue and, of course, an inevitable sequel. Innocuous but harmlessly entertaining, Beethoven is one of those movies that some kids can't get enough of. —Jeff Shannon
Jingle All the Way [VHS]
k7dg Brian Levant A hilarious Christmas comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Braveheart [VHS]
k7dg Sophie Marceau A stupendous historical saga, Braveheart won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for star Mel Gibson. He plays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish commoner who unites the various clans against a cruel English King, Edward the Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan). The scenes of hand-to-hand combat are brutally violent, but they never glorify the bloodshed. There is such enormous scope to this story that it works on a smaller, more personal scale as well, essaying love and loss, patriotism and passion. Extremely moving, it reveals Gibson as a multitalented performer and remarkable director with an eye for detail and an understanding of human emotion. (His first directorial effort was 1993's Man Without a Face.) The film is nearly three hours long and includes several plot tangents, yet is never dull. This movie resonates long after you have seen it, both for its visual beauty and for its powerful story. —Rochelle O'Gorman
Jagged Edge [VHS]
k7dg Richard Marquand Before screenwriter Joe Eszterhas wrote the ridiculous Showgirls, he crafted some entertaining if porous thrillers along the lines of the 1985 Jagged Edge, a taut mystery about an attorney (Glenn Close) who defends a newspaper publisher (Jeff Bridges) accused of murder. The fact that Close's character falls for him is more convenient than plausible, but it is a necessary emotional bridge for Eszterhas and the late director Richard Marquand (Eye of the Needle) to build toward a powerful finale. Scary, fun as courtroom dramas go, the film is well serviced by the two lead stars and has impressive support from costar Peter Coyote and especially from Robert Loggia, who plays Close's cop buddy. —Tom Keogh
Big [VHS]
k7dg Penny Marshall At a carnival, young Josh Baskin (HANKS) wishes he was big-only to awake the next morning and discover he is! With the help of his friend Billy (JARED RUSHTON), Josh lands a job at a toy company. There, his inner wisdom enables him to successfully predict what children want to buy, making the awestruck, naïve Josh irresistible to a beautiful ladder-climbing colleague (ELIZABETH PERKINS). But the more he experiences being an adult, the more Josh longs for the simple joys of childhood.
Encino Man [VHS]
k7dg Les Mayfield Brendan Fraser made his film debut in this 1992 comedy that never quite discovers its audience constituency. On the one hand, it features Pauly Shore, which would seem to define the picture's tone and identity accordingly. On the other hand, the film's other leading man is Sean Astin, the earnest star of Rudy, suggesting that Encino Man will have a lot of heart despite its silly premise. But none of that turns out to be true. Fraser plays an unfrozen caveman discovered by a pair of California high school outcasts (Shore and Astin). As the grunting newcomer becomes popular with the other kids, Shore and Astin try to bask in his reflected glow. Fraser, beginning a long movie career playing cartoonish goofballs, works entirely on instinct and earns his laughs. Shore, however, relies on his familiar verbal shtick, and Astin makes a great overgrown puppy pining after a lost girlfriend. Directed by Les Mayfield, who came to this project from his acclaimed documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse. —Tom Keogh
Billboard Dad [VHS]
k7dg Alan Metter It's the Olsen twins to the rescue once again in their straight-to-video release, Billboard Dad. With Venice, California, serving as a Bohemian backdrop, the preteen queens of the dead-mom genre scheme to find their widowed father a girlfriend by turning a Hollywood billboard into a personal ad. Breezy predictability ensues: Dad gets thousands of letters and dates a series of progressively weirder women before bumping into Ms. Right. Since Dad's a successful sculptor, true love destroys the angst behind his profitable art. As his agent tries to drive a wedge between the lovebirds, the twins become unwitting accomplices. All of this just sets the stage, really, for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to do their thing—they are way cool, fashionable, and mature beyond their preteen years—with their equally hip friends, who have a drama of their own unfolding on the diving team. Nothing truly unexpected happens, but it doesn't matter. In other words, parents, don't watch this alone. —Valerie J. Nelson
Last of the Dogmen [VHS]
