Reviews > Culture

Video Rentals

Culture | The top 5 videos in popularity as measured by rental receipts for the week ended April 1

Issue: "Showing the alternative," April 21, 2001
1
Charlie's Angels $10.5 million
1 week in release
$10.5 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu / Joseph McGinty Nichol / Columbia

PLOT
Update of the 1970s TV show wherein an elite, three-woman team is hired to retrieve stolen software.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for action violence, innuendo, and some sensuality/nudity.

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BOTTOM LINE
With the plot sophistication of a video game, the film's 98 minutes are primarily made up of stunts and adolescent sexual innuendo.

2
Remember the Titans $9.6 million
2 weeks in release
$19.7 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Denzel Washington, Will Patton / Boaz Yakin (A Price Above Rubies) / Buena Vista

PLOT
A black high-school football coach in Virginia works to bring together a newly integrated team in the early 1970s.

CAUTION
Rated PG for thematic elements and some language.

BOTTOM LINE
Simplistic but undeniably inspiring account based on true-life events.

3
Meet the Parents $8.7 million
4 weeks in release
$50.7 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Ben Stiller, Robert DeNiro / Jay Roach (Mystery, Alaska) / Universal

PLOT
A Jewish male nurse travels with his would-be fiancée to meet her WASPy family for the first time.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug references, and language. Contains a scene mocking an attempt to pray before a meal.

BOTTOM LINE
That scene is bad, but the film overall has more in common with classic screwball farces than modern gross-out comedies.

4
The 6th day $3.8 million
3 weeks in release
$16.4 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tony Goldwyn / Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies) / Columbia

PLOT
In 2024, a man returns home to find that a clone has taken his place and some nasty folks are trying to kill him.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for strong violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality.

BOTTOM LINE
The moral ramifications of cloning are left unexamined, but the action is entertaining in typical Schwarzenegger fashion.

5
Almost Famous $3.8 million
3 weeks in release
$12.9 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson / Cameron Crowe (Jerry McGuire) / DreamWorks SKG

PLOT
Semi-autobiographical account of a young Rolling Stone reporter's experiences on tour with a rock band in 1973.

CAUTION
Rated R for language, drug content, and brief nudity. Also contains several implied sex scenes.

BOTTOM LINE
The Oscar-winning script is good, but it paints a mostly loving portrait of the sex- and drug-saturated 1970s rock culture.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
About 10 minutes into Remember the Titans (rated PG for thematic elements and some language), Denzel Washington opens the front door of his Alexandria, Va., home to find a crowd of black community members gathered on his front lawn, all of whom break into spontaneous applause. That's the type of scene you'd expect near the climax of most movies, but it's characteristic of Remember the Titans, which takes every opportunity it can to build to an emotional crescendo. The film, while sometimes overwrought, is helped by its basis in the true-life story of Herman Boone, a black coach given the job of pulling together a Virginia high school's first integrated football team. He's assisted by the initially reluctant, white former head coach, who lost his job because of the color of his skin but puts the team's greater good ahead of his own pride. Remember the Titans translates the racial issues of the time to the sports field, where a last-minute victory in the "big game" signals a victory over racism. It's too simple a metaphor; sports movie clichés abound, and one non-cliché-a quarterback of ambiguous sexuality lip-kisses a teammate-may be gratuitous modern-Disney pandering. But overall, it's good for adults and understanding children to see a story where people overcome racial divides by hard work and discipline rather than pandering and victimization.

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