Dates at the end of capsules indicate the film's initial review in the Deseret News.
NEW FILMS FRIDAY
BEVERLY HILLS NINJA - Chris Farley ("Black Sheep," "Tommy Boy") stars in this martial arts farce as an orphan who is taken in by a secret Japanese ninja society and trained in its dojo, and who is commissioned by Nicollette Sheridan to take on a dangerous mission in Beverly Hills. Right. To be reviewed next week. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Broadway, Carmike 12, Century, Gateway, Holladay, Plaza 5400, Reel, Sandy 9.)
EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU - Woody Allen wrote, directed and stars in this old-fashioned romantic musical-comedy (would we lie to you?), along with Julia Roberts, Alan Alda, Drew Barrymore and Goldie Hawn, among others. Filmed in Paris, Venice and New York City. Reviewed in this section. R (one comic rap song lyric, vulgarity, violence). (Exclusive, Broadway.)
LAST RESORT - Local filmmaker Lyman Dayton ("Across a Crooked Sky," "Where the Red Fern Grows," "The Dream Machine") directed this feature about some troubled teens, some of them drug-addicted, who are sent to a wilderness survival program run by an eccentric Indian chief (Dean Stockwell). To be reviewed next week. PG-13 (violence, profanity). (Gateway, Holladay, Plaza 5400, South Towne, Trolley Square.)
METRO - Eddie Murphy returns to his "48 Hrs." and "Beverly Hills Cop" territory with this violent "buddy" action-comedy film, which pairs him with Michael Rapaport ("Mighty Aphrodite"). They play San Francisco cops tracking a psychotic jewel-thief-turned-cop-killer. Reviewed in this section. R (profanity, violence, nudity, racial epithets). (Carmike 12, Century, Creekside, Flick, Gateway, Plaza 5400, Reel, Sandy 9.)
MOTHER - Albert Brooks co-wrote, directed and stars in this comedy about a twice-divorced sci-fi writer who thinks his relationship with his mother (Debbie Reynolds) is the reason he can't build relationships with women. Rob Morrow ("Quiz Show") co-stars. Reviewed in this section. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity). (Carmike 12, Century, Creekside, Flick.)
PORTRAIT OF A LADY - Director Jane Campion ("The Piano") adapts Henry James' novel about an independent young woman (Nicole Kidman) who rejects a lucrative marriage offer in order to experience the world. John Malkovich and Barbara Hershey co-star. Reviewed in this section. PG-13 (violence, sex, nudity). (Cottonwood, South Towne, Trolley Corners.)
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE - * * * * - James Dean's most famous film, and a seminal portrait of teenage angst and rebellion, Nicholas Ray's drama focuses on Dean's character, a troubled young high schooler, and his circle of even more troubled friends, played by Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo and Dennis Hopper. Excellent performances and production values all the way around. This pristine print was a restoration project. Made before ratings (1955), probable PG (violence). (Exclusive, Avalon.)
GO WEST - * * * - Though more evenly paced and sentimental than most of Buster Keaton's film's, this comic Western still has plenty of remarkable stuntwork and more than its share of laughs. Keaton stars (and also directed) as a tenderfoot called "Friendless," who befriends "Brown Eyes," a Jersey cow. The highlight is an eye-popping stampede of 300 cattle through downtown Los Angeles! Not rated, probable G (Organ Loft, Friday, 7:30 p.m.) - C.H.
OUR OWN DAMNED FILM FESTIVAL - See story in this section. (The Wooden Dog.)
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL - See festival calender listing in this section. (Tower, Trolley Square, Utah Film & Video Center.)
THE ASSOCIATE - * * - Whoopi Goldberg stars in this social comedy as an investment whiz who can't break through the good-old-boys network on Wall Street until she invents a fictitious male partner. Dianne Wiest and Austin Pendleton lend some spark in supporting roles, but the bulk of the film is mediocre, run-of-the-mill stuff. When Goldberg finally does her much-publicized white-male impersonation, it's a plastic disappointment. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, nudity). (Family Center, Sandcastle, Sugarhouse, Valley Fair.) (Oct. 25, 1996) - C.H.
BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD DO AMERICA - turkey - In this critic-proof animated feature, the MTV generation's favorite headbanging music-video critics search the United States for their beloved television, while commenting as only they can. Unfortunately, none of the hijinks that ensue are even remotely funny, and the lack of taste rivals that of any Jim Carrey comedy. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence, drug use, partial nudity, sex). (Carmike 12, Cinemas 5, Olympus.) (Dec. 20, 1996) - J.V.
