FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

* AIRHEADS - Desperate for fame, a rock band invades a radio station and demands airplay for its one and only demo song, eliciting rage from the cops and adulation from zillions of teenagers. This movie is the cinematic equivalent of a boom-box blaring bad disco songs under your window at 3 a.m. A handful of capable performers, including Steve Buscemi and Joe Mantegna, try to make their talents felt above the din, but the odds are against them all the way. Directed by Michael Lehmann from Rich Wilkes's soggy, cynical screenplay. (Rated PG-13)

* THE LITTLE RASCALS - The boys all belong to the He-Man Womun Haters Club, but Alfalfa gets kicked out after he loses his heart to Darla and starts talking like a New Age wimp. If you thought Hollywood had a shred of originality left in its corporate bones, this vaguely updated remake of the ``Our Gang'' comedies should disabuse you of the notion. It's less a tribute than an act of larceny, trying frantically to duplicate the look and feel of the original two-reelers, but never rising above the level of tepid imitation. Its only real asset is the spunky young cast, including a new Alfalfa and Darla who uncannily resemble their '30s prototypes. Also on hand is an amusing cameo by Mel Brooks, pointless walk-ons by Whoopi Goldberg and other familiar faces, and additional gimmicks that don't quite work. Directed by comedy specialist Penelope Spheeris from an occasionally coarse screenplay she wrote with Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur. (Rated PG) * THE MASK - A mild-mannered bank clerk discovers an exotic mask that turns him into a live-action cartoon character. Jim Carrey has much energy but no depth, the screenplay has many jokes but few laughs, the effects are technically clever but nasty and overbearing. As is the whole vulgar enterprise. Charles Russell directed Mike Webb's screenplay, based on a comic-book story. (Rated PG-13)

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