These movies arrive on video store shelves this week.
*DEEP BLUE SEA
(R, 1999, 106 minutes, Warner Brothers)
This man-versus-mako thriller, which stars Samuel L. Jackson, LL Cool J, Saffron Burrows and Thomas Jane, trades purely on our tendency to yell or sit bolt upright in our seats when a character is chomped into crimson meat by a 45,000-pound shark. Not that there's anything wrong with that. In fact, as tacky movies go, this is sort of fun. Renny Harlin's movie toys amusingly with our horror-movie expectations, as this group of researchers (led by financier Jackson and head researcher Burrows) faces three genetically created, mutinous and very aggressive sharks in an isolated ocean-based facility. If nothing else, the movie gives you a great big shock every few minutes. And that's about as "Deep" as anyone should expect. Contains the treatment of humans as floating sea sushi, volatile bursts of blood and those heavy pronouncements about human arrogance in the awesome face of nature.
-- Desson Howe
(PG, 1999, 88 minutes, Disney)
If this Disney flick seems routine, a sort of cruise-control-paced experience, it's certainly diverting enough for family audiences. It's about the transformation of a security guard called John Brown (Matthew Broderick), after a ghastly explosion, into Inspector Gadget, a semi-human, retrofitted supercop who can produce countless doodads and gadgets from his head, hands and body to combat crime. As the arch criminal who caused the original explosion and steals Gadget technology to make an evil Gadget clone, Rupert Everett is playfully slimy and amusing. And last but not least, Broderick is perfectly cast. He imbues his role with perfectly goofy saintliness. Contains the detonation of our hero and some slapstick violence, but nothing too horrible. -- Desson Howe