k7dg Tab Murphy Despite an irritating, tacked-on voice-over narration that somebody must have thought was necessary to make sense of the story (it wasn't), Last of the Dogmen is actually a very moving and magical film. Tom Berenger plays a Montana bounty hunter who helps an anthropologist (Barbara Hershey) search for the descendants of a Cheyenne tribe who disappeared in the 1870s. What the two find in a remote mountain stretch is an entire community of Cheyenne who have kept themselves cut off from the modern world. A Dances with Wolves parallel emerges as the white outsiders gradually fit in, but Last of the Dogmen stands up just fine without comparison to any other films. As in Kevin Costner's Oscar-winning movie, however, there are ways in which this film captures a similar sense of yearning, mystery, and loss. —Tom Keogh
Scarface (1983) (2 Tapes) [VHS]
k7dg Brian De Palma This sprawling epic of bloodshed and excess, Brian De Palma's update of the classic 1932 crime drama by Howard Hawks, sparked controversy over its outrageous violence when released in 1983. Scarface is a wretched, fascinating car wreck of a movie, starring Al Pacino as a Cuban refugee who rises to the top of Miami's cocaine-driven underworld, only to fall hard into his own deadly trap of addiction and inevitable assassination. Scripted by Oliver Stone and running nearly three hours, it's the kind of film that can simultaneously disgust and amaze you (critic Pauline Kael wrote "this may be the only action picture that turns into an allegory of impotence"), with vivid supporting roles for Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Robert Loggia. —Jeff Shannon
Matilda (1996) (Clam) [VHS]
k7dg Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson Danny DeVito's adaptation of the Roald Dahl book for children is mostly just fine, helped along quite a bit by the charming performance of Mara Wilson (Mrs. Doubtfire) as young Matilda, a brilliant girl neglected by her stupid, self-involved parents (DeVito and Rhea Perlman). Ignored at home, Matilda escapes into a world of reading, exercising her mind so much she develops telekinetic powers. Good thing, too: sent off to a school headed by a cruel principal, Matilda needs all the help she can get. DeVito takes a highly stylized approach that is sometimes reminiscent of Barry Sonnenfeld (director of Get Shorty, a DeVito production), and his judgment is not the best in some matters, such as letting the comic-scary sequences involving the principal go on too long. But much of the film is delightful and funny. —Tom Keogh
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day [VHS]
k7dg Wolfgang Reitherman The Disney animated films of any given period all seem to be cut from one big piece of the same brightly colored cloth. Whatever their sources, they have all been seamlessly Disneyized. The Winnie the Pooh shorts are typical products of the Wolfgang Reitherman period of the '60s and '70s, supervised by the animation director responsible for The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book. It's jaunty, tuneful stuff, but produced on the cheap, crude, and sketchy-looking in comparison with recent peak achievements of Disney craftsmanship such as Mulan. This second installment (1968) takes off from one of the most stirring episodes in the second of A.A. Milne's books of stories about Christopher Robin and the Hundred Acre Woods crew, "The House at Pooh Corner," in which the wood weathers a storm and even a flood, and the animal chums learn to pull together in an emergency. Think of it as a disaster movie for the preschool crowd. —David Chute
Kindergarten Cop [VHS]
k7dg Ivan Reitman This winning 1990 comedy stars Arnold Schwarzenegger in an initially self-deprecating role as a grizzled, big-city cop who goes undercover as a small-town kindergarten teacher to nab a killer. One of the best films of director Ivan Reitman (Dave), this comedy (with some thriller elements) went a long way to further soften and broaden Schwarzenegger's image after Reitman worked with him in the gentle Twins. But Kindergarten Cop is genuinely touching, the story of a hard man who visibly finds his true passion and soul by leaving behind the rot of urban crime. Penelope Ann Miller is a delight as the love interest, Pamela Reed is wonderful as Arnold's cop partner, old pro Carroll Baker is quite nasty as the villain's evil mother, and Linda Hunt—whose diminutive stature makes for quite a contrast with Schwarzenegger when they share scenes—is entertaining as a tough principal. Upon its release, some people assumed the title meant this is a good movie for little kids, but it isn't. The DVD release features production notes, biographies, highlights, theatrical trailer, Dolby sound, full-screen presentation, and optional French and Spanish soundtracks. —Tom Keogh
