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Freeze Frames

The Monitor Movie Guide

(Page 3 of 5)



uuu A young black man fights terrible battles in Vietnam, returns to a miserable life in the South Bronx, and succumbs to the temptation of a high-stakes robbery that could make his family more comfortable. Much of the film plays like a standard inner-city melodrama in the vein of ''Menace II Society,'' the previous Hughes Brothers picture. What lends special interest is its provocative insistence on probing the links between urban violence and military indoctrination. S V P

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FATHER OF THE BRIDE PART II (PG)

uu He married his daughter off in the previous movie, and now she's pregnant. So is his wife, and our hero is in a perpetual tizzy over the comic complications that spring up. This feature-length sitcom episode is handsomely filmed, but not as funny as you'd hope with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton in leading roles, and some of the humor has a nasty edge. Charles Shyer directed. P

uuu Sweet, light, unsurprising.

FRANKIE STARLIGHT (R)

uu The memoirs of an Irish dwarf with a troubled family history, told in flashback as he experiences the challenge of becoming a popular author who fits few of the public's expectations. Directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the picture is often sentimental but rarely slides into real tear-jerker territory. Anne Parillaud, Matt Dillon, and Gabriel Byrne give likable performances, and newcomer Corban Walker steals the movie as the astronomy-loving title character. S N V P

GEORGIA (R)

uuuu Jennifer Jason Leigh gives the performance of a lifetime as a deeply troubled rock singer who moves in with her sister, a country-music star who's achieved success at the expense of strained family relations. Directed by Ulu Grosbard, who has never done a better job of filling the screen with superb acting, and shows great ingenuity at interweaving music with other aspects of the story. Barbara Turner wrote the sensitive screenplay. Contains graphic portrayals of substance abuse and other unsavory material. S V P N

GET SHORTY (R)

uu A mob money-collector flies into Hollywood on the trail of a client who's absconded with a bagful of cash. There he meets a Grade Z producer with Grade A ambitions, an actress with similar credentials, and a Major Star who wants to learn gangster-speak by hanging around with our hero. John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, and Danny DeVito give appealing perform- ances, but director Barry Sonnenfeld has reduced the bite of Elmore Leonard's novel, making this more a smart-alecky trifle than the wicked Tinseltown satire it might have been. V P S

uuu Wry, satirical, wacky but violent.

GOLDENEYE (PG-13)

uuu Bond is back, and he's better than ever. Pierce Brosnan plays OO7 - the secret agent with a proper smirk, some great lines, a to-die-for car, a beautiful woman, a wicked woman, and a couple of nasty bad guys. Bond is still a ''sexist misogynist dinosaur,'' but Brosnan makes him irresistible fun. A few editing flaws and a scene of one-on-one combat that goes on too long can't keep ''Goldeneye'' from being highly entertaining. By Carol Hartman S V P N

uuuu Explosive, zany, Bondescent.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

uuu When 30-something Claudia goes home for Thanksgiving, she takes us along on a disjointed but often hilarious ride through family and Americana. The film has several warm and insightful moments, but it highlights family dysfunction and issues surrounding a homosexual marriage. Holly Hunter, Ann Bancroft, and Robert Downey Jr. give strong performances. By Terri Theiss P

uu Empathetic, touching, adolescent.

THE JOURNEY OF AUGUST KING (PG-13)

uu A white mountain man helps a runaway slave escape her cruel master. The story is filmed with picturesque skill by director John Duigan, but it would seem more powerful and authentic if it paid due attention to the brave woman at the heart of the adventure, instead of following Hollywood convention and letting her white friend grab the limelight. Jason Patric and Thandie Newton star. Narrated by poet Maya Angelou. V P S