February 20, 2003

Viewer Discresion Advised

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Valentine’s is behind us, and the video stores have finally been able to re-stock copies of Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, and Sleepless in Seattle. If you’re as “mushy love story”-ed out as I am, you’re bound to enjoy some of the films newly available at your local DVD and video store this week, starring a cast of imperfect, obsessive, eccentric, and often times misguided creatures.

One Hour Photo

Robin Williams stars in this tense thriller about a quirky photo processor that was first screened at the Sundance Film Festival last year. At first glance this character makes some of the freaky townies who populate Pyramid Mall look like high society matrons. It’s amazing how Williams can transition from a side-splitting stand-up routine to a role as eerie and calculating as this, but in typical Robin Williams fashion, he succeeds seamlessly.

The Rules of Attraction

Brett Easton Ellis’ controversial novel about intricate love triangles and drug dealing among the alleged “elites of society” finally made the transition to screen, but only received a lukewarm response. Instead of spending precious beer money to see this one, I would recommend another screen adaptation of an Ellis novel, American Psycho.

The Four Feathers

Heath Ledger stars as a cowardly British soldier who sets out alone into the African desert in order to redeem his honor and win back the heart of his true love. If the plot sounds familiar, it may be because this is the fifth adaptation of the A.E.W. Mason book of the same name. This film has its exciting moments, but for an industry that prides itself so firmly on creativity, I think this one has been done one or four times too many.

Stealing Harvard

Tom Green plays (surprise) an idiotic chump who helps Jason Lee make good on a promise to put his niece through school. I had little praise for this film when it first came out, and a few months later not much has changed. Go ahead and rent this one as part of a Friday night movie night and you’ll laugh a few times to be sure, but don’t make it the feature attraction.

Archived article by Jason Mednick