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On the screen

NEW FILMS FRIDAY

LETHAL WEAPON 4 - Detectives Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are joined by returning co-stars Joe Pesci and Rene Russo and newcomer Chris Rock in the latest installment of the action series, which pits them against Hong Kong martial-arts star Jet Li, playing an Asian ganglord. Reviewed in this section on Page W9. R (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, racial epithets). (Carmike 12; Century; Cottonwood; Crossroads; Gateway; Midvalley; Redwood, with "A Perfect Murder"; Reel; Sandy 9.)

MADELINE - Hatty Jones stars as author Ludwig Bemelmans' beloved heroine, a tiny but mischievous schoolgirl in this family comedy, which also features Oscar-winner Frances McDormand as schoolteacher Miss Clavel and Nigel Hawthorne as the villainous Lord Cucuface. Reviewed in this section on Page W8. PG (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity). (Broadway; Century; Gateway; Holladay; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Godzilla"; South Towne.)

POST COITUM - French filmmaker Brigitte Rouan ("Overseas") wrote, directed and stars in this comedy-drama as a 40-year-old book editor who risks her career and family by having an affair with a much younger man. In French, with English subtitles. Reviewed in this section on Page W10. Not rated, probable R (nudity, sex, profanity, violence, gore, vulgarity). (Exclusive, Tower.)

SMALL SOLDIERS - Two armies of action figures come to life and battle it out for the fate of the world in this live-action comedy, which stars Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Jay Mohr and Denis Leary, as well as the voice talents of Tommy Lee Jones and Frank Langella. Reviewed in this section on Page W4. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Carmike 12; Century; Cottonwood; Gateway; Midvalley; Redwood, with "The Truman Show"; Reel; Sandy 9; Trolley Square.)

NEW FILMS WEDNESDAY

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY - See listing under "Sneak Previews."

SNEAK PREVIEWS

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY - From the makers of "Dumb and Dumber" and "Kingpin" comes this screwball comedy about a lovable loser (Ben Stiller) who hires a sleazy P.I. (Matt Dillon) to find the woman he's pined for since high school (Cameron Diaz). Naturally, complications ensue and the two men wind up competing for her affections. To be reviewed when it opens next week. R (vulgarity, sex, violence, profanity). (Sunday: Carmike 12, Cottonwood, Midvalley.)

KIDS MATINEES

HOME ALONE 3 - * 1/2 - Milking his favorite formula for all it's worth, writer/co-producer John Hughes recasts"Home Alone" with Alex D. Linz ("One Fine Day") as yet another Chicago youth setting booby traps for inept bad guys. If your idea of fun is someone being hit on the head with barbells, enjoy. PG (violence, vulgarity, profanity, partially nude poster). (Valley Fair, Thursday only, 10 a.m.) (Dec. 12, 1997) - Chris Hicks

THE SANDLOT - * * 1/2 - Cute, sentimental nostalgia, an amusing update of the "Our Gang" comedies of old. A group of boys in the early '60s form a sandlot baseball team, only to be harrassed by the huge junkyard dog on the other side of the fence. Not much in terms of plot and it's overdirected, but the kids are good and there are some funny sequences. PG (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Kaysville, Wednesday only, 12:15 and 2:30 p.m.) (April 9, 1993) - C.H.

RE-RELEASES

GONE WITH THE WIND - * * * * - Up until the release of "Titanic" last year, this 1939 classic was America's favorite sweeping romance, an epic love story between two mismatched rogues (Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable), set amongst the backdrop of the Civil War. Rarely has justice been done to a novel, as it is here (the film is based Margaret Mitchell's book of the same name), and though there's a troubling sympathy for the pro-slavery South expressed, it's more of a subtext than anything explicit. This reissue features digitally enhanced sound (including the original lobby and intermission musical score), as well as "restored" color and picture. G (wartime violence, mild profanity). (Exclusive, Crossroads.)

MEAN STREETS - * * * 1/2 - Twenty-fifth anniversary reissue of the film that put director Martin Scorsese on the map, a drama starring Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro as a pair of small-time hoods in Little Italy who incur the wrath of mobsters, including a Mafia loan shark. Vivid and frighteningly realistic (especially in terms of graphic violence and use of profane language), with powerful performances from the two leads. R (violence, profanity, nudity, sex, gore, vulgarity). (Exclusive, Tower.)

