Two of the current Academy Award nominees, "In & Out" and "The Full Monty," will be making their video debuts next month, just days before the Oscar ceremonies are held March 23 in Los Angeles.
Nominated for best picture, director and original screenplay, "The Full Monty" is a British sleeper that turned out to be last year's most profitable movie. Budgeted at just $3.5 million, the comic tale of six unemployed men who become strippers has grossed $205 million worldwide. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release it on tape March 17.
Joan Cusack, nominated for best supporting actress for her deft performance as Kevin Kline's long-suffering girlfriend, has already picked up a New York Film Critics' prize for the comedy, which Paramount Home Video will release March 10. Hers is the only nomination "In & Out" got, and she's up against four actresses whose movies carried other nominations, so she's considered a long shot. Still, Marisa Tomei pulled off this trick not that long ago.
One of Cusack's competitors, Julianne Moore, was nominated for "Boogie Nights" (which won't be on tape until April 7), but she's also quite a powerhouse in "The Myth of Fingerprints," which makes its video debut Tuesday. She's the caustic life of the party in this Thanksgiving family-reunion drama, which co-stars Noah Wyle as her brother, James LeGros as her childhood friend and Blythe Danner and Roy Scheider as her troubled parents.
It was ignored by the Oscar voters, but Spokane-raised filmmaker Neil LaBute won a New York Film Critics' prize for best first film for his corrosive tale of office misogyny, "In the Company of Men," starring Aaron Eckhart as a man who enjoys hurting other people, especially a deaf secretary (Stacy Edwards) who becomes his lover. It's due March 17. The National Board of Review cited Kasi Lemmons as most promising newcomer for her writing-directing job on the family drama, "Eve's Bayou," which will be in stores Tuesday.
Also on next month's list of new releases are a couple of glorified exploitation pictures that made some impact at the box office last fall. "I Know What You Did Last Summer," a horror film written by "Scream's" Kevin Williamson, is due March 24. "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," which is coming March 31, turned out to be one of those disappointing sequels that fills theaters for one weekend, then experiences spectacular audience dropoffs.
Another movie that didn't live up to commercial expectations is "The Peacemaker," in which George Clooney and Nicole Kidman try to stop a nuclear device from going off in New York City. It's due March 10, along with "East Side Story," an entertaining compilation of Soviet musicals from the Cold War and before.
Aidan Quinn gets a dual role, playing a terrorist and a lookalike family man in "The Assignment," coming March 17. "Kiss Me Guido," a thickheaded comedy about gay-straight roommate relations in New York City, is due March 24, along with the unique and inventive French comedy, "Irma Vep," starring Maggie Cheung as a Hong Kong actress who makes a disaster-afflicted movie in Paris.
Rounding out the month are a couple of March 31 releases that didn't last long in theaters: Oliver Stone's "U-Turn," which plays like an all-star remake of "Red Rock West," and "Female Perversions," about the strained relationship between a lawyer (Tilda Swinton) and her shoplifting sister (Amy Madigan).
Video Watch by John Hartl appears Thursdays in Scene. For more information call the Video Hotline on InfoLine, a telephone information service of The Seattle Times. Call 206-464-2000 from a touch-tone phone and enter category 7369. It's a free local call.