Can't say I had high hopes for this one going in but Alvin and the Chipmunks ended up being one of the most enjoyable family films I saw this last year. I used to watch the cartoon when I was a kid and this feature film did a good job capturing the spirit and humor of the original show. There are some great laughs here and the music is catchy enough that my daughter had to get up a boogie a bit during the movie. Sure it has a lot of comedy clichs and Hollywood formula, but it was still solid family fun.
F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Simon Callow, Roy Dotrice, Christine Ebersole, Jeffrey Jones, Charles Kay, Kenneth McMillan. Directed by Milos Forman. Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround 2.0. Two discs. 180 minutes. 1984. Warner Home Video 37464. R. $26.99.
Extras: 3.5/5 Gripping human drama. Sumptuous period epic. Glorious celebration of the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This marvelous winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, portrays the rivalry between the genius Mozart and the jealous court composer who may have ruined Mozart's career and shortened his life.
Extras: 2.5/5 Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a man in his mid-40s going through an intense midlife crisis; he's grown cynical and is convinced that he has no reason to go on. Lester's relationship with his wife Carolyn is not a warm one; while on the surface Carolyn strives to present the image that she's in full control of her life, inside she feels empty and desperate. Their teenage daughter Jane is constantly depressed, lacking in self-esteem, and convinced that she's unattractive. Her problems aren't helped by her best friend Angela, an aspiring model who is quite beautiful and believes that that alone makes her a worthwhile person. Jane isn't the only one who has noticed that Angela is attractive: Lester has fallen into uncontrollable lust for her, and she becomes part of his drastic plan to change his body and change his life. Meanwhile, next door, Colonel Fitts has spent a lifetime in the Marine Corps and can understand and tolerate no other way of life, which makes life difficult for his son Ricky, an aspiring filmmaker and part-time drug dealer who is obsessed with beauty, wherever and whatever it may be.
Extras: 4.5/5 Armed with ruthless, street-wise tactics and a strict sense of honor, crime boss Frank Lucas rules Harlem's chaotic drug underworld. When outcast cop Richie Roberts sets out to bring down Lucas's multi-million dollar empire, it plunges both men into a legendary confrontation.
Extras: 2.5/5 From director George Lucas and producer Francis Ford Coppola, "American Graffiti" is a classic coming-of-age story set against the 1960s backdrop of hot rods, drive-ins and rock n' roll. Starring Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips and Suzanne Somers in their breakout roles, this nostalgic look back follows a group of teenagers as they cruise the streets on their last summer night before college.
Extras: 2/5 Derek Vinyard is dangerous, a coiled fury of hate who leads a neo-Nazi gang. But time and events start to change him. He reassesses his ways while doing time for manslaughter and emerges from prison eager to keep his younger brother from falling victim to the thug cycle of violence and payback. It may be too late. Weaving in and out of events past and present in Derek's life, "American History X" is revealing in its look at white-supremacist gangs and impassioned in its message that hatred and bigotry can be unlearned.
Paul Giamatti, Hope Davis. Directed by Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman. Aspect ratio: 1.77:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround 2.0 (English). 101 minutes. 2003. HBO Video 92031. R. $27.95.
Extras: 0/5 Laevsky clings to ephemeral pleasures such as drinking, gambling, and romancing his alluring mistress, Nadya, in the Russian provinces -- putting all of the said pursuits far ahead of disciplined action -- but he soon grows listless and disenchanted with Nadya, falls into financial ruin, and ultimately must fight Von Koren in a vicious duel thanks to Nadya's sexual liaisons with the man.
Extras: 2.5/5 Inspired by the true life experiences of its title character, "Antwone Fisher" tells the compelling story of a troubled sailor who is ordered to see a naval psychiatrist about his volatile temper. Little does he know that his first step into the doctor's office will lead him on a remarkable emotional journey to confront his painful past and connect with the family he never knew.
Extras: 3.75/5 At the 50-year line of this gridiron cosmos is Al Pacino as Tony D'Amato, the embattled Sharks coach facing a full-on blitz of team strife plus a new, marketing-savvy sharks owner who's sure Tony is way too old school. An injured quarterback, a flashy, bull-headed backup quarterback, a slithery team doctor and a running back with an incentive-laden contract also provide some of the stories that zigzag like diagrams in a playbook.