Almost Heroes: Two groups of explorers set out to discover America's western frontier. The second group is led by snob of snobs Leslie Edwards (Matthew Perry). Leslie hires Bartholomew Hunt (Chris Farley), who is familiar with the territory they will be journeying through, and also takes along a mixed crew including Guy Fontenot (Eugene Levy), their interpreter who doesn't speak any other language. Heading off toward the Pacific Ocean, they encounter many obstacles and hardships—wild bears, Indian tribes, and a group of Spanish conquistadors led by Hidalgo (Kevin Dunn)—as they try to beat the other team to the west coast. Due to tasteless and crude humor and nudity, this film is not suitable for children. (MPAA—PG-13)
Dirty Work: After botching a pizza delivery, Mitch Weaver (Norm MacDonald) is without a job and homeless. His longtime friend, Sam McKenna (Artie Lange), invites Mitch to stay with him and his father, Pops (Jack Warden). Mitch and Sam are only good at one thing—getting even with people who've wronged them. So, they open a revenge-for-hire business. They start out small but the two soon find themselves having to raise $50,000 for Pops who needs a heart transplant. Wealthy tycoon Travis Cole (Christopher McDonald) intends to take advantage of their plight especially after they mess up one of his plans to take over the property of an elderly lady for his business purposes. But when the revenge-for-hire partners learn they've been taken advantage of, there's further trouble in store. It's a predictable movie, and due to crude sexual humor and language is not suitable for children. (MPAA—PG-13)
Dr. Dolittle:—Dr. John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) is a successful physician with a burgeoning career and a happy family life. But a minor traffic accident results in Dolittle resurrecting his childhood gift of being able to converse with animals. Dolittle worries that he may be going insane as does his family and colleagues, especially when Lucky, a stray dog (voice of Norm MacDonald), and the family's pet guinea pig (voice of Chris Rock) won't stop talking to him. The movie is very entertaining with a host of other wisecracking animals, a pigeon with low self-esteem (voice of Gary Shandling), an alcoholic monkey (voice of Phil Proctor), and a suicidal tiger (voice of Albert Brooks), all of whom want his medical help or advice. There is a brief moment of crude humor and language but overall it's a good movie. (MPAA—PG-13)
Ebenezer: In this version of the Charles Dickens' classic, Ebenezer Scrooge (Jack Palance) is a mean-spirited and cold-hearted saloon-owner who values money more than people. Things come to a head when he cheats Sam Benson (Nick Schroder)—who plans to marry Erica (Amy Locance)—out of his land in a poker game. He refuses to let Bob Cratchit (Albert Schultz), who has a very sick son, go home early on Christmas Eve. Scrooge turns down an invitation for a holiday dinner from his nephew Bob saying that he is spending Christmas with the only person that he cares about—“me.” Neither Cratchit nor the nephew harbor any resentment against Scrooge. But he is about to be visited by the three ghosts of Christmas that show him his ways are wrong. This is good family entertainment especially for the holiday season with its messages of forgiveness and that it's never too late to change. (MPAA—PG)
The Mask of Zorro: The aristocratic Don Diego (Anthony Hopkins) becomes Zorro whenever the haughty Spanish governor, Don Rafael Montero (Stuart Wilson), takes advantage of his people. It's 1821, and the Spanish are turning over the colony of Alta California to the Mexican government. The governor is scheduled to return to Europe but can't resist beating up on the poor one last time.
While rescuing three peasants from the gallows right under Don Rafael's nose, he is assisted by two boys, the Murieta brothers, and as a reward, he gives one of them his medallion.
But the wily governor surprises the good-hearted nobleman in his castle, kills his wife, and kidnaps his infant daughter. Don Diego is left to rot in a dark dungeon.
Twenty years pass, and Don Rafael returns to California with a plan to buy the former colony from Mexico with stolen gold. With him is Don Diego's daughter, Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones), whom he has raised as his own. The myth of Zorro still lives among the people who've been as exploited by the Mexican authorities as they were by the Spanish. Don Diego escapes from prison to take revenge on the former governor.
By now too, the Murieta brothers have grown up and been driven into banditry. One of them is killed by an American ex-army officer. When Don Diego realizes he himself has become too old to keep Don Rafael's men in check, he decides to train Alejandro (the surviving Murieta brother) to replace him and become the next Zorro. Like a Zen master, the elder Zorro teaches his successor not only the tricks of superior swordsmanship but also how to control his emotions and put them at the service of his intellect and will. The film is intense and action packed and makes for good viewing. (MPAA RATING: PG-13)