FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

THE DOCTOR - A surgeon learns the need for more humanity in medical care after being stricken with an ailment and getting a literal taste of his own type of medicine. When it comes to puncturing a male ego inflated by power and privilege, the drama does a slightly more intelligent job than "Regarding Henry," but there's little else to recommend it besides William Hurt's smooth performance. Directed by Randa Haines.(Rated PG-13) THE POPE MUST DIE Moviegoers who found "King Ralph" a laugh riot may enjoy this farce about an ordinary priest who's elevated to the papacy because of confusion caused by an international crime syndicate. Robbie Coltrane is always appropriate for bull-in-the-china-shop comedies like this, and the supporting cast includes Beverly D'Angelo and Herbert Lom, among other talents. Still, the action is more frantic than funny. Directed by Peter Richardson. (Rated R)

YEN FAMILY - This punningly named clan has a yen for money, and measures everything from child-rearing to love in terms of sheer cash value; only the youngest member of the household thinks there's something wrong with such an obsessive attitude. Tojiri Takita, a important figure among Japan's younger generation of filmmakers, directed this clever if over-eager comedy, which pokes fun at middle-class greed in a wide variety of forms. (Not rated)

DOC HOLLYWOOD He's a young hotshot who can't wait to make big money as a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles; but he gets sidetracked in a little town that needs a new doctor and won't let him leave. The comedy has a few clever moments. But the screenplay is thin, and you might feel you're trapped in the theater as firmly as our hero is trapped in the sticks. Directed by Michael Caton-Jones. (Rated PG-13)

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