'Electric Dreams': tired holdover of a movie

''Electric Dreams'' tries to be as up to the minute as the latest rock video. But it looks more like a tired holdover from the ''psychedelic'' 1960s, another time when frantic visual effects were all the rage, and people rarely stopped to wonder what the point was.

The hero is a mild-mannered architect who buys a computer, which competes with him for the heart of the attractive cellist in the next apartment. Except for a few sight gags near the beginning, there's hardly an honest laugh in the picture. What keeps it moving, after a fashion, are the nonstop shenanigans of the camera, which rolls and swoops and glides every which way, in time to mostly awful pop music.

There has been some positive critical response to ''Electric Dreams'' on the ground that visuals are the essence of cinema and snazzy ones should be welcomed even when they lack any semblance of logic. I'll go so far as to say that director Steve Barron - a veteran maker of rock videos - has obvious energy and ambition and that he may do something impressive when he learns to harness those qualities and finds a halfway decent script.

As for ''Electric Dreams,'' though, mere movement does not a movie make. And if the screenwriters of Hollywood can't invent more clever high-tech stories than this and its comedy cousin, ''Best Defense,'' here's hoping the next fad comes along very soon.

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