FREEZE FRAMES

BULL DURHAM - The scruffy world of minor-league baseball is the setting for this comedy-drama about an aging catcher who's given the thankless job of seasoning a talented but apparently brainless rookie. Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins play off each other skillfully as the jocks, and Susan Sarandon has a goofy authority as an oversexed fan who loves them both. As written and directed by Ron Shelton, the story is ragged at times, and the occasional sex is almost as explicit as the language in the locker room. Still, audiences who don't mind the rough spots will find this a good opener for what's expected to be a long season of baseball movies. (Rated R) `CROCODILE' DUNDEE II - This time the Australian outdoorsman is chased by South American drug dealers. He plays cat-and-mouse with them in Manhattan, and then everyone goes Down Under, where the same things happen again with a different background. Paul Hogan is fun to watch, and there are a few mild laughs. But the story takes place in slow motion; the movie would be a half-hour shorter if director John Cornell cut out the sleepy pauses between bursts of action. (Rated PG) POLTERGEIST III - Once again, restless spooks menace cute little Carol Anne, who's in Chicago now and surrounded by a different group of family members. This series has definitely played itself out; there's nothing here but tepid thrills and tedious waiting periods between them. Directed by Gary Sherman. (Rated PG-13) THE PRESIDIO - A policeman falls in love with a soldier's daughter while the two men solve a murder case. The story has a primitive kind of interest, but the film is clumsily written, flatly acted by everyone except Sean Connery, and carelessly made. Peter Hymans directed and photographed it. (Rated R) RAMBO III - Unaware of what's happened in the real-life headlines lately, our hero goes to Afghanistan to rescue an American prisoner and teach the Soviets a lesson. As foolish as it was, the original ``First Blood'' brought attention to an important issue, the mistreatment of Vietnam veterans. But this sequel, like the reprehensible ``Rambo: First Blood Part II,'' only inflames cold-war hatreds and encourages a barbaric us-against-them mentality. Peter MacDonald directed this monstrosity, which reportedly cost a whopping $55 million to make, from a screenplay co-written by star Sylvester Stallone. (Rated R) A WORLD APART - Deeply committed to the fight against apartheid, a white South African struggles to serve her cause without ignoring the needs of her teen-age daughter. The movie is at once a searing political story and a poignant drama of family life. In his first film as a director, veteran cinematographer Chris Menges gives the action a powerful emotional charge, and the cast is superb. The story would be more incisive if it weren't told almost entirely from a white point of view, and only a resonant last shot saves the finale from patronizing implications. But considering how tentative Hollywood has been in tackling the South African situation, this British production marks a major step in the direction of forthright and unambiguous treatment. (Rated PG)

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