[VIDEO REVIEWS] Top Tapes Include Jackie Chan WesternThe top five video rentals from Feb. 5 to 11 were "Hollow Man," "Shanghai Noon," "Gone in 60 Seconds," "Art of War" and "Big Mamma's House," according to Cinetown. For a complete list of the top rentals, visit the video rental franchise's Web site at www.cinetown.co.kr (Korean only).
Here are reviews of "Hollow Man," "Shanghai Noon," and "The Art of War."
HOLLOW MAN (2000)
Directed by Paul Verhoeven. Starring Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Kim Dickens, Joey Slotnick and Mary Randle.
If you were granted super powers, would you use them for good or evil? Sebastian Caine (Bacon) heads a team of scientists working on a top secret government project. After they succeed in making a primate invisible to the naked eye, Sebastian has himself injected with the invisibility serum without waiting for government approval.
"Hollow Man" relies on digital effects, and they are amazing. Sebastian disappears in layers, his skin disappearing to reveal his muscles, which then reveal his skeleton. However, the "reversion" formula is ineffective on human subjects.
His colleagues threaten to inform the Pentagon about the secret testing. Sebastian, who's already a little corrupt, goes berserk. Life at the remote laboratory becomes terrifying as he takes advantage of his ability to remain unseen.
The movie was rated R for violence and gore.
SHANGHAI NOON (2000)
Directed by Tom Dey. Starring Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, Owen Wilson and Xander Berkeley.
Chan has dazzled moviegoers with death-defying stunts and side-splitting comedy in his special brand of martial arts movies. Now he tackles the Western genre in a spoof of the Western frontier.
Chan plays Chon Wang － pronounced like John Wayne － a Chinese Imperial guard with a crush on Princess Pei Pei (Liu). When Princess Pei Pei is kidnapped and held for ransom in a forced labor camp in 1881 America, Chon talks his way into being included in the rescue party. The would-be heroes go to Nevada with a chest full of gold as the ransom. Alas, the train they take is held up by bandits led by Roy O'Bannon (Wilson).
The hold-up goes awry. Through a series of misfortunes, Roy and Chan find themselves paired up, fighting Indians and gun-slinging cowboys on their quest to rescue the princess.
Each must prepare for a final battle. Chon has to fight the traitor and master mind behind the kidnapping, Lo Fong (Roger Yuan). Roy, a terrible shot, must face a gunfight with sharpshooting Van Cleef (Berkeley).
THE ART OF WAR (2000)
Directed by Christian Duguay. Starring Wesley Snipes, Anne Archer, Maury Chaykin, Marie Matiko and Michael Biehn.
The United Nations employs a covert team that maintains world peace, James Bond style. During his latest mission, operative Shaw (Snipes) is framed for the murder of a Chinese ambassador.
Caught in a web of intrigue involving a trade agreement between China and the West, Shaw is forced underground. On the run from the FBI, Chinese Triad gangsters and a mole within the United Nations, Shaw has to stay alive, uncover the real assassin and keep the trade deal from collapsing. Along the way, he is helped by Julia (Matiko), a Chinese translator and a witness. They discover that the conspiracy runs deep at both ends.
"The Art of War" is filled with cliches and was a blockbuster bust last summer. The title comes from an ancient Chinese text that outlines strategies for winning wars.
by Joe Yong-hee