THE CRUCIBLE - * * * * - Riveting adaptation of Arthur Miller's play about the Salem witch trials - with a script by Miller and direction by Nicholas Hytner ("The Madness of King George"). Even without the original play's McCarthyism subtext, this is powerful stuff, wonderfully "opened up" for the big screen. Great performances from Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Scofield and especially Joan Allen. The only drawback is wild-eyed Winona Ryder, as the teenager with a personal agenda who begins a form of mass hysteria that spreads throughout Salem. PG-13 (violence, profanity, partial nudity). (Trolley Square, South Towne.) (Jan. 1, 1997) - C.H.
D3: THE MIGHTY DUCKS - * 1/2 - Talks about dead ducks! The rag-tag team of hockey players returns for a second sequel to the surprise 1992 hit. In this routine comedy, the Ducks are recruited to play for a prestigious prep school but face a lot of competition from the school's other hockey team. Emilio Estevez appears briefly to fulfill his contract with Disney, and the whole thing feels like it was done for the same reason. PG (hockey violence, mild vulgarity). (Kaysville.) (Oct. 4, 1996) - J.V.
DAYLIGHT - * * - This Sylvester Stallone vehicle is "Indiana Jones and the Tunnel of Doom," by way of cheesy '70s disaster flicks. "The Towering Inferno," "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Earthquake" will all come to mind as Sly tries to help disparate survivors escape from a tunnel connecting Manhattan and New Jersey, which has been sealed at both ends, and which is collapsing under the Hudson River. Some exciting sequences, but the story and characters are pretty dumb. PG-13 (violence, profanity). (Family Center, Sandy 9, Sugarhouse, Valley Fair.) (Dec. 6, 1996) - C.H.
DEAR GOD - * 1/2 - Greg Kinnear ("Sabrina") stumbles in his first starring role, as a lovable con artist who goes to work in the dead letter office and begins answering letters to God. Garry Marshall, whose days of "Pretty Woman" and "Beaches" seem to be over if "Exit to Eden" and "Dear God" are the best he can do, is striving for "Miracle on 34th Street" but fails miserably. Sad and sloppy. Laurie Metcalf (of TV's "Roseanne") isn't as funny as she thinks she is, but Tim Conway and Hector Elizondo have amusing moments. PG (violence, vulgarity, profanity). (Kaysville, Sugarhouse, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 1, 1996) - C.H.
THE ENGLISH PATIENT - * * * - Gorgeous, visually captivating but emotionally muted adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's dense novel tells the story of an amnesiac burn victim (Ralph Fiennes) in Tuscany who is cared for by an emotionally scarred Canadian nurse (Juliette Binoche). In flashbacks it is slowly revealed that the patient is an aloof Hungarian mapmaker who had an ill-fated adulterous affair with an independent Englishwoman (Kristin Scott Thomas). Some important characters get short shrift and the soap-opera romance makes for a clunky (and sexually explicit) middle section, but there is much to admire in this visually stunning film, including excellent performances, especially from Scott Thomas and Binoche. R (violence, gore, sex, nudity, profanity, drugs). (Trolley Square.) (Nov. 22, 1996) - C.H.
THE EVENING STAR - * * - Shirley MacLaine reprises her Oscar-winning role as meddlesome Aurora Greenway in this sequel to "Terms of Endearment." It's 15 years later and the three grandchildren she raised are grown and driving her to distraction. Meanwhile, she has an affair with a younger man (Bill Paxton), continues to bicker with Patsy (Miranda Richardson) and is supported by her faithful housekeeper (Marion Ross, giving a scene-stealing performance). And, of course, Jack Nicholson returns for a brief cameo. But it never catches fire and largely feels like a rehash of the first film. PG-13 (sex, partial nudity, profanity, vulgarity). (Carmike 12.) (Dec. 25, 1996) - C.H.
