FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

AY, CARMELA! - A traveling entertainment team fends off danger and intrigue while plying its trade during the Spanish Civil War. Carmen Maura tries to give a zesty performance, but it doesn't get very far in Carlos Saura's weak comedy-drama. (Not rated)

L.A. STORY - Remember when ``Annie Hall'' shifted to Los Angeles, and Woody Allen fired off a barrage of biting California gags? That's what this whole movie is like, with Steve Martin as a TV meteorologist caught between two women: a visiting British journalist and a ditzy ``new age'' Valley Girl. The comedy has dull and vulgar spots, but it does a good job of mixing fantasy and romance. Mick Jackson directed from Martin's screenplay. (Rated PG-13)

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY - After escaping from her psychotic husband, a battered wife starts a new life but dreads the possibility that he'll catch up with her. Joseph Ruben's sharply filmed melodrama is almost a remake of his excellent thriller ``The Stepfather,'' only told from the victim's point of view. It focuses needed attention on the horror of domestic violence, and centers the action on a refreshingly strong female character. Its similarities to ``The Stepfather'' take the edge off the suspense, though, and the story is resolved through a sadly unimaginative burst of violence. (Rated R)

THE THIRD ANIMATION CELEBRATION - A cartoon anthology, generally uneven but reaching memorable high points in several ``Dr. Janice'' episodes by D.K. Brown and a surreal fantasy by the great Czech animator Jan Svankmajer. Produced by Terry Thoren. (Not rated)

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