FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

* GREEDY - No movie that begins with Jimmy Durante singing ``Inka Dinka Doo'' can be all bad, but this silly comedy goes mostly downhill after its nostalgic opening-credits sequence. The plot revolves around a rich old codger who's dogged by a platoon of money-sniffers hoping to inherit his wealth: several toadying relatives, a beautiful nurse, and an idealistic young nephew with slightly more principles than the others in his family. The screenplay by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel has a few funny lines, especially in the first half, and director Jonathan Lynn spices the action with some clever sight gags. The story is wildly inconsistent, though, and the pace isn't snappy enough to skim across the gaping holes in its logic, or to make the wish-fulfillment finale even remotely believable. Kirk Douglas is in fine shape as the codger, outshining Michael J. Fox and Nancy Travis in the other leading roles. The good supporting cast includes veterans Kevin McCarthy and Austin Pendleton in roles too small for their talents. (Rated PG-13)

* SUGAR HILL - This ambitious drama of inner-city life focuses on two African-American brothers who control a lucrative drug-dealing business; after years of close partnership in their personal and professional affairs, they enter a complex new relationship when one of them decides to leave criminality behind and settle down to a respectable life with a woman he loves. The picture has moments of raw emotional power, but these are overshadowed by lapses into needless vulgarity and sadistic violence, especially in a repulsive scene that lingers on the vicious brutalization of a helpless woman. The film's best quality is its vivid cinematography, done by Bojan Bazelli with his usual flair for the gritty poetics of urban life. Leon Ichaso directed from Barry Michael Cooper's screenplay. Wesley Snipes heads the uneven cast. (Rated R)

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