New releasesNew releases
ghosts of mars (2001, Columbia Tri-Star), dir. John Carpenter w/ Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube. Henstridge, Ice Cube and an assorted bunch of earthlings tackle a Martian organism that infects humans and turns them into zombie-like creatures. Shoddy.
extras Carpenter's video diary is a bust -- who cares about hand-held footage of the film's shooting? Audio commentary by Carpenter and Henstridge is humdrum at best. NNjohn harkness
Big-screen rating: suffers from directorial laziness and bad dialogue. NN (JH)
pearl harbor (2001, Touchstone), dir. Michael Bay w/ Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett. Pearl Harbor blows up real good, and it should, since Bay and his producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, are masters of the loud boom-boom boys' movie. It's too bad they didn't spend as much time on the script, which falters when it comes to the three-way romance between best friend pilots Affleck, Hartnett and comely naval nurse Kate Beckinsale. The dialogue sounds like it leapt straight off one of those overwrought war posters.
extras There's no commentary track yet -- look for that in the special edition out next spring -- but there are two documentaries. Journey To The Screen: The Making Of Pearl Harbor will thrill those interested in how the filmmakers pulled off the film's impressive Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base. But I loved the History Channel's documentary Unsung Heroes Of Pearl Harbor, which meticulously lays out the moment-by-moment events of the attack and highlights the valour of so many specific individuals. NN INGRID RANDOJA
Big-screen rating: NN (IR)
dirty rotten scoundrels: special edition (1988, MGM/UA), dir. Frank Oz w/ Michael Caine, Steve Martin. Caine and Martin do some of their funniest work here, playing two con artists battling to see who can clean out heiress Glenne Headly first. Possibly the best comedy of the 80s, if only for the scene where Martin poses as Prince Ruprecht the monkey-boy. extras Audio commentary by director Frank Oz, making-of documentary, trailers, subtitles in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. NNNN CAMERON BAILEY
Also this week
Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Jurassic Park III, The Score
Aimée & Jaguar, Baise-Moi, Moulin Rouge!, Rush Hour 2, Time Regained