NEW FILMS FRIDAY

BASEKETBALL - "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone star in this sports satire from "Airplane!" co-creator David Zucker, about two men who invent a popular new sport that combines hoops and baseball. Co-stars include Yasmine Bleeth and Jenny McCarthy. Reviewed in this section on Page W4. R (vulgarity, profanity, nudity, violence, gore). (Carmike 12; Crossroads; Holladay; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Small Soldiers"; Sandy 9; Trolley North.)

EVER AFTER - Drew Barrymore stars as a Cinderella-like heroine who hopes to marry a prince in this revisionist romantic drama, which places the Brothers Grimm fairy tale in 16th century Europe. Anjelica Huston co-stars as her wicked stepmother. Reviewed in this section on Page W10. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity). (Carmike 12, Holladay, Plaza 5400, Reel, Sandy 9, Trolley North, Trolley Square.)

THE HANGING GARDEN - Canadian filmmaker Thom Fitzgerald produced, wrote and directed this drama/fantasy about a formerly obese gay man who returns home to confront his past. A selection on the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Reviewed in this section on Page W7. R (profanity, sex, vulgarity, violence, drug use, nudity). (Exclusive, Tower.)

NEW FILMS WEDNESDAY

HALLOWEEN: H20 - The "official" sequel to the infamous 1978 slasher film (one that disregards all the others), which brings back star Jamie Lee Curtis to again do battle with killer Michael Myers (aka The Shape). Based on a treatment written by "Scream" scripted Kevin Williamson. To be reviewed when it opens next week. R (violence, gore, profanity). (Carmike 12, Century, Midvalley, Sandy 9, South Towne, Trolley Square.)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

GONE WITH THE WIND - * * * * - Up until the release of "Titanic" last year, this 1939 classic was America's favorite sweeping romance, an epic love story between two mismatched rogues (Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable), set amongst the backdrop of the Civil War. Rarely has justice been done to a novel as it is here (the film is based Margaret Mitchell's book of the same name), and though there's a troubling sympathy for the pro-slavery South expressed, it's more of a subtext than anything explicit. This reissue features digitally enhanced sound (including the original lobby and intermission musical score), as well as "restored" color and picture. G (wartime violence, mild profanity). (Avalon.)

CONTINUING FILMS

ARMAGEDDON - * * - More chaotic, headache-inducing eye candy from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay ("The Rock"). The premise is intriguing: A roughneck crew of oil drillers (including Bruce Willis) is sent into space to destroy an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. But the characters are reduced to spouting one-liners and the action is too hectic and confusing. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, partial nudity, gore). (Carmike 12; Century; Creekside; Gateway; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Mafia!"; Reel; Sandy 9; Trolley Corners.) (July 2, 1998)

BULWORTH - * * - More offensive than it is funny, this extremely inconsistent political parable stars Warren Beatty (who also co-wrote and directed the film) as a depressed U.S. senator who hires a hitman to kill him but who soon rises to prominence because of his truthful stances. A few inspired moments, but Beatty's white-boy rapping is excruciating and the ending is unbelievably tasteless. R (profanity, vulgarity, drug use, violence, gore, racial epithets, nude artwork). (Brewvies.) (May 22, 1998)

CAN'T HARDLY WAIT - * * - At-times bright but more often annoying, modern-day revision of "American Graffiti." Ethan Embry (from "That Thing You Do!") is good as a shy high-school graduate trying to summon the courage to tell the class knockout (Jennifer Love Hewitt, from "I Know What You Did Last Summer") how he feels about her before he leaves town. But too often the film settles for cheap humor. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, violence, sex, racial epithets). (Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (June 12, 1998)

CITY OF ANGELS - * * 1/2 - Loosely based on the 1987 art-house film "Wings of Desire," this romantic drama/fantasy stars Nicolas Cage as an angel who's torn between duty and the love of a heart surgeon (Meg Ryan). The story's fine until things take a turn towards weepy melodrama. Fine performances from Cage and Ryan, as well as co-stars Dennis Franz and Andre Braugher, though. PG-13 (profanity, violence, sex, nudity, hospital gore, vulgarity). (Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (April 10, 1998)

DEEP IMPACT - * * - Possibly the dullest disaster film ever made, this all-talk-and-no-action flick wastes an all-star cast - including Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni, Morgan Freeman and Elijah Wood, who try to survive when scientists discover that a huge comet is on a collision course with the Earth. Not worth sticking around for the 10 minutes worth of destruction, frankly. PG-13 (profanity, violence). (Cinemas 5.) (May 8, 1998)

DEJA VU - * * * - A surprisingly low-key and romantic drama from independent filmmaker Henry Jaglom. Some modern-dayisms spoil some scenes, but Victoria Foyt (Jaglom's wife) shines as an engaged American businesswoman who finds herself drawn to a married painter (Stephen Dillane, from "Welcome to Sarajevo"). PG-13 (profanity, drug use, nudity). (Tower.) (July 24, 1998)

