short takes

Caddyshack is an overblown TV show that has somehow wandered onto the big screen. The stars -- Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Ted Knight, Rodney Dangerfield, et al. -- come complete with their patented television personalities, thus assuring us that there will be absolutely no surprises. As is usual in ventures like this, foul language and visual vulgarities are included, presumably to remind us that we are at the movies, and not watching the tube in our living rooms. There are a number of sunny and funny moments, but the overall effect is tinny and trivial.

* A while back, Walt Disney Productions released a major movie called The Watcher in the Woods, with Bette Davis and Lynn-Holly Johnson in the leading roles. But nobody -- including the studio itself -- seemed satisfied with the picture, about a young girl who stumbles on a mysterious secret. So it was promptly yanked from the screen, and a new ending is being prepared. Into the breach has flown "Mary Poppins," a perennial favorite with oldsters as well as their children. The box-office figures are good, indicating that neither "Mary" nor her stars -- Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews -- have lost their appeal since 1964.For many viewers, this 16-year-old musical has been one of the bright spots in the current season.

* The Blue Lagoon continues to do well at the box office, despite its tedious story and wooden performances. Billed as a story of "natural love," it tells of two youngsters who discover sexuality while stranded on a tropical island. Among other things, the picture posits that two children, separated from society at an early age, will grow up to look and talk exactly like California teenagers. A shallow and sometimes offensive film, only partly redeemed by superb cinematography from Nestor Almendros.

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