Pfeiffer, Cage and Bullock Now at Video StoreThe new video releases for mid January are "What Lies Beneath," "Gone in 60 Seconds," "28 Days," "Kundun" and "The Art of War." Here are reviews of the first three.
What Lies Beneath (2000)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starring Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Remar, Diana Scarwid and Amber Valletta.
Claire Spencer (Pfeiffer) has it all - a happy marriage, a teenage daughter and a beautiful home in Vermont. Then her daughter leaves for college and suddenly the empty house becomes sinister. The doors creak and open on their own and whispers fill the home. Or so Claire claims. Her husband, Norman Spencer (Ford), a doctor, dismisses her fears and sends her to a psychiatrist (Joe Morton).
It slowly becomes clear that Claire isn't delusional and that her perfect marriage is threatened.
Zemeckis borrows heavily from Alfred Hitchcock in scenes that recall "Rear Window" and "Psycho."
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Directed by Dominic Sena. Starring Nicholas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall, Delroy Lindo and Giovanni Ribisi.
"Gone in 60 Seconds" is based on a 1974 cult classic about a car thief who attempts to steal 48 cars in a week. Maindrian Pace (H. B. Halicki) and his team run into trouble trying to steal a 1973 Mach 1 Mustang which results in a famous 40 minute car chase.
In this version, the storyline is altered. Memphis Raines (Cage) used to be the greatest car thief in Los Angeles who has now retired at his mother's request. Her fear is that his younger brother, Kip (Ribisi), will follow in his footsteps and he inevitably does.
Memphis is forced out of retirement after an ominous visit from an old friend, Atley Jackson (Will Patton), who tells him Kip's life is on the line. Raymond Calitri (Christopher Eccleston) offers Kip's life in exchange for 50 expensive cars.
Memphis enlists his old partners, including his mentor Otto Halliwell (Duvall) and an old flame "Sway" Wayland (Jolie), to help him.
28 Days (2000)
Directed by Betty Thomas. Starring Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortensen, Dominic West, Elizabeth Perkins, Steve Buscemi and Azura Skye.
Bullock has perfected an appealing "girl next door" image which brings an element of shock and realism to her role as Gwen Cummings, an alcoholic. Gwen is a party girl. Life on the fast track with her charismatic boyfriend, Jasper (West), seems great. Gwen's having fun when she arrives late for her sister's wedding, drunk. She's still having fun when she gives her sister Lilly (Perkins) a scandalous toast, knocks over the wedding cake, steals a limousine to buy another cake and then crashes into a home.
Sentenced to 28 days in rehab instead of jail, Gwen is forced to confront her alcoholism. To the cynical city girl, the other residents and the rules and rituals of the Serenity Glen center are bizarre. She holds herself aloof from her counselor, Cornell (Buscemi), and the members of her therapy group. A romance starts brewing with a baseball player, Eddie Boone (Morten-sen), but Jasper still charms her.
When tragedy strikes, Gwen draws closer to the other residents and begins the struggle to reclaim sobriety in earnest.
by Joe Yong-hee