Notable videos for the week of June 8, 1990 -- Short reviews on recently released titles

Notable videos for the week of June 8, 1990

New on tape
A Bill of Divorcement (1932, CBS/Fox, $39.98) Ignore the plot about a recovered WW I shell-shock victim (John Barrymore) who escapes from an asylum to find that his wife has divorced him. Focus on the sharp, radiant actress playing his daughter: Katharine Hepburn in her screen debut. B+

Diamond Run (1988, M.C.E.G./Virgin, $79.95, R) By prostituting his Asian girlfriend, an American in Djakarta places her in the path of murderous jewel smugglers. This ”thriller” offers sex without romance, violence without excitement, and a plot with no point. F

Street Asylum (1990, Magnum, $89.98, R) In the near future, an L.A. policeman is recruited by renegade robocops to fight street sleaze. Starring B-movie vet Wings Hauser and Watergate felon G. Gordon Liddy, this sounds like a fun junk film. Unfortunately, it’s both incoherent and obvious (no easy trick), as well as unrelievedly sadistic. Liddy, given limited screen time, comes off as nothing more than a morbid curiosity. F

Yoga Journal’s Yoga for Beginners (1990, Healing Arts, $19.95) Instructional guide to fitness through relaxation.

Reissued on tape

Brazil (1985, MCA, $19.95, R) Terry Gilliam’s bleak but comic vision of the future comes to life through a terrific cast, led by Jonathan Pryce. B+

Choose Me (1984, Media, $9.98, R) A wonderful cast races around a pastel L.A. night world, looking for love to a dreamy Teddy Pendergrass score. This exercise in giddy, fatalistic romanticism is still writer-director Alan Rudolph’s best. With Genevieve Bujold and Lesley Ann Warren. A

Fletch Lives (1989, MCA, $19.95, PG) In this weak sequel, the wisecracking Fletch investigates Southern-fried chicanery. Judging from this, it’s hard to believe that Chevy Chase was once actually funny. D-

No Mercy (1986, RCA/ Columbia, $19.95, R) A cop’s affair with a violent drifter’s girlfriend leads to some ugly business. Stars Kim Basinger and Richard Gere have both made much better movies. D

The Seduction (1982, Media, $9.98, R) Morgan Fairchild plays a TV newscaster partial to long bubble baths who’s stalked by a psychotic fan. Need we say that it’s lurid trash? Need we say it’s also kind of fun? C-

Sweet Heart’s Dance (1988, RCA/Columbia, $19.95, R) Another rustic movie about feelings from the writer of On Golden Pond. An appealing cast (Susan Sarandon, Don Johnson) is wasted on this slow story about two couples, one considering marriage, the other divorce. C-

Switching Channels (1988, RCA/Columbia, $19.95, PG) When an ace TV reporter (Kathleen Turner) shows up in the newsroom with her dumb lover (Christopher Reeve), her boss/ex-husband (Burt Reynolds) schemes to win her back. This is a limp variation on a lively old theme — you’re much better off with Cary Grant in His Girl Friday. C-

True Believer (1989, CA/Columbia, $19.95, R) Yet another tough little James Woods movie. Basically a Verdict revamp with more of a street snarl, True Believer‘s plot, like its star, continually surpasses expectations. B+

A World Apart (1988, Media, $9.98, PG) A white South African activist gets so caught up in the fight against apartheid that she neglects her young daughter. Screenwriter Shawn Slovo based it on her own life. With Barbara Hershey and newcomer Jodhi May. A