THE MOVIES : Summer Movie Guide

With summer comes a literal festival of big movies. Box-office records will be challenged this year as Tom Cruise shifts gears, Eddie Murphy gets “Another 48 HRS,” and Arnold Schwarzenegger muscles his way to Mars. “Dick Tracy” may even beat “Batman.” Here’s what you’ll be seeing in the months ahead. First, a caution: The following release dates may change, so stay close to your newspaper.


For the record:

12:00 a.m. June 14, 1990 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday June 14, 1990 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 3 Column 1 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Wrong year--The May 27 Movies Magazine incorrectly stated that the film “Backstreet Dreams” was shot several years ago. The film, starring Brooke Shields, was produced during the summer of 1989.

“BACK TO THE FUTURE, PART III"--Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson and Thomas F. Wilson return with director Robert Zemeckis for what may be a farewell to the “Future” franchise. The Old West is the setting for this trip as Mary Steenburgen co-stars. (Universal)

“CADILLAC MAN"--When philandering Caddy salesperson Robin Williams makes his move toward a woman who happens to be Tim Robbins’ wife, Robbins vaults into action. Roger Donaldson (“No Way Out”) directs. (Orion)


“FIRE BIRDS"--Nicolas Cage stars in this action film that focuses on America’s Apache military helicopters as they swoop down on a South American drug cartel. Also starring in this deadly mission are Sean Young and Tommy Lee Jones. David Green directs. (Buena Vista)


“THE ADVENTURES OF MILO AND OTIS"--Even though Columbia released this film last year to audience indifference, the studio is trying again. Milo is the mischievous kitten and Otis his pug-nosed dog of a friend who takes charge when Milo tumbles into a rushing river. Dudley Moore provides the narration. Masanori Hata directs. (Columbia)

“ANOTHER 48 HRS."--Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte and plenty of action are offered in this sequel to the 1982 smash that established Murphy as a celluloid cash cow. Director Walter Hill also returns as the story picks up eight years after the original. This time out, Murphy and Nolte lay justice on some disagreeable Aryan-supremacist biker dudes. (Paramount)

“BAIL JUMPER"--Joe and Elaine, a pair of social misfits, meet at a beer party and begin a life of love and travel punctuated by petty theft. They soon drift apart, but when Joe accidentally shoots himself, Elaine rushes to his side to ensure an uplifting conclusion. Stars Eszter Balint and B. J. Spalding; directed by Christian Faber. (Angelika)

“BETSY’S WEDDING"--Alan Alda does everything but tap dance in this comedy, starring in and directing a screenplay he wrote. Alda wants the perfect wedding for his beloved Betsy, so he orchestrates a scheme to procure the money for a celebration. Will Alda wear formal black or jailhouse gray on the big day? Also starring Joey Bishop, Madeline Kahn, Catherine O’Hara, Joe Pesci, Ally Sheedy and Burt Young, with Molly Ringwald as Betsy. (Buena Vista)

“BIRD ON A WIRE"--Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn provide the sparks in this romantic comedy from “Stakeout” director John Badham. When Gibson and Hawn are forced to venture cross-country to avoid the lethal clutches of bad guy David Carradine, the love they once shared begins to bloom anew. Playboy cover girl Joan Severance co-stars. (Universal)

“THE BOYFRIEND SCHOOL"(tentative title)--Shelley Long stars with Steve Guttenberg and Jami Gertz in this comedy. Long is a romance novelist who uses her expertise in love matters to help her very shy, very single brother capture the heart of his dream woman. Kyle MacLachlan co-stars; Malcolm Mowbray directs. (Hemdale)

“DAYS OF THUNDER"--Tom Cruise fans are expected to generate box-office thunder when this one hits the marquees. “Top Gun” producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer join forces with “Gun” director Tony Scott as Cruise pushes himself to the limits on the NASCAR racing circuit. Can he reach the checkered flag before self-destructing? Nicole Kidman nabbed the coveted spot opposite Cruise in this Robert Towne screenplay. (Paramount)

“DICK TRACY"--The Disney gang hopes to cash in with this Warren Beatty-directed vehicle as Warner Bros. did last summer with “Batman.” Beatty as Tracy saves the world from the nefarious with the help of Madonna (the warbling Breathless Mahoney), Glenne Headly (Tess Trueheart), Charles Durning (Police Chief Brandon), Mandy Patinkin (88-Keys) and William Forsythe (Flattop). Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino chip in with cameos as Mumbles and the villainous Big Boy. Songs by Stephen Sondheim. Get your seat early to see the companion “Roller Coaster Rabbit,” a Roger Rabbit cartoon. (Buena Vista)

“DIE HARD 2"--Bruce Willis returns as New York Ultra Cop John McClane, this time matching wits with an elite but malicious special-forces unit. This unfriendly organization--led by a former U.S. military officer--has assumed power over a major international airport. “Die Hard” vets Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton and Reginald Veljohnson reprise their characters. Franco Nero, Bill Sadler and John Amos also appear under Renny Harlin’s direction. (20th Century Fox)

“GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH"--The furious fur balls take a bite out of the Big Apple. Director Joe Dante returns with human actors Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover, Robert Prosky, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lee and Haviland Morris. Effects and makeup wiz Rick Baker make the creatures come alive. (Warner Bros.)

