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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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You Want Trendy? Try ‘Party Girl’

Parker Posey, best known thus far as the despotic high-school senior of "Dazed and Confused" and for drop-in roles as soap sirens and slacker sluts, is going to be big. Ask anyone. Why? Because her screen personality is deliciously split: Exuding vulnerability and disdain in equally generous doses, she is simultaneously adorable and irritating, the human equivalent of a captivating TV commercial. So what does Parker Posey mean? Perhaps nothing, which would make her the "It" Girl of the '90s - "It" being attitude in search of ideas (or even values, to use an oftabused word). But Posey does seem to embody something youthful and ungainly and caught on the fence between ennui and hope. Which also makes her perfect as "Party Girl."

‘Bushwhacked’ No Walk In The Park

A comedy-adventure in the dumb-dumber mode, "Bushwhacked" doesn't pretend to be squeaky-clean, wholesome family entertainment. Instead, this high-pitched but ultimately harmless late summer entry opts for an unmistakably juvenile brand of humor laced with some surprisingly rugged derring-do.

‘Dumbo’ Flies Again For Disney

"Dumbo" (1941) is a lesser feature film in the Walt Disney legacy, a charming fantasy about a baby elephant with ears sufficiently floppy to double as wings. "Operation Dumbo Drop," which opens today, is a live-action Disney endeavor about a REAL elephant that goes airborne over a Southeast Asian jungle. Here is one of the more self-conscious, self-referential efforts the old-line major studio has turned out.

‘Crumb’ Pays Tribute To Counterculture Cartoonist Of The ‘60s

What kind of mind invented "Fritz the Cat" or first drew that amiable line of grinning "Keep on Truckin"' figures that adorn so many of the nation's mud flaps? Just who is R. Crumb? In search of the answer, director Terry Zwigoff created a documentary called simply "Crumb," which is every bit as quirky as the man who gave "Zap!" comics their crackle and pop in the counter-culture 1960s. And while the artist remains just as much of an enigma by the end of this engrossing journey, it is somehow reassuring to discover that the man who draws those gnarled, spaced-out, cross-hatched cartoon characters is as strange and curious as his artwork.

‘Indian’ Realistic And Entertaining

Now there is an alternative to Disney's horrid "Pocahontas." It's called "The Indian in the Cupboard." Where "Pocahontas" chooses to gloss over the history of Native Americans, "The Indian in the Cupboard" does not.

Even Without Plot, ‘Clueless’ Likeable

Ah, to be filthy rich, drop-dead gorgeous and young. Those conditions are as common as designer water bottles and colorcoordinated cell phones at Beverly Hills High School, the setting for "Clueless." It's a school where students accessorize the bandages covering their recent nose jobs and cut class to binge at the mall. In these halls, teen angst is something that happens when your credit cards max out.

‘Free Willy 2’ Not Exactly A Whale Of A Good Time

Two years ago, "Free Willy" turned into one of the sleeper hits of the summer. If nothing else, this formula family fare proved that when you run out of boy-meets-dog, boy-meets-horse and boy-meets-wolf with little left but the grim prospect of boy-meets-armadillo, an exercise in whale bonding is a promising alternative. Now comes "Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home," a movie with all the vitality of a beached whale. Jason James Richter returns as Jesse, the emotionally troubled kid who liberated the emotionally troubled Willy in "Free Willy." His contented summer vacation with his foster parents is disrupted by the arrival of his half-brother, who is, of course, emotionally troubled and ripe for whale therapy. The boys' natural mother has just died, but "Free Willy 2" is not the kind of film that can teach children about coping with loss or reach them on anything but the most superficial level.

Once Again, Seagal On The Spot To Save World

With his world-weary squint, several Supermen's worth of slickedback hair and a voice that rarely rises above a craggy whisper, Steven Seagal is an action-hero to gratify the wildest middle-aged male fantasies of indestructibility. In "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory," the sequel to his runaway hit of three years ago, the actor's invincible alter ego, Casey Ryback, returns to do battle with Travis Dane, a monstrous computer nerd portrayed with a grinning, glassy-eyed relish by Eric Bogosian.

‘Indian’ Is A Cupboardful Of Entertaining Fantasy

A wondrous, wistful fantasy, "The Indian in the Cupboard" has the makings of an instant classic. This stirring adaptation of the bestselling children's book by Lynne Reid Banks has made the transition with considerable care thanks to Melissa Mathison's delicately nuanced screenplay and Frank Oz's respectfully contained, wide-eyed approach to the material.

‘Discoverers’ Worthy Subject In The Wrong Theater

One of the ways that we traditionally celebrate humanity is to honor those who, for whatever reason, seek something new. Until recently, the subject of the search wasn't considered important. Neither were the negative effects of the process. Whoever looked over the next rise, metaphorically or literally, was thought to be worthy of respect.