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FREEZE FRAMES

The Monitor Movie Guide

By Staff panel and David Sterritt / November 3, 1995



Movies containing violence (V), sexual situations (S), nudity (N), and profanity (P) are noted. Ratings and comments by the panel (blue stars) reflect the sometimes diverse views of at least three Monitor staffers. Look for more guidance in our full reviews.

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NOVVEMBER 3, 1995

EVALUATION SYMBOLS

David Sterritt Staff Panel Meaning

O\ O\ Forget it

u u Only if it's free

uu uu Maybe a matinee

uuu uuu Wait in line

uuuu uuuu See it twice

New Releases

A BUSINESS AFFAIR (Not rated)

uu Comedy-drama about an aspiring writer caught between her egotistical husband, who's an established author, and a self-important publisher who wants to steal her away from him. Carole Bouquet is an attractive heroine, and it's fun watching actors as talented as Christopher Walken and Jonathan Pryce compete for attention. Charlotte Brandstrom's directing rarely shines, though, and the jokes are more pretentious than amusing. N V P

THE KINGDOM (Not rated)

uuu Pitch-dark comedy about strange doings in a Copenhagen hospital that's full of ultramodern technology, but can't escape the spell of spirits and phantasms that haunt the ancient ground it's built on. Directed by the adventurous Lars von Trier, and first shown as a Danish television miniseries in the ''Twin Peaks'' vein. S V P

NOBODY LOVES ME (Not rated)

uu And few will love this picture very much, although there are some lively moments near the beginning. The meandering story centers on an almost-30 woman who cultivates unlikely interests as a way of meeting new people and looking for romance. Directed by German filmmaker Doris Dorrie. S V N P

THE NOVEMBER MEN (Not rated)

uuu A filmmaker plans a movie about an attempt on President Bush's life, but his project may be a smoke screen for an actual assassination plot. This uneven but provocative picture was directed by the feisty Paul Williams, whose guerrilla-like filmmaking has enabled him to incorporate actual Bush footage into his fictional story. V P

Currently in Release

ACROSS THE SEA OF TIME (G)

uuu Made in the IMAX 3D process, this nostalgic little drama centers on an immigrant boy who wanders the streets of New York City looking for a long-lost relative's home, guided by old photos and the words of an ancestor who made a similar voyage many years earlier. The story is sappy, and the portrait of New York is hopelessly romantic. The views of Manhattan are positively breathtaking, though, making this a strong candidate for best IMAX movie ever made.

ASSASSINS (R)

u Two hit men try to rub each other out while feuding over a woman who peddles industrial secrets. It's all very slick and action-packed, but there's not an original moment to be seen or heard. Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, and Julianne Moore play the leads. Richard Donner directed. V P

u Improbable, tiring, meaningless.

BABE (G)

uuu He's a pig who longs to be a sheepdog, to the consternation of his barnyard friends and the confusion of the humans who own him. The movie is at times raucous, but its spirits couldn't be higher, and the tale teaches a good-natured lesson about why cooperation is better than coercion. Best of all is the very funny climax, which should have grownups brushing away happy tears along with their kids. Directed by Chris Noonan.

uuu Hilarious, delightful, appealing to adults.

BLUE IN THE FACE (R)

uuu Harvey Keitel reprises the role he played in ''Smoke,'' a friendly cigar-store clerk whose modest establishment serves as a meeting place for various denizens of his racially mixed Brooklyn neighborhood. This time all the scenes are improvised around brief scenarios written by Paul Auster, who directed the movie in partnership with Wayne Wang. The results are ragged, disjointed, and endearing. Other cast members include Giancarlo Esposito, Jim Jarmusch, Madonna, and Roseanne. P S N