Culture

Video Rentals

Culture | The top 5 videos in popularity as measured by rental receipts for the week ended July 22.

Issue: "Don't have a cow," Aug. 11, 2001
1
Family Man $12 million
1 week in release
$12 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Nicolas Cage, Tea Leoni / Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) / Universal Pictures

PLOT
A Wall Street bachelor gets the chance to experience life with a wife and family.


Modern touches: Rated PG-13 for sensuality and bad language.

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BOTTOM LINE
Pro-family, pro-children, without being smarmy; a moving variation of It's a Wonderful Life.

2
Down to earth $5.3 million
2 weeks in release
$12.9 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Chris Rock, Regina King / Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz (American Pie) / Paramount

PLOT
A struggling black stand-up comic who is prematurely taken to heaven is reincarnated as a rich white guy.


Rated PG-13 for bad language, sexual humor, and some drug references.

BOTTOM LINE
Only occasionally funny comedy with a very skewed view of heaven and hell.

3
The Wedding Planner $5 million
3 weeks in release
$23.3 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey / Adam Shankman / Columbia Tristar

PLOT
The title character, after landing a big account, unwittingly falls in love with the wedding's groom.


Rated PG-13 for bad language and some sexual humor.

BOTTOM LINE
Implausible and mostly forgettable, but pleasantly entertaining and generally free of significant sexual content.

4
Double Take $4 million
1 week in release
$4 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Orlando Jones, Eddie Griffin / George Gallo (Trapped in Paradise) / Touchstone Pictures

PLOT
Implicated in a drug scam, a successful black banker pairs up with a street-wise hustler to clear his name.


Rated PG-13 for sexual content and bad language.

BOTTOM LINE
Typically crude comedy makes its stars work hard for the movie's few laughs.

5
Saving Silverman $3.8 million
1 week in release
$3.8 million to date
CAST / DIRECTOR / STUDIO
Jason Biggs, Jack Black / Dennis Dugan (Big Daddy) / Columbia Tristar

PLOT
Failed teen comedy about a slacker whose buddies plot to stop his wedding.


Rated PG-13 for bad language and crude and sexual humor.

BOTTOM LINE
Pointless film that gets as crude as it can while still ducking an R rating.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Planet of the Apes was a pop-culture phenomenon in the late 1960s and early '70s, before Star Wars pushed it from moviegoers' memories. Now filmmaker Tim Burton has brought it back to the big screen (rated PG-13 for bad language and action/violence). For those who missed it, the story concerns an astronaut (this time Mark Wahlberg) who crash lands in a strange world where monkeys rule and humans are treated as pets and slaves. The atmosphere is much the same as the original, complete with elaborate makeup and gloomy settings. The update assumes the audience already understands the basic story and focuses on being an action movie. The characters (played by the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Kris Kristofferson, and Paul Giamatti) are flat and cartoonish. Charlton Heston gets an ironic cameo playing an ape leader. The hero winds up leading the humans in combat against General Thade (Tim Roth) before a tacked-on twist ending. The original was memorable, but hardly great, and Tim Burton's update isn't an improvement. The movie's references to its own allegory about intolerance and equality come off half-hearted. In 1968, Planet of the Apes was something new; today, it is just another all-hype blockbuster.

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