EVITA - * * 1/2 - It's big, it's bombastic, it's Madonna, and it will probably be a big hit. But despite its visual opulence, this blustery 21/4-hour music video is too emotionally distant to genuinely connect with the audience as it paints Eva Peron as a saint during her rise from poverty to Argentina's most powerful woman. Alan Parker knows how to stage crowd scenes and Andrew Lloyd Webber's music is stirring (if overblown in places) but tedium sets in before it's over. Madonna is pretty good but Antonio Banderas is great as the narrator, representing the peasant masses. PG (violence, sexual innuendo). (Broadway, South Towne, Villa.) (Jan. 10, 1997) - C.H.
FIRST KID - * * 1/2 - Comedian/actor Sinbad ("Houseguest") is surprisingly charming in this lightweight slapstick Disney comedy, in which he plays a Secret Service agent assigned to watch out for the neglected son of the president. Some sly jabs at the White House and Sinbad's decent performance make it worthwhile, although the last 15 minutes are too violent for young audiences. PG (violence, profanity, vulgarity, partial nudity). (Valley Fair.) (Aug. 30, 1996) - J.V.
THE FIRST WIVES CLUB - * * * - Frequently hilarious farce about three longtime friends (Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton) who get together and plot revenge against the ex-husbands who have discarded them for much younger "trophy" wives. Fast and funny, with terrific turns by the lead players, as well as a number of memorable supporting roles filled with familiar faces, including Maggie Smith, Stockard Channing and Sarah Jessica Parker. PG (violence, vulgarity, profanity, nude painting). (Family Center, Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Sugarhouse, Valley Fair.) (Sept. 20, 1996) - C.H.
FLY AWAY HOME - * * 1/2 - The fabulous final third of this nature adventure is worth the ticket price, but prior to that it's a by-the-numbers coming-of-age drama about a young teen (Oscar-winner Anna Paquin, of "The Piano") who is forced to live with her long-absent father (Jeff Daniels) while still mourning the death of her loving mother. Eventually she comes across a gaggle of orphaned goslings and becomes determined to help them survive in the wild, even if she has to personally teach them to migrate by leading them in flight. Directed by Carroll Ballard ("The Black Stallion"). PG (profanity). (Kaysville, Sugarhouse, Valley Fair.) (Sept. 13, 1996) - C.H.
THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS - * * * - Michael Douglas is as winning as ever, playing a big-game hunter tracking a pair of lions who have killed hundreds of railway workers in 19th-century Africa, while Val Kilmer is surprisingly subtle as an Irish bridge engineer aiding him. Stylish and scary at times, this fact-based thriller is definitely too intense for children. R (violence, gore, profanity). (Family Center, Sandy Starships, Sugarhouse, Valley Fair.) (Oct. 11, 1996) - J.V.
GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI - * * 1/2 - A powerhouse performance by James Woods anchors this earnest but overly pious film about the assassination of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers, whose killer was not brought to justice until some 30 years later. Woods is amazing (start polishing that best supporting actor Oscar) as the cocky white supremacist who taunts the law. And the rest of the familiar cast is also good (including Alec Baldwin as the prosecutor and Whoopi Goldberg as Evers' widow), but producer/director Rob Reiner makes it too heroic and stoic. Maybe Woods should have directed! PG-13 (violence, profanity). (Carmike 12, Crossroads, Holladay, Plaza 5400, Sandy 9, Trolley North.) (Jan. 3, 1997) - C.H.
HIGH SCHOOL HIGH - * 1/2 - Here's a great lesson in how not to make a parody film. Despite a decent start, this crude and vulgar off-the-wall comedy - which lampoons "Dangerous Minds" and "Blackboard Jungle" - heads in the wrong direction when it actually tries to tell a story. Jon Lovitz can't carry the film by himself and is sabotaged by co-stars Tia Carrere and Louise Fletcher, who are wooden and uninspired, respectively. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, violence, nudity, sex, drug use). (Sugarhouse.) (Oct. 25, 1996) - J.V.
JACK - * * - Robin Williams' goofy performance as an overgrown fifth-grader can't save this uneven comedy-fantasy from Francis Ford Coppola. The premise is promising - Williams' character suffers from a genetic disorder that causes him to age physically four times the normal rate - but the sometimes tasteless and vulgar script seems to have been written by 10-year-olds. Diane Lane and Fran Drescher co-star. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence). (Valley Fair.) (Aug. 9, 1996) - J.V.
