FREEZE FRAMES

THE COLOR OF MONEY -- Martin Scorsese follows the pitch-black wit of ``After Hours'' with this belated sequel to Robert Rossen's 1961 drama ``The Hustler,'' and Paul Newman reprises his portrayal of an ambitious pool shark. Since years have passed and ``Fast Eddie'' feels he's over the hill by now, he recruits a youngster to do the actual hustling and tries to content himself with coaching and cajoling. Still, he can't help wondering what would happen if he picked up a cue. Newman is in excellent form, and Tom Cruise is persuasive as the big-mouthed kid he plays Pygmalion to. The milieu is sleazy, and the language is sometimes foul, but the focus of the movie is the need for growth on both sides of the generation gap. Michael Ballhaus's camera work is vigorous, and there's an pulsing rock score by Robbie Robertson. (Rated R) A COMPOSER'S NOTES -- ``Philip Glass and the Making of an Opera'' is the subtitle of this documentary, which offers a portrait of the artist as a nice guy. Glass wittily explains his ``minimalist'' music and narrates a behind-the-scenes look at productions of his opera ``Akhnaten'' on two continents. The settings range from Texas to Egypt, but Glass looks most at home scrunched into a seat on the New York subway, clearly in tune with the urban rhythms all around him. Directed by Michael Blackwood. (Not rated) DEADLY FRIEND -- Deadly movie, too. A brainy young man plants a computer chip in his next-door neighbor's cranium and comes up with a bionic murderer. Directed by shock specialist Wes Craven, who inserts a few effective touches but blows everything with a last scene that's too stupid for even this kind of movie. (Rated R) POLICE -- This energetically filmed drama is Maurice Pialat's best picture in years and contains what might be Gerard Depardieu's best performance. He plays a burly French cop who gets too involved with a gangster's girlfriend while trying to pin a drug rap on him. The supporting players are as strong as the star, and the atmosphere is gritty and streetwise, except for a stretch in the second half where the hero's sexual urges bog down the action. (Rated R) JUMPIN' JACK FLASH -- A bank employee falls in long-distance love with a spy who's tapping into her computer and sending urgent calls for help. Whoopi Goldberg brings a terrific, low-key intelligence to the main role. Still, the movie falls apart at the halfway mark, when stupid farce and chase scenes take over. Directed by actress Penny Marshall in her filmmaking debut. (Rated R) EMPTY QUARTER -- While traveling in Africa, a man invites a young woman to share his hotel room and becomes obsessed with her. In an unusual move, French director Raymond Depardon never shows us the man who narrates the film and is one of its two main characters. This device makes for a bit of awkwardness at times, but it suits the mysterious tone of the long, moody shots that give the picture its starkly exotic atmosphere. A true original, although not for everyone. (Not rated) RATINGS: Films with ratings other than G may contain varying degrees of vulgar language, nudity, sex, and violence.

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