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(photo of a scene from the movie)
Linda Kozlowski and Christopher Reeve portray parents of children with supernatural powers in "Village of the Damned."
Gong Li and Ge You star in "To Live."
Bill Pullman and Sandra Bullock star
"Stuart Saves His Family" Location: North Division cinemas Credits: Directed by Harold Ramis, starring Al Franken, Laura San Giacomo, Vincent D'Onofrio, Shirley Knight Running time: 98 minutes Rating: PG-13 It's not good enough, it's not smart enough, but doggone it, people will like "Stuart Saves His Family." Well, maybe not all people, but certainly "Saturday Night Live" fans. Well, maybe not all SNL fans, but certainly a lot of the ones in the habit of laughing at Al Franken's sendups of New Age psychobabble guru Stuart Smalley. There's not much spin in this big-screen spinoff, but that's OK. More than ever, Stuart looks like Elton John, sounds like Liberace and constantly threatens to be upstaged - if not replaced - by his big, loose, blue sweater. Dispensing what Stuart calls his daily affirmations on cable TV, Franken looks simultaneously moronic and beatific.
Suspense makes you think.
"Top Dog" Location: Lyons, Lincoln Heights, Showboat cinemas Credits: Directed by Aaron Norris, starring Chuck Norris Running time: 86 minutes Rating: PG-13 Benji was cuter, Lassie more elegant and Beethoven sadder-eyed. But Reno, the huge pooch that plays Chuck Norris' cop partner in "Top Dog," makes you laugh just looking at the camera. When Reno's first human partner (Carmine Caridi) meets a bullet, the 90-pound canine gets assigned to Jake Wilder (Norris). The lone-wolf officer doesn't want a partner, especially a big scruffy dog. But when they battle a ring of neo-Nazis, reluctance, of course, turns to respect.
"The Basketball Diaries" Location: Newport cinemas Credits: Directed by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Juliette Lewis, James Madio, Patrick McGaw, Lorraine Bracco, Bruno Kirby, Ernie Hudson Running time: 98 minutes Rating: R Ah, to be young, talented and hooked on dope. That's the main thrust of "The Basketball Diaries," first-time director Scott Kalvert's film adaptation of Jim Carroll's cult memoir of growing up with a needle in his arm.
"Destiny Turns on the Radio" Location: North Division, Lincoln Heights and Showboat cinemas Credits: Directed by Jack Baran, starring Dylan McDermott, James LeGros, Nancy Travis, Quentin Tarantino, James Belushi, Bobcat Goldthwait, Alan Garfield, David Cross Running time: 103 Rating: R It's probably not a good sign when the highlight of a film is Louie Prima and Keely Smith singing "That Old Black Magic" during the closing credits. Unfortunately, that's not the only bad sign hanging off this enigmatic but far from mystical flick. "Destiny Turns on the Radio" suffers from a case of having way too many ingredients and no cookbook on hand. Though the ads wisely tout the fact that hot-hot-hot Quentin Tarantino "stars" in this film, it appears doubtful that it is destined to be seen by many "Pulp Fiction" fans.
Mike Tyson doesn't lisp in "Tyson," the tawdry HBO movie that premieres Saturday night at 8. And we all know that Tyson has this shrill puthycat lisp that contrasts with his tigerish growl in the ring.
Liam Neeson as the Scottish hero in "rob Roy." Jessica Lange plays the heroine.
Nick Nolte is a slave to Thandie Newton in "Jefferson in Paris."
Russell Crowe, left, and Jack Thompson star in "The Sum of Us."
David Caruso, right, and Nicolas Cage star in "Kiss of Death."
Will Smith stars in "Bad Boys" with Martin Lawrence.
Greenpeace should protest the new Don Bluth film. It's not bad enough that penguins have to dodge killer whales and seals. "The Pebble and the Penguin" makes them sing and dance to Barry Manilow tunes.
Tim Roth is the archvillain in "Rob Roy."
