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      1999's Top Ten

It seems all the critics are drawing up lists of their top ten films. Since most of those aren't in the theater anymore, you should check out my top ten new video releases of the year. If I did a typical top ten, it would read like a list of the 1999 Oscar nominees, so I chose some smaller films. You haven't heard about them, unless you are a devoted New to Video reader, but they are all available at your local video store, so enjoy.

1. This is My Father - By far one of the best films you have never heard of or seen. It is a touching tale about forbidden love and seeking the truth about our heritage. James Caan plays an aging high school teacher who never knew his father. When he thinks the father may still be alive in Ireland, he sets out to find him. The best part of the movie is the flashback scene where we watch the budding romance between two young lovers and the obstacles they face. Wonderful script, good acting and beautifully photographed. Check this one out.

2. Just Write - The ultimate selection. Produced by seven dentists from Wisconsin, the movie is the little film that could. No one thought the dentists were serious when they said they wanted to make a film without the sex and violence found in most of today's fare. They put an ad in The Hollywood Reporter for scripts, picked one and started receiving calls from big stars begging to star in the film. Jeremy Piven stars as a tour bus driver posing as a powerful screenwriter to impress Sherylinn Fenn. Read about the film at

3. The Iron Giant - Who said cartoons are only for kids? When young Hogarth finds the mysterious 50-foot tall robot that is causing hysterics in his small New England town, he makes a new friend who needs protection from the government. A wonderful film for the entire family.

4. South Park - If you offend easily, move on. However, if you like biting social satire, this is the film for you. Kyle, Stan, Kenny and Cartman are four 10-year olds who want to see the new film starring their favorite cartoon characters, Terrence and Phillip. At the film, the boys pick up some new vocabulary that has their parents in an uproar. Based on the wildly popular TV show, the movie has even more foul language and bathroom humor, but also has one of the smartest scripts of the year. It is also a brilliant send up of famous musicals.

5. The Castle - Every man's home is his castle, even if it is located next to an airport runway and powerlines. When the government wants to seize his home to make way for airport remodeling, Michael Caton fights them all the way to the Australian Supreme Court. Plenty of dry, witty humor balanced with one man's love of family.

6. Election - You thought your high school experience was bad. Reese Witherspoon plays a maniacly ambitious student trying to win the class presidency and Matthew Broderick is the teacher/advisor who will do anything to stop her. Hilarious performances from both.

7. Twice Upon a Yesterday - Douglas Henshall stars as a down on his luck actor who gets a chance to go back in time and win back the love of his life, but will he be able to defeat fate and keep her away from the man she is destined to marry?

8. The Red Violin - A wonderful set of short stories telling the tale of a fictional legendary instrument, the Red Violin.

9. Finding Graceland - Harvey Keitel says he is Elvis Presley and determined to reveal his true identity at Graceland during a vigil marking the 20th anniversary of his death. Along the way, he helps lost souls like Jonathan Scaech get back on the path to a happy life.

10. Office Space - Are you an overworked, underappreciated worker in the 90's? Check out what happens when one man becomes hypnotized and starts living his life carefree with hilarious results.

Copyright 1999 -