The unreleased 1989 John Tra-volta movie, "The Experts," will be available on video-cassette June 14.
"They spent $3 million just to reshoot part of `The Experts' for a week, but they gave up on the picture when it opened in Texas and averaged 11 admissions per screen," said Rick Ducommun, a comic who co-stars with Travolta in the picture."Although I like `The Experts,' they couldn't get anyone to see it," said Ducommun during a recent promotional visit for "The 'burbs," in which he plays Tom Hanks' slapstick-prone neighbor.
Just as some novels bypass the hardcover route and go to paperback first, many prominent theatrical films are now going direct to video. No longer is the category restricted to stuff like "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death."
Columbia Pictures' "The Beast," which made its debut this week on tape, is a serious film about the war in Afghanistan. Steven Bauer ("Scar-face") plays an Afghan rebel, and George Dzundza ("The Deer Hunter") has a strong role as a merciless commmander.
When "The Beast" played East Coast theaters last year, The New York Times' Vincent Canby called it "a sincere, most peculiar, politically aware action film." According to Variety, the film is "a moving, near-biblical allegory . . . a stellar achievement for all involved." Box Office magazine raved about the movie and wondered whether it was a victim of studio politics: "We must wonder whether Columbia will abandon this (David) Puttnam-tainted action drama, which happens to be excellent."
The late Geraldine Page made one of her last appearances in "Walls of Glass," a midlife-crisis drama starring Philip Bosco, who has a key role in "Working Girl," and Olympia Dukakis, shortly before she was cast in her Oscar-winning role in "Moonstruck." The movie received mixed reviews, but critics were nearly unanimous in their praise for Bos-co's performance as a cab driver who aspires to be a Shakespearean actor.
"Seven Hours to Judgment," which was filmed in Seattle last year and directed by Beau Bridges, got a much rockier reception, as did musical-comedy "The Purple People Eater," with Ned Beatty and Shelley Winters.
"The Kiss," a vampire movie, has a fairly classy cast, including Joanna Pacula ("Gorky Park") and Meredith Salenger ("The Journey of Natty Gann"), and it's from a major studio (Tri-Star).
"Hanna's War" stars Ellen Bur-styn, David Warner and Donald Pleasence in the story of the Israeli martyr, Hanna Senesh, played by Maruschka Detmers. The 2 1/2-hour World War II epic was produced by Cannon Films and personally directed by Cannon's chief, Menahem Golan.
"Last Rites" received some notoriety when it turned up on the "10 worst" lists of a couple of prominent East Coast critics. Tom Berenger stars as a priest who offers sanctuary to a Mafia fugitive (Daphne Zuniga).
Premiering at your local video Bijou in May: "Full Moon in Blue Water," which received good reviews for Gene Hackman's performance last year; "Pumpkinhead," a horror film that was briefly successful at the box office in San Francisco earlier this year; and "The Gunrunner," a Kevin Costner movie that dates from 1984.