DIRTY WORK - turkey - Leaden, taste-deprived attempted comedy about a couple of losers (including former "Saturday Night Live" star Norm Macdonald, who co-wrote the script) whose contribution to American capitalism is a revenge-for-hire business. Far too often, the supposedly funny business happens offscreen. PG-13 (profanity, violence, vulgarity). (Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (June 14, 1998) - Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times News Service

DISTURBING BEHAVIOR - * - This dumb-bell "Stepford Students" thriller practically shrieks "The X-Files" as well as the other films and television shows that "inspired" it. But it isn't even remotely scary, and none of the performers (including Katie Holmes, from TV's "Dawson Creek") seem particularly inspired. R (violence, profanity, gore, drug use, vulgarity, sex, nudity). (Carmike 12, Century, Midvalley, Sandy 9, Trolley Square.) (July 24, 1998)

DR. DOLITTLE - * 1/2 - An uninspired Eddie Murphy plays second fiddle to crass anthropomorphic animals (voiced by Norm Macdonald, Chris Rock and others) in this incredibly crude comedy, "inspired by" the 1967 musical comedy and the children's stories. It's hard to say which is worse here, all the potty humor or the insincere attempts to put across a message. PG-13 (vulgarity, profanity, violence, partial nudity, hospital gore). (Broadway; Midvalley; Olympus; Redwood, with "There's Something About Mary"; South Towne.) (June 26, 1998)

GODZILLA - * * - Despite the awesome computer graphics-created title character, which rampages through Manhattan rather than Tokyo this time, this sci-fi/thriller from the "Independence Day" filmmaking team is a too-transparent rip-off of the "Jurassic Park" movies. Kids will probably love it, but adults may find themselves wanting better-developed characters and situations. A few thrills and a couple of chuckles, but on whole pretty disappointing. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity, gore, brief partial nudity). (Cinemas 5, Kaysville.) (May 20, 1998)

GOOD WILL HUNTING - * * * 1/2 - Well-acted, though also profane and vulgar, comedy-drama about a troubled 20-something mathematics genius (Matt Damon) who must undergo therapy (from Oscar winner Robin Williams, playing a down-on-his-luck college professor) as part of his parole. Damon and co-star Ben Affleck also wrote the Academy Award-winning screenplay. R (profanity, vulgarity, violence, sex, nude paintings, racial epithets). (Sugar House.) (Dec. 26, 1997)

HOPE FLOATS - * * - Not the change of pace Sandra Bullock might have anticipated, this disappointingly downbeat drama stars Bullock as a single mother who discovers love and acceptance when she is forced to move back to her small Texas hometown. Frankly, she tries too hard to charm her way through this uneven mess. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, profanity) (Cinemas 5, Olympus.) (May 29, 1998)

THE HORSE WHISPERER - * * * * - A case of the movie actually being better than the book, Robert Redford's long-anticipated adaptation of the Nicholas Evans best-seller stars Redford as a horse trainer who helps heal a wounded animal, as well as its young rider and her mother (Kristin Scott Thomas, from "The English Patient"). Wonderfully low-key, with superb photography that makes great use of the beautiful Montana scenery. PG-13 (profanity, violence, gore). (Carmike 12, Cinemas 5, Creekside.) (May 15, 1998)

LES MISERABLES - * * * - This dramatic, not musical, adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel suffers from choppy pacing (due to studio-mandated cuts) and a lack of necessary melodrama. Still, the performances by Liam Neeson and "Shine's" Geoffrey Rush, as longtime antagonists Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert, are superb, as is Uma Thurman, playing the doomed Fantine. PG-13 (violence, gore, partial nudity, profanity, vulgarity). (Kaysville, Sugar House.) (May 1, 1998)

LETHAL WEAPON 4 - * 1/2 - More like a series of poorly conceived skits rather than a coherent narrative film, the fourth installment in the action series reunites Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci and Rene Russo and brings in newcomers Chris Rock and Jet Li to pump up the action and comedy. Unfortunately, much of the humor is surprisingly racist and sexist in nature and the stunts look like stunts. R (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity, racial epithets). (Carmike 12; Century; Cottonwood; Crossroads; Gateway; Midvalley; Redwood, with "The Negotiator"; Sandy 9.) (July 10, 1998)

LOST IN SPACE - * * 1/2 - Neither as good nor as bad as you might think, this big-screen version of the cult '60s television series, a science-fiction take on "Swiss Family Robinson," is decent if unexceptional eye-candy. However, things bog down in the second half, with a time-travel story line that makes no sense. PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity). (Kaysville, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (April 3, 1998)

MADELINE - * * * - Charming newcomer Hatty Jones shines as the title character, a tiny but mischievous schoolgirl in this sweetly low-key family comedy, drawn from Ludwig Bemelmans' beloved novels. Also helping are Oscar-winner Frances McDormand as schoolteacher Miss Clavel and Nigel Hawthorne as the villainous Lord Covington. PG (violence, vulgarity, mild profanity). (Crossroads; Gateway; Holladay; Midvalley; Redwood, with "The Mask of Zorro"; South Towne.) (July 10, 1998)

MAFIA! - * * - Despite some funny gags at the start (particularly the on-target Las Vegas sendups), this parody of the "Godfather" trilogy and "Casino" runs out of steam quickly and features a very vulgar, mean-spirted streak. And pity the late Lloyd Bridges, who is reduced to stumbling around for laughs. PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, drug use, ethnic slurs, sex, nude artwork, brief gore). (Carmike 12; Century; Creekside; Crossroads; Gateway; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Armageddon"; Sandy 9.) (July 24, 1998)

THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK - * * - Who says two Leonardo DiCaprios are better than one? The "Titanic" star is downright awful playing twin brothers - one the evil King of France and the other a sweet-natured prisoner - in this dimwitted adaptation of the Alexandre Dumas novel. Still, the dream casting of actors playing the Four Musketeers (Gabriel Byrne, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu and Jeremy Irons) almost saves things. PG-13 (violence, vulgarity, sex, nudity, profanity). (Kaysville, Valley Fair.) (March 13, 1998)

THE MASK OF ZORRO - * * 1/2 - Star power (including Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins) really brings to life this swashbuckling adventure, based on the pulp fiction stories and various movies. A bit too long and too much concentration on explosions at the end, but exciting nonetheless. PG-13 (violence, gore, nudity, vulgarity). (Carmike 12; Century; Holladay; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Madeline"; Reel; Sandy 9; Trolley Corners; Trolley North.) (July 17, 1998)

MULAN - * * * - Almost too brisk for its own good, the latest Disney animated offering is an exciting musical adventure about a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a warrior to save her ailing father's life, and earn his respect. Superb animation, and the vocal cast (which includes Ming Na-Wen, Eddie Murphy, Donny Osmond, Harvey Fierstein and George Takei). G (animated violence) gives charming performances. (Cottonwood; Gateway; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "The Parent Trap"; South Towne; Trolley Square.) (June 22, 1998)

MY GIANT - * * - There's yet another smug turn by Billy Crystal in this unfunny comedy, which stars Crystal as a third-rate talent agent who accidentally discovers a new star, a 7-foot-plus, Shakespeare-quoting monastery caretaker (Gheorghe Muresan, from the NBA Washington Wizards), while in Europe. Things are also marred by a vulgar vomiting gag. PG (profanity, vulgarity, violence). (Valley Fair.) (April 10, 1998)

THE NEGOTIATOR - * * - Despite a powerhouse performance by Samuel L. Jackson, playing a hostage negotiator framed for murder, this overwritten suspense/thriller suffers from awful plotting and scripting. And despite some tense moments, no other cast member (not even Kevin Spacey) can match Jackson's intensity. R (violence, profanity, gore, vulgarity). (Century; Gateway; Holladay; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Lethal Weapon 4"; South Towne; Trolley Corners.) (July 29, 1998)

OUT OF SIGHT - * * * - Acclaimed independent film director Steven Soderbergh out-Tarantinos Quentin Tarantino with this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, a blackly comic thriller about an escaped bank robber (George Clooney) who falls in love with the federal marshal (Jennifer Lopez) pursuing him. Clooney and Lopez heat up the screen, and help overcome a serious lull midway through. R (profanity, violence, gore, vulgarity, sex, racial epithets). (Brewvies, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (June 26, 1998)

THE PARENT TRAP - * * * - The real surprise of the summer, this remake of the 1961 Disney comedy is too long by at least 20 minutes, but it benefits from terrific performances. Best of all is charming newcomer Lindsay Lohan, who stars as identical twin sisters who have never met but who conspire to get their single parents (Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson) back together. PG (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Gateway; Plaza 5400; Redwood, with "Mulan"; Reel; South Towne; Trolley Square; Villa.) (July 29, 1998)

PAULIE - * * * - Here's the year's most pleasant surprise so far: a charming kids comedy about the title character, a parrot who learns to speak and comprehend the human language and who yearns to be reunited with his original owner. A great cast of human co-stars (Tony Shalhoub, Gena Rowlands and Cheech Marin) certainly doesn't hurt. Jay Mohr, from "Jerry Maguire," lends his voice to the character. PG (profanity, vulgarity, violence). (Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Valley Fair.) (April 17, 1998)

QUEST FOR CAMELOT - * * - Flat animation and unmemorable songs are just several of the many problems facing this dull animated musical, a feminist revision of the King Arthur legends that's based on a famous fantasy novel. In it, the daughter of a slain knight and a blind warrior, who try to recover King Arthur's mystical sword, Excalibur. Deadly dull. G (animated violence). (Kaysville, Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (May 15, 1998)

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN - * * * * - Director Steven Spielberg's "war movie to end all war movies" is startlingly graphic and violent, but it's also the most enthralling and compelling story of the year. Tom Hanks stands out among a great ensemble cast as the leader of a U.S. Army Rangers squadron sent on a seeming suicide mission - to bring back a paratrooper (Matt Damon) lost amongst the famous 1944 D-Day invasion. R (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity). (Broadway, Century, Gateway, Holladay, Midvalley, Reel, South Towne.) (July 24, 1998)

SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS - * * - You can't blame either of the stars (Harrison Ford and Anne Heche) for this disappointing romantic adventure, which pairs them as a gruff cargo pilot and an acerbic New York who find danger and romance when they're stranded on a deserted island. Both of them try, but they're undone by awful scripting and plotting. PG-13 (profanity, violence, vulgarity, partial nudity, brief gore). (Brewvies, Cinemas 5, Olympus.) (June 12, 1998)

SMALL SOLDIERS - * * - More mean-spirited than you might expect and not nearly as funny as it thinks it is, this action-comedy features two armies of action figures who come to life and battle it out, dragging their unwitting human "owners" into the fray. Some good special effects, but the script is grossly underdone. PG-13 (violence, profanity, vulgarity). (Carmike 12; Cottonwood; Gateway; Redwood, with "BASEketball"; Sandy 9; Trolley Square.) (July 10, 1998)

SMOKE SIGNALS - * * * 1/2 - Superb, character-driven debut from newcomer Chris Eyre, based on short stories from Sherman Alexie's collection "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" (Alexie also wrote the screenplay). Relative newcomers Evan Adams and Adam Beach stand out as a pair of young American Indians who journey from Idaho to Arizona to claim the remains of one man's father. Winner of the Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy. PG-13 (profanity, violence, racial epithets). (Exclusive, Broadway.) (July 17, 1998)

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY - * * - Nearly as funny as it is disgusting, the newest comedy from the makers of "Dumb & Dumber" and "Kingpin" follows the misadventures of a lovable loser (Ben Stiller) who hires a sleazy P.I. (Matt Dillon) to find the woman he's been in love with since high school (Cameron Diaz). Screamingly funny at times, but the movie runs out of steam in the second half with an irritating stalking subplot. R (vulgarity, profanity, violence, nudity, ethnic slurs). (Broadway; Century; Cottonwood; Gateway; Midvalley; Redwood, with "Dr. Dolittle"; South Towne.) (July 15, 1998)

TITANIC - * * * - Too long by at least 45 minutes, director James Cameron's romance/adventure epic - set aboard the ill-fated passenger ship - is also more passionate and thrilling than most of what we've seen lately. Things are helped enormously by stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, playing doomed lovers, and the fact that almost all of the reported $200 million budget seems to have gone to the dazzling historical recreations. Winner of 11 Academy Awards. PG-13 (profanity, violence, nudity, vulgarity, sex). (Sandy Starships, Sugar House, Valley Fair.) (Dec. 19, 1997)

THE TRUMAN SHOW - * * * * - One of those rare instances of the hype being justified, this thoughtful and subtle black comedy/suspense-thriller stars comic actor Jim Carrey (in his "breakthrough" role) as a man unaware that his "life" is being staged as part of a 24-hour-a-day documentary television show. Kudos also to Peter Weir ("Dead Poets Society"), whose skillful direction forces Carrey to act. PG (profanity, violence). (Plaza 5400, Sandy 9.) (June 5, 1998)

THE WEDDING SINGER - * * 1/2 - Surprising chemistry from stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore helps save this silly but sweet romantic comedy, set in the mid-'80s, about a struggling musician and wedding entertainer who falls in love with a waitress who's engaged to be married. PG-13 (profanity, vulgarity, violence, partial nudity). (Sugar House.) (Feb. 13, 1998)

WHO THE HELL IS JULIETTE? - * 1/2 - Perhaps the question newcomer Carlos Marcovich should have asked with this pseudo-documentary/drama is why anyone should care to learn more about its title character, an obnoxious Cuban teen who has turned to prostitution to make ends meet. In black and white and color. In Spanish, with English subtitles. Not rated, probable R (vulgarity, profanity, violence, nudity). (Exclusive, Tower.) (July 24, 1998)

THE X-FILES - * * * - The truth may be out there, but not all of it is revealed in this science-fiction/thriller based on the hit television series, which picks up the story from the season-ending cliffhanger episode. Still, it's a thrilling ride, and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson get to show more personality than they're usually allowed. PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, vulgarity, brief nudity, racial epithets). (Midvalley.) (June 22, 1998)

*****

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