JACKIE CHAN'S FIRST STRIKE - * * * - Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan returns for the fourth installment of his "Police Story" film series, this time adopting a James Bond persona - if Bond was played by Buster Keaton. Forget the idiotic plot (though it's not really dumber than some of the Bond pictures themselves) and just enjoy Chan's incredible dexterity, along with some wonderfully elaborate comic stunt work. Great fun. PG-13 (violence, brief male nudity, one profanity). (Carmike 12, Century, Crossroads, Midvalley, Sandy 9, Trolley North.) (Jan. 10, 1997) - C.H.
JERRY MAGUIRE - * * 1/2 - This story of a high profile sports agent who is fired when he begins to show early warning signs of integrity boasts some terrific performances, especially from Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. But it's also long-winded and preachy, with a mixed message about money vs. love. And it doesn't help that in the final third the film switches gears from clever comedy to sappy sentiment. The R rating is well-deserved, primarily for sex and profanity. R (violence, sex, nudity, profanity, vulgarity). (Cottonwood, Gateway, Midvalley, South Towne, Trolley Corners.) (Dec. 13, 1996) - C.H.
JINGLE ALL THE WAY - * * - The funny first half of this Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy (and the final moment, a clever punchline that comes after the end credits) works pretty well, but it gets way too silly. The casting of Schwarzenegger as an ordinary, everyday Joe doesn't help, as he races around town on Christmas Eve in a futile search for a popular toy that has been sold out since Thanksgiving. PG (violence, profanity, mild vulgarity). (Sandy Starships, Sugarhouse, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 22, 1996) - C.H.
THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT - * 1/2 - If you can swallow the thought of Geena Davis playing Arnold Schwarzenegger, you might stand a chance of making it through this dumb action-thriller without laughing too hard. Davis plays an amnesiac who finds out she is really a top-secret government assassin. She's aided by Samuel L. Jackson, who co-stars as the down-and-out private investigator who discovers her real identity. Some great stunts but sillier and more implausible than you can imagine. R (profanity, violence, torture, vulgarity, nudity, sex, brief gore). (Sugarhouse.) (Oct. 11, 1996) - J.V.
MARS ATTACKS! - * * * - The early going may be a bit slow, but the mayhem is definitely worth the wait, as director Tim Burton's tiny green Martian hordes nuke much of the country, including most of its all-star cast. Jack Nicholson, in particular, is a hoot as the President of the United States in this offbeat and violent slapstick comedy/sci-fi thriller about an invasion from Mars, based on the 1962 Topps trading card series. Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Jim Brown, Tom Jones and Sarah Jessica Parker co-star. PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, sex). (Carmike 12.) (Dec. 13, 1996) - J.V.
MICHAEL - * * * - Although some audiences will be put off by its irreverent, almost sacrilegious premise, John Travolta is very funny and very charming as a hard-fighting, hard-loving archangel living in a motel in Iowa. He's discovered by some down-on-their-luck tabloid journalists (Andie MacDowell and William Hurt), who try to bring him back to Chicago to save their careers. Despite some lapses in taste, this comedy from director Nora Ephron ("Sleepless in Seattle") works most of the way. PG (violence, profanity, vulgarity, brief sex). (Century, Crossroads, Holladay, Midvalley, South Towne, Trolley North.) (Dec. 25, 1996) - J.V.
MICROCOSMOS - * * * 1/2 - Though its focus - a somewhat skewed look at a day in the insect world, up close and personal - is small, this delightful French documentary has more sheer drama, humor character development and even passion and humanity than most of the bloated blockbusters being churned out by Hollywood these days. The directors, both of them former biologists, spent 15 years of research, two years in equipment design and three years shooting just to make it. G (some animal violence and mating). (Avalon.) (Dec. 6, 1996) - J.V.
THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES - * * * 1/2 - Director and star Barbra Streisand looks luminous in this romantic comedy, about the modern myth of beauty and how it complicates relationships, but Jeff Bridges and Lauren Bacall steal things out from under her, playing her love interest and mother, respectively. Though things drag down in the final third, Streisand the director shows a surprising flair for comedy. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, partial nudity). (Sandcastle.) (Nov. 15, 1996) - J.V.
MY FELLOW AMERICANS - * * 1/2 - James Garner and Jack Lemmon are terrific as former U.S presidents who hate each other but are thrown together in the backwoods of America when their lives are threatened. Mediocre "Grumpy Old Men"-style script, and none of the stellar supporting players (Lauren Bacall, Wilford Brimley, Dan Aykroyd) have enough to do. Meanwhile, Garner and Lemmon raise the material to a higher level than it deserves. PG-13 (violence, sex, profanity, vulgarity). (South Towne.) (Dec. 20, 1996) - C.H.
