Reviews > Culture

Video Rentals

Culture | The top 5 videos in popularity as measured by rental receipts for the week ended Aug. 27

Issue: "Breaking the term limit," Sept. 16, 2000
1
Erin Brockovich $10.48 million
2 weeks in release
$23.14 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Julia Roberts, Albert Finney / Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight) / Universal Pictures

PLOT
Title heroine fights evil utility company that poisons the water supply.

MESSAGE
"They" are out to get you, but hard work, determination, and good looks can save the day.

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CAUTION
Rated R for bad language.

2
The Cider House Rules $4.37 million
2 weeks in release
$9.84 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Tobey Maguire, Michael Caine / Lasse Hallström (What's Eating Gilbert Grape) / Miramax Films

PLOT
John Irving's saga about a young man who grew up in an orphanage run by a kindly abortionist.

MESSAGE
Killing unborn babies is tender and compassionate.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for "mature thematic elements," sexual situations, nudity, substance abuse, and some violence.

3
Reindeer Games $3.7 million
3 weeks in release
$14.46 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Ben Affleck, Gary Sinise / John Frankenheimer and Alan Caso / Dimension Films

PLOT
An ex-con is dragged into a casino heist.

MESSAGE
Turning straight isn't as easy as it looks.

CAUTION
Rated R for strong violence, bad language, and sexual situations.

4
Supernova $3.43 million
1 week in release
$3.43 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Angela Bassett, James Spader / Walter Hill (48 Hours), billed as "Thomas Lee" / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

PLOT
A deep space medical ship discovers death and danger when it answers a mysterious distress call.

MESSAGE
Sometimes rescuers need to be rescued.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi action, violence, and sexual situations.

5
The Whole Nine Yards $2.97 million
6 weeks in release
$33.98 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry / Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny) / Warner Bros.

PLOT
A suburban dentist discovers his neighbor is a hit man hiding from the Mob.

MESSAGE
Messing with the Mafia will make you sorry.

CAUTION
Rated R for bad language, violence, and nudity.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Burt Reynolds is getting old. At 64, he's one of a quartet of aging mobsters in The Crew (Touchstone; rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence, and language) who try to regain their former glory but wind up looking pathetic. Richard Dreyfuss (who's only 52) is the other leader of this group of thugs whose careers started in childhood and now wind down in a Florida retirement hotel. With their home threatened by incoming young rich people, they decide to make a comeback. The idea of withering wise guys would work in a better movie, but this lowbrow comedy doesn't do enough with the concept. The characters in The Crew are pretty slimy; flashback scenes of their glory days make viewers wish they hadn't lived to see the 21st century. In the present these guys are afraid to fire a gun. Yet they aren't sorry for their past deeds and drool for a chance to be virile and intimidating once again. With the baby boomers starting to age, there's more interest in movies showing older people showing their stuff (i.e., Space Cowboys). Cross that with Hollywood's fetish for funny gangsters and you have this movie.

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