A weekly update of film releases


During the upheavals of China's notorious cultural revolution, a 13-year-old boy is charged with subversive tendencies and sent to a labor camp in the mountains, where he faces various challenges and interacts with types of people he's never known before. Directed in France by Chinese filmmaker Dai Sijie, the film has absorbing moments but rarely seems tough-minded enough to do justice to its disturbing subject. Also known by its French title, "Chine, ma douleur." (Not rated) * GUNCRAZY

A high-school girl falls in love with a prison-bound pen pal, and when he's paroled they embark on a bloody crime-and-killing spree in the Bonnie and Clyde tradition. This deliberately tacky melodrama is more "inspired by" than "based on" the 1949 classic "Gun Crazy," substituting lowdown humor and the self-conscious sultriness of Drew Barrymore for the visual brilliance of the earlier film. One wonders why so many of today's young filmmakers keep trying to outdo their betters instead of dreaming up thei r own B-thriller ideas. Directed by Tamra Davis. (Rated R) * MALCOLM X - Not the Spike Lee bio-pic but a reissue of a respected mid-1970s documentary about the great African-American leader, telling his story in vivid and compelling terms. Produced by Marvin Worth and Arnold Perl with the cooperation of Malcolm X's widow, Betty Shabazz. (Rated PG)

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