Paulie [VHS]
k7dg John Roberts The human beings are almost as interesting as the title character in this surprisingly subtle and engaging film about the cross-country adventures of a smart-mouthed parrot. As director John Roberts deploys the footage, the bird becomes a vivid personality; every quizzical twist of his head is oddly expressive. The people who interact with Paulie are a quirky and interesting bunch as well, and the casting is topnotch: Tony Shalhoub (The Siege) as a Russian immigrant janitor, Cheech Marin as an open-hearted mariachi musician, and Gena Rowlands as a widowed painter in a footloose Winnebago—all are vividly eccentric individuals, memorable in their own right. There are some tired swipes at the cold-blooded meanies of Big Science (beady-eyed researcher Bruce Davison has Paulie clapped in irons), but for the most part the film respects the complexity of everyone's motivations, and that's virtually unheard of in today's Hollywood, even in films supposedly designed for grownups. —David Chute
Happy Gilmore [VHS]
k7dg Adam Sandler Heavy-metal golf with Adam Sandler, a 1996 dry run of the wild-man-athlete formula that paid off so handsomely in The Waterboy. There are some irresistibly funny sequences, although you may hate yourself for laughing at the mean-spirited slapstick. This isn't a classic golf comedy, like the Bill Murray vehicle Caddyshack, but as a hot-tempered would- be hockey player who finds an unexpected métier as a power golfer, Sandler has a short-fuse shtick that's effectively deployed. He's like a punk rocker gleefully out of his element, puncturing the country-club atmosphere by using the fairway as a private mosh pit. The action gets repetitive beyond the midpoint, and a subplot involving Gilmore's lovable grandma and her problems with the IRS is dismayingly sappy. Sandler's iconoclasm is mostly window dressing; there's no conceptual or satirical daring in his kind of "outrageousness." The strong supporting cast includes Christopher McDonald as Gilmore's smug rival on the links, Julie Bowen as a perky publicist, and, in a memorable bout of fisticuffs with our hero, game-show host Bob Barker. Director Dennis Dugan (Problem Child) himself plays Doug Thompson, the golf-tour supervisor. —David Chute
Going Overboard [VHS]
k7dg Adam Sandler, Billy Zane At the beginning of this no-budget cheapie, Adam Sandler tells us this is a "loosely thrown together story" built around free access to a cruise ship and "a lot of good-looking women." So they get an A for truth in advertising. Sandler (very green in his first feature film) plays Shecky Moskowitz, a cruise ship waiter with dreams of being a standup comedian. At one point, General Manuel Noriega sends some goons to take over the ship. And there's a lot of voluptuous women hanging around in bikinis. So much for the plot. Sold as a wacky sex comedy, Going Overboard is more of a funny-nose-and-glasses movie, desperately trying anything for a laugh. Sandler's trademark being-funny-by-being-unfunny hadn't started to click yet. Only Billy Zane (as a sort of long-suffering-Jewish-grandmother-ish King Neptune) and Adam Rifkin (as a self-absorbed, mossy-toothed heavy metal star) seem to have any comic timing. A number of the supporting cast would go on to play roles in other, better Adam Sandler movies. Look fast for Billy Bob Thornton(!), appearing here as "Dave the heckler." —Geof Miller
Good Will Hunting [VHS]
k7dg Gus Van Sant One of the best films of the 1990s, this is one of those rare box office mega-hits that deserved all the adulation and awards it earned. Youthful stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck earned an Academy Award for their incisive, witty script. Damon plays a janitor at MIT who is an enormously gifted mathematician. Salivating professors bring the angry and troubled young man to psychiatrist Robin Williams, hoping Damon will conform enough to further his education. (Williams garnered an Academy Award for his heartfelt performance.) Director Gus Van Sant put away his more invasive camera tricks and let the story tell itself. Good thing, because this is one involving and well-acted tale. Several plot tangents, including a sweet little romance between Damon and Minnie Driver, are carefully woven into the fabric of this multilayered drama. Friendship, societal expectations, and the long reach of a damaged childhood are all portrayed with such finesse that the story never feels heavy-handed. Extraordinarily optimistic, Good Will Hunting is exceptional because it causes elation and forces you to think. —Rochelle O'Gorman
Casino (2pc) [VHS]
