Why a good film takes more than high ambitions; 'Home Movies', Starring Kirk Douglas, Vincent Gardenia, Nancy Allen. Directed by Brian de Palma.

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This is adetour in de Palma's career, and a rocky and sometimes offensive one at that. But it self-indulgent or call it "personally meaningful," it's surely the only one of its kind. There are stupid moments, funny moments, and ugly moments.

Whatever one may think of Brian de Palma's movies, it's hard to deny their technical expertise. Even the nastiest moments of such pictures as "Carrie" and "The Fury" were strongly filmed, and his ingenuity in "Obsession" was enough to make one gasp. That's why it's such a surprise that de Palma's lates film actually looks like the "home movies" of the title.

In the new "Home Movies," he aims his barbs at such broad targets as the "human-potential movement," sexism, and the American middle-class family. The plot focuses on a young man who tries to improve his life through "star ther- apy" -- wherein you make movies about yourself, always being certain you have the starring role.

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