“JESUS OF MONTREAL"--This Denys Arcand satire won an astonishing 12 Genies, which are Canada’s answer to our Oscars. Lothaire Bluteau is the ac- tor who’s hired to play God’s son, and soon art begins to eerily imitate life. Arcand, in both writing and directing, demonstrates Jesus’ age-old message and how it’s been obscured throughout the centuries. A Canadian production. (Orion Classics)

“THE MAN INSIDE"--Peter Coyote and Jurgen Prochnow star in this political thriller centering on a journalist who goes undercover to expose a government-sponsored smear campaign. Coyote plays the gutsy reporter who strives to let the liberal voice be heard in spite of meddling by high-level officials. Bobby Roth writes and directs. (New Line)

“MAY FOOLS"--Louis Malle takes on this period piece set in May, 1969. Miou-Miou stars in a tale of ‘60s tumultuousness and how the decade influenced French youth. (Orion Classics)

“QUICK CHANGE"--Bill Murray joins the ranks of stars-turned-directors as he co-directs (with writer Howard Franklin) this comedy based on Jay Cronley’s 1981 novel. Murray has set the stage for a foolproof bank heist, but fate has other plans. Geena Davis, Randy Quaid and Jason Robards provide supporting talent. (Warner Bros.)

“ROBOCOP 2"--Original stars Peter Weller and Nancy Allen are lured back to this sequel to the 1987 summer hit. But it’s Irvin Kershner directing this time as we follow friendly flatfoot Murphy as he struggles to recover his human past. Expect the usual nemeses, including a huge and unsmiling robot. (Orion)

“TOTAL RECALL"--"RoboCop” director Paul Verhoeven brings us this Arnold Schwarzenegger thriller set on Earth and Mars 115 years in the future. When Schwarzenegger discovers that his entire life was programmed in advance and inserted into his noggin, he sets sail for the Red Planet to ascertain his real identity. (Tri-Star/Carolco)


“THE ADVENTURES OF FORD FAIRLANE"--Vitriolic comic Andrew Dice Clay plays the title character as Wayne Newton and Priscilla Presley assume supporting roles. Ford Fairlane is a rockin’ private eye who gets results, despite his unorthodox methods. Renny Harlin directs. (20th Century Fox)

“ARACHNOPHOBIA"--Jeff Daniels, big John Goodman and Julian Sands star in this Steven Spielberg executive-produced creepy-crawly thriller. It’s the leggy tale of a tightly knit California community that falls victim to an attack by deadly spiders. Spielberg associate Frank Marshall makes his bow as director. (Buena Vista)

“BACKSTREET DREAMS"--This Brooke Shields project, shot years ago, may finally see the dimmed light of theaters. Shields plays a young therapist who tenderly cares for an autistic young man whose cantankerous pop provides the conflict. Also stars writer Jason O’Malley. Sherilyn Fenn, Burt Young and Anthony Franciosa co-star. Rupert Hitzig directs. (Vidmark)

“FIREHEAD"--Chris Lemmon, Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer head the cast in this tale of a Russian defector who’s used as a pawn in an international terrorist scheme. All this thanks to his powerful psychokinetic capabilities. Directed by Peter Yuval. (Action Intl.)

“FLATLINERS"--Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon lead the way in this drama about a quintet of daring medical students who flirt with death in order to look into the afterlife. Title refers to the flat line that appears on an EKG when the heart ceases to beat. Directed by Joel Schumacher (“The Lost Boys”). (Columbia)

“FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER"--The Stephen Coonts novel comes to the screen under the direction of John Milius (“Red Dawn”). Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe and Brad Johnson star in this Vietnam actioner centering on an unauthorized raid on a Hanoi missile depot, circa 1972. (Paramount)

“GHOST"--Patrick Swayze is the ghost, Demi Moore the woman he loves in this spirited tale also starring Whoopi Goldberg. Jerry Zucker (“Airplane!”) directs as a vaporous Swayze uses charlatan Goldberg to make contact with Moore and eventually save her from harm. (Paramount)

“GHOST DAD"--A family comedy, directed by Sidney Poitier and starring America’s Dad, Bill Cosby. The Coz plays a single parent who utilizes an encounter with a supernatural being to improve relations with his offspring. Also stars Denise Nicholas, Kimberly Russell, Ian Bannon, Salim Grant, Brooke Fontaine and Omar Gooding. (Universal)

“HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A NEGRO WITHOUT GETTING TIRED” --Man is a struggling author from Haiti and Bouba is his African friend. While sharing an apartment in Montreal, the two gleefully pursue white women, but that activity is nastily interrupted by drug pushers who think the two are muscling in on their trade. This French-language film did well last year at Cannes. Stars Isaach de Bankole and Maka Kotto. Directed by Jacques W. Benoit. (Angelika)

