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NEW FILMS FRIDAY

AUTUMN IN NEW YORK — Romantic drama centering on the May-December romance between an aging playboy (Richard Gere) and a twentysomething student (Winona Ryder) who's just discovered she's dying. Directed by actress-turned-filmmaker Joan Chen ("Xiu-Xiu, the Sent-Down Girl"). Not screened for critics; to be reviewed next week. PG-13 (profanity, sex). (Carmike 12, Century, Creekside, Gateway, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Midvalley, Ritz, Trolley Square.)

BEAU TRAVAIL — Loose adaptation of Herman Melville's "Billy Budd," revolving around the professional and personal jealousies between French Foreign Legionnaires. Directed by Claire Denis (1989's "Chocolat"). In French, with English subtitles. Not rated, probable PG-13 (partial nudity, violence, profanity, adult themes). (Exclusive, Tower.)

BLESS THE CHILD — Supernatural thriller, based on Cathy Cash Spellman's best-seller) starring Kim Basinger as a woman who must defend her 6-year-old niece from evil forces trying to exploit the girl's magical powers. Jimmy Smits co-stars as an investigator aiding her efforts. R (violence, profanity, gore, drug use). (Broadway; Carmike 12; Century; Gateway; Holladay; Jordan Commons; Jordan Landing; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "What Lies Beneath"; Ritz.)

THE REPLACEMENTS — Keanu Reeves leads the title characters, a group of non-union football players who compete during a league-wide strike, in this comedic sports movie from director Howard Deutch ("Neil Simon's The Odd Couple II"). Gene Hackman, Orlando Jones ("MadTV") and Brooke Langton co-star. PG-13 (profanity, violence, vulgarity). (Carmike 12; Century; Cottonwood; Gateway; Jordan Landing; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Space Cowboys"; Ritz; South Towne; Trolley Corners.)

MIDNIGHT MOVIES

WAR OF THE WORLDS —*** 1/2 — George Pal's excellent adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells story about a Martian invasion that seems bent on destroying humankind is a B-movie (the competent cast is led by Gene Barry), but gets A-movie treatment by a first-rate production team. The startling special effects won an Oscar, and the intelligent screenplay helps make this one of the best in the genre. Made before ratings (1953), probable PG (violence). (Tower, Friday and Saturday.) — Chris Hicks

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

MICHAEL JORDAN TO THE MAX — The greatest professional basketball player who ever lived is profiled in this large-screen documentary, which takes a look at his life and career, including his game-winning shot against the Utah Jazz in the final game of the 1998 NBA Finals. Among those interviewed are Jordan, former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson and actor Bill Murray, Jordan's co-star in the movie "Space Jam." Not rated, probable G. (Jordan Commons.)

REAR WINDOW — **** — This 1954 suspense-thriller, one of Alfred Hitchcock's biggest box-office hits, finally gets the restoration treatment it deserves with this color-enhanced 35mm re-release. Storywise, it's classic Master of Suspense material, combining dark humor, thrills and romance for the tale of a wheelchair-bound photojournalist (Jimmy Stewart) who spies on his neighbors out of boredom, only to witness what he believes is a murder. Terrific performances from Stewart, Grace Kelly and Raymond Burr, and the final 20-minute sequence is a real nail-biter. PG (violence). (Jordan Commons.)

VERTIGO — **** — Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1958 thriller has been remastered from the original 70mm print, with rich colors restored and sound enhanced for true stereo (with that great Bernard Herrmann score). James Stewart is a cop who is afraid of heights, and who falls for a friend's wife (Kim Novak) before the real complications set in. One of the best films ever made. PG (violence). (Jordan Commons.) (April 11, 1997) — C.H.

WHALES — Underwater cinematographer Al Giddings ("Titanic," "The Abyss") co-directed this large-screen documentary about sea mammals, which follows a mother whale and her calf during a seasonal migration from Hawaii to Alaska. Featuring music by local composer Sam Cardon and narration by Patrick Stewart. Shown in the large-screen format. Not rated, probable G. (Jordan Commons.)

WILDFIRE: FEEL THE HEAT — Large-screen documentary about crews fighting huge wildfires throughout the west, including specialized teams of smokejumpers and waterbombers. Narrated by actor Andre Braugher ("Frequency"). Shown in the large-screen format. Not rated, probable PG (firefighting violence). (Jordan Commons.)