CONTINUING FILMS

ALMOST HEROES - turkey - A depressingly sad swansong for late comedian Chris Farley, who stars with Matthew Perry (TV's "Friends") in this awful comedy about two bumbling explorers who try to blaze a new path through the unknown wilds of the Louisiana Purchase. Dumber than the ads make it appear to be, if that's possible. PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, nudity). (Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (May 31, 1998)

ARMAGEDDON - * * - More chaotic, headache-inducing eye candy from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay ("The Rock"). The premise is intriguing: A roughneck crew of oil drillers (including Bruce Willis) is sent into space to destroy an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. But the characters are reduced to spouting one-liners and the action is too hectic and confusing. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, partial nudity, gore). (Carmike 12; Century; Creekside; Gateway; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Six Days, Seven Nights"; Reel; Sandy 9; Trolley Corners.) (July 2, 1998)

THE BORROWERS - * * 1/2 - Marred by some tasteless and vulgar jokes, this big-screen version of Mary Norton's beloved children books - about a clan of very, very tiny people trying to thwart an evil developer (John Goodman) - has some dazzling visuals and a brisk pace. But in the process, some of the charm is lost. PG (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity). (Valley Fair.) (Feb. 13, 1998)

CAN'T HARDLY WAIT - * * - At-times bright but more often annoying, modern-day revision of "American Graffiti." Ethan Embry (from "That Thing You Do!") is good as a shy high-school graduate trying to summon the courage to tell the class knockout (Jennifer Love Hewitt, from "I Know What You Did Last Summer") how he feels about her before he leaves town. But too often the film settles for cheap humor. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, violence, sex, racial epithets). (Cinemas 5, Olympus.) (June 12, 1998)

CITY OF ANGELS - * * 1/2 - Loosely based on the 1987 art-house film "Wings of Desire," this romantic drama/fantasy stars Nicolas Cage as an angel who's torn between duty and the love of a heart surgeon (Meg Ryan). The story's fine until things take a turn toward weepy melodrama. Fine performances from Cage and Ryan, as well as co-stars Dennis Franz and Andre Braugher. PG-13 (profanity, violence, sex, nudity, hospital gore, vulgarity). (Brewvies, Cinemas 5, Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (April 10, 1998)

DEEP IMPACT - * * - Possibly the dullest disaster film ever made, this all-talk-and-no-action flick wastes an all-star cast - including Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni, Morgan Freeman and Elijah Wood, who try to survive when scientists discover that a huge comet is on a collision course with the Earth. Not worth sticking around for the 10 minutes worth of destruction, frankly. PG-13 (profanity, violence). (Avalon, Brewvies, Midvalley, Olympus.) (May 8, 1998)

DR. DOLITTLE - * 1/2 - An uninspired Eddie Murphy plays second fiddle to crass anthropomorphic animals (voiced by Norm Macdonald, Chris Rock and others) in this incredibly crude comedy, "inspired by" the 1967 musical comedy and the children's stories. It's hard to say which is worse here, all the potty humor or the insincere attempts to put across a message. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, violence, partial nudity, hospital gore). (Century; Holladay; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Mulan"; Reel; South Towne; Trolley North; Trolley Square.) (June 26, 1998)

FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS - * 1/2 - Imagine trying to spend two hours in Las Vegas with "gonzo" journalist Hunter S. Thompson and you might get an idea of what this drug-culture comedy, based on the infamous novel, is like. Painfully unfunny, though director Terry Gilliam's warped visual style and Johnny Depp's spot-on Thompson impression are momentarily diverting. R (profanity, drug use, vulgarity, violence, nudity, gore, racial epithets). (Brewvies.) (May 22, 1998)

GODZILLA - * * - Despite the awesome computer graphics-created title character, which rampages through Manhattan rather than Tokyo this time, this sci-fi/thriller from the "Independence Day" filmmaking team is a too-transparent ripoff of the "Jurassic Park" movies. Kids will probably love it, but adults may find themselves wanting better-developed characters and situations. A few thrills and a couple of chuckles, but on whole pretty disappointing. PG-13 (violence, profanity). (Cinemas 5; Olympus; Redwood, with "Madeline.") (May 20, 1998)

GOOD WILL HUNTING - * * * 1/2 - Well-acted, though also profane and vulgar, comedy-drama about a troubled 20-something mathematics genius (Matt Damon) who must undergo therapy (from Oscar winner Robin Williams, playing a down-on-his-luck college professor) as part of his parole. Damon and co-star Ben Affleck also wrote the Academy Award-winning screenplay. R (profanity, vulgarity, violence, sex, nude paintings, racial epithets). (Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Dec. 26, 1997)

HE GOT GAME - * * * - It wouldn't be a Spike Lee film if it weren't too long and extremely self indulgent, but the writer/director's latest features strong performances from Denzel Washington, as a prisoner who is temporarily paroled, and Ray Allen (from the NBA Milwaukee Bucks), playing his estranged son, a talented high school basketball player. R (profanity, vulgarity, sex, nudity, racial epithets, violence, drug use). (Sugar House.) (May 1, 1998)

