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DVD Reviews for 7/22:Ahhh, who cares?

by Peter Sobczynski

In which your faithful scribe takes a long look at the fairly meager DVD offerings this week and decides that there is no use to even pretending that there is something worth examining in depth.

COMING AUGUST 30

THE BAD NEWS BEARS: TRIPLE PLAY COLLECTION (Paramount Home Video): Despite the surprisingly high quality of Richard Linklater’s current remake, the original 1976 version, in which over-the-hill ballplayer Walter Matthau transforms a collection of foul-mouthed and klutzy kids into a winning Little League team with the aid of pitching ace Tatum O’Neal and hard-hatting punk Jackie Earle Haley, is still the better version–a cutting social satire (courtesy of director Michael Ritchie) that is still fresh and relevant even today. The set also feature the two lesser sequels, 1977's “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training” and 1978's “The Bad News Bears Go to Japan,” in which the absent Ritchie, Matthau and O’Neal were replaced with increasingly juvenile antics.

NEW AND NOTABLE

CONSTANTINE (Warner Home Video. $30.99): This effects-heavy extravaganza–an adaptation of the comic book series in which Keanu Reeves plays a chain-smoking antihero whose day-to-day gig involves battling demons from the bowels of Hell (and elsewhere)–was drubbed by most critics when it came out earlier this year. Personally, I enjoyed it a lot for its bold visual style and unapologetic goofiness–it is a load, of course, but it is the good load. Besides, any film with the wit and taste to include both Rachel Weisz and Tilda Swinton in the cast is okay by me.

THE CROW: WICKED PRAYER (Dimension Home Video. $29.99): A direct-to-video sequel to a series that most people assumed ended two films ago? A direct-to-video sequel to a series that most people assumed ended two films ago featuring Dennis Hopper in a brief role (presumably to finance the purchase of another addition to his art collection)? A direct-to-video sequel to a series that most people assumed ended two films ago featuring Dennis Hopper in a brief role and Tara Reid as the bad girl member of a satanic cult (led by David Boreanz) whose murder of a couple of innocent dopes (Edward Furlong and Emmanuelle Chriqui) leads to more cut-rate revenge from someone resembling a member of a KISS tribute band? Depending on your point of view, consider the above to be either a recommendation or a warning.

ICE PRINCESS (Buena Vista Home Entertainment. $29.95): What would happen if you took a copy of “Ice Castles” (minus all that pesky blindness) and a copy of “The Princess Diaries” (minus all that pesky Larry Miller) and threw them into a blender. Well, you would have a broken blender for starters. You would also wind up with a film not unlike this one, in which shy teenager Michelle Trachtenberg uses her math skills to help her become a potential ice-skating champion. Surprisingly, it is a little more charming and intelligent than the trailers indicated, though it is only essential viewing if you are a 10-year-old girl or an especially perverted “Buffy” fan.

MAN OF THE HOUSE (Columbia/Tri-Star Home Entertainment. $29.98): I know I saw this Tommy Lee Jones (not, it should be noted, the one that he won the Best Actor award for at Cannes earlier this year) disaster during its brief run earlier this year but I will be damned if I can remember anything about it other than it featured a gaggle of pretty girls in short skirts, a cell phone being shoved up that part of a cow where the sun most definitely doesn’t shine and a grim-faced Jones going through the motions with a professionalism that it neither deserves nor earns.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED-BEST OF THE SWIMSUIT MODEL SEARCH (Genius Products. $12.99): What could be better than a disc featuring a flock of scantily-clad hotties giving their all for the privilege of having horny guys slobbering over them in the pages of “Sports Illustrated”? How about a disc along those lines that also includes a bonus feature listed simply as “Pajama Party”?

URBAN LEGEND: BLOODY MARY (Columbia/Tri-Star Home Entertainment. $24.98): I had planned on essentially reusing my comments for “The Crow: Wicked Prayer” to describe this direct-to-video horror film until I realized that there is a fundamental difference between the “Crow” films and the “Urban Legend” films. The “Crow” movies actually started off with a strong entry before tailing off into mediocrity while the previous “Urban Legend” films were crap from the get-go–so much so, in fact, that, you will recall, that Tara Reid made her inevitable appearance in the original.


link directly to this feature at https://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1553
originally posted: 07/22/05 13:36:52
last updated: 08/04/05 08:05:28
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