Before MTV got punk'd and The Real World was still slightly real, the proprietor of music television featured a late-night show so fluid in its experimentation that they called it Liquid Television. Geared toward insomniacs with an appetite for the avant-garde, LT featured several animated shorts, including Aeon Flux. Soon, it was turned into its own 30-minute weekly program. Aeon Flux is a sadistic, leather-clad secret agent who lives across the border from the enemy state, run by Trevor Goodchild, who is both Aeon's nemesis and her forbidden love. While the story does not necessarily echo Romeo and Juliet-type themes, this combination of opposites is intriguing in its paradoxical nature.
Extras: 4 Akeelah and the Bee is a moving story about a precocious “tweenager.” She discovers she is more than the sum of her spelling parts and helps others around her realize their own abilities to become powerful beyond measure. Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett reunite in this inspirational tale of hope, audacity, and some very hard-to-spell words. Fishburne gives an impeccable performance as the candid Dr. Larabee, who guides Akeelah to the national spelling bee under his rigorous tutelage.
Directed by Garry Marshall, Beaches is a story about two 11-year-old girls who meet on the beach in Atlantic City and continue to keep in touch and weather the challenges of adult life throughout the years. The film is best remembered for its ability to turn on your waterworks, but the best thing about it is that it doesn't sugarcoat what really happens in a friendship, like the one between CC Bloom (Bette Midler) and her best friend, Hillary Whitney, (Barbara Hershey). Beaches is a moving story, filled with camaraderie, jealousy, glory, pain, and forgiveness.
Descending from Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger moves into a completely different characterization as the womanizing Casanova. You might believe you know the tale of this most legendary gigolo. Casanova, however, adds a romanticized spin. The film is satirical and whimsical, but you can also take it as a cautionary tale of suffering the consequences of a deviant past. The lovely Sienna Miller, who gives a delightful performance as the astute, exquisite Francesca Bruni, accompanies Ledger.
Barret Oliver, Michael McKean, Mary Beth Hurt, Colleen Camp, Josef Sommer, Kathryn Walker, Danny Corkill. Directed by Simon Wincer. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic). Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital Mono. 100 minutes. 1985. Paramount 01810. PG. $14.99.
If you think this is a story about a horse, you’re only halfway there. On the surface, Flicka is a film about a wild horse that is accidentally found by Katy (Alison Lohman), a headstrong, horse-loving teenager, while she tries to escape the confines of her father’s expectations—and a mountain lion. The parallel between the struggles of Katy and Flicka—man trying to contain nature—is typical at best. But, for this horse enthusiast, it works.