k7dg Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese Director Martin Scorsese reunites with members of his GoodFellas gang (writer Nicholas Pileggi; actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Frank Vincent) for a three-hour epic about the rise and fall of mobster Sam "Ace" Rothstein (De Niro), a character based on real-life gangster Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal. (It's modeled after on Wiseguy and GoodFellas and Pileggi's true crime book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas.) Through Rothstein, the picture tells the story of how the Mafia seized, and finally lost control of, Las Vegas gambling. The first hour plays like a fascinating documentary, intricately detailing the inner workings of Vegas casinos. Sharon Stone is the stand out among the actors; she nabbed an Oscar nomination for her role as the voracious Ginger, the glitzy call girl who becomes Rothstein's wife. The film is not as fast paced or gripping as Scorsese's earlier gangster pictures (Mean Streets and GoodFellas), but it's still absorbing. And, hey—it's Scorsese! —Jim Emerson
Legend [VHS]
k7dg Ridley Scott This strange, 1985 experiment by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) starred the up-and-coming Tom Cruise in a fairy-tale world of dwarfs and unicorns and demons. After the horn of a unicorn is broken, darkness and winter descend upon the world. Cruise's character, helped along by a magic sprite played by David Bennent (The Tin Drum), descends into hell to save paradise. This movie is almost a classic case of art direction gone amok. The somewhat amorphous Cruise doesn't lend much dramatic focus or artistic definition, but the drama between Tim Curry's satanic majesty and Mia Sara's character, who becomes a sort of princess of the netherworld, is pretty captivating. A mixed experience all around that makes one wish it had been more successful. —Tom Keogh
Casper [VHS]
k7dg Brad Silberling This 1995 family film tries to put a fun spin on the story of a paranormalist and widower (Bill Pullman) who moves into a new house with his daughter (Christina Ricci) and meets up with the ghost of a dead little boy. Based on the comic book about Casper the friendly ghost, the film is a dreary series of awkward interactions between live actors and computer effects, and you can almost see Pullman and Ricci reconsidering the project while on camera. A few cameo appearances from uncredited stars help things a bit. But there's no way, based on this film, that one could have guessed that its director, Brad Silberling, would go on to make the exceptional drama City of Angels. —Tom Keogh
Hanson - Tulsa, Tokyo & the Middle of Nowhere [VHS]
k7dg David Silver "You want to see something, do ya?" So asks Zac Hanson in the video. Well, if you want to see Hanson across the planet, everywhere from Tulsa to Tokyo and back, you have the right tape in your hand. You will see and hear Ike, Taylor and Zac performing live, dealing with press and radio, and, maybe, most important, having a ton of fun. Everything is documented just for you in 82 minutes of assorted excitement. Here's are partial list of the contents: Hanson performing their "Middle of Nowhere" hits in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe and Asia...Hanson having fun in never-before-seen home videos (at the amazing Segworld in London, on hear-stopping rides flying through the air)...Hanson up close and personal in the recording a brand new edit of their video "Where's the Love" as well as in the chart-topping "MMMBop" clip...Hanson hanging with Cindy Crawford...Ike, Taylor and Zac chatting about their experiences together...and the guys performing their hits at the Beacon Theatre in New York especially for you. All this gives you a customized picture of what life's been like fore the three of them since they exploded into the world music scene. It's a non-stop ride which will leave you a little breathless...very exhilarated...and you'll never know what's coming next...until you play it again...and again...and again. 1. Opening Logos 2. Thinking of You (Beacon Theatre, NY) 3. Meet the Band 4. MMMBop Video 5. Behind-the-Scenes 6. Photo Shoot 7. Man From Milwaukee (Live in Toronto) 8. Screaming Fans 9. In The Studio 10. Zac's Redwood Documentary 11. Where's the Love Photo shoot 12. No Work, All Play 13. International Scene 14. Madeline 15. Back To Nature 16. Where's the Love (Beacon Theatre, NY) 17. A Minute Without You (Beacon Theatre, NY) 18. MMMBop (Beacon Theatre, NY) 19. Brotherly Love 20. Closing Credits
Usual Suspects / Movie [VHS]
