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Murder’s aftermath, mile after ‘Moonlight Mile’

Moonlight Mile

Dustin Hoffman, Jake Gyllenhaal

For the record:

12:00 a.m. March 15, 2003 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday March 15, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 31 words Type of Material: Correction
Video release -- The movie “Maid in Manhattan” was mistakenly referred to as “Maid in America” in a Thursday Calendar Weekend list of films making their home video debut this month.

Touchstone, $30

In 1989 actress Rebecca Schaeffer was murdered by a crazed fan who had been stalking her. Four years later, her boyfriend, writer-director Brad Silberling (“City of Angels”), began writing the highly personal “Moonlight Mile,” a drama about a young man living with the grieving parents of his recently murdered fiancee. The end result is disappointing, despite some nice performances and a terrific ‘70s music soundtrack. Nevertheless, Silberling is sensitive and thoughtful in his solo audio commentary track, as well as on the track he shares with a rather hyper Hoffman and an engaging Gyllenhaal. The digital edition also features several deleted scenes and a “making of” documentary.

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White Oleander

Alison Lohman, Michelle Pfeiffer

Warner, $28

Janet Fitch’s acclaimed novel that was also a selection of Oprah’s Book Club has been turned into a relentlessly depressing movie melodrama. Thankfully, the film is blessed with a fine central performance from newcomer Lohman as a teenage girl who experiences one dreadful foster home after another when her controlling mother (a wonderful Pfeiffer) is jailed for murder. Robin Wright Penn and Renee Zellweger also star.

The DVD features obligatory deleted scenes, two by-the-book featurettes and very polite, civilized commentary from director Peter Kosminsky, producer John Wells and Fitch.

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Three Colors Trilogy

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(Red, White and Blue)

Miramax, $20 each; $40 for the set

In 1994, Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski released his acclaimed, unique trilogy of films based on the colors of the French flag. Juliette Binoche stars in the first installment, “Blue,” as a widow of a well-known composer who begins a new existence after his death. The second entry is the comedic anti-romance, “White,” starring Julie Delpy.

The best of the lot is the haunting “Red,” for which Kieslowski received an Academy Award nomination for best director. Irene Jacob plays a fashion model who strikes up an unusual relationship with an embittered former judge (Jean-Louis Trintignant) after she hits his dog with her car.

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The DVDs come with a slew of wonderful extras. The digital edition of “Red” features an examination of the film’s themes, an interview and selected commentary from the luminous Jacob and dry, fact-filled commentary from film scholar Annette Insdorf . There’s also an insightful interview with Kieslowski that was conducted as he edited several scenes from the film, an interview with the producer Marin Karmitz, and an interview and selected commentary from editor Jacques Witta. Rounding out the DVD is a mini-documentary on the screening of “Red” at the Cannes Film Festival and a Kieslowski filmography.

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Inspector Gadget 2

French Stewart, Elaine Hendrix

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Disney, $23 for VHS; $30 for DVD

As the squinty-eyed, dimwitted alien Harry on “3rd Rock From the Sun,” Stewart demonstrated considerable comedic talent. He deserves better than “Inspector Gadget 2,” a made-for-video sequel to the 1999 box office hit that starred Matthew Broderick as the fearless, accessorized crime fighter. In this slapsticky outing that’s strictly for the smallest of fry, Gadget meets his match in the newest gadget robot, G2 (Elaine Hendrix). CaitlinWachs plays his niece. The DVD is filled with extras, including games, an animated look at the gadgets on Gadget and G2, a behind-the-scenes featurette, outtakes, deleted scenes, a music-only soundtrack, audio commentary with director Alex Zamm and genial commentary from Zamm, Stewart and Hendrix.

Susan King

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Also this week

Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson star in the remake of the ‘60s TV show “I Spy” (Columbia TriStar: $27.94); the thriller-stalker genre gets a teenage installment with “Swimfan” (Fox: $27.98); David Twohy’s World War II horror flick “Below” stars Olivia Williams and Bruce Greenwood (Buena Vista: $29.99).

Top VHS rentals

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1. Road to Perdition

2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

3. One Hour Photo

4. Sweet Home Alabama

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5. The Tuxedo

Top DVD rentals

1. Road to Perdition

2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

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3. One Hour Photo

4. Sweet Home Alabama

5. The Tuxedo

What’s coming

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Tuesday: “8 Mile,” “Auto Focus,” “Abandon,” “Roger Dodger,” “Empire,” “Man From Elysian Fields,” “Personal Velocity,” “Sordid Lives,” “Just a Kiss,” “The Grey Zone” and “Pokemon 4Ever”

March 25: “Maid in America,” “Jackass: The Movie,” “Sex and Lucia,” “Friday After Next,” “Femme Fatale” and “Skins”

March 28: “Ghost Ship”


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