ONE FINE DAY - * * * - A light but witty romantic comedy with a bright, funny script and sprightly performances from both George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer as antagonistic single parents who are forced to rely on each other during a hectic workday, and who, naturally, fall in love. One wonders if this would fly in lesser hands, but the stars make it work, and Clooney's comic timing is a wonderful revelation. PG (profanity). (Broadway, Carmike 12, Creekside, Gateway, Midvalley, Reel, Sandy 9.) (Dec. 20, 1996) - C.H.
101 DALMATIANS - * * 1/2 - John Hughes co-produced and scripted this live-action version of the Disney animated classic, and he's grafted his own most famous movie - "Home Alone" - onto the final third. Glenn Close is great as Cruella DeVil, the villain who wants to make a fur coat of those adorable spotted puppies. But when the protracted slapstick climax kicks in, she loses the upper hand and becomes a victim, causing the film to lose its way. G (but rather dark and violent for sensitive little ones). (Carmike 12, Cottonwood, Gateway, Plaza 5400, Reel, Sandy 9.) (Nov. 2, 1996) - C.H.
THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT - * * - Despite some stellar national reviews that say otherwise, this movie isn't really about the Hustler-Jerry Falwell First Amendment case as much as it is a glorification of pornographer Larry Flynt (played by Woody Harrelson), a sort of Americanized "Sid & Nancy," with rock star Courtney Love as his stripper wife Althea. When it concentrates on the case, it's quite good, but canonizing this self-described sleazeball is extremely off-putting. R (violence, sex, nudity, profanity, vulgarity, drugs). (Broadway, Century, Cottonwood, Midvalley, South Towne.) (Jan. 10, 1997) - C.H.
PHENOMENON - * * * - Reworking of "Flowers for Algernon" (which was filmed as "Charly") casts John Travolta as an ordinary Joe who finds himself thrust into the limelight when a strange blinding flash leaves him with remarkable "off-the-scale" intelligence and telekinetic abilities. Travolta plays it subtly, and he's excellent, as are Robert Duvall, Forest Whitaker and Kyra Sedgwick. The film is too long and the windup is certainly protracted (there are at least three endings), but you'll have a great time. PG (profanity, vulgarity, brief partial nudity). (Kaysville, Sugarhouse.) (July 3, 1996) - C.H.
THE PREACHER'S WIFE - * * - Another '90s update of a Christmas classic proves that modern moviemakers are more cynical and less heartfelt than in Hollywood's golden era. Penny Marshall ("A League of Their Own," "Big") directed this remake of the 1947 romantic comedy "The Bishop's Wife," with Denzel Washington delivering a charming and uncharacteristically loose performance as an angel who both helps and hinders a preacher and his wife. Courtney B. Vance is also excellent as the troubled preacher but Whitney Houston saves all her energy and emotion for her musical performance - and there are plenty of songs for that all-important soundtrack album. PG (violence, mild profanity). (Cinemas 5, Cottonwood, Gateway, South Towne.) (Dec. 13, 1996) - C.H.
RANSOM - * * * - The script has holes, and it's a low-road thrill to put a child in peril - and especially to repeatedly put a gun to a child's head - but director Ron Howard ("Apollo 13") does keep the tension tight and the pacing in high gear for this Mel Gibson thriller about an airline tycoon who defies the FBI when his son is kidnapped by ruthless thugs. Gary Sinise and Delroy Lindo stand out in an ensemble of terrific performances. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief partial nudity). (Carmike 12, Cinemas 5, Murray, Sandy 9.) (Nov. 8, 1996) - C.H.
THE RELIC - turkey - Dreadful "Don't Go in the (Museum) Basement" horror yarn, with every cliche you can imagine (including the cat jumping out of the darkness), as it steals from "Godzilla" and "Alien" and everything in between. Plot has a strange creature decapitating innocent victims and eating part of their brains, in graphic detail. Yuck. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, drugs). (Carmike 12, Century, Plaza 5400, Gateway, Holladay, Reel, Sandy 9, Trolley Square.) (Jan. 10, 1997) - C.H.
