"The Matrix," "The Out-of-Towners" and on video "American History X" 

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The MatrixThe Out-of-TownersNow On Video: American History X

"The Matrix" At times a baffling brain tease, this sci-fi adventure about the nasty reality of virtual reality is a thrill-a-minute ride. Keanu Reeves stars as a mild-mannered computer programmer by day; by night he's Neo, a hacker extraordinaire. Enter Laurence Fishburne, the captain of a space ship who believes Neo can save the world. As Morpheus, Fishburne slowly teaches Reeves that all is not what it seems. He also trains him to fight a sinister race of machines that use humans as their power supplies. But the head macho-machine (wonderful Aussie actor Hugo Weaving) isn't giving up racial supremacy without one heck of a fight. Believe it or not, Reeves' trademark acting demeanor actually works here. And he and Fishburne make a pretty dynamic duo. Created by the Brothers Wachowski ("Bound"), "The Matrix" is part cyberspace "High Noon," part special-effects extravaganza. And thoroughly enjoyable. "The Out-of-Towners" Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn try to remake Neil Simon's 1970s comedy about two Midwesterners who find nothing but trouble in New York City. They do not succeed. Hopelessly out-of-date and shockingly unfunny, "The Out-of-Towners" falls flat — except for the moments ex-Monty Pythoner John Cleese is on-screen. But Cleese alone — or in drag — can't save this fiasco. Now On Video "American History X" Here's your chance to see why Edward Norton earned a Best Actor nomination for his role as a reformed neo-Nazi skinhead. Powerful and disturbing, the movie tells the tale of two brothers and their doomed involvement with a Venice, Calif., gang of racist thugs. Older brother Derek (Norton), the gang's charismatic leader, has just gotten out of prison for the brutal slaying of two black youths he caught breaking into his car. Having renounced his hate-mongering beliefs during his time behind bars, Derek must save younger brother Danny (Edward Furlong) from making the same mistakes.

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