FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

* EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES - A young woman with extra-large thumbs and a talent for hitchhiking makes her way to an unusual dude ranch where the cowgirls are revolutionaries and the cattle are outnumbered by whooping cranes. Tom Robbins's shapeless but amusing novel becomes shapeless and rather dull in this screen adaptation by Gus Van Sant Jr., who seems more interested in the superficial sexuality of the story than in the deeper resonances of its satirical vision. (Rated R)

* MI VIDA LOCA - ``My Crazy Life'' is the English-language title of this streetwise drama about the women of a Los Angeles barrio, focusing on two female gang-followers who get sexually involved with a drug dealer. Written and directed by Allison Anders, who made a stunning debut with ``Gas Food Lodging'' in 1992, the movie has a boldly complicated structure and a peppery visual style. The characters never fully come alive, though, and parts of the story are too tritely told to generate much interest. (Rated R)

* TRUE LIES - At work, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a government agent who spends his time blowing away international terrorists. At home, he's a family man whose wife has no idea of the dangerous profession he's in, at least until she gets kidnapped by the evil schemers he's chasing. The story has possibilities, and Jamie Lee Curtis's mercurial charm is a good match for Schwarzenegger's by-the-numbers acting style. Unfortunately, the filmmakers treat human relationships as annoying digressions from the killings and explosions that preoccupy their scandalously limited imaginations. The result is 135 minutes of bombastic action that demolishes human values while glorifying might, muscle, and militarism. Written and directed by James Cameron, whose giant-sized budget pays surprisingly low dividends except during a nifty jet-plane scene just before the end. (Rated R)

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