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February 08, 2001

What's New

Digimon: The Movie (2000). The Digital monsters of TV take to the big screen, with all the requisite noise and product promotion. Diginemic. Screenplay by Jeff Nimoy and Bob Bucholz. Animation direction by Takaaki Yamashita, Hisashi Nakayama and Masahiro Aizawa. Fox: $19.98; DVD: $24.98; (CC); G.

* Dr. T & the Women (2000). Sparkling and wise romantic comedy from Robert Altman and his "Cookie's Fortune" screenwriter Anne Rapp in which Richard Gere, in a part that suits him to a T, as the most popular gynecologist in Dallas whose undoing is, ironically, putting women on a pedestal. Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Laura Dern, Kate Hudson, Tara Reid and Shelley Long are the key women in his life. Artisan: no list price; DVD: $24.98; (CC); R, for graphic nudity and some sexuality.

Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000). This killer-stalks-the-campus retread, directed by John Ottman from a script by Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson, is exactly the kind of flat-footed stalker film that the recent trend-setting hits in the genre have been making fun of. Columbia TriStar: no list price; DVD: $24.95; (CC); R, for violence/gore, language and some sexuality.

Whipped (2000). Whipped is how you may feel after watching this nihilistic take on the battle of the sexes, contemporary-style. Brad Van Holt, Jonathan Abrahams, Zorie Barber and Judah Domke are four crass Manhattanites and Amanda Peet the beauty who gives them their comeuppance. But debuting filmmaker Peter M. Cohen's point is that women are just as coarse as men in their view of sex. Columbia TriStar: no list price; DVD: $29.95; (CC); R for strong sexual content and language.

What's Hot

* Last week's Top 5 VHS rentals:

1. Me, Myself and Irene (2000). Jim Carrey has his moments as a Rhode Island state policeman whose two personalities are in love with Renee Zellweger, but this Farrelly brothers comedy lacks the warmth that made "There's Something About Mary" such a hit. Strictly for the hard-core, gross-out crowd. R, for sexual content, crude humor, strong language and some violence.

2. "Coyote Ugly" It's a bad movie--but it's not one of those fiascoes that leaves you in a foul mood. A small-town innocent (Piper Perabo) moves to New York to follow her dream of becoming a songwriter in this combination of sentimental romance and carefully sanitized raunch. PG-13, for sensuality.

3. "Disney's the Kid" (2000). More cloyingly sentimental and unyieldingly cute than it needs to be, the film has more potential interest than might be imagined thanks to Audrey Wells' script. The concept, that 8-year-old Rusty (Spencer Breslin) is as disappointed in the adult he has become as Russ (Bruce Willis) is in the child he was, is a clever one. It's a movie we might like to buy into if left to our own devices, but that idea is anathema to director Jon Turtletaub, intent on pushing us so hard that we end up pushing back. PG, for mild language.

4. "Hollow Man" (2000). Despite a wealth of special effects and direction by Paul Verhoeven, Mr. Over-the-Top himself, this movie is surprisingly inert, more dull than anything else, with little to recommend it on any level. Kevin Bacon stars as a cocky, cerebral scientist who tests an invisibility serum on himself. With Elisabeth Shue. R, for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.

5. "Gladiator" (2000). Director Ridley Scott's latest is a supremely atmospheric film that shrewdly mixes traditional Roman movie elements with the latest computer-generated wonders. Russell Crowe is commanding as the heroic gladiator Maximus, but the movie--too long at 2 1/2 hours--is not as nimble outside the arena as inside. With Joaquin Phoenix as the ruthless young emperor Commodus, Richard Harris as Marcus Aurelius, Connie Nielson as Commodus' shrewd sister Lucilla, Djimon Hounsou as the gladiator Juba, and in his last screen role, Oliver Reed as a former gladiator named Proximo. R, for intense graphic combat.

* Last week's Top 5 DVD rentals:

1. "Me, Myself and Irene"

2. "Disney's the Kid"

3. "Hollow Man"

4. "Coyote Ugly"

5. "The Cell" (2000). Psychologist Jennifer Lopez enters the mind of a twisted serial killer in hopes of helping his latest victim stay alive. A torture-chamber film about a man who torments women, it puts viewers through as much misery as the people on the screen. R, for bizarre violence and sexual images, nudity and language.

Last week's Top 5 VHS sellers:

1. "DBZ: Final Round" (edited version)

2. "Shirley Temple Gift Set"

3. "DBZ: Opening Ceremony" (edited version)

4. "DBZ: Final Round" (uncut)

5. "DBZ: Opening Ceremony" (uncut)

* Last week's Top 5 DVD sellers:

1. "Me, Myself and Irene"

2. "Coyote Ugly"

3. "Disney's the Kid"

4. "Gladiator"

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