HOPE FLOATS - * * - Not the change of pace Sandra Bullock might have anticipated, this disappointingly downbeat drama stars Bullock as a single mother who discovers love and acceptance when she is forced to move back to her small Texas hometown. Frankly, she tries too hard to charm her way through this uneven mess. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity). (Carmike 12, Cottonwood, Holladay, Midvalley.) (May 29, 1998)

THE HORSE WHISPERER - * * * * - A case of the movie actually being better than the book, Robert Redford's long-anticipated adaptation of the Nicholas Evans best-seller stars Redford as a horse trainer who helps heal a wounded animal, as well as its young rider and her mother (Kristin Scott Thomas, from "The English Patient"). Wonderfully low-key, with superb photography that makes great use of the beautiful Montana scenery. PG-13 (profanity, violence, gore). (Broadway, Cottonwood, Midvalley, South Towne.) (May 15, 1998)

LES MISERABLES - * * * - This dramatic, not musical, adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel suffers from choppy pacing (due to studio-mandated cuts) and a lack of necessary melodrama. Still, the performances by Liam Neeson and "Shine's" Geoffrey Rush, as longtime antagonists Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert, are superb, as is Uma Thurman, playing the doomed Fantine. PG-13 (violence, gore, partial nudity, profanity, vulgarity). (Kaysville, Sugar House.) (May 1, 1998)

LOST IN SPACE - * * 1/2 - Neither as good nor as bad as you might think, this big-screen version of the cult '60s television series, a science-fiction take on "Swiss Family Robinson," is decent if unexceptional eye-candy. However, things bog down in the second half, with a time-travel storyline that makes no sense. PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity). (Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (April 3, 1998)

THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK - * * - Who says two Leonardo DiCaprios are better than one? The "Titanic" star is downright awful playing twin brothers - one the evil King of France and the other a sweet-natured prisoner - in this dimwitted adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel. Still, the dream casting of actors playing the Four Musketeers (Gabriel Byrne, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu and Jeremy Irons) almost saves things. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, sex, nudity, profanity). (Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (March 13, 1998)

MULAN - * * * - Almost too brisk for its own good, the latest Disney animated offering is an exciting musical adventure about a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a warrior to save her ailing father's life, and earn his respect. Superb animation, and the vocal cast (which includes Ming Na-Wen, Eddie Murphy, Donny Osmond, Harvey Fierstein and George Takei) gives charming performances. G (animated violence). (Gateway; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Dr. Dolittle"; Reel; South Towne; Trolley Square; Villa.) (June 22, 1998)

MY GIANT - * * - There's yet another smug turn by Billy Crystal in this unfunny comedy, which stars Crystal as a third-rate talent agent who accidentally discovers a new star, a 7-foot-plus, Shakespeare-quoting monastery caretaker (Gheorghe Muresan, from the NBA Washington Wizards), while in Europe. Things are also marred by a vulgar vomiting gag. PG (profanity, vulgarity, violence). (Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (April 10, 1998)

THE OBJECT OF MY AFFECTION - * * 1/2 - Not the romantic comedy the ads make it appear to be, this uneven comedy/drama stars Jennifer Aniston as a pregnant crisis counselor who asks her gay roommate (Paul Rudd) to raise the child with her and winds up falling for him. A stellar supporting cast (including Alan Alda and Nigel Hawthorne) helps elevate the material. R (profanity, vulgarity, violence, drug use). (Sugar House.) (April 17, 1998)

OUT OF SIGHT - * * * - Acclaimed independent film director Steven Soderbergh out-Tarantinos Quentin Tarantino with this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, a blackly comic thriller about an escaped bank robber (George Clooney) who falls in love with the federal marshal (Jennifer Lopez) pursuing him. Clooney and Lopez heat up the screen, and help overcome a serious lull midway through. R (profanity, violence, gore, vulgarity, sex, racial epithets). Broadway; Century; Holladay; Midvalley; Redwood, with "The X-Files"; South Towne; Trolley North.) (June 26, 1998)

PAULIE - * * * - Here's the year's most pleasant surprise to date: a charming kids' comedy about the title character, a parrot who learns to speak and comprehend the human language and who yearns to be reunited with his original owner. A great cast of human co-stars (Tony Shalhoub, Gena Rowlands and Cheech Marin) certainly doesn't hurt. Jay Mohr, from "Jerry Maguire," lends his voice to the character. PG (profanity). (Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (April 17, 1998)