k7dg Bryan Singer Ever since this convoluted thriller dazzled audiences and critics in 1995 and won an Oscar for Christopher McQuarrie's twisting screenplay, The Usual Suspects has continued to divide movie lovers into opposite camps. While a lot of people take great pleasure from the movie's now-famous central mystery (namely, "Who is Keyser Söze?"), others aren't so easily impressed by a movie that's too enamored of its own cleverness to make much sense. After all, what are we to make of a final scene that renders the entire movie obsolete? Half the fun of The Usual Suspects is the debate it provokes and the sheer pleasure of watching its dynamic cast in action, led (or should we say, mislead) by Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey as the club-footed con man who recounts the saga of enigmatic Hungarian mobster Keyser Söze. Spacey's in a band of thieves that includes Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, and Benicio Del Toro, all gathered in a plot to steal a large shipment of cocaine. The story is told in flashback as a twisted plot being described by Spacey's character to an investigating detective (Chazz Palmintieri), and The Usual Suspects is enjoyable for the way it keeps the viewer guessing right up to its surprise ending. Whether that ending will enhance or extinguish the pleasure is up to each viewer to decide. Even if it ultimately makes little or no sense at all, this is a funny and fiendish thriller, guaranteed to entertain even its vocal detractors. —Jeff Shannon
Hook (Slip) [VHS]
k7dg Steven Spielberg Steven Spielberg's deeply flawed but sporadically fun and moving update of the Peter Pan legend stars Robin Williams as the grown-up Pan, a corporate-takeover type who must embrace his old identity in order to save his kids from Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). The stars put on a good show, including Hoffman's read of Hook's hysterical personality, Julia Roberts mini-turn as a tiny Tinker Bell, and Maggie Smith's touching performance as the aged Wendy. The visual contrast between the adult Pan's bustling outside world and the insulated fantasy of Neverland is striking, but Spielberg's ideas about the Lost Boys—politically correct in their ethnic diversity, energetic on skateboards—are contrived and cheapening. On the plus side, the story's theme about adults finding their innocence again through their children is very touching (though some people have found it cloying). If you can look beyond the glaring problems, there's plenty to like here. —Tom Keogh
Turner & Hooch [VHS]
k7dg Roger Spottiswoode Much better than your average cop-and-dog movie (e.g., K-9), Turner and Hooch is really a love story about a control freak (Tom Hanks) who gradually resigns to the messy chaos of a sweet hulk of a pooch named Hooch. The excuse for this relationship is that the dog can identify a murderer and Hanks needs him, but the film is really about such hilarious moments as Hanks bathing Hooch with a long brush, and a wild chase through the streets when the sharp-eyed mutt spots his suspect. Layered over this is a healthy love story between Hanks and animal vet Mare Winningham, who share a terribly sexy scene together—while fully clothed—doing no more than making breakfast. (Hanks directed this scene, though Roger Spottiswoode directed the rest of the movie.) —Tom Keogh
Blue Crush [VHS]
k7dg John Stockwell With refreshing energy, Blue Crush is the kind of movie that girls and young women deserve to see more of. It's mostly for them (although nice tans and bikinis will attract the guys), and it rejuvenates the surf-movie tradition by showing real girls with real friendships, coping with absent parents, borderline poverty, rocky romance, and the challenge of raising a kid sister. For young Hawaiian Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth), those responsibilities are motivations to excel as a champion-class surfer... if she can overcome the fear of drowning, which she nearly did in a previous wipeout. Supportive friends (Girlfight's Michelle Rodriguez, and Sanoe Lake) help her reach the climactic competition on Oahu's infamous Bonzai Pipeline, and like Saturday Night Fever, this engaging film uplifts the working class without condescension, riding high toward the joy of achievement. Himself an amateur surfer, director John Stockwell (Crazy/Beautiful) captures the extreme thrill of the sport while respecting the forces of nature and human behavior. —Jeff Shannon
Doctor Dolittle (1998) [VHS]
k7dg Betty Thomas A successful physician and devoted family man, John Dolittle (Murphy) seems to have the world by the tail, until a long-suppresses talent possessed as a child - the ability to communicate with animals- is suddenly reawakened with a vengeance! Now every creature within squawking distance wants the good doctor's advice, unleashing an outrageous chain of events that turn his world upside down!

