FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

* MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY - Woody Allen and Diane Keaton get together for the first time since "Annie Hall" in this lightweight comedy about a bored middle-class couple who find themselves sniffing out the killer of a kindly old lady who lived down the hall in their apartment building. They still have a lot of on-screen chemistry, but the picture as a whole displays Allen's abilities at both their strongest and weakest. On the upside, the action is consistently quick and breezy, and New York City looks te rrific through the loving lens of Carlo DiPalma's camera. On the downside, the jokes are more bemusing than hilarious, earning smiles rather than full-fledged laughs despite the efforts of the energetic cast. Also unfortunate is a nastiness toward women that creeps into some of the gags. There's at least one scene of classic brilliance, though, involving five tape recorders and a telephone; and the stars get solid support from Alan Alda as the couple's best friend and Anjelica Huston as a poker-playing nove list. Allen directed the picture, and wrote the screenplay with his old-time collaborator Marshall Brickman. (Rated PG)

* EL CID - The restoration and re-release of this 1961 epic is sponsored by Miramax Films in partnership with Martin Scorsese, who is not only today's foremost American filmmaker but also an untiring supporter of movies from the past. Starring the square-jawed Charlton Heston as an 11th-century Spanish hero, the picture has handsome camera work and a keen sense of architecture to compensate for its sprawling narrative and uneven performances. It also shows a little-appreciated side of director Anthony Mann , who's better known for his psychologically intense James Stewart westerns. While it's no classic, it's a solid example of a currently unfashionable style. (Not rated)

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