Author

Bruce Forer

If all the copies of The Hunt for Red October have disappeared from the shelves of your local video store, try Run Silent, Run Deep. Directed by Robert Wise (West Side Story), this black-and-white war of nerves aboard a decidedly low-tech submarine in the Pacific during World War II holds up remarkably well. The effects are not as special as Red October’s, but it’s surprising how compelling the dramatic action can be after 30 years.

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Rapper Ice Cube swaggers out of the hood and supermodel Elizabeth Hurley steps off the runway in the miscast drama about a prodigal son returning to South Africa. Ice Cube is Vusi in Dangerous Ground, a grad student who comes hoem after his father’s death to find drugs and violence rampant. Hurley, a crack addict and stripper, joins him in a search for his wayward younger brother, who is also her boyfriend. Wusi can resist the sexual charms of Hurley, but not the obligatory final shoot-out with drug lord Rhames. What a downer. D

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Bridget Fonda’s subtle, sexy performance stands out in this otherwise flat comedy-drama about saints and hustlers. Skeet Ulrich plays a seductive faith healer named Juvenal; Fonda is the bait con man Christopher Walken uses to exploit him for commercial reward. Since Touch vanished quickly from theaters, it may seem like a find. But proceed with caution. Writer-director Paul Shrader concocts a weird brew of sly humor that isn’t funny, drama with little suspense, and romance that yields little passion. It’s at best an acquired taste. C+

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Every liberal cause you can think of gets an impassioned monologue in this stagy geriatric comedy by director-writer Herb Gardner (A Thousand Clowns), I’m Not Rappaport. Nat (Walter Matthau), a retired left-wing Jewish columnist, and Midge (Ossie Davis), a black building superintendent about to be cast aside by the yuppie president of his co-op, sit in Central Park and schmooze about better days.

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Patriotism is once again the last refuge of scoundrels in this mild action comedy, My Fellow Americans, as two former Presidents (Jack Lemmon plays an anal-retentive Republican in the George Bush mold, James Garner is a girl-crazy Clintonesque Democrat) reluctantly work together to expose a cover-up engineered by the current chief (Dan Aykroyd). But how many one-liners about bodily functions can you tolerate? In theaters, Americans didn’t live up to the studio’s expectations; on video it probably won’t live up to yours. C-

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In Zeus and Roxanne, dog Zeus meets dolphin Roxanne in this saccharine love story of single parents (Steve Guttenberg and Kathleen Quinlan) who regrettably — and after much scheming by their adorable kids — follow the lead of their more intelligent pets. He’s a composer and she’s a marine biologist in an idyllic beach town, and like Zeus and Roxanne, they talk a lot but say nothing. A pale tale even by kid-vid standards. C-

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The cold war with China has turned hot in the insanely complicated 3-D submarine combat game Tom Clancy SSN, concocted under the tutelage of the techno-thriller writer. After a prologue delivered by Clancy and some slick background supplied by a faux TV newsbreak, you are placed before the simulated control panel of a nuclear sub (SSN) headed for warfare in the South Pacific. This may be, as Clancy says, the closest you’ll ever come to actually commanding an attack sub.

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Of all the World Wide Web publications, Feed probably comes closest to fulfilling the promise of quality interactive journalism. A hybrid of The New Yorker and Wired, this literate webzine shows off the medium’s assets by annotating its articles on politics, technology, media, and the arts with hyperlinked comments from readers. While some of the edgier indigenous voices might not otherwise make it into mainstream print, Feed’s contributors list reads like a who’s who of cyberspace.

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The elusive 37th President is lurking here somewhere among the 70,000 pages of documents, 15 minutes of video, 700 photos, and assorted movie clips. But the organization is contrived, the narration by former Nixon aide Alexander Butterfield unnecessary, and fact and fiction blurred. On a clickable tour of the White House, for instance, Anthony Hopkins pops up in scenes from the Oliver Stone movie as though he really were the President, with the apparent intention of spicing up an otherwise dry library of speeches, transcripts, memos, and letters.

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Ever wonder what Madonna sings in the shower? Then check out the new, nifty, and huge E! Online, where ”Tales From the Womb,” the alleged diary of Madonna’s unborn baby, will tell you: ”Walk like a woman and talk like a man.” This Web version of cable’s gossipy E! Entertainment Television, 70 percent of whose content is exclusive to the site, addresses other pressing issues, like celebrities’ golf handicaps (Tin Cup’s Kevin Costner has a 16) and their sleepwear preferences (see the nighties of Winona Ryder and Vanessa Williams!).

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