FREEZE FRAMES

CLUB PARADISE -- The unchanneled energy of Robin Williams can't redeem this messy yarn about a burned-out Chicago firefighter who decides he'd rather run a scruffy hotel on an island in the sun. Jimmy Cliff gives a likable performance, though, as a singer who longs to do rebellious reggae instead of the paltry pop tunes his audience expects. Directed by comedy specialist Harold Ramis, with more enthusiasm than taste or coherence. (Rated PG-13) KARL MAY -- Once again, West German filmmaker Hans-J"urgen Syberberg takes a long, contemplative look at Germany's social and cultural roots. This time he focuses on the German author Karl May, who earned enormous fame and influence writing pulp fiction, including action-filled yarns about the American ``Wild West'' with titles like ``Canada Bill'' and characters like Inchoo-Choona, the Apache chief. With much irony, Syberberg sees him as ``the last great German mystic in the land of dying legends'' and an embodiment of his country's ``irrealism and romanticism,'' especially as May was something of a fraud and a dreamer in his private life. This film is the centerpiece of a trilogy that includes the insufferable ``Ludwig, Requiem for a Virgin King'' and the monumental ``Our Hitler -- A Film From Germany,'' but it's more conventional than those works, portraying May and his world through traditional scenes as well as the wordy dissertations and roving camera journeys that are Syberberg's trademark. (Not rated)

PSYCHO III -- This is a loony-tune variation on Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller, with more sex and gore than the suspense-master ever needed to make his point. Anthony Perkins returns as the batty motel-keeper, who's mixed up this time with a neurotic nun. Perkins also makes his directing debut, borrowing from a number of Hitchcock pictures, but not managing to control the delirious self-satire he grafts onto the action. (Rated R)

RAW DEAL -- Arnold Schwarzenegger lumbers through another role in the pleasantly Neanderthal style that's his trademark. This time he's a discredited cop who kills about a million people to show he has ``what it takes'' to fight crime. There are some welcome comic touches in the screenplay, but the violence is inexcusable. Directed by John Irvin. (Rated R)

RUNNING SCARED -- While wiping out a murderous drug ring, two cops try to decide whether they should keep cleaning up Chicago or retire to an easy life in the Florida sunshine. There are some funny lines and situations among the bursts of nasty violence, but the plot doesn't always make sense. More seriously, the pairing of black Gregory Hines and white Billy Crystal doesn't take the edge off racist overtones in the screenplay. Directed by Peter Hyams, who also did the cinematography. (Rated R)

UNDER THE CHERRY MOON -- Way, way under. There's hardly a speck of fun or human interest in this wobbly romance about a young man wooing a wealthy woman in the south of France, with a little help from his friend. Directed by the rock star Prince, who also plays the leading role, and photographed in radiant black-and-white by the brilliant Michael Ballhaus, whose camera work rises magically above the dopiness of the project. (Rated PG-13) RATINGS: Films with ratings other than G may contain varying degrees of vulgar language, nudity, sex, and violence.

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