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Rarity: good Sandler movie

September 18, 2003|Susan King

Anger Management

Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson

Columbia TriStar. $28

Though it's not glowing praise, this hit comedy is Sandler's best film since "The Wedding Singer." The comic and the Oscar winner actually make a pretty good team in this uneven farce that casts Sandler as a mild-mannered young man who, through a series of outrageous circumstances, must undergo anger management therapy with a bizarre, larger-than-life counselor (Nicholson). Directed by Peter Segal, "Anger Management" also features Marisa Tomei, Heather Graham, John McEnroe, Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly.

The digital edition is a mixed bag. The "Do You Have Anger Problems" interactive game is a real dud, but the blooper reel is pretty funny (especially Nicholson's gaffes), and the deleted scenes are actually worth watching. Segal and Sandler provide the amusing commentary, though the director keeps having to remind his star to keep his comments PG-13 rated.

*

Confidence

Edward Burns, Dustin Hoffman

Lions Gate, $27

Despite a great cast, moody atmosphere and twists and turns, this caper flick doesn't really excite. One has seen it all before and done better. Burns plays a con man who, with his crew, accidentally steals money from an oily crime boss (Hoffman, who steals the film). Rachel Weisz, Paul Giamatti and Andy Garcia also star for director James Foley.

Lions Gate certainly didn't scrimp on the extras. There's an installment of the "Anatomy of a Scene" series from the Sundance Channel, deleted scenes including several takes of one riotous scene with Hoffman and some showgirls, decent commentary from Foley, who comes across a bit jumpy, and better-than-average commentary from Burns, Weisz and especially Hoffman, who modeled the look and manner of his character after Foley.

*

Enigma

Dougray Scott, Jeremy Northam

Columbia TriStar, $25

Tom Stoppard penned this incredibly dense and often confusing British thriller about the code breakers who worked in secret in England during World War II to crack the Nazi enigma code. The big problem was that the Nazis kept changing the code. Rounding out the attractive cast are Kate Winslet and Saffron Burrows. Michael Apted directed and Mick Jagger, yes the Mick Jagger, was a producer.

After bringing out a rather threadbare DVD of "Enigma" late last year, Columbia has released this special edition complete with two informative documentaries on the film's production and the real code breakers, deleted scenes and erudite commentary from Apted.

*

Return of the Secaucus 7

Maggie Renzi, Bruce MacDonald

MGM, $20

Since the release of his disarming, intelligent comedy-drama in 1980, John Sayles has remained one of America's best, iconoclastic independent filmmakers. Sayles made his debut as a director with this exceptionally well-acted ensemble piece about a group of old friends, all politically to the left, who reunite for a weekend of love, friendship, memories and problems. David Strathairn, who has appeared in numerous Sayles' movies, is a hoot as a mechanic, and Gordon Clapp from "NYPD Blue" is equally entertaining as an uptight date of one of the "Secaucus 7."

The DVD includes a nice new interview with Sayles and Renzi, who is his producer and longtime companion, and astute commentary from Sayles, a one-time recipient of the MacArthur genius grant.

*

Top VHS rentals

1. "Identity"

2. "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

3. "A Man Apart"

4. "Bringing Down the House"

5. "Chicago"

Top DVD rentals

1. "Identity"

2. "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

3. "A Man Apart"

4. "Bringing Down the House"

5. "Chicago"

What's coming

Tuesday: "Daddy Day Care," "Holes," "A Mighty Wind," "The Dancer Upstairs," "The Shape of Things" and "Chateau"

Sept. 30: "2 Fast 2 Furious," "Bend It Like Beckham," "Dreamcatcher," "Nowhere

in Africa," "Better Luck Tomorrow," "Boat Trip" and "The Sea"

-- Susan King

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