SCREAM - turkey - Director Wes Craven attempts to parody the slasher film genre by throwing in tons of cliches. Ironically enough, in trying to spoof all the violent, crummy horror flicks, he's made an even worse one himself. And aside from decent performances by Neve Campbell and Rose McGowan as two prospective victims, the acting is atrocious, especially from Courtney Cox (TV's "Friends") as a gung-ho TV reporter. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, sex). (Carmike 12, Holladay, Midvalley, Sandy 9, Trolley Corners.) (Dec. 20, 1996) - J.V.
SHINE - * * * * - Here's one of those cases where the film's name really fits. Australian director Scott Hicks' wonderful account of the life of David Helfgott, the brilliant concert pianist, is alternately harrowing and heart-breaking. Geoffrey Rush is superb as Helgott, who was driven mad by his domineering father and his drive for perfection, and there's winning support from Lynn Redgrave, John Gielgud and Armin Mueller-Stahl, as well as a great score. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, nudity, sex). (Exclusive, Broadway.) (Dec. 25, 1996) - J.V.
SPACE JAM - * * 1/2 - It ain't no "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," but this teaming of NBA superstar Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny (along with the other Looney Tunes regulars) is an OK time-waster. Jordan is less than animated, and the film has some surprising (and ill-advised) vulgarity, but it's fun to see these "toons" in a feature, and there are some very funny bits. Bill Murray has an extended, unbilled cameo; Utah's own Shawn Bradley has a comic supporting role as himself. PG (violence, vulgarity). (Cinemas 5, Olympus.) (Nov. 15, 1996) - C.H.
STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT - * * * 1/2 - Capt. Picard and the crew of the "Next Generation" Enterprise are back - boy, are they back! - in this pulse-pounding sci-fi thriller, the eighth installment of the film series and easily the best one in years. In it, the Enterprise must race back in time to stop the half-human, half-robot Borg invaders from taking over Earth. James Cromwell ("Babe") co-stars as the founder of the United Federation of Planets. The action may be too intense for younger audiences, however. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Carmike 12, Cinemas 5, Olympus.) (Nov. 22, 1996) - J.V.
THAT THING YOU DO! - * * * - It's positively lightweight, but Tom Hanks' first feature film does what it sets out to do and does it quite well. Hanks directed and wrote this charming musical comedy (he even co-wrote some of the songs), a rock 'n' roll fable about the early 1960s. He also co-stars as the manager of a young band that becomes an overnight success on the strength of a hit single. PG (profanity, mild vulgarity). (Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Sugarhouse.) (Oct. 4, 1996) - J.V.
TURBULENCE - * 1/2 - Dreadful blend of "The Silence of the Lambs" (with airline food instead of cannibalism) and "Airport 1975," as cackling serial killer Ray Liotta kills crew and passengers aboard a 747 and flight attendant Lauren Holly tries to land the plane. Then there's that "level six" storm they encounter. Liotta is way over the top as a raving lunatic and Holly postures like Linda Hamilton in "Terminator 2." An unintentionally hilarious climax includes the plane skimming a rooftop parking lot, where a truck becomes lodged on the landing gear! R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity). (Century, Crossroads, Gateway, Holladay, Plaza 5400, South Towne.) (Jan. 11, 1997) - C.H.
TWELFTH NIGHT - * * * 1/2 - The perfect antidote to "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet," this very smart and funny, but long-overdue version of the Shakespearean comedy benefits from an all-star cast of British stage veterans and character actors, including Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Kingsley and Nigel Hawthorne. Director Trevor Nunn (from the Royal Shakespeare Company) changes its time frame to the turn of this century, but keeps the wit and spirit intact. PG (violence, mild vulgarity). (Exclusive, Avalon.) (Jan. 1, 1996) - J.V.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S ROMEO AND JULIET - * 1/2 - Some good performances (Leonardo DiCaprio and especially Claire Danes in the title role) and some wild-eyed off-the-wall turns (John Leguizamo and especially Paul Sorvino as Juliet's father) help make this an extremely uneven update of Shakespeare's tragedy, but the direction, by Baz Luhrmann, is a headache-inducing cross between "NYPD Blue" and MTV. Maybe it should be "Beavis and Butt-Head's Romeo & Juliet." PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, sex, partial nudity, drugs). (Sugarhouse, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 1, 1996) - C.H.
Past movie reviews and capsules by Chris Hicks and Jeff Vice are available online. Search for MOVIES.