A PERFECT MURDER - * 1/2 - Terrible miscasting and an even worse script sink this slickly directed but disappointing thriller, inspired by the stageplay and film "Dial M for Murder" and starring Gwyneth Paltrow as the young wife of a millionaire industrialist (Michael Douglas) who is trying to kill her. R (violence, gore, profanity, sex, partial nudity). (Redwood, with "Lethal Weapon 4.") (June 5, 1998)

THE PLAYERS CLUB - Rapper/actor Ice Cube makes his writing and directing debut with this comedy-drama about a struggling single mother (newcomer Lisaraye) who takes a job as a dancer in a thriving "gentlemen's club." Co-stars include Ice Cube and Jamie Foxx. R (profanity, nudity, sex, violence, vulgarity, racial epithets). (Valley Fair.)

QUEST FOR CAMELOT - * * - Flat animation and unmemorable songs are just several of the many problems facing this dull animated musical, a feminist revision of the King Arthur legends that's based on a famous fantasy novel. In it, the daughter of a slain knight and a blind warrior try to recover King Arthur's mystical sword, Excalibur. Deadly dull. G (animated violence). (Cinemas 5, Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (May 15, 1998)

SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS - * * - You can't blame either of the stars (Harrison Ford and Anne Heche) for this disappointing romantic adventure, which pairs them as a gruff cargo pilot and an acerbic New Yorker who find danger and romance when they're stranded on a deserted island. Both of them try, but they're undone by awful scripting and plotting. PG-13 (profanity, violence, vulgarity, partial nudity, brief gore). Broadway; Carmike 12; Gateway; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Armageddon"; Sandy 9) (June 12, 1998)

SLIDING DOORS - * * - A lack of chemistry between the leads seriously hampers this uneven comedy/fantasy, a variation on "It's a Wonderful Life," which follows what happens when a young woman (Gwyneth Paltrow, sporting a bad British accent) misses a London subway train, as well as what happens when she makes it to the train station on time. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, sex, brief partial nudity, violence). (Brewvies.) (April 24, 1998)

SUICIDE KINGS - A black-comedy/thriller starring Henry Thomas, Sean Patrick Flanery and Jay Mohr as a group of would-be gangsters who capture a notorious Mafia boss (Christopher Walken) in a revenge kidnapping, only to have their hands full with the mobster, as well as his bodyguard (Denis Leary), who has come looking for him. R (violence, profanity). (Valley Fair.)

TITANIC - * * * - Too long by at least 45 minutes, director James Cameron's romance/adventure epic - set aboard the ill-fated passenger ship - is also more passionate and thrilling than most of what we've seen lately. Things are helped enormously by stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, playing doomed lovers, and the fact that almost all of the reported $200 million budget seems to have gone to the dazzling historical recreations. Winner of 11 Academy Awards. PG-13 (profanity, violence, nudity, vulgarity, sex). (Cinemas 5.) (Dec. 19, 1997)

THE TRUMAN SHOW - * * * * - One of those rare instances of the hype being justified, this thoughtful and subtle black comedy/suspense-thriller stars comic actor Jim Carrey (in his "breakthrough" role) as a man unaware that his "life" is being staged as part of a 24-hour-a-day documentary television show. Kudos also to Peter Weir ("Dead Poets Society"), whose skillful direction forces Carrey to act. PG (profanity, violence). (Broadway; Carmike 12; Gateway; Holladay; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Small Soldiers"; Sandy 9.) (June 5, 1998)

U.S. MARSHALS - * * - There are some exciting stunts in this spinoff of the 1993 hit "The Fugitive," but they're obvious retreads of action sequences from the first film (as well as "Con Air" and others) and the plot's not up to snuff. Also, Tommy Lee Jones does a fine job reprising his role, even though Wesley Snipes isn't nearly interesting enough as the subject of his hunt. PG-13 (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity). (Sugar House.) (March 6, 1998)

THE WEDDING SINGER - * * 1/2 - Surprising chemistry from stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore helps save this silly but sweet romantic comedy, set in the mid-'80s, about a struggling musician and wedding entertainer who falls in love with a waitress who's engaged to be married. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence, partial nudity). (Kaysville, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Feb. 13, 1998)

THE X-FILES - * * * - The truth may be out there, but not all of it is revealed in this science-fiction/thriller based on the hit television series, which picks up the story from the season-ending cliffhanger episode. Still, it's a thrilling ride, and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson get to show more personality than they're usually allowed. PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief nudity, racial epithets). (Broadway; Carmike 12; Century; Creekside; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Out of Sight"; Sandy 9; Trolley North.) (June 22, 1998)

*****

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Past movie reviews and capsules by Jeff Vice and Chris Hicks are available online. Search for MOVIES.