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An angel must decide if love is more important than eternal peace in this Americanized adaptation of Wim Wenders' modern classic Wings of Desire. Seth (Nicholas Cage) is an angel who hovers over the city of Los Angeles, listening to people's thoughts, observing their lives, and guiding them to the next world when they die. While Seth and his fellow angels try to offer comfort to people as they can, they are discouraged from direct contact with humans and are usually invisible to them. While at a hospital, Seth sees Maggie (Meg Ryan), a dedicated heart surgeon who attempts to save the life of a patient Seth was to call upon. Maggie is distraught after the patient passes, and her agony touches something inside the reserved Seth; he finds himself falling in love with her, and he decides to make himself visible so he can communicate with her. As Maggie gets to know the strange visitor in black who has suddenly appeared in her life, she finds herself torn between her new feelings for Seth and her attachment to her fiancÃ© Jordan (Colm Feore), a fellow doctor. Seth, on the other hand, has a serious choice to make -- between immortality and giving it up in order to know both the pleasures and pains of being a human being. City of Angels also stars Dennis Franz as Messinger, a patient at the hospital who has some important advice for Seth. The film's soundtrack featured two Top Ten hits, "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls and "Uninvited" by Alanis Morissette. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Includes:House on Haunted Hill (1999), MPAA Rating: R Return to House on Haunted Hill (2007), MPAA Rating: R House on Haunted Hill In this remake of William Castle's campy 1958 classic, an eccentric millionaire named Steven Price invites a diverse group of people to a reputedly haunted mansion that was formerly the site of an insane asylum. Steven offers his guests $1,000,000 each if they can spend the entire night at the old house without fleeing in terror. It sounds simple enough, but when those stories about ghosts haunting the mansion turn out to be true, the guests may no longer opt to stick around. In this version, Steven is played by Geoffrey Rush, and his guests include Jeffrey Combs, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Chris Kattan, and Bridgette Wilson; Famke Janssen plays Evelyn Price. Sadly, this remake does not feature the original's memorable special-effects gimmick, "Emergo," an inflatable plastic skeleton that rolled on wires through the theater during showings. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Return to House on Haunted Hill When the lone survivor of the original excursion to The House on Haunted Hill dies under suspicious circumstances, her sister returns to the foreboding mansion to solve the mystery of her sibling's death in the feature directorial debut of former make-up special effects artist Victor Garcia (Hellboy). Back in 1931, malevolent doctor Richard Vannacut and his entire staff at the hilltop asylum were killed when the patients revolted and set the institution ablaze. Ever since then, rumors have persisted that the spirits of those consumed in the inferno still haunt the hospital. Those rumors seemed to be confirmed when, in 1999, billionaire Steven H. Price and his guests were viciously slaughtered in the refurbished mansion. Though the authorities officially blamed Price himself for the gruesome massacre, survivor Sarah Wolfe insists that there was indeed a supernatural element at play. Now, eight years have passed since that fateful night, and Sarah's sister Ariel - a successful editor at a popular men's fashion magazine - has just received word that Sarah has committed suicide. Immediately sensing foul play, Ariel's suspicions are confirmed when a strange book arrives in the mail shortly thereafter. Sent by Sarah just before she died, the book proves to be Vannacut's personal diary. According to the diary, which Ariel manages to translate with a little help from archeologist Richard Hammer, an ancient Baphomet idol is hidden somewhere deep within the sprawling estate. In her last days, Sarah had become convinced that the idol was the source of the house's evil. Richard, too, shares this belief, and with the help of graduate students Michelle and Kyle he is determined to find the idol. But Ariel isn't about to go on a ghost hunt in the same mansion where so may atrocities have occurred, at least not until she is kidnapped by Desmond Niles and his vicious band of mercenaries. They too seek the Baphomet idol, and they too will soon discover why few people who venture into the former asylum ever come out alive. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Includes - The Thing (1982), MPAA Rating: R Prince of Darkness (1987), MPAA Rating: R They Live (1988), MPAA Rating: R Village of the Damned (1995), MPAA Rating: R The Thing John Carpenter's The Thing is both a remake of Howard Hawks' 1951 film of the same name and a re-adaptation of the John W. Campbell Jr. story "Who Goes There?" on which it was based. Carpenter's film is more faithful to Campbell's story than Hawks' version and also substantially more reliant on special effects, provided in abundance by a team of over 40 technicians, including veteran creature-effects artists Rob Bottin and Stan Winston. The film opens enigmatically with a Siberian Husky running through the Antarctic tundra, chased by two men in a helicopter firing at it from above. Even after the dog finds shelter at an American research outpost, the men in the helicopter (Norwegians from an outpost nearby) land and keep shooting. One of the Norwegians drops a grenade and blows himself and the helicopter to pieces; the other is shot dead in the snow by Garry (Donald Moffat), the American outpost captain. American helicopter pilot MacReady (Kurt Russell, fresh from Carpenter's Escape From New York) and camp doctor Copper (Richard Dysart) fly off to find the Norwegian base and discover some pretty strange goings-on. The base is in ruins, and the only occupants are a man frozen to a chair (having cut his own throat) and the burned remains of what could be one man or several men. In a side room, Copper and MacReady find a coffin-like block of ice from which something has been recently cut. That night at the American base, the Husky changes into the Thing, and the Americans learn first-hand that the creature has the ability to mutate into anything it kills. For the rest of the film the men fight a losing (and very gory) battle against it, never knowing if one of their own dwindling number is the Thing in disguise. Though resurrected as a cult favorite, The Thing failed at the box office during its initial run, possibly because of its release just two weeks after Steven Spielberg's warmly received E.T.The Extra-Terrestrial. Along with Ridley Scott's futuristic Alien, The Thing helped stimulate a new wave of sci-fi horror films in which action and special effects wizardry were often seen as ends in themselves. ~ Anthony Reed, All Movie Guide Prince of Darkness Proving that you can never guess what you'll find when you clean out the basement, a man of the cloth discovers that ultimate evil has made a hiding place in his cellar in this tale of terror. Father Loomis (Donald Pleasance) is a priest who discovers a strange object in a church basement -- a canister filled with a swirling and volatile green substance. With the help of Professor Birack (Victor Wong), Loomis discovers the startling truth about his find -- it seems that Satan, who is actually an alien life form, had a son, and the essence of the devil's spawn is trapped inside the canister. The evil spirit has been guarded by a group calling themselves "The Brotherhood of Sleep," but the spirit has the ability to free itself whenever it decides the time is right...and it seems that time is just around the corner. Prince of Darkness was directed by horror master John Carpenter; he also wrote the screenplay under the pseudonym Martin Quatermass. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide They Live John Carpenter wrote and directed this science fiction thriller about a group of aliens who try to take over the world by disguising themselves as Young Republicans. Wrestler Roddy Piper stars as John Nada, a drifted who makes his way into an immense encampment for the homeless. There he stumbles upon a conspiracy concerning aliens who have hypnotized the populace through subliminal messages transmitted through television, magazines, posters, and movies. When Nada looks through special Ray-Bans developed by the resistance leaders, the aliens lose their clean-cut "Dan Quayle" looks and resemble crusty-looking reptiles. N
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