Female Friendship, And A Mob Scene

Posted: August 24, 1989

This week's new videos feature Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey in a tale of female friendship, and Corbin Bernsen and Fred Gwynne in a tale of mob confusion.

BEACHES (1988) (Touchstone) $89.95. 123 minutes. * * Bette Midler, Barbara Hershey, John Heard, Lainie Kazan. Sometimes you would rather have a good cry than see a good movie, and this is for those times. Beaches, a seriously glib and irresistibly enjoyable account of female friendship, comforts with this soothing moral: Men may come and go, but girlfriends are forever. Midler stars as an ambition-driven Jewish singer from the Bronx and Hershey is an ambitionless WASP who is Midler's best audience. Their performances are undermined by Garry Marshall's innocuous direction and a script that telescopes important details and microscopes the trivial ones. Oscar nominations: best art direction, art director Albert Brenner and set decorator

Garrett Lewis.

DISORGANIZED CRIME (1989) (Touchstone) $89.95. 101 minutes. * * Corbin Bernsen, Fred Gwynne, Ruben Blades, Lou Diamond Phillips. Jim Kouf, who wrote Stakeout - a comedy that put cops in an enclosed space instead of a tight corner - here puts the robbers in some wide-open spaces. Unfortunately, that offers more room for failure. Four likable hoods show up to rob a bank and find that the man who planned the robbery has disappeared. This is amiable fun, and Kouf excels in male-unbonding dialogue, but there's no real reason to prefer his directing debut to ordering takeout and watching Stakeout.

RECENT MOVIES

ALEXA . . . A PROSTITUTE'S OWN STORY (1989) (Academy) $79.95. 81 minutes. A call girl meets and falls in love with a playwright who's writing a play about prostitutes - but can she break free from her sordid life and her violent pimp?

BERT RIGBY, YOU'RE A FOOL (1989) (Warner) $89.95. 94 minutes. Robert Lindsay, Corbin Bernsen, Anne Bancroft. Carl Reiner directed this offbeat story of an English coal miner who wins a talent contest and sees it as a stepping-stone to the Hollywood stardom he has always dreamed of.

THE COURIER (1988) (Vestron) $79.98. 85 minutes. Gabriel Byrne, Ian Bannen. An employee at a courier service - and reformed drug addict - discovers that his company is a front for drug dealers and begins his own investigation to learn who's behind it. Soundtrack features music by rock groups U2, Hothouse Flowers, the Pogues and Declan Macmanus (a.k.a. Elvis Costello.)

FAR FROM HOME (1989) (Vestron) $89.98. 86 minutes. Drew Barrymore, Matt Frewer, Richard Masur, Jennifer Tilly. A blossoming Barrymore, now taking teen roles, stars as an innocent girl caught between the affections of two boys when she and her father are stranded in a desert trailer park.

FINE GOLD (1988) (Forum) $79.98. 91 minutes. Andrew Stevens, Ted Wass, Ray Walston, Stewart Granger. A man must start his life over when he's ruined after being wrongly accused of a crime. Determined to seek his revenge, he slowly builds an empire in the wine industry.

STALKING DANGER (1986) (Vidmark) $79.95. 97 minutes. Joe Cortese, Stephen W. James, Patricia Charbonneau. A elite and secret tactical squad is assembled when terrorists begin killing off scientists involved in a top-secret research study.

A WHISPER TO A SCREAM (1988) (Virgin Vision) $79.95. 96 minutes. Nadia Capone, Yaphet Kotto. An aspiring actress lands a role as a telephone-sex operator and takes a real job as a telephone-sex operator to research her part. When a series of murders occurs, all involving girls working for the service, she realizes that they're connected to her imaginative fantasies.

A WOMAN OBSESSED (1989) (Academy) $79.95. 105 minutes. Troy Donahue, Linda Blair. Gothic thriller about a young man who's lured to the home of a wealthy widow - so that she can reveal her terrible secret.

VINTAGE FILMS

THE MASK (1961) (Rhino) $59.95. 85 minutes. Paul Stevens, Claudette Nevins. Another low-budget oddity from the Rhino vaults: An ancient Aztec mask has the power to put people into trances. The movie features 3-D sequences, and Rhino is shipping 3-D glasses with the tapes. Also shown under the title Eyes of Hell.

MUSIC AND DANCE

BIG, BOLD & BRASSY (1989) (Forum) $19.98. 58 minutes. Jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson performs.