Featuring an all-star menagerie of voice talent (including Chris Rock, John Leguizamo, Norm MacDonald, Albert Brooks, Gary Shandling and Ellen DeGeneres), this wild and woolly free-for-all is your prescription for hilarious hijinks and "mischievous fun!" (The New York Times)
The Brady Bunch Movie [VHS]
k7dg Betty Thomas The big-screen version of the hugely popular 1970s television sitcom takes an original angle: instead of simply re-creating the old series, the film spoofs it by presenting the merged family as blithely unaware that fashions and customs have changed in the '90s. Shelley Long and Gary Cole are hilarious as the ultra-square yet libidinous Mr. and Mrs. Brady, Christopher Daniel Barnes is an ideal Greg, and Christine Taylor seems practically cloned from the original Marcia. But director Betty Thomas (Private Parts) shifts the emphasis away from comparisons between old and new Bradys and concentrates on quasi-surreal parodies and set pieces featuring the Brady kids doing their spirited, singing thing for a disbelieving public. Smart, sharp, and happy to share its conspiratorial mood with an appreciative audience, The Brady Bunch Movie is a kick. —Tom Keogh
Interview With the Vampire [VHS]
k7dg Joke van Wijk, Mick Audsley, Neil Jordan When it was announced that Tom Cruise would play the vampire Lestat in this adaptation of Anne Rice's bestselling novel, even Rice chimed in with a highly publicized objection. The author wisely and justifiably recanted her negative opinion when she saw Cruise's excellent performance, which perceptively addresses the pain and chronic melancholy that plagues anyone cursed with immortal bloodlust. Brad Pitt and Kirsten Dunst are equally good at maintaining the dark and brooding tone of Rice's novel. And in this rare mainstream project for a major studio, director Neil Jordan compensates for a lumbering plot by honoring the literate, Romantic qualities of Rice's screenplay. Considered a disappointment while being embraced by Rice's loyal followers, the movie is too slow to be a satisfying thriller, but it is definitely one of the most lavish, intelligent horror films ever made. —Jeff Shannon
Rush [VHS]
k7dg Lili Fini Zanuck "It's an ugly world," warns brooding undercover cop Jason Patric to his naive rookie partner Jennifer Jason Leigh. "You get ugly with it." First-time director Lili Fini Zanuck brings both accomplished style and three-days-without-a-shower grit to this tough adaptation of Kim Wozencraft's book, the real-life story of two undercover narcotics agents who succumb to the rush of the drugs and the danger while building a case in rural Texas in 1974. This isn't an action film, but a harrowing, tense drama in which sudden death hangs over every drug deal and the so-called rules no longer exist. Patric and Leigh give riveting performances as the compromised cops trying to survive the self-destructive spiral into addiction, and Gregg Allman is memorable in an almost wordless performance as a shady bar owner. Eric Clapton's bluesy score and a soundtrack of well-chosen roadhouse tunes perfectly set the time and the tone. —Sean Axmaker