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VIDEO SHELF

'Just Married' is no honeymoon

June 19, 2003|Susan King

Just Married

Ashton Kutcher, Brittany Murphy

Fox, $28

One need only point to this lame-brained, formulaic romantic comedy to ascertain what's wrong with movies today. This farce, aimed at the teen set, finds "That '70s Show" Kutcher as a Polish American who drives a wreck of a car, works at a radio station and falls in love and marries a Wasp-y rich girl (Murphy), much to her parents' chagrin. Their romance hits the skids when their European honeymoon turns into a disaster.

The by-the-books DVD features a ho-hum "making-of" featurette, deleted scenes, an installment of "Comedy Central's Reel Comedy" that defies description and commentary from Kutcher, Murphy and director Shawn Levy.

*

Narc

Ray Liotta, Jason Patric

Paramount, $30

This violent, in-your-face police thriller came and went without a trace this past Christmas. Though it's not an easy watch -- the opening sequence in which Patric accidentally shoots a pregnant woman is very disturbing -- writer-director Joe Carnahan imbues the film with a raw vitality that isn't seen in most Hollywood films these days. Carnahan also elicits bold, daring performances from Liotta, as a police lieutenant obsessed with finding his partner's killers, and Patric, as a former undercover cop who teams up with him.

The DVD includes featurettes on the genesis of the project and the stark look of the film and an interview with Oscar-winning director William Friedkin, who waxes enthusiastically about "Narc." Considering how dark and dour the movie is, it's a real surprise to discover that Carnahan has a great sense of humor and breezy personality on his commentary track with editor John Gilroy.

*

Deliver Us From Eva

Gabrielle Union, LL Cool J

Universal, $27

This African American spoof of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" opens promisingly with three couples dancing to the old Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell hit, "You're All I Need to Get By." But then the movie starts .... LL Cool J plays a suave ladies' man who delivers meat for a living and who accepts a $5,000 challenge to romance and ultimately seduce Eva (Union), an opinionated, hard-nosed, bossy health inspector who rules the lives of her three younger sisters and their men. The problem is that Union's character is so overbearing it makes the film unwatchable.

Director/co-writer Gary Hardwick's commentary consists mainly of describing what's going on in the scene instead of offering any real insight.

The disc also features a "making-of" featurette, deleted scenes and music videos.

*

T2-Extreme DVD

Artisan, $30

If you forked over $40 three years ago for Artisan's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day -- The Ultimate DVD Edition" should you shell out another $30 for this "Extreme DVD" that's being released in anticipation of "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"?

Well, yes and no. The new two-disc set marks the first time that James Cameron has done a complete commentary track for one of his films. He's joined on the track of the expanded version of the film with co-writer William Wisher. Cameron is immensely entertaining and adds juicy tidbits about the making of the film.

The second disc includes a new documentary on the evolution of digital effects and an eight-minute montage of life on the set. Also featured is "T2-High Definition," the theatrical version of the film in high resolution that is playable only on a DVD-ROM that has Microsoft Windows Media 9 accessibility. Rounding out the edition is the DVD-Rom "Infiltration Unit Simulator and T2 FX" which allows one to morph personal images into a T-1000 or T-800 Terminator.

*

Also this week

Two female friends, from their teens through their early 30s, survive unrequited love and a shared passion in "Me Without You" (Columbia Tristar: $24.95); Director/co-writer Hilary Birmingham's debut film "Tully" (HartSharp: $22.99) about young people coming to terms with their past; Anthony LaPaglia stars in "The Bank," (New Yorker: $29.95) an Australian film that blends computers and corporate greed without losing the intricate plot.

Top VHS rentals

1. Die Another Day

2. About Schmidt

3. The Recruit

4. National Security

5. Catch Me If You Can

What's coming

Tuesday: "The Hours," "Punch-Drunk Love," "Kangaroo Jack," "Lost in La Mancha," "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie" and "Dark Blue"

-- Susan King

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