These movies arrive on video store shelves this week.
(R, 1999, 92 minutes, Columbia TriStar)
The murderous hand in this inept horror-comedy reaches pathetically for the "Scream" audience and misses. The organ in question belongs to Anton (Devon Sawa), a 17-year-old suburban goof-off who smokes too much dope, watches too much TV and cringes in horror as his right hand becomes possessed and starts slaughtering victims left, right and center. His terrified, similarly wasted friends, Mick (Seth Green) and Pnub (Elden Henson), get caught up in the murder spree, first as victims, then as undead buddies. Throw into this wearisome mix a romance between Anton and Molly (Jessica Alba), a beautiful girl next door who writes bad rock poetry, and you have yourself a heavy-handed disappointment saturated in tired movie blood. Contains violence, gore, nudity, obscenity and misogyny. -- Desson Howe
(R, 1999, 90 minutes, Fox)
After a visit to an "occupational hypno-therapist," Peter Gibbons's (Ron Livingston) anti-work malaise reaches a subversive, almost Zen level. He decides to stop coming to work and make a play for that cute waitress (Jennifer Aniston) while he's at it. Mike Judge, who created "Beavis and Butt-head" and "King of the Hill," makes a hilarious foray into live action -- even though it's a little thin. Honorable mentions to Peter's smarmy boss, Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole), whose unctuous patter always begins with a "yeeeeeaaaaah"; and to "Chotchkie's," a loathsomely cheerful theme restaurant where job performance is measured in terms of how chirrupy the waiters can be and how many cute message buttons (called "flairs") they can stick to their suspenders. Contains nudity and obscenity.
-- Desson Howe
(R, 1999, 101 minutes, Paramount)
This downcast, twentysomething comedy about the trysts, dalliances and catfights among 16 uninteresting, young New Yorkers set during New Year's Eve of 1981 is one brain-dead experience. As performers Courtney Love, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, Jay Mohr, Kate Hudson, Christina Ricci, Ben Affleck and others act out their tiresome little episodes, the night lengthens into tedium. Like Martha Plimpton, host of a New Year's Eve bash to which no one is coming, you too will find yourself slumped forward in your chair, praying for the dawning of the new year with desperate fervor. Contains obscenity, nudity and sexual situations.
-- Desson Howe