On its original release in 1988, the pairing of Steve Martin and Michael Caine in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was seen as something of a dream ticket. Viewing the film many years later, that assessment still proves completely accurate: the casting is perfect. American Freddy Benson and Briton Lawrence Jamieson are con men who work the French Riviera--at first as colleagues, later as rivals--praying on rich, gullible women before finally meeting their match. Having spent the decade veering between popular rubbish and low-key quality, for once Caine was able to find a populist vehicle that did justice to his talents. Steve Martin is, well, very Steve Martin but there are few better suited to the visual comedy of his character. The film has an old-fashioned feel (no sex, violence or bad language) and owes much to the earlier period of film humour--it really doesn't take that much imagination to see this as an Ealing comedy. All round, it's a stylish, charming, witty film. On the DVD: Extras are few, limited to scene selection, subtitles and the very funny trailer. Picture quality is superb, allowing the film's exotic setting to sparkle and there are many scenes of breathtaking beauty. Given that the film is full of fantastic comedy set pieces, the ability to select scenes is a real plus, allowing to the viewer to locate that classic Martin pratfall at the push of a button. --Phil Udell
Acclaimed star Richard Dreyfuss gives the performance of a lifetime in this uplifting hit cheered by audiences everywhere! Glenn Holland is a passionate musician who dreams of composing one truly memorable piece of music. But reality intrudes when he reluctantly accepts a ""day job"" as a high school music teacher to support his family. In time however Mr. Holland realizes that his real passion is teaching and his legacy is the generations of young people he inspires. You're sure to
Freddy Benson (Steve Martin) is a crass, loud American. Laurence Jameson (Michael Caine) is a suave, urbane European. Their common ground is that they both are confidence men, and they meet in a train compartment as Benson is scamming his way across Europe, taking advantage of women's generosity. The two are forced into a rivalry, which culminates in a wager to see who can be the first to bilk $50,000 out of American heiress Janet Colgate (Glenne Headly). Their game of one-upmanship is, of course, brought to ridiculous heights as things progress. Written by Paul Henning (the mind behind such TV shows as Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is an uneven but funny mix of Martin's physical comedy and Caine's oily charms. Martin's first role as cohort is to assume the persona of Ruprecht, the "special" younger brother intended to scare off potential brides. As Ruprecht, he comes off as a down-home version of Jerry Lewis; hilarious as it is, it doesn't quite fit with the rest of the film. Once the wager is on, though, Martin slips into his overly earnest mode as an American military man suffering from hysterical paralysis, with Caine as a psychologist who takes on his case. All in all, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (a loose remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story with David Niven and Marlon Brando) is a droll, intelligent comedy, short on knee slappers but long on comic situations and characterisations. --Jerry Renshaw, Amazon.com
Deservedly acclaimed as one of 1998's best films, this sequel to the beloved 1995 live-action fantasy proved a commercial catastrophe and a source of dismay to parents expecting another bucolic, sweet-natured fable. Every bit as sly and visually stunning as its predecessor, Babe: Pig in the City is otherwise a jolting ride beyond the Hoggetts' farm into a no less vivid but far darker world--the allegorical city of the title, which for the diminutive "sheep pig" proves truly nightmarish. Australian filmmaker George Miller (Mad Max, The Road Warrior), who produced and cowrote the first film, this time takes the director's reins, and he ratchets up the pace and the peril as effectively as he did on his influential trilogy of apocalyptic, outback sci-fi thrillers. From the opening scene, Babe: Pig in the City means to disrupt the reassuring calm achieved by the conclusion of the previous film. Babe's prior triumph proves short-lived, and within moments Miller has us literally peering into the depths as he sets up a horrific well accident that nearly kills the taciturn but good-hearted Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell), Babe's beloved "Boss." Journeying with the equally pink, even plumper Mrs. Hoggett (Magda Szubanski), the young pig finds himself in a city where animals are outcasts, staying in the lone hotel that allows pets. When Mrs. Hoggett is detained, Babe must contend with the suspicions and rivalries of the hotel's other four-legged guests. The film's G status doesn't fully telegraph the shock Miller induces: bad things happen to good animals, and Babe's new acquaintances are a far cry from his colleagues on the farm. In particular, he must contend with a cynical family of chimps given wonderful, dead-pan voice characterisations by Steven Wright and Glenne Headly. Miller's use of effects to transform his animals into "actors" is even more seamlessly integrated than in Babe. The sequel's production design is crucial to the creation of a complete, absorbing world, and purely visual ideas--such as a deluge of blue balloons during the climactic ballroom battle--achieve a splendour and originality that a room full of computer-graphics desktops couldn't muster. Ultimately, though, the film does more than amaze: as Babe's compassion and courage transform those around him, we're moved in ways that purveyors of by-the-numbers family fare can only dream of. --Sam Sutherland
A threat no one dared face. A word no one wanted to speak. A fight for many fought by few. From Randy Shilts' bestseller comes a powerful enlightening and moving chronicle of our times. In the summer of 1981 few knew of the deadly disease we now call AIDS. And the Band Played On follows the struggle of a handful of strong-willed men and women who took on the fight to save lives. Matthew Modine stars as Dr. Don Francis a researcher at the Centers for Disease
Small time crook Ray Gleason just committed the perfect crime but it took one small thing to screw it up - a visit from his son. Because after a lifetime of being ignored Timmy is getting even! Macaulay Culkin and Ted Danson join forces in this hilarious and heartwarming comedy about an enterprising kid who finds the ideal way to make his father into the dad he never had; a little love a little kindness and a little blackmail...
