THE ABYSS - Cleaning up a nuclear-submarine accident, husband-and-wife oil workers have an adventure with underwater extraterrestrials, and this helps save their marriage. The movie is big, expensive, and violent, like most would-be blockbusters. It's also unoriginal: The aliens look like Steven Spielberg puppets, and the climax is lifted from ``2001: A Space Odyssey,'' among other sources. James Cameron wrote and directed the soggy epic, which turns a few promising ideas into close encounters of the wet kind. (Rated PG-13) DISTANT VOICES/STILL LIVES - Full of loving details and revealing insights, this drama chronicles the bittersweet experiences of a working-class family in Liverpool, England, during the 1940s and '50s. Written and directed by Terence Davies, who based it on his own memories, it's a movie of astonishing power and bold originality, marked by poignant humor and a stream of transcendent song that tempers the frequent harshness of the story. (Not rated)

THE MAGIC TOYSHOP - A children's story for adults about a teen-age girl who loses her parents and moves in with a sinister uncle, who tyrannizes his family and never lets a child touch the toys he makes in his workshop. Concerned with emotional and sexual coming-of-age, this Freudian fantasy has more dreams, visions, and epiphanies than a dozen psychoanalytic sessions. It's also stunningly filmed. David Wheatley directed, from Angela Carter's screenplay. (Not rated)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today