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DVD EXTRA: DEC 11, 2002

More movies out at your video store this week: Shannon J. Harvey flicks through the latest releases on DVD and VHS; The Mothman Prophecies, Unfaithful, Resident Evil and The Majestic (For full reviews of selected leading titles, please see our DVD menu.)

VHS and DVD rental and retail, December 11, Columbia
Director Mark Pellington rattled us with the superb _ and in hindsight somewhat prescient _ urban terrorist thriller Arlington Road. Now he turns to something more supernatural with this spine-tingling creature feature inspired by actual events. Investigating the tragic death of his wife (Debra Messing), journalist John Klein (Richard Gere) is drawn to a small West Virginia town where the locals are seeing an eerie moth-like entity _ supposedly the harbinger of death. Strange and deadly things start happening. It's a nice little chiller-thriller which scares you to death without spilling a drop of blood. The two-disc DVD comes with a cool commentary by Pellington, who discusses the Mothman myth and its links to real life, and three documentaries on the making of the movie.

VHS and DVD rental, December 18, 20th Century Fox
If you can't stand Richard Gere as a bug hunting journo in the above film, then try him as a jealous husband in the intriguing Unfaithful. Gere is a smarmy, successful husband to bored housewife Diane Lane who, on a shopping trip to New York, is rescued by a handsome young Frenchman (Oliver
Martinez). Curious subsequent visits turn into a raunchy, illicit affair. And I do mean raunchy _ with a capital R! Lane gives even Sharon Stone a run for her money with some very steamy sex scenes. But things turn cold _ as they do _ when hubby finds out. What happens from there might have you scratching your head _ especially the quixotic, abrupt ending _ but this is a provocative film (in more ways than one..) that has you asking what you might do in the same situation.

VHS and DVD rental, December 11, Buena Vista
History hasn't been kind to video-game movies. Remember Super Mario
Brothers? Street Fighter? Tomb Raider? Me neither. So I wasn't expecting much from Resident Evil, a sci-fi thriller based on the trashy but popular video games series. But this is the exception to the rule _ a fresh, fast-paced, sexy and surprising techno-thriller with some stunning cinematic moments. Check out the moves on Milla Jovovich when she deals with a pack of mutant killer Dobermans! Or the laser field that slices and dices the military crew sent into an underground weapons facility to help her contain a deadly leaked virus that turns everyone into flesh eating zombies! Sounds ridiculous, I know, but if you're in the right mood, this works a treat. It blends elements of Aliens, 2001 and Night of the Living Dead into a schlocky all-action adventure. Even better than the game.

VHS and DVD rental and retail, December 18, Roadshow
Apparently director Frank Darabont has never heard the word ``CUT'', let alone said it. He got away with long, drawn out plots in The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile thanks to Stephen King's gripping stories. But in The Majestic he drags 90 minutes worth of story into a 146 minute marathon. Jim Carrey is 1950s Hollywood screenwriter Peter Appleton, who is accused of being a communist by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Stripped of his career, Appleton gets drunk, takes a long drive and crashes over a bridge. He washes up in a tiny town with a bad case of amnesia and is mistaken for Luke Trimble, a lost war hero whose ``return'' breathes life back into the sleepy town. A Capra-esque drama that might have been really good if it weren't for the over-wrought snail's pace direction. Curiously, rubber-faced Jim Carrey spends most of the film with the one wide-eyed expression on his face. It's amazing how even he manages to look enthusiastic for the length of this sappy affair.

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The Mothman Prophecies


Resident Evil

The Majestic

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