THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS PG-13, 1987, 110 minutes, MCA Home Video, $89.95
Michael J. Fox, the Mickey Rooney of the '80s, climbs to the top of the corporate ladder in this Big Business Video, a charade of mistaken identities directed by Herbert Ross. He's prone to disguising vapidity with a deafening sound track, but this one doesn't hide the fact that nothing much happens here. The sure-footed Fox, as a farm-fresh MBA from Kansas, carries the movie. His 24-year-old climber easily ditches his scruples on the rapid rise from the mail room to a corner office. By staving off a hostile takeover, the biz whiz saves the day and his uncle's floundering firm. He also gets the girl -- Helen "Supergirl" Slater, playing a gimlet-eyed junior executive who is sleeping with the boss. The video becomes a weak bedroom farce when Fox is seduced by the neglected wife (Margaret Whitton) of the deliciously debonair CEO (Richard Jordan). You might want to show this one at the office Christmas party. -- Rita Kempley
THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE Unrated, 1972, in French with subtitles, 100 minutes, Cinematheque Collection/Media Home Entertainment, $59.95.
For the sake of expediency (and with a nod to the holidays), let's call this the Spanish director Luis Bunåuel's anti-Thanksgiving film. A group of wealthy French socialites, diplomats and clergy makes repeated attempts to have a meal, any kind of meal, and can't seem to pull it off. Late in his career, Bunåuel began to make movies with a master's ease; watching these films, you felt like the movies went directly from his head to the screen. In "Discreet Charm," Bunåuel constructs an inventive, lucid form of movie storytelling, stitching together dream episodes and reminiscences and present-time events with effortless grace. In one scene, without warning, a young soldier asks if he may join a table of ladies and tell them about his tragic childhood, and reveals how the ghost of his mother instructed him to poison his father. In another, a priest visits a dying man to grant him absolution and then, after discovering that the man had murdered his parents, bestows the final blessing -- and blasts him in the head with a shotgun. This film won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and it's reassuring to think that this kind of corrosive audacity could be rewarded. -- Hal Hinson
SUMMER SCHOOL PG-13, 1987, 98 minutes, Paramount Pictures, $89.95 VHS, $29.95 Beta.
Mark Harmon lights up this California teen comedy, a screwball fable from the beach ball jungle full of sophomoric sass, horror spoofery and the old standby -- vomit jokes. Harmon proves irresistible as the goof-off Freddy Shoop, a high school coach who is forced to spend his summer vacation teaching bonehead English to a class of rowdy, sun-damaged remedials. Naturally, all of them are full of hidden potential that is tapped by the simpatico Shoop, who also grows up in the process. Carl Reiner directs this Clearasil comedy, which is proud to be junk food, but nevertheless tackles such sobering subjects as illiteracy, teen-age pregnancy and young adult alcoholism. Writer Jeff Franklin is never preachy, making his points in his humorous dialogue: "Fact: Alcohol kills brain cells," says Shoop to an incorrigible boozer. "Lose one more, and you're a talking monkey." -- Rita Kempley
BLUE CITY R, 1986, 83 minutes, Paramount Home Video, $79.95.
Blue City, a thriller set in South Florida about a young man who returns home to patch things up with his father only to find that he's been murdered, was the movie that was supposed to prove that after "St. Elmo's Fire," Brat Packers Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy were stars bankable enough to cast in anything. What it ended up demonstrating was just the opposite: that people will come to see Brat Packers being Brat Packers and nothing else. Playing high-pressure material, they seemed too insubstantial to have grown-up thoughts, much less to be driven to murder. Nelson's emotional range is better suited to Angst over tie selection. And Sheedy, well ... Someone once told me that the demise of Ally Sheedy came when someone told her that "acting is listening." And, it's true, nobody listens with greater intensity. Unfortunately, her expression makes it look as if she only understands every other word. -- Hal Hinson
ANITA BAKER: ONE NIGHT OF RAPTURE Unrated, 1987, 55 minutes, Elektra Entertainment, $24.98.
Over the last two years, Washingtonians have come to adore Anita Baker's sultry and scintillating vocals, and those who missed her recent four-night stand at Constitution Hall can now enjoy this excellent video concert shot during her last extended engagement there. The diminutive Baker owns one of the biggest, deepest voices around, and though she's sometimes identified as the prime exponent of black radio's "Quiet Storm" (a k a mellow) sound, Baker's just as adept at bluesy grit, gospel fervor and jazz inflection. This collection features all of the songs from her breakthrough "Rapture" album in engagingly extended versions. Among the highlights: the exuberant need of "Same Ole Love (365 Days a Year)" juxtaposed with the release of "You Bring Me Joy"; the melismatic twists of "Caught Up in the Rapture" and "Mystery"; the cautionary "Watch Your Step" and Baker's biggest hit, "Sweet Love." There's a little too much interview here -- a few more songs would probably be better appreciated in the long run -- but the concert was well shot and one wishes the sound in Constitution Hall could always be as good as it is on this video.
-- Richard Harrington