(Page 3 of 3)
Sex/Nudity: 2 instances of innuendo. Violence: None. Profanity: 1 harsh expression. Drugs: 1 scene with smoking, 3 references to drugs.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Director: Gary Winick. With Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Kathy Baker, Andy Serkis. (98 min.)
Sterritt **Snubbed by the cool chicks she envies, 13-year-old Jenna wishes she were 30 and flirty, and suddenly "wishing dust" makes her exactly that - editing a fashion magazine, sparring with a cool-chick rival, and hoping to capture the heart of a boy she spurned when she was too young to know better. The early scenes are full of too-familiar situations and stereotypes, but the story picks up steam when Jenna tackles a crisis at her magazine, and Ruffalo's laid-back manner helps maintain some plausibility and charm.
Staff *** Warm, winsome, fresh reworking of old ideas.
Sex/Nudity: 3 innuendos. Violence: None. Profanity: 23 instances, most mild. Drugs: 5 scenes of drinking, 2 of smoking.
Director: Wolfgang Petersen. With Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eric Bana, Peter O'Toole, Orlando Bloom. (162 min.)
Sterritt *** Paris spirits his lover Helen from Sparta to Troy, sparking a decade-long war in which heroes like Achilles and Hector play leading roles. Pitt sports enough new musculature to make a credible Achilles if not a particularly imposing one, and O'Toole is just right as Priam, a dignified and melancholy monarch. The screenplay leaves out the fate-deciding Olympian gods and never quite decides whether war is glorious or not. Aside from these questionable aspects, the movie is old-fashioned fun in the venerable sword-and-sandal tradition.
Staff *1/2Handsome but hollow, macho, unsophisticated.
Sex/Nudity: 4 scenes with innuendo/implied sex, 4 with nudity. Violence: 18 scenes, mostly graphic. Profanity: 2 expressions. Drugs: 3 instances of drinking.
Director: Stephen Sommers. With Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, David Wenham, Richard Roxburgh (131 min.)
Sterritt * Portrayed as a sort of James Bond of the supernatural, the famous vampire hunter (Jackman) goes after Dracula with help from a randy friar and a lovely Gypsy (Beckinsale). Along the way, they encounter everyone from Dr. Jekyll's alter ego to Frankenstein's monster. The touches of gothic horror are edited so quickly that no real atmosphere has a chance to develop, and there's not a shred of psychology in the characters, human or otherwise. This is yet another video game disguised as a wide-screen epic, and it deserves to have a box-office stake driven through its hokey Hollywood heart.
Staff ** Insubstantial, frenetic, fast-paced, campy.
Sex/Nudity: 3 scenes with innuendo/implied sex. Violence: 35 scenes, mostly graphic. Profanity: 10 mild expressions. Drugs: 2 instances of drinking, 2 of smoking.
Creators: Joshua Brand, John Falsey. With Rob Morrow, Barry Corbin, Janine Turner, John Corbett. (2 discs)
Staff **** This quirky TV series about a New York doc (Morrow) fresh from med school who finds himself in a backwater Alaska town holds up exceptionally well on DVD. The truly ensemble feeling of the cast is evident from the pilot episode, in which even the minor players have settled into their roles without fumbling. Good writing sets this show apart. The story lines play around with both the doctor's and the townsfolk's assumptions about each other. The doctor achieves a grudging admiration - punctuated by moments of frustration - for the stoicism of his new neighbors. Morrow and Turner drive the show's energy with their prickly relationship. The extras - deleted scenes and bloopers - are not the DVD's highlight. By April Austin