Sgt. Bilko is back and up to his old tricks. The arrival of Major Thorn threatens to put a stop to the casino under-the-table deals and Bilko's other illicit businesses...
When a teenager is forced to leave behind her beloved Big Apple in a family move, she has problems adjusting to life in surburban New Jersey.
Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones star as Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call, ageing cowboys and former Texas rangers, who organise a 2,500 mile cattle drive for one last great adventure in this excellent 1989 miniseries adaptation of Larry McMurtry's novel. The best friends, who steal the herd from a gang of Mexican cattle rustlers, drive their herd from Texas to Montana, battling horse thieves, angry Indian tribes, and a renegade half-breed killer named Blue Duck (Frederic Forrest) on a mission of revenge. The excellent cast also includes Robert Urich as cardsharp and former Ranger Jake Spoon, Anjelica Huston as McCrae's old flame Clara Allen, Danny Glover, Ricky Schroder, Diane Lane, Chris Cooper, DB Sweeney, Steve Buscemi, and even a small role for author Larry McMurtry. Australian director Simon Wincer shows a tremendous capacity for balancing sweeping drama and intimacy against the gorgeous landscape of the American Southwest, giving a grandly epic feel to the film despite its small-screen target and limited budget, and for forging memorable characters of even the smallest supporting parts. The heart of the drama belongs to McCrae and Call, memorably etched by Duvall and Jones as the last of the range romantics. In the age of revisionist Westerns, this excellent cattle-drive drama nicely maintains an old -fashioned feeling while still showing the dark side of the American West. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com
A drawing that became a dream. A dream that became reality. A highly imaginative 11-year-old girl who misses her constantly absent father discovers that somehow the images she draws on paper can become frighteningly real. At first she finds them comforting but gradually the pictures become more and more threatening until they capture her in a nightmarish world from which she doesn't know how to escape.
Last rites. Last words. Last laughs..... When three generations of a dysfunctional family gather in Rhode Island to bury the family patriarch all members of the clan are at each others throats in no time at all! Son Daniel is a secret porn actor. Daughter Lucy is a lesbian and brings her lover Judy to the family gathering much to the disgust of Lucy's aggressive neurotic sister Alice. Finishing off the crowd are dim brother Skip whose rude twin sons offer abrasive comment
L.A.'s San Fernando Valley is the setting for this chaotic multi-plotted comedy thriller featuring a murderous insurance scam perpetrated by sadistic double-crossers a bumbling love-struck hit man a kidnapped gallstone-suffering art dealer a washed-up suicidal screenwriter a pair of burnt-out undercover cops and one of the best catfights ever filmed...