THE WIZARD OF OZ — **** — The beloved 1939 family musical/fantasy has recently gotten the "Gone With the Wind" treatment, including digitally "restored" color and picture, as well as remastered Dolby digital sound. And it's worth it. This is one for the ages, a timeless treasure (based on L. Frank Baum's children's book) that features some guaranteed-to-stick-in-your-head songs — and an actual message. The cast is terrific, especially Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West. G (violence). (Gallivan Utah Center, Monday only, 8:30 p.m.)

CONTINUING FILMS

THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY & BULLWINKLE — ** — Jay Ward's beloved cartoon characters finally come to the big screen in this live-action/animated comedy (a la "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"), but frankly, it wasn't worth the wait. The humor's labored, and the cartoon characters are much more "animated" than their flesh-and-blood co-stars. A real disappointment. Running time: 85 minutes. PG (slapstick violence, mild profanity). (Cinemas 5, Sandy 9, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (June 30, 2000)

BIG MOMMA'S HOUSE—* 1/2 — Unless you're thrilled by the sight of comedian Martin Lawrence in drag, stay away from this crude and unfunny comedy, about an FBI agent who impersonates the title character to question a woman (Nia Long) who's been targeted by an escaped convict. "Mrs. Doubtfire" meets "Stakeout," but with far fewer laughs. Running time: 101 minutes. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity, brief nudity). (Cinemas 5; Redwood, with "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps"; Sandy Starships.) (June 2, 2000)

CHICKEN RUN — *** — It's not quire as inspired or as clever as their "Wallace and Gromit" shorts, but this clay-animated comedy-adventure from Aardman Studios is an amusing parody of "The Great Escape," following a henhouse trying to escape from a merciless farm owner. Great sight gags and good voice work (from Mel Gibson, Miranda Richardson and others). Running time: 85 minutes. G (violence). (Carmike 12, Gateway, Holladay, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Midvalley, Ritz, Trolley Square.) (June 23, 2000)

COYOTE UGLY —* 1/2 — Almost entertaining because of its sheer cheesiness, this combination of "Flashdance" and "Cocktail" gets laughs when it's trying to be dramatic and yawns when it's trying to be funny. Bad choice of the idiotically grinning Piper Perabo ("The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle") for the lead role, too. Running time: 94 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, vulgarity, partial nudity). (Carmike 12; Century; Creekside; Gateway; Jordan Commons; Jordan Landing; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Gone in Sixty Seconds"; Ritz; Trolley Square.) (Aug. 4, 2000)

DINOSAUR —** 1/2 — The visuals from Disney's latest, a digitally animated (with live-action backgrounds) prehistoric adventure about the title character, are amazing. But the story's a thin rip-off of "The Land Before Time," and the characters are surprisingly shallow. However, kids will probably eat it up, though some scenes may be too terrifying for really young ones. Running time: 82 minutes. PG (violence). (Plaza 5400.) (May 19, 2000)

DISNEY'S THE KID —* 1/2 — Don't let the title fool you. Instead of a remake of the Charlie Chaplin classic, this is a sappy comedy-fantasy about a self-absorbed image consultant (Bruce Willis), who is visited by his 8-year-old alter-ego (abrasive newcomer Spencer Breslin). Extremely manipulative and unfunny. Running time: 101 minutes. PG (brief violence, mild vulgarity). (Carmike 12, Jordan Landing, Plaza 5400, Ritz, South Towne, Villa.) (July 7, 2000)

ERIN BROCKOVICH — **** — There's a whole new Julia — and that's not just because of the skimpy outfits she wears throughout the film. Roberts is definitely at the top of her game here, and she carries this picture seemingly effortlessly. Just try to leave the movie without feeling invigorated, renewed or just plain good inside. It's not possible. R (profanity, partial nudity). (Sugar House.) (March 17, 2000) — Dainon Moody

FINAL DESTINATION — * — If ever there was a vehicle destined to be shown late at night on the USA Network, "Final Destination" is it. What we have here is a movie trying quite hard to achieve the mystery and allure of "The Sixth Sense," while completely lacking that film's subtlety and falling instead into the land of thinly disguised B-movies. R (profanity, violence, nudity, gore). (Valley Fair.) (March 17, 2000)— Dainon Moody

FREQUENCY —** 1/2 — This fantasy-thriller has a good set-up: Solar flares enable a police officer (Jim Caviezel) to communicate with his long-dead father (Dennis Quaid) by two-way radio. But it bogs down in a bad subplot involving a serial killer and tries to make up for it at the end. Not bad, but it should have been better. Running time: 118 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity). (Cinemas 5, Sandy 9, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (April 28, 2000)