"Jury Duty" Locations: North Division and Coeur d'Alene cinemas Credits: Directed by John Fortenberry and starring Pauly Shore, Tia Carrere, Shelley Winters and Abe Vigoda. Rating: PG-13 Running time: 88 minutes Just hearing the name of Pauly Shore's latest movie, "Jury Duty," tells you all you need to know about the plot. The "maverick juror" has long been a staple of feature films and, especially, TV dramas and sitcoms (who can forget Aunt Bee's riveting stand for justice on an episode of "The Andy Griffith Show"?). That said, there's no reason to discuss the plot of "Jury Duty." We know what it's about. All that's left is to hope that Shore can put his own unique spin on this classic entertainment staple, lacing in some hearty laughs and some heartfelt lessons about human nature along the way. Yeah, right. After all, we're talking Pauly Shore here, the man who made his name by associating himself with a weasel and then moving on to hang 10 in the seemingly unstoppable wave of moron movies that has washed over Hollywood like a tsunami generated in Boston Harbor. On the other hand, the argument could be made that criticizing a Pauly Shore movie is akin to the proverbial act of shooting fish in a barrel. Well, what the heck. Where's my .22? "Jury Duty" is a mindless waste of film stock that has no business being released. The only real laugh in the film - when sportscaster Dick Vitale's head explodes - is marred by sloppy special effects. In an age when Tom Hanks can shake hands with two dead presidents, these "Jury Duty" guys can't even make a threesecond shot of a headless dummy look convincing. Shore plays Tommy Collins (Tom Collins - get it?), an unemployed and unemployable paramecium living with his mother in a Kmart version of Pee-wee's playhouse. Shelley Winters plays the mom, which tells you all you need to know about her career. Her reading is so wooden you could treat it for dry rot. When mom runs off to Las Vegas to get married, Tommy decides to obey his summons to jury duty in the hopes that he'll get to stay in a nice hotel. As this muck runs its course, Tommy encounters, among other B-list actors, a judge played by Abe Vigoda, a juror played by Brian Doyle-Murray and another juror played by Tia Carrere ("Wayne's World"), who might as well go ahead and get "I'm With Stupid" tattooed on her forehead. Things must be pretty bad in the Vigoda household for the Barney Miller grad to accept a role that requires him to shout, "Penis! Penis! Penis!" Director John Fortenberry displays no sense of comic timing and makes lazy, stupid decisions throughout this dreck. Tommy is assigned to a hotel room with his former high school principal, who listens to motivational tapes as he sleeps. At first, this offers some promise: Maybe Tommy will hear the tapes and become motivated! A motivated Pauly Shore! What a concept! But that idea would have taken too much work. Instead, Tommy just goes on being Pauly (or vice versa, as if it really matters). Outside the courthouse, a carnival atmosphere has arisen for the trial of the "Drive-Through Killer," but there are empty seats in the courtroom. It's this kind of inattention to detail that is so insulting. You can almost hear the filmmakers in the editing room: "It's a movie about a stupid guy. Nobody's gonna care if it makes sense or not. Just give 'em some more shots of Pauly's butt." Advice to Fortenberry: Take two "Caddyshack" tapes and report to film school in the morning. This whole "stupid" thing has gotten way out of hand. When Hollywood went on its dead-teenagers rampage in the early '80s, at least the filmmakers could look to a good movie - "Halloween" - as their primary inspiration. But the only one of these recent idiot vehicles that has come close to being inspired was "Wayne's World" and, dude, that's pretty light fare to base a genre on. Of course, none of this ranting and raving matters, because "Jury Duty" will make plenty of money. You can bet on that. But it makes you wonder just how bad these movies are going to have to get before people wise up and stay away in big enough droves to stop this nonsense.
"Rob Roy" Locations: Lyons, East Sprague and Coeur d'Alene cinemas Credits: Directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, Tim Roth, John Hurt, Eric Stoltz and Brian Cox Running time: 139 minutes Rated: R "Rob Roy" is one of those familiar names that everyone's heard but no one can quite place. The nickname (roy means red in Gaelic) of an 18th century Scottish Robin Hood named Robert MacGregor whose story was embroidered by novelist Sir Walter Scott, it makes for a dashing and romantic film title as well. But if you wanted to name this particular movie for its most interesting, charismatic and fully realized character, you'd have to call it "Archie."