A weekly update of film releases

* BOUND BY HONOR - The adventures of a young Chicano man whose light-skinned complexion and half-Anglo lineage make him a semi-outsider among Latino friends, neighbors, and gang members by whom he desperately wants to be accepted. Other characters include his cousins, a poor but talented artist, and a gang warrior who becomes a narcotics cop. Filmed partly in the San Quentin penitentiary, the movie strives for drama, authenticity, and epic scale, but the screenplay is riddled with ghetto-film cliches and c lumsy dialogue. Although an energetic cast tries to inject the story with some degree of factual and emotional credibility, the odds are against them and the decision to let the picture run nearly three hours was disastrous. The film contains some ferocious sex and violence, as well. Directed by Taylor Hackford, who fared much better with "La Bamba," his previous movie on a Hispanic theme. Jimmy Santiago Baca, Jeremy Iacone, and Floyd Mutrux wrote the uneven screenplay. (Rated R) * THE NIGHT WE NEVER MET - Three young strangers make an arrangement to share a Manhattan apartment by using it on different nights of the week, and confusion reigns when their sight-unseen relationship falls prey to mistaken identity and romantic misunderstandings. Comedies like this need to be light and fluffy, with the puzzle-pieces falling easily and whimsically into place. But here, watching the filmmakers set up the situation is like watching someone build a table, one laborious hammer-blow at a time.

It's not much fun to see such gifted performers as Matthew Broderick and Annabella Sciorra wrestle so valiantly with such weak material. No help comes from Kevin Anderson's overcooked acting in the obnoxious-roommate role. Directed by newcomer Warren Leight from his own screenplay. (Rated R)

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