Hot new rental reviews and previews

Colleen Stein

Colleen Stein

Oct. 12 ReviewsThe Day After Tomorrow PG-1320th Century FoxDirected by Roland Emmerich (Independance Day, The Patriot, Godzilla Series)

Jake Gyllenhaal and Dennis Quaid (pictured below) star as a father-and-son duo struggling to survive in the face of a really pissed off Mother Nature.

Quaid, who plays a government climatologist, stumbles upon a growing atmospheric trend caused by global warming that will bring on a modern-day ice age.

His son (Gyllenhaal) narrowly escapes the storm with a group of friends and holes up in a New York library while they wait for the unbearably freezing weather to lighten up.

Quaid’s character promises his son that he will come and save him and the movie turns into a waiting game to see if the father and son will be reunited.

Final Verdict: This sci-fi action flick does a good job of keeping the setting realistic, yet the scene where Jake and the gang are being chased by huge CGI wolves is unnecessary, not to mention unrealistic. And while Quaid is not the most talented actor in Hollywood, this movie possesses enough intelligence spiced with some heart-felt drama that it becomes worth renting.

Also Rent: If you enjoyed this Apocalyptic-themed thriller, you might like: The Core, Armageddon, 12 Monkeys, Independence Day and maybe even Waterworld.

Also, Jake Gyllenhaal, who had been unfairly deemed by Hollywood as the poor man’s Tobey McGuire, stars in two lesser-known movies perfect for renting: Donnie Darko and Bubble Boy.

Oct. 19 PreviewsVan Helsing PG-13Universal PicturesDirected by Stephen Sommers (Deep Rising, The Mummy Collection)

Hugh Jackman undergoes the metamorphosis from mutant to monster-slayer as he appears as Gabriel Van Helsing (pictured below), an ancient trench coat-wearing bounty hunter dedicated to bringing down the classical immortals via crossbow and a cache of other unconventional weaponry.

With the help of gypsy-babe Kate Beckinsale (who ironically just appeared as a vampire herself in Underworld), Van Helsing takes on famously freakish villains like Dracula, Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s monster.

Final Verdict: Critics have been stating that this movie is “over-blown” yet silly with “tongue-in-cheek humor.” My assumption is that if you liked X-Men I and II, Underworld and/or Hellboy, this movie is one you’ll want to see.

Garfield PG20th Century FoxDirected by Peter Hewitt (Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, Tom and Huck)

A CGI Garfield brings life to the overindulgent, lasagna-loving cat from the comics and places him on the big screen.

Saturday Night Live veteran Bill Murray voices the conceited and inane thoughts of Garfield as he pushes around Odie, a real life terrier, and humiliates his pathetic owner Jon Arbuckle, played by Breckin Meyer (Clueless, The Craft, Road Trip).

Jennifer Hewitt also appears in the film as Garfield’s veterinarian and Arbuckle’s love interest.

Final Verdict: Why anyone felt possessed to rob the funnies for film ideas, I’ll never know. Although Bill Murray stars as the voice of the fat feline, I doubt he emanates the same humor as he once did in classics like Scrooged and Caddyshack. As far as the casting of Jennifer Love Hewitt goes, the fact that she shares the same last name with the director might have something to do with it.

Rent Instead: For a more meaningful movie-watching experience, rent Bill Murray’s more recent, dramatic film Lost In Translation.

If you are in the mood to laugh, rent an older Murray flick like Ghostbusters, What About Bob?, Ground Hog Day, or Kingpin.