“JETSONS: THE MOVIE"--Saturday-morning cartoon titans William Hanna and Joseph Barbera direct this animated feature based on the popular TV show. Such voices as pop star Tiffany, Hanna-Barbera mainstay Don Messick and the late Mel Blanc grace this fun fest that follows the Jetsons’ move to a new planet when George gets a promotion. (Universal)

“THE JUNGLE BOOK"--The last classic produced by Walt Disney. This reissue of the Rudyard Kipling stories centers on Mowgli, who was abandoned at birth and brought up by a friendly pack of wolves. Voices by Phil Harris, Sebastion Cabot and Louis Prima, directed by Wolfgang Reitherman. (Buena Vista)

“THE KILLER"--Acclaimed Hong Kong director John Woo (“A Better Tomorrow”) reteams with Chinese star Chow Yun-Fat in this gangster melodrama. Fat’s a hit man who wants out but agrees to execute one more mob enemy. Subsequently, he falls in love with a woman blinded during the assignment, and they both quickly become targets for the police. (Circle)

“MEN AT WORK"--Emilio Estevez and brother Charlie Sheen are trash collectors who stumble on the body of a city commissioner and must spend a hectic 24 hours proving their innocence. Written and directed by Estevez; Leslie Hope co-stars. (Epic/Columbia)

“MOB BOSS"--Quintessential nerd Eddie Deezen bumbles his way through this sendup of organized-crime movies. The kid assumes power when his pop, an aging don, becomes hospitalized after being struck down by gunmen. Morgan Fairchild plays the moll, William Hickey the downed don. Fred Olen Ray directs. (Vidmark)

“MY BLUE HEAVEN"--Director Herbert Ross hopes to continue his “Steel Magnolias” success with this comedy boasting the talents of Steve Martin and Rick Moranis. Martin’s a pesky but charming organized-crime informant relocated to a small California town. Moranis is the FBI agent assigned to stick by him as assistant D.A. Joan Cusack strives to put Martin behind bars. Scripted by Nora Ephron; Goldie Hawn is executive producer. (Warner Bros.)

“NAVY SEAL"--Charlie Sheen, Michael Biehn and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer star in this thriller directed by Lewis Teague (“Jewel of the Nile”). When Islamic terrorist types obtain some American Stinger missiles, the elite naval combat team of the title is dispatched to make things safe. (Orion)

“PROBLEM CHILD"--Comedy starring John Ritter, Amy Yasbeck and Jack Warden tells of a suburban couple who adopt a child with all good intentions. Lots of familial high jinks. Dennis Dugan directs. (Universal)

“QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER"--Tom Selleck and “sex, lies, and videotape” seductress Laura San Giacomo star in this turn-of-the-century shoot-'em-up. Selleck is a sharp-shooting Yankee cowboy hired by a wealthy Australian rancher to clean his Outback property of dingos. Things turn sour for Quigley, and he and San Giacomo get tossed into a thrilling adventure. Villainous Alan Rickman (“Die Hard”) co-stars; Simon Wincer directs. (Warner Bros.)

“THE TALL GUY"--Jeff Goldblum plays Dexter King, an American actor who’s been struggling as a straight man alongside a pompous comic on the English stage. The comedy develops when the depressed King meets a sprightly nurse as he’s cast in a terrible, but successful, musical version of “The Elephant Man,” and both love and career bloom. Also stars Emma Thompson (Mrs. Kenneth Branagh) and Rowan Atkinson. Directed by Mel Smith. (Miramax)

“WILLIAM PETER BLATTY’S THE EXORCIST III: LEGION"--"Exorcist” author William Peter Blatty grabs a firm hold on the reins of this secend sequel, as he both writes and directs. This Georgetown-set chiller takes place 17 years after the first film. The community is both outraged at and terror-stricken by a series of brutal murders . . . the victims all being men of the cloth. George C. Scott, Ed Flanders and Scott Wilson star. (20th Century Fox)

“YOUNG GUNS 2"--Looks like the Brat Packers not gunned down in the original will return for the sequel. Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips star in this oater that will reveal, once and for all, the fashion in which Billy the Kid really died. Geoff Murphy directs. (20th Century Fox)


“AFTER DARK, MY SWEET"--The Jim Thompson novel comes to life as Jason Patric plays an ex-boxer who finds himself trading amorous jabs with the beautiful Rachel Ward. All during this, Bruce Dern plays an investigator snooping about on the trail of a kidnaper. Directed by James Foley (“At Close Range”). (Avenue)

“AIR AMERICA"--Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. star as maverick airmen who stir up trouble in Southeast Asia during some covert operations orchestrated by the CIA. The title refers to the agency’s not-so-secret airline. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode (“Turner & Hooch”). (Columbia/Tri-Star)

“THE ANDREW DICE CLAY CONCERT MOVIE"--The caustic comic gets his ya-ya’s out in this, his first live-performance film. Dice will take no prisoners here and will no doubt do so in his very best leather jacket. Jay Dubin directs. (20th Century Fox)

“BEWITCHED AