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Dates in parentheses indicate a full review of the film in the Monitor.


Independent-minded Pocahontas falls for English colonist John Smith in this politically (but not historically) correct tale of cultures clashing in the New World. It's got tuneful songs, superb animation, winning animal characters, humor, drama, and good vocal characterizations (Mel Gibson is a wry Smith). It's short on plot and action, though, and long on fantasy sequences featuring blowing leaves, people running through forests, and Pocahontas's choreographed hair. Millions of kindergarten girls will no doubt be enthralled. The film's portrayal of native American animist beliefs is off-putting, as was the spiritualism of ''The Lion King.'' (G, Walt Disney Home Video, June 23, 1995)

- Owen Thomas

* SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT - Grace (Julia Roberts) gives the people in her rural hometown something to talk about when she discovers that her husband, Eddie (Dennis Quaid), has been unfaithful. Rather than pretend nothing has happened, Grace stands up at a women's club meeting to ask who has been involved with Eddie. Her actions have a domino effect: They turn her mom against her own husband (Robert Duvall), and her sister (Kyra Sedgwick) against Eddie. Previews for the film may have looked frivolous, but as the characters tackle these relationship problems, it turns out to be a refreshingly feel-good, enjoyable movie. Roberts shines in this smart and funny role. (R, Warner Home Video)

- Lisa Leigh Parney


Michelle Pfeiffer plays a new high school teacher whose first job is in an inner-city school with a class of students considered unteachable troublemakers. The plot may be a little weak, but the value of this film lies in its realistic and un-phony portrayal of human beings with their good and bad sides. High praise goes to the filmmakers for creating a film without sex or violence that deals with young adults surviving in a contemporary setting. John N. Smith directed. (R, MGM)

- Bill Grant

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