lost and delirious (2001, Lions Gate), dir. Léa Pool w/ Piper Perabo, Jessica Paré. Perabo and Paré star as boarding-school lovers who take a new girl (Mischa Barton) into their confidence. Susan Swan's edgy novel The Wives Of Bath becomes a much safer film in which the lesbian affair retains a dreaded "love that dare not speak its name" taint. Credit the young actors with giving controlled performances -- they stay clear of the hysterical outbursts that would sink this film in an instant. NNN
Big-screen rating: NNN (IR)
planet of the apes (2001, Fox), dir. Tim Burton w/ Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth. This remake of the popular 1967 film is a dismal failure. Burton concentrates on the elaborate ape makeup and costumes and doesn't bother coming up with a believable script. And what's up with Wahlberg? He's supposed to be a leader of men, rallying them against the apes, but I've heard better pep talks from soccer moms. NN
Big-screen rating: The original movie stayed barely this side of camp; Burton's remake strides right over the line. NN (CB)
Also this week
Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas (sell-through)
The Matrix Revisited
The Closet, Hey, Happy!, Lumumba, Pootie Tang
Ghosts Of Mars, Pearl Harbor, The Uncles
DVD picks of the week
apocalypse now redux (1979/2001, Paramount), dir. Francis Ford Coppola w/ Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando. Coppola has recut his 1979 masterpiece, adding 49 minutes, and you wish he'd controlled his nitpicking urges. The extra scenes slow down Willard's (Sheen) journey to find the mad Kurtz (Brando), and the French plantation sequence is especially numbing. It adds a layer of confusing Indo-Chinese politics to the tale and a pretentious romance for Willard. I prefer the original, but even with the extra footage, this is one of the greatest war films ever made.
The added scenes are really the extras, so you only get the theatrical trailer and closed captions. 202 minutes. NNNNNINGRID RANDOJA
rebecca: criterion special edition (1940, Criterion), dir. Alfred Hitchcock w/ Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine. The link between Jane Eyre and Sleeping With The Enemy, Hitchcock's Rebecca treads the line between grand romance and gender war. This was his first American film, so it's more David O. Selznick than the Hitch to come, but he still finds time to crank up the creeps. Anchor Bay has had this disc out for ages, but Criterion gives it the deluxe treatment.
Commentary by film scholar Leonard J. Leff, excerpts from Hitchcock's famous interviews with François Truffaut, phone interviews with stars Joan Fontaine and Dame Judith Anderson, screen tests, trailer, stills, essay, Hitchcock's casting notes, three full radio broadcasts of the story, plus footage from the 1940 Academy Awards, where it won best picture. 130 minutes. NNNN CAMERON BAILEY