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The hero is a former child actor who now represents other not-so-talented kids as an agent. Business is bad, but his future will be secure if the 10-year-old he's just discovered can land a job as TV-commercial star for a giant cookie company. Trouble is, she's as naughty as she is gifted, and her penchant for petty crime threatens to land her in the slammer instead of the spotlight. Some dull stretches and a sentimental ending aside, this is the funniest TV-inspired comedy since "Soapdish," with likable

performances by Michael J. Fox and newcomer Christina Vidal, plus a gaggle of young supporting players with terrific flair for portraying stage-struck children who have no flair at all. Directed by James Lapine, best known for his work in the New York theater, from Marc Lawrence's screenplay. Alan Menken, the able composer of "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast," wrote the music. (Rated PG) * ROMPER STOMPER

The awful adventures of a neo-Nazi skinhead gang in an Australian city, as seen through the eyes of a sexually abused teenager who becomes the leader's girlfriend. The appalling violence of the main characters, inflicted first on Asian immigrants and later on the heroine's dysfunctional father, goes far beyond the once-notorious excesses of "A Clockwork Orange," which clearly influenced some aspects of the movie; the sex is rough, as well. The horrors have a serious message to convey, however, suggesting

that prejudice and xenophobia can quickly become hatred and mayhem when not confronted by a society alert to the insidious dangers of bigotry in all its forms. Written and directed by newcomer Geoffrey Wright, and winner of three Australian Film Institute awards including a best-actor prize for Russell Crowe as the chief skinhead. (Rated NC-17)

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