NEW YORK – The first Oscar winner to be released on video is the very animated Japanese fantasy Spirited Away. Frankly, I thought this movie about a family's misadventures in a theme park was overrated. However, the folks at the Academy disagreed with me — it's not the first time.
A surprise hit in theaters comes home in Drumline. It's Rocky with a rim shot. A kid from Harlem heads to southern school, has trouble fitting in, then makes everyone else march to the tune of a different drummer. That sounds like the poster but, sadly, I made it up. The general consensus was that Drumline was better than you might think — that makes it a good rental.
If you like surprise packages, though, take a ride with The Transporter. This thrill-a-minute, high-octane film is really one long chase scene driven by some great stunts and outrageous good/bad driving that only happens in the movies. It didn't make a whole lot in theaters, but word of mouth should make it a hit on DVD and video this week.
Finally, director Phillip Noyce made another movie — other than The Quiet American — last year. It was called Rabbit Proof Fence, and it's also excellent. Don't miss it.