FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

BORN YESTERDAY

A sleazy millionaire visits Washington to pay off some politicians and hires a handsome young tutor to coach his air-headed girlfriend so she won't embarrass him in public. Guess who turns out not to be so air-headed, and guess who falls in love with her? John Goodman has some marvelous moments as the sleaze of the story, which was directed by Luis Mandoki, but the comedy isn't as quick or quirky as it ought to be. Stick with the original version, filmed by George Cukor in 1950 and still a classic. (Rated PG)

POINT OF NO RETURN

A vicious young criminal is spirited away by the US government and trained to be a cold-blooded assassin. This remake of the French thriller "La Femme Nikita" is as slick and heartless as the original; the story has a few possibilies for irony and political commentary, but the filmmakers bury them in the general atmosphere of violence and manipulation. A few scenes are effective on their own terms, though, and Bridget Fonda does as much with her role as the heavy-handed screenplay allows. Directed by John Badham. (Rated R)

MANUFACTURING CONSENT: NOAM CHOMSKY AND THE MEDIA

This entertaining documentary is a roller-coaster ride through the social and political theories of Noam Chomsky, whose fascinating career has combined brilliance in the field of linguistics with unflinching activism on behalf of radical political ideas. You don't have to agree with all of Chomsky's notions to share his suspicion that the media shape the news as much as they report it, or to agree that traditional categories of right-wing and left-wing politics have outlived their usefulness. The movie often substitutes mere cleverness for in-depth exploration of Chomsky's ideas, however. Directed by Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick. (Not rated)

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