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ppp Energetic, well-crafted, intense.Skip to next paragraph
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FROM THE JOURNALS OF JEAN SEBERG (Not rated)
ssss The life and career of actress Jean Seberg, from her debut as a 17-year-old star to her untimely death after many unsuccessful movies and harassment by the FBI for her left-wing political involvements. Mary Beth Hurt provides commentary as Seberg's on-screen alter ego, but the picture's real excitement comes from filmmaker Mark Rappaport's ingenious juxtapositions of clips and stills from relevant movies. S N P V
HAPPY GILMORE (PG-13)
ss He's an athlete with a temper too hot for the hockey rink, and when he switches his sport to golf, the country-club set has no idea how to handle him. Adam Sandler is funny as the volatile hero, and the screenplay is just abrasive enough to keep the story surprising. Dennis Dugan directed. P V N S
THE JUROR (R)
ss Chosen for the jury in a mobster's murder trial, a woman fights for her son's life after he's kidnapped by a psychotic crook who wants a not-guilty verdict for his boss. Everybody betrays everybody in this twisty-turny thriller, basically just another Hollywood exercise in tormenting female characters so audiences will cheer the vengeful finale. Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin cook up an effective mix of chemistry and tension. Contains sex and violence. S V N P
p Superficial, dumb, one big yawn.
MARY REILLY (R)
s Find out how Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde looked to one of their servants, a quiet young woman who's endured various kinds of abuse before coming into her strange new job. Philippe Rousselot's carefully shaded cinematography looks great, but the screenplay is pretentious and there's little to applaud in the top-heavy acting by John Malkovich and Julia Roberts. Contains explicit violence and other distasteful material. V P S
MR. WRONG (PG-13)
s Ellen DeGeneres thinks he's Mr. Right until she learns his poetry stinks, his money is inherited, and his idea of a good time is shoplifting from the corner store. Mighty thin stuff despite the contributions of Joan Cusack and Dean Stockwell. Directed by Nick Castle. V P
pp Sad, corny, comic nightmare.
MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND
ssss Robert Louis Stevenson's century-old classic about a young boy's coming of age will never be the same. Kermit the frog replaces Errol Flynn as swashbuckling buccaneer. Miss Piggy replaces, well, Miss Piggy is too original to be compared to anyone. Ratso the rat runs a Carribbean cruise business on the side selling tickets to "ugly American" rats on a 19th-century sailing ship. Great for the whole family. By Jim Bencivenga
pppp Rib-tickling, adventurous, clever.
THE NEON BIBLE (Not rated)
sss A young Southern boy copes with challenges posed by his irresponsible father, his lonely mother, and an exotic aunt who comes to live with them. Based on John Kennedy Toole's sensitively written novel, Terence Davies's film is less a compelling story than an impressionistic journey through a troubled teenager's inner life. While earlier Davies films use gliding camera movements to evoke a sort of visual music, this one uses exquisitely framed images to create a more painterly effect. Gena Rowlands, newcomer Jacob Tierney, and Diana Scarwid lead the fine cast. V
SONIC OUTLAWS (Not rated)
ssss Craig Baldwin's wildly inventive documentary tells the complicated tale of an artists' collective called Negativland. It released a record album containing "sampled" music from the rock group U2, and fought a resulting lawsuit by asserting that letters like U and numerals like 2 are public property - and so is the music of a band that sends its products into the marketplace for everyone to hear. Full of music, spectacle, and ideas, the movie is both an informative study and an excellent example of cut-and-mix culture. P N