THE GENIUS OF JAZZ! (1989) (Forum) $19.98. 44 minutes. Jazz virtuoso Dave Brubeck performs several of his most popular songs, including "Big Bad Basie," "Take Five" and "Tritonius."

LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER (Paramount) $29.95 each. Three new titles from the PBS fine-arts series: Andre Watts in Concert (1985, 90 minutes), playing Beethoven, Chopin, Scarlatti and Gershwin; Zubin Mehta/Leontyne Price (1982, 94 minutes), with the New York Philharmonic, and Swan Lake (1976, 122 minutes), the American Ballet Theater, with Natalia Makarova and Ivan Nagy.

LIVE THUNDER! WOODY HERMAN AND THE THUNDERING HERD!! (1989) (Forum) $19.98. 56 minutes. The big-band composer, singer and clarinetist performs with his ensemble, the Thundering Herd.

SAXTRAORDINARY (1989) (Forum) $19.98. 45 minutes. Baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan performs at the Newport Jazz Festival.

COMEDY

THE BEST OF EDDIE MURPHY: SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (1989) (Paramount) $24.95. 78 minutes. The original cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live had long since departed when a young comedian named Eddie Murphy arrived to revive the show's popularity. This tape features 30 of Murphy's most popular characterizations,

from Buckwheat to Richard Simmons.

INSTRUCTION

LET'S GO FLYING (1989) (King Accelerated Ground Schools) $29.95. 60 minutes. A flying lesson on video. With the camera mounted in the pilot's seat, we watch as the plane taxis, takes off, manuevers and lands. To order, call: 800-854-1001.

MADE FOR TELEVISION

ACE CRAWFORD, PRIVATE EYE (1983) (Forum) $19.98. 71 minutes. Tim Conway, Billy Barty, Bill Henderson. Three episodes of the CBS series about a bumbling detective.

PETER GUNN (1958-9) (Rhino) $19.95 each. 55 minutes each. Craig Stevens, Lola Albright, Herschel Bernardi. Stevens was ideal as the suave private eye in this memorable series from the early days of television. Titles: Death House Testament and Rough Buck (each cassette contains one episode).

DOCUMENTARIES

THE MASTERS OF COMIC BOOK ART (1987) (Rhino) $19.95. 60 minutes. A behind- the-scenes look at the creators of such heroes as Batman, Spiderman, the Swamp Thing and the Silver Surfer.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VIDEO (Vestron) $29.98 each. 60 minutes each. Three new titles in the series: Strange Creatures of the Night, Return to Everest and The Wilds of Madagascar.

OTHER

DAN QUAYLE: JUST KIDDING (1989) (NAC) $9.95. 30 minutes. Comedian Phyllis Hamlin hosts an irreverent poke at the vice president, blending new footage of his many verbal blunders with commentary by a group of young comedians.

MARKDOWNS

MAGNUM ENTERTAINMENT has re-released these titles at $29.98 each: Born American ( * '86), Hollywood Vice Squad ( * '86), KGB: The Secret War ('86), Something Special ( * * '86) and Sweet Country ('86).

MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT has reduced these videos to $19.95: The Hidden ( * * * '87) and Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Warriors ( * '88).

REPUBLIC VIDEO has reduced these horror films to $14.95: Count Dracula ( * * '71), Dr. Terror's House of Horrors ( * * '65) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (colorized, four stars in black and white; '56).

VESTRON VIDEO has reduced these titles in the Rand McNally VideoTrips series to $19.98: Alaska, Colorado Ski Resorts, Central Florida, Hawaii, Mexico's Beach Resorts, New York City, San Francisco, Ski New England and Washington, D.C.

WARNER HOME VIDEO has reduced these films to $19.98: Above the Law ( * * '88), Arthur 2: On the Rocks ( * * '88), Bloodsport ( * '87), Caddyshack II ( * * '88), Empire of the Sun ( * * * '87), Funny Farm ( * * '88), Russkies ( * * '87), Salsa ( * * * '88), Shy People ( * * '87), Stand and Deliver ( * * * * '87) and Wisdom ( * '86). In addition, the entire collection of Warner's Best of 'Saturday Night Live' cassettes - 20 in all - has been marked down to $14.98.

COMING NEXT WEEK

Gnarly fun, dude, in BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, and last year's multi Oscar-winner, including the award for best picture - RAIN MAN.

RATINGS:

* * * * Excellent

* * * Good

* * Fair

* Poor

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