THIS WEEK’S MOVIES
Indiana Jones is always adventuring into areas where no other explorer dares to go, so it’s fitting that “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” represented a video-industry first when it was released Thursday. The Steven Spielberg film is the first to be released simultaneously in seven versions: regular VHS, Beta, pan-and-scan LaserDisc, letterbox LaserDisc, Super-VHS, 8mm, and Spanish-subtitled VHS.
That is especially good news for anyone who has laid out big bucks for a Super-VHS VCR, only to find that pre-recorded material in the improved-image format is almost non-existent. The news gets even better: The Super-VHS version of the 1989 summer blockbuster is the lowest-priced S-VHS movie-on-tape yet--only $39.95--and it’s in the letterbox configuration (wide screen, with black bands at top and bottom).
“Last Crusade” is the first S-VHS release from Paramount Home Video, offering hope that other S-VHS tapes will be coming from this major and others in 1990.
Prices are even lower for the other versions--$29.95 for each of the LaserDisc versions and $24.95 for all others.
Harrison Ford is back as Indy, with Sean Connery on hand as his father. Also starring Denholm Elliott, River Phoenix, John Rhys-Davies and Alison Doody, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is MPAA-rated PG-13.
Other new movies-on-tape:
“High Hopes” (Academy, $89.95, not MPAA rated). Critically acclaimed 1989 British comedy-drama from director Mike Leigh about the class system in Thatcher-era Britain.
“The Fastest Guitar Alive” (MGM/UA, $19.95). Did you know that singer Roy Orbison starred in a Civil War drama back in 1968? He did, and here it is--though this tame movie will be of interest only to curiosity seekers.
“Eat a Bowl of Tea” (RCA/Columbia, $89.95, PG-13). Comedy set in New York City’s Chinatown, circa the 1940’s. Directed by Wayne Wang (“Slamdance”).
“Night Visitor” (MGM/UA, $79.95, R). No one believes a compulsive liar when he reports a gruesome murder. This 1989 film with Elliot Gould shouldn’t be confused with 1970’s “The Night Visitor,” which starred Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann.
“Time Trackers” (MGM/UA, $79.95, PG). Weak time-travel comedy that gets waylaid in medieval England too long. Ned Beatty, Kathleen Beller.
“Another Chance” (Republic, $89.95, R). Obscure 1988 romantic comedy with Bruce Greenwood, Vanessa Angel and Anne Ramsey about a playboy who suddenly has to be faithful to one woman.
“Jesse James Rides Again” and “G-Men vs. the Black Dragon” (Republic, $29.95 each). Two double-cassette packages compiling 1940s serials.
NEXT WEEK: “Lethal Weapon 2" and “Wired” (both Wednesday).
OTHER NEW VIDEOS
They’re baa-ack. Those masters of mayhem, the Three Stooges, wreak havoc in six more videos containing three shorts each. Volumes 27 through 31 feature Larry, Moe and Curly; Volumes 26 and 31 have Larry, Moe and Shemp. The tapes are $14.95 each from RCA/Columbia.
Another sort of mayhem is on view in “Rolling Stone Presents 20 Years of Rock & Roll” (MGM/UA, $19.95), a 97-minute retrospective featuring performers ranging from the Beatles to Madonna.