Return to the scene of the crime with Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Tony Shalhoub in all 16 Season Four episodes of the quirky and amusing series Monk. Private detective Adrian Monk has brains instincts a photographic memory and more than a few Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. These traits his-ever present handy wipes and his devoted assistant Natalie Teeger (Traylor Howard) help him as he solves cases involving amnesia betrayal first-loves true loves and of course murder. Episodes Comprise: 1. Mr. Monk and the Other Detective 2. Mr. Monk Goes Home Again 3. Mr. Monk Stays in Bed 4. Mr. Monk Goes to the Office 5. Mr. Monk Gets Drunk 6. Mr. Monk and Mrs. Monk 7. Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding 8. Mr. Monk and Little Monk 9. Mr. Monk and the Secret Santa 10. Mr. Monk Goes to a Fashion Show 11. Mr. Monk Bumps His Head 12. Mr. Monk and the Captain's Marriage 13. Mr. Monk and the Big Reward 14. Mr. Monk and the Astronaut 15. Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist 16. Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty
Demi Moore Glenne Headly Bruce Willis and Harvey Keitel star in this riveting psychological thriller about two best friends caught in a complex web of violence and betrayal. Told in a series of haunting flashbacks the story unfolds as a determined police detective (Keitel) questions New Jersey housewife Cynthia Kellogg (Moore) about the death of her best friend's abusive husband (brilliantly played by Willis). Reluctant to incriminate her friend Cynthia weaves a net of lies tha
Director Mike Figgis' experimental movie was shot on digital video and uses a screen split in four to show us the events of the film happening simultaneously in four different locations.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Dir. Frank Oz) (1988): One's got a sophisticated suave and debonair con act. The other's got... well an act. Together Steve Martin and Michael Caine are Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and they're absolutely ruining the Riviera in this wonderfully crafted absolutely charming classy and consistently amusing comedy. Martin is Freddy Benson a small-time con man sleazing his way through Europe on whatever handouts he can scam. Caine is Lawrence Jamieson an impeccably dressed and high-minded artiste who thinks Freddy's giving him and all con men a bad name. At first Lawrence agrees to help Freddy spruce up his stunts and his wardrobe. But when it becomes apparent that the Riviera isn't big enough for the both of them they make a winner-takes-all wager over the fortune of a nave American soap heiress (Glenne Headly): the first one to 'clean her out' can make the other clear out - and keep the Riviera and its unsuspecting tourists to himself! Three Amigos (Dir. John Landis) (1986): In the days of silent film serials one of the noblest trios to grace the screen and get the bad guys was the Three Amigos: Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase) Lucky Day (Steve Martin) and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short). But when their Hollywood glory days wane they receive a letter from a desperate community in Mexico that thinks their heroic characters are for real: they want the Three Amigos to come to their tiny Mexican village and defeat the notorious bandit El Guapo (Alfonso Arau). Unfortunately the Three Amigos misinterpret the letter - they're off to visit the Mexican village dressed as their movie characters thinking they're getting a high paying gig. A plethora of pinatas and a comedy of errors occurs before they can prove themselves as worthy as their screen heroes!
The army is known for churning out lean mean fighting machines intent on protecting our great nation. But at Fort Baxter, there s one unit that can t even form a straight line... Steve Martin stars with Dan Aykroyd and Phil Hartman in an outrageous comedy from Imagine Entertainment. Martin is the inexplicable, the incorrigible, the invincible Sgt. Bilko, leader of a ragtag group of the sorriest soldiers ever to enlist in the armed forces. Instead of training his troops for battle, he passes on his legacy of gambling and shunning responsibility. Times get tough however, when the base is threatened with a shutdown, and a by-the-book adversary, Major Thorn (Hartman), is intent on taking Bilko s reputation down with it. Now, all bets are on Bilko to drum up his biggest scheme yet to save Fort Baxter...and clear his name!
What's the worst that could happen? Probably being forced to watch What's the Worst That Could Happen? from start to finish without a pause button: it's more lame than a three-legged dog. The plot is straightforward enough: two men, each as crooked as the other, come into conflict when petty thief Kevin Caffrey (Martin Lawrence) breaks into the apparently unoccupied beach house of wealthy and unscrupulous businessman Max Fairbanks (Danny DeVito). The house turns out not to be empty: Fairbanks calls the cops, claims that Caffrey has stolen his ring and coolly claims it back in front of his uniformed audience. It's a ring that Caffrey values because it has just been given to him by his new girlfriend Amber (Carmen Ejogo). He's so desperate to get it back that he hounds Fairbanks through the rest of the film, breaking into various Fairbanks properties as he goes. Words like "zany" and "madcap" could be used in the interests of charity, but actually the film falls flat on its face. Lawrence is certainly no Eddie Murphy and the plot would need an injection of major talent to give it a chance. DeVito yet again relies on his stature to provide the laughs. John Leguizamo plays Caffrey's sidekick as best he can but the fake sheikhs-in-tea-towels scene induces more groans than laughs. This is one for diehard fans of the lead actors only. On the DVD: What's the Worst That Could Happen? comes to DVD with a choice of two spoken languages (English or French) and many subtitle options. There's also a generous selection of outtakes, an alternative ending, a music video ("Music" by Erick Sermon) and the original theatrical trailer. It's just a shame that the film itself isn't better. --Harriet Smith
Tommy Wilhelm (Robin Williams) is a salesman. An honest hard-working guy who has lost his job his girlfriend and left part of his sanity behind as he heads to New York to pick up the pieces of his life. He's always been able to sell but caught in a downward spiral he must face the father who never really understood him while trying to balance his newly precarious existence.
2 Days In The Valley
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