November 7, 2002

Viewer Discretion Advised

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We’ve finally escaped from the Halloween ghouls (and not to mention Friday the 13th marathons clogging up network TV) and now it’s time to keep the VDA train rolling. This week’s releases bring you a lot of conflict: soldiers caught in living hell, love in question, relationships under pressure, innocence under attack, and a couple DVD titles anyone in their right mind would want to fight hard to get.

Out November 5

Band Of Brothers

With names like Spielberg, Hanks, and historian Stephen Ambrose involved you knew this one was going to be good. After watching all 10 episodes you’ll probably find yourself suffering from an ounce or two of the post-traumatic stress that the real-life heroes no doubt had to overcome. Even the tin that shields the DVD set is intense. So don’t delay — march over to your local DVD store today. That’s an order!

To Catch A Thief

Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is not some Winona Ryder documentary. Rather it is one of Hitchcock’s better films, starring Cary Grant (as smooth as ever) as John Robie aka “The Cat,” an ex jewel thief turned vacationer who is accused of a number of thefts along the French Riviera. Will he prove his innocence in time to snag the girl (a dashing Grace Kelly)? You’ll just have to see for yourself. While diamonds may be forever, you’ve got significantly less time to corner this special edition DVD.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

I’ll admit that when I saw the previews for this film I didn’t want to touch it with a ten foot pole, yet I’m told that it was in fact a fairly charming picture starring Sandra Bullock and Ashley Judd. While the film’s genre claims to be “comedy/drama,” and that’s fine for some, I’d petition that it would be better served to file this one under “horror/help me somebody please/what did I do to deserve this?”


Screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, Christina Ricci stars in this “unconventional love story” about a sorority sister who warms up to the philanthropy required (in other words, forced volunteerism) to win an award when it changes her life as she falls in love with a handicapped athlete with dreams of becoming a shot-putter.

DVD Pick of the Week

The Count of Monte Cristo

The classic novel has now been translated into either a film or a TV special 19 times. I’d argue that the latest effort, starring Guy Pearce (does anyone else think he’s a great actor?) and Jim Caviezel is one of the best to date. The DVD comes with a Multi-Angle Swordfighting Feature called “En Garde” that makes me want to take up fencing right now. If only I could fit it into my schedule