A weekly update of video releases


This finely expressive drama stars Barbara Stanwyck as a small-time actress who left her husband and children to pursue a show-business career that never got off the ground. Visiting her family to see her daughter's performance in a high school play, she finds that each member has a different set of feelings toward her, and that her own emotions are far more complicated than she'd realized. The film was directed by the inimitable Douglas Sirk, who transforms the soap-opera story into a sensitive vehicle for his compassionate yet deeply critical view of middle-class American life. This film paved the way for his great achievements in ''The Tarnished Angels'' and ''Imitation of Life'' a few years later. Produced by Ross Hunter, who collaborated on many of Sirk's greatest films, and first released by Universal in 1953. (Not rated; MCA Universal Home Video)


Two young slackers deal with family problems, romantic tangles, and a neighborhood bully. The rapper called Ice Cube cowrote the screenplay and heads the mostly African-American cast, which puts a lot of energy into the story. The plot is flimsy and the jokes are more raucous than amusing, but the soundtrack bubbles with hip-hop music that fans of the genre should enjoy. Directed by F. Gary Gray. (R; New Line Home Video)


Unable to remove his career from the shadow of his successful father, a young American comedian returns to the faded English resort where he spent his early childhood. He hopes the local talents can sell him fresh material that'll revitalize his act and renew his love of life. This dark, complicated comedy is hampered by a clumsy start and a lackluster finish. But in between there's a wealth of exciting and surprising stuff, inventively acted by a remarkably varied cast. Oliver Platt is perfect as the hero and Jerry Lewis is ideal as his self-centered dad. The supporting players include Lee Evans and Oliver Reed, and Leslie Caron shows up for a fetching musical number. Directed by Peter Chelsom, who wrote the sometimes vulgar screenplay with Peter Flannery. (R; Hollywood Pictures Home Video)

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