A weekly update of film releases


Reissue of Stanley Kubrick's first feature, made in 1953 and hardly shown since its original release. With its allegorical story of four soldiers caught in enemy territory during an unnamed war, the movie anticipates the concerns with violence and morality that surge through such later Kubrick pictures as ``Dr. Strangelove'' and ``Full Metal Jacket.'' At times his keen photographic sense shines forth, but the performances are awful, and Howard Sackler's screenplay is as ponderous as its title. (Not rated)

* IRON WILL - The hero is a South Dakota lad who enters a Canadian dog-sled competition to earn money for college after his father's untimely death. The race leads him to unexpected involvements with an aggressive journalist who cares more about a good story than the people he writes about, and a bunch of ruthless competitors who know a lot more about on-the-run survival than our hero does. The story is shamelessly corny, and grown-ups will groan at its cliches. It's vividly filmed and energetically acted, though, so youngsters new to outdoor-adventure movies should find it tremendously exciting. Mackenzie Astin heads the likable cast, which includes a large number of great-looking sled dogs. Charles Haid directed.

(Rated PG)

* SURE FIRE - This drama by independent filmmaker Jon Jost centers on family tensions sparked by a real-estate developer who dreams of luring well-heeled Californians to invest in his Utah properties. As often happens in Jost's unconventional works, the acting is uneven and the dialogue is sometimes on the hazy side. Jost's visual style has never been more eloquent and inventive, though, and the movie gathers extraordinary power until a regrettably weak ending pulls the plug. Well worth seeing for spectators who enjoy challenges and surprises. (Not rated)

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