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New releases on home video and DVD for May



All the Pretty Horses (PG-13, Columbia TriStar, 112 mins.) Billy Bob Thornton takes an award-winning novel, an acclaimed cast and a plethora of scenery, and then cranks out a pile of thoroughbred plop. You’d think if anyone could flesh out the story of a dim wannabe cowboy, it would be Billy Bob, but nooo. (Released May 1)

The Emperor’s New Groove (G, Disney, 78 mins.) A botched assassination attempt turns a South American emperor (voiced by David Spade) into a llama. But, instead of learning a Valuable Disney Life Lesson, he just rents a warehouse and throws an all-night rave. Hey, who’s going to bust a llama for dealing Ecstasy? (May 1)

Miss Congeniality (PG-13, Warner Bros., 109 mins.) A mousy FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) gets a porn-star makeover to go undercover as a contestant at the Miss United States Pageant to thwart a mad bomber, or was it a kidnapping? Panty raid? William Shatner’s karaoke version of “Nookie”? Whatever—Sandy B. just looks freakin’ hot, OK? (May 1)

Duets (R, Buena Vista, 112 mins.) Speaking of karaoke, thank the film gods for not allowing this Gwyneth Paltrow lump about dull people in duller relationships to ignite the nationwide karaoke firestorm predicted by showbiz weasels. Best scene: Ray Parker Jr. double-dog daring Huey Lewis to sing “Ghostbusters” (Joke brought to you by a grant from the Obscure ’80s Lawsuit Foundation). (May 8)

Incubus (NR, Winstar, 76 mins.) Speaking of William Shatner, his long-lost 1965 whack-job art-flick, directed by The Outer Limits’ Leslie Stevens, is finally available on video! So what? Incubus was the only feature film ever made in Esperanto—it’s an international language, not a SoCal suburb—and has Shatner getting groiny with a succubus and battling a Satanic goat! With subtitles! Yow! (May 8)

Quills (R, Fox Searchlight, 123 mins.) In the 19th century, the Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) pens the sexy words that seduce the ladies (like Kate Winslet) and piss off the righteous (like Michael Caine), just as Tube Town does today. (May 8)

What Women Want (PG-13, Paramount, 127 mins.) Mel Gibson electrocutes himself with a blow dryer and is suddenly able to read women’s minds. Random secret thoughts from the fairer sex: “Are all men just retarded?” “Mmm, fudge.” “I’ll bet that Tube Town guy is one sexy hunk o’ man.” (May 8)

Antitrust (PG-13, MGM, 109 mins.) A good-looking brainiac (Ryan Phillippe—he’s smart because he wears glasses) lands his dream job with a zillionaire’s (Tim Robbins) software company, only to learn there’s evil afoot. Uh, it’s a software company—how could there not be evil afoot? (May 15)

Best in Show (PG-13, Castle Rock, 90 mins.) Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman go to the dog show, with Parker Posey going full-tilt psycho (“Get the bee! Get the bee!”) and Fred Willard doing canine color commentary. Hysterical stuff, but nowhere near as funny as … (May 15)

Carman: The Champion (PG-13, 8X Entertainment, 90 mins.) … wherein loony Christian rocker Carman plays an ex-boxer lured back into the ring for One Last Bout to win enough money to save his father’s ministry—no, really. No one will be seated during Carman’s incendiary take on an LL Cool J classic, re-titled “Jesus Said Knock You Out.” (May 15)

Pay It Forward (PG-13, Warner Bros., 122 mins.) Moral of the movie: Doing nice things for other people will only get you killed, so don’t bother. Who gets offed? Kevin Spacey? Haley Joel Osment? Helen Hunt? Jon Bon Jovi? Telling would qualify as a nice thing, so forget it. (May 15)

Before Night Falls (R, Fine Line, 122 mins.) If you see only one biopic about a persecuted gay Cuban poet featuring Johnny Depp in drag this month, it may as well be this one. (May 22)

Brooklyn Babylon (R, Artisan, 90 mins.) A black rapper (Tariq Trotter) romances a white Jewish girl (Karen Goberman), igniting a race war in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights. Music provided by The Roots; weaponry provided by P. Diddy Arms, Inc. (May 22)

Dungeons & Dragons (PG-13, New Line, 107 mins.) Sure to tide everyone over until Hungry Hungry Hippos: The Motion Picture gets the greenlight from DreamWorks. (May 22)

Requiem for a Dream (NR, Artisan, 102 mins.) Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and Marlon Wayans star as self-destructive, downward-spiraling drug addicts in the movie City Weekly’s Ben Fulton calls “the feel-good hit of the year.” (May 22)

Vertical Limit (PG-13, Columbia TriStar, 124 mins.) Chris O’Donnell matches wits with a big, dumb frozen mountain. Yes, it’s a draw. (May 22)

The House of Mirth (PG, Sony Pictures Classics, 140 mins.) A 1905 socialite (Gillian Anderson) marries for money instead of love—oddly enough, to Howard Marshall II, who would get hitched to Anna Nicole Smith 90 years later (Joke brought to you by a grant from the Comedy Overreach Foundation). (May 29).

Shadow of the Vampire (R, Lions Gate, 93 mins.) Turns out that the actor (Willem DaFoe) playing a vampire in F.W. Marnau’s (John Malkovich) 1922 Nosferatu really is a vampire, and he’s sinking his fangs to the film crew. Still, it’s better than having Russell Crowe around. (May 29)

Traffic (R, USA, 147 mins.) Steven Soderbergh’s intense, sprawling narco-epic that made Orrin Hatch a household name—that name being “Ferret-Lipped Pinhead,” of course. The new U.S. Drug Czar (Michael Douglas), a jailed drug kingpin’s pregnant wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a Mexican cop (Benicio Del Toro) and a cast of roughly 587 others find themselves on various color-schemed, losing ends of the War on Drugs in the harrowing movie KSL’s Doug Wright calls “fun to watch.” Heck, he shoulda went to Requiem for a Dream with Fulton, huh? (May 29)