Cyber Ninja, NR. When a warrior-princess is kidnapped by the Dark Overlord, and slated for an elaborate blood sacrifice, it's up to a small band of courageous soldiers (including the mysterious Cyber Ninja) to save the day. Dark Overlord? Don't tell me, let me guess. He's the bad guy?
Hard Boiled, NR. John Woo's (Hard Target, The Killer) latest is a tale of a "die-hard cop" who teams with a "rebel cop" to avenge the murder of his parents.
House of the Spirits, R. What a waste of one of the strongest casts of actors in years! Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder, Vanessa Redgrave, Armin Mueller-Stahl and Antonio Banderas are stranded in a stultifying blend of neo-realism based on the novel by Isabel Allende. It's hard to say what is worse about Bille August's plodding film; the miscasting of WASP-ish actors as Latin Americans or his feeble attempt to duplicate the magical realism of Like Water for Chocolate in a dull drama spanning five decades of South American history.
I'll Do Anything, PG-13. Nick Nolte stars as an out-of-work actor looking for a role, romance with Joely Richardson and peace with his bratty daughter (Whittni Wright). An interesting experiment in knee-jerk moviemaking, since writer/director James L. Brooks converted a completed musical comedy into this fairly conventional film. Features hilarious supporting work by Albert Brooks (Broadcast News) and Julie Kavner (The Simpsons).
Schindler's List, R. The best film of 1993 was Steven Spielberg's staggering portrait of Holocaust evil and inadvertent heroism. Liam Neeson portrays Oskar Schindler, a German war profiteer whose factory became a haven for hundreds of Jewish prisoners. Filmed in stark black-and-white, which makes the concentration camp horrors even more nightmarish and unforgettable. Co-stars Ben Kingsley as Schindler's aide and Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth, a chilling Nazi commandant.
Stephen King's The Stand, NR. A virulent super-flu leaks from a top-secret government base, rapidly killing off 99.4 percent of the world's population, leaving survivors to rebuild the world. One faction of survivors is psychically connected to Mother Abigail (Ruby Dee), a God-fearing 106-year-old prophet, and the other to devilish Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan). Abigail rounds up her righteous flock to build nirvana in Boulder, Colo., while Flagg corrals the remaining criminal element in Las Vegas. Stars Gary Sinise (Of Mice and Men), Ray Walston (TV's My Favorite Martian), Rob Lowe, Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Miguel Ferrer (Twin Peaks) and Molly Ringwald. Originally seen as an 8-hour, $28-million television miniseries.
CLASSICS: Fox Video has released six classic musicals as part of its Rodgers and Hammerstein Golden Anniversary Collection: The Sound of Music, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, Oklahoma and State Fair.