GLADIATOR —*** 1/2 — It might be a notch below such sword-and-sandal greats as "Spartacus," but director Ridley Scott has made a resounding return to form with this dramatic adventure about the title character (Russell Crowe), a once-honored Roman general forced to fight in the arenas while seeking revenge on his former friend (Joaquin Phoenix). Extremely violent, but also thrilling and a real feast for the eyes. Running time: 154 minutes. R (violence, gore, brief nudity, profanity). (Brewvies, must be 21 or older; Jordan Commons; Trolley North.) (May 5, 2000)

GOD'S ARMY — *** — It's of interest mainly to its target audience, LDS moviegoers, but Richard Dutcher's drama about Mormon missionaries in Los Angeles is surprisingly well-made and acted. Admittedly, it does end in a too-conventional "Hollywood" manner, but it's clearly a labor of love for Dutcher and his cast. PG (brief violence, vulgarity, mild profanity). (Avalon, Kaysville, Sandy 9, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (March 10, 2000)

GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS —* 1/2 — You don't go into a Jerry Bruckheimer production expecting Shakespeare, but this remake of the '70s cult film is dumb even by his standards. And Nicolas Cage gives yet another irritatingly quirky performance as a retired car thief who is forced back into the business to aid his younger brother. Not nearly exciting enough. Running time: 119 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, sex, vulgarity, brief partial nudity). (Cottonwood; Jordan Landing; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Coyote Ugly.") (June 9, 2000)

GROOVE — *** — It may not be the most responsible piece of filmmaking, but this smash hit from the 2000 Sundance Film Festival is an invigorating comedy-drama about some of the partygoers at an underground, all-night rave. The fresh-faced cast helps, as does having a soundtrack with a beat you can dance to. Running time: 86 minutes. R (drug use, profanity, brief sex, vulgarity). (Exclusive, Tower.) (Aug. 4, 2000)

HOLLOW MAN —* 1/2 — Some terrific digital effects, but the only purpose they serve in director Paul Verhoeven's latest is giving him an excuse to show naked females and, toward the end, gore. Possibly the summer's biggest disappointment, considering the premise and cast. Running time: 114 minutes. R (violence, profanity, gore, nudity, sex, vulgarity). (Carmike 12; Century; Gateway; Holladay; Jordan Landing; Midvalley; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Scary Movie"; Ritz; South Towne; Trolley Corners.) (Aug. 4, 2000)

KEEPING THE FAITH — ** — Too long for its own good, this romantic comedy is an inauspicious directing debut for Edward Norton, who also stars as a priest squabbling with his best friend, a rabbi (Ben Stiller), for the love of another childhood friend (Jenna Elfman). Too many cheap gags, too. Running time: 129 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, sex, violence, profanity, ethnic slurs, nude drawings). (Sugar House.) (April 14, 2000)

ME, MYSELF & IRENE —** 1/2 — Like its main character, the latest comedy from the Farrelly brothers ("There's Something About Mary") is as mean-spirited and cruel as it is funny and sweet. The real selling point is another over-the-top Jim Carrey performance as a mild-mannered cop with multiple personalities, which both fall for the woman (Renee Zellweger) he's supposed to be escorting. Running time: 116 minutes. R (vulgarity, profanity, violence, nudity, gore, racial epithets). (Midvalley; Redwood, with "X-Men"; South Towne.) (June 23, 2000)

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2 — *** — This sequel to the 1996 smash hit features bigger and better stunts and a much more streamlined storyline. Tom Cruise is a bit aloof in his role as agent Ethan Hunt, who must stop terrorists from unleashing a deadly virus. But co-star Thandie Newton supplies the needed warmth and heat, and the action scenes are spectacular. Running time: 126 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, brief gore). (Brewvies, must be 21 or older; Jordan Commons; Kaysville.) (May 24, 2000)

NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS —* 1/2 — Even-cruder and much-less-funny sequel to the 1996, which again stars executive producer Eddie Murphy in several roles — including that of Professor Sherman Klump and his monstrous alter-ego Buddy Love, who is accidentally freed by a genetic experiment. The concentration this time is on sex jokes, few of which hit the mark consistently. Running time: 110 minutes. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, sex, violence, racial epithets). (Carmike 12; Century; Holladay; Jordan Landing; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Big Momma's House"; Ritz; South Towne; Trolley Corners; Trolley North.) (July 28, 2000)

