Reviews > Culture

Video Rentals

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

Issue: "Abolition of C.S. Lewis?," June 16, 2001
1
Vertical Limit $9.48 million
1 week in release
$9.48 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Bill Paxton, Chris O'Donnell / Martin Campbell (Mask of Zorro) / Columbia Pictures

PLOT

MESSAGE
Extreme elements can tap man's urge for survival.

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CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for language and intense life-and-death situations.

2
What Women Want $8.93 million
3 weeks in release
$27.61 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt / Nancy Meyers (The Parent Trap) / Paramount Pictures

PLOT
Stereotypical comedy about a self-centered adman who discovers he can hear women's thoughts.

MESSAGE
Men are insensitive and women are easy to manipulate.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.

3
Miss Congeniality $8.25 million
4 weeks in release
$36.94 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt / Donald Petrie (Grumpy Old Men) / Warner Bros.

PLOT
Action comedy about an FBI agent who must pose as a beauty queen.

MESSAGE
Glamor may be shallow, but it can turn an ugly duckling into a swan.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for sexual references and violence.

4
Pay It Forward $4.03 million
2 weeks in release
$7.65 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment / Mimi Leder (Deep Impact) / Warner Bros.

PLOT
Schoolkid cooks up a plan to change the world: Do a big favor for someone else, asking them to help three other people in return.

MESSAGE
One person can make life better.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for substance abuse, some sexual situations, bad language, and brief violence.

5
Finding Forrester $3.74 million
5 weeks in release
$21.38 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Sean Connery, Rob Brown / Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) / Columbia Pictures

PLOT
A novelist tries to mentor a young African-American basketball star with great writing talent.

MESSAGE
Passion for the written word can overcome differences of race, age, and background.

CAUTION
Rated PG-13 for bad language and sexual references.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Nicole Kidman can sing? That's just one of many oddities in Moulin Rouge (20th Century Fox; rated PG-13 for sexual content), a big, obnoxious musical that mixes old Elton John, Madonna, and Nirvana songs and Greek mythology with can-can dancers in 1899 Paris. The result is more an overproduced Broadway musical than a modern movie. It runs one campy musical number after another with enough raunch to make this clearly not for children. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," "Your Song," "Like a Virgin," and "Roxanne" fill the soundtrack. Ozzy Osbourne has a cameo. In a story inspired by the myth of Orpheus, Moulin Rouge's hero (Ewan McGregor) plays a struggling writer who gets sucked into the bohemian underworld and falls in love with a star showgirl/prostitute (Kidman). As he writes a play for the Moulin Rouge, he must hide his affections because a rich nobleman (Richard Roxburgh) wants the courtesan all to himself. To add more melodrama and guarantee a tearjerker ending, the heroine is dying of tuberculosis. When not moving through the doomed love story or the tackiness of the Parisian nightlife, the movie drips slogans about the beauty of Bohemianism. Moulin Rouge never escapes its own shallowness.

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