During the weeks between the announcement of Oscar nominations and the award ceremonies, a movie boasting major nominations is likely to do increased business in the home-video rental market.
But almost none of the movies that figured heavily in the Oscar nominations will be available on home video before the April 11 ceremonies. Only Media's "Street Smart," boasting the performance that made Morgan Freeman a candidate for a supporting actor Oscar, is available. It's been in the stores since last fall. Freeman was nominated for his portrayal of a vicious pimp.
The reason almost none of the major nominees--"Broadcast News," "The Last Emperor," "Ironweed," "Wall Street" and "Moonstruck"--is on home video yet is because all were released to theaters late last year. Traditionally, movies--particularly big hits--debut on home video at least six months after their theatrical openings to allow as much time as possible for box-office revenues to pile up.
As expected, there has been no announcement yet about home-video release of best-picture nominees "Broadcast News" or "Moonstruck"; both are still going strong at the box office. But Paramount revealed weeks ago that it will debut another best-picture nominee, "Fatal Attraction," in June.
Nelson Entertainment has the rights to the remaining best-picture contenders. "The Last Emperor," which lead the pack with nine nominations, is due this fall. Director John Boorman's lauded "Hope and Glory" will be in the stores in May.
If Ann Sothern wins the supporting actress Oscar for Nelson Entertainment's "The Whales of August," you'll be able to catch her performance on home video on April 27. Paramount is releasing "The Untouchables," featuring supporting actor nominee Sean Connery, sometime in April.
Paramount also has the rights to the Swedish film, "My Life as a Dog," directed by Oscar nominee Lasse Hallstrom. It's due out April 20.
COMING MOVIES: The Arnold Schwarzenegger adventure, Vestron's "Running Man," will be in the stores May 11. Warner Video's "Dancers," the ballet drama starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, is due out April 6. Another of last fall's thrillers, "Someone to Watch Over Me," starring Tom Berenger and Mimi Rogers, will be released April 28 by RCA/Columbia.
Two acclaimed pop music movies are scheduled for release by MCA: "Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll," a warts-and-all documentary about the pop-music pioneer, debuts April 7; Prince's concert film, "Sign o' the Times," is due May 5.
"Wish You Were Here," featuring Emily Lloyd's award-winning performance (National Society of Film Critics' best actress), is due March 18 on Fries Video.
Next week: "Matewan," "The Squeeze" and "Howling III." The week of March 6: "Beverly Hills Cop II," "Hellraiser," "Amazon Women on the Moon," "Maid to Order" and "North Shore."
Old Movies: "The Nun's Story," the 1959 drama starring Audrey Hepburn, is due on March 23--just in time for Easter. On March 10, MCA will release the 1972 Burt Lancaster western "Ulzana's Raid" and the 1963 comedy "The Thrill of It All," featuring James Garner and Doris Day.
NEW RELEASES: CBS-Fox's "Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise" is another ego boost for nerds everywhere. If you're tired of watching heroic looking heroes and like the idea that every underdog has its day, then this movie is for you. But the college frat comedy isn't even as good as the 1984 original, which wasn't very good to begin with. However, there's undeniable fun in watching the wimpy Tri-Lambs triumph over those snooty Alpha Beta hipsters. Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong star as the head nerds. The best thing about the movie is the nerds' great rap number, which you'll find yourself re-running again and again.
Warner Video's "The Lost Boys" weaves the comic efforts of some teen-age vampire hunters into a grisly tale of vicious teen-age vampires. The bloodthirsty gang--bullying punks by day--go after two recruits, played by Jason Patric and Jami Gertz, who have second thoughts about becoming vampires. The only way to save them is to kill the head vampire. The leader of the vampire gang is hammily played by Kiefer Sutherland. Surprisingly, Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest turns up in this mindless blend of gore and humor as the mother of the heroic brothers.
Virgin Vision's "A Prayer For the Dying" was on the verge of being a terrific movie when something went wrong. Set in England, it's the convoluted tale of a disillusioned IRA terrorist (Mickey Rourke) who's backed into a murder that is witnessed by a priest. But in a fascinating subplot, the murderer confesses to the priest (Bob Hoskins) who then, because of the sanctity of confession, can't testify against him. There's lots of vigor early in the movie, but clumsy writing and a leisurely, tension-dissipating pace prove lethal. Alan Bates gives a bad performance as a gang lord. Even Rourke and director Mike Hodges have taken potshots at the movie.