THE PATRIOT —** 1/2 — Sure, it's "Braveheart in the American Revolution," but director Roland Emmerich's latest tries hard to overcome that and a speech-heavy script. Fortunately, he's enlisted Mel Gibson, who stars as a former war hero who reluctantly joins the struggle against the British Army. Too long and extremely violent, but Gibson and Heath Ledger, who co-stars as his son, are very good. Running time: 157 minutes. R (violence, gore). (Carmike 12, Century, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Midvalley, Trolley North.) (June 28, 2000)

THE PERFECT STORM — ** — Director Wolfgang Petersen can make just about anything exciting, but he can't bail out this all-star dud (featuring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Diane Lane) about New England fishermen and rescue workers contending with one of the most destructive storms in history. Some exciting sequences in the second half, but the first half's a snore. Running time: 130 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity). (Broadway, Carmike 12, Century, Holladay, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Plaza 5400, Ritz.) (June 30, 2000)

POKEMON THE MOVIE 2000 — * 1/2 — It's not as brutally violent as the first "Pokemon" film, but this follow-up is another badly animated piece about Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum and his pals, who must help restore the balance of nature and stop an evil Pokemon collector. Basically an advertisement for the trading cards and toys, and a real endurance test for adults. Running time: 102 minutes. G (animated violence). (Broadway, Carmike 12, Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Plaza 5400, Ritz.) (July 21, 2000)

RETURN TO ME — *** — Character actress Bonnie Hunt doesn't need to steal scenes for a change in this charming romantic comedy (which marks her directorial debut) about a man (David Duchovny) who falls in love with the woman (Minnie Driver) who received his dead wife's heart. PG (profanity, gore). The leads are good, and the supporting cast (which also includes Carroll O'Connor and Robert Loggia) is terrific. (Kaysville, Midvalley.) (April 7, 2000)

THE ROAD TO EL DORADO — *** — This reunion for several former Disney animators and songwriters (including Elton John and Tim Rice) may not be quite up to their usual standards — especially in terms of story and song quality. But Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh have fun voicing 15th-century Spanish conmen searching for the legendary City of Gold. PG (violence, mild profanity, brief nudity). (Sandy 9, Valley Fair.) (March 31, 2000)

ROAD TRIP — * — As if we needed more reason to dislike "American Pie," this lowbrow sex comedy cops most of the same jokes and makes them even less funny. The cast looks too old, too, especially Breckin Meyer, who stars as a student desperate to retrieve an incriminating videotape that was accidentally mailed to his girlfriend. Running time: 97 minutes. R (vulgarity, sex, nudity, violence, drug use, profanity). (Cinemas 5, Sandy 9, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (May 19, 2000)

SCARY MOVIE —* 1/2 — What's really scary about this wildly uneven, off-the-wall spoof of recent horror movies is that the MPAA let it slip by with just an R rating. A handful of guilty laughs at the beginning, but this Zucker brothers-styled comedy becomes so extremely crude it makes the "South Park" movie and "American Pie" look tame by comparison. Running time: 89 minutes. R (vulgarity, violence, nudity, profanity, sex, drug use, gore, racial epithets). (Century; Jordan Landing; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Hollow Man"; Ritz; South Towne.) (July 7, 2000)

SHANGHAI NOON —*** 1/2 — By far the best of Jackie Chan's American film work, this fast-paced comedy-adventure brings him to the Wild West, as he plays a Chinese bodyguard who comes to America to rescue a kidnapped princess (Lucy Liu, from TV's "Ally McBeal"). Great stunts and gags, but Owen Wilson ("Armageddon") steals the show as a gunslinger aiding him. Running time: 110 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity, drug use, vulgarity, racial epithets, brief partial nudity). (Cinemas 5, Kaysville, Sandy 9, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (May 26, 2000)

SMALL TIME CROOKS — *** — Hearkening back to his early, screwball roots, Woody Allen's latest is a surprisingly funny and sweet comedy about the title characters, an ex-con (Allen) and his wife (Tracey Ullman) who scheme to rob a bank. Great gags and performances, and Elaine May steals the show as a ditzy accomplice. Running time: 95 minutes. PG (profanity, nude artwork). (Sandy 9, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (May 19, 2000)

SPACE COWBOYS —** 1/2 — The material begins to fail them, especially toward the end, but veteran actors Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner still have fun as the title characters, four astronaut washouts who get their chance to go into space — so they can repair a malfunctioning satellite that is threatening to crash to Earth. Running time: 123 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, brief nudity, brief vulgarity). (Broadway; Carmike 12; Century; Cottonwood; Gateway; Jordan Commons; Jordan Landing; Midvalley; Redwood, with "The Replacements"; Ritz.) (Aug. 4, 2000)

SUNSHINE —** 1/2 — Its lessons about the importance cultural identity are well-done, but this epic-length drama from acclaimed filmmaker Istvan Szabo (1981's "Mephisto") is much too long, and it keeps driving the same points home in a rather heavy-handed manner. Still, the acting's quite good, especially from Ralph Fiennes (in three different roles) and Rosemary Harris as the members of a Hungarian Jewish family. Running time: 179 minutes. R (sex, violence, profanity, nudity). (Exclusive, Broadway.) (July 28, 2000)

THOMAS AND THE MAGIC RAILROAD — ** — This lethargic, live-action family film, "starring" characters from the children's television series "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends," comes too late to capitalize on the success of the show. And real-life co-stars Mara Wilson and Peter Fonda look uncomfortable and/or embarrassed to be there. Not terrible, but certainly a disappointment. Running time: 85 minutes. G (mild violence). (Jordan Commons, Jordan Landing, Midvalley, Ritz, Trolley North.) (July 26, 2000)

THE TIGGER MOVIE — *** — Not as memorable as the earlier adaptations of A.A. Milne's beloved short stories, but this animated feature is still a charming tale about Tigger's efforts to find out whether he really is the only one of his kind. Good animation, but the real stars are six new songs by longtime Disney songwriters Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, as well as a great message. G (nothing offensive). (Kaysville.) (Feb. 4, 2000)

TITAN A.E. — ** — Well-animated, but dull and derivative, animated science-fiction thriller about the few remaining Earthlings who are scattered throughout space when the planet is destroyed by invaders. Some good voice work (particularly by Matt Damon), but the one-liners fall flat, and there are too many similarities to other sci-fi films. Running time: 95 minutes. PG (violence, gore, brief nudity). (Cinemas 5, Sandy 9, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (June 16, 2000)

TOY STORY 2 — **** — Contrary to popular belief, sometimes sequels can be every bit as good as the original. Case in point: this very funny follow-up to the 1995 smash hit, which again stars Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as the voices of computer-animated characters Woody and Buzz Lightyear, respectively. Not only is the animation light-years better than that in the original, the story is great, as Buzz and the other toys must rescue Woody from a collector who believes he is a valuable action figure. G (slapstick violence, mild vulgarity). (Sandy 9, Valley Fair.) (Nov. 24, 1999)

U-571 — *** — This World War II thriller shouldn't work — the script's full of holes and it conveniently changes historical fact. Yet it's gripping and suspenseful, and stars Matthew McConaughey and Harvey Keitel help bail it out as the crew of a U.S. Navy submarine posing as the crew of a German U-boat. In English and German, with English subtitles. Running time: 118 minutes. PG-13 (violence, profanity). (Kaysville, Sandy 9, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (April 21, 2000)

WHAT LIES BENEATH — ** — Despite its eerie resemblance to "Rear Window," this supernatural thriller from director Robert Zemeckis starts well. But it basically turns into "Fatal Ghostly Attraction," as a husband and wife (Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer) are haunted by the ghost of his former lover. Too many cheap scares for its own good. Running time: 125 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, sex, gore, brief vulgarity). (Broadway; Carmike 12; Century; Cottonwood; Gateway; Jordan Commons; Jordan Landing; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Bless the Child"; Ritz.) (July 21, 2000)

WHERE THE HEART IS — ** — Despite a great supporting cast (which includes Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing and Joan Cusack) and a few bright moments Billie Letts' best-selling novel gets a surprisingly superficial treatment, and Natalie Portman's not believable as a teen who goes on to greater things after giving birth in a department store. Running time: 120 minutes. PG-13 (profanity, violence, vulgarity, brief sex). (Sandy 9, Sugar House.) (April 28, 2000)

X-MEN — *** — Probably the best comic-book-to-film adaptation since the first "Batman" movie, thanks to director Bryan Singer's unique spin on the conflict between the title characters against evil mutants trying to subjugate mankind. Exciting and surprisingly heady, with great performances by Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and newcomer Hugh Jackman. Running time: 103 minutes. PG-13 (violence, partial nudity, vulgarity, brief profanity). (Carmike 12; Century; Creekside; Gateway; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Me, Myself & Irene"; Ritz; South Towne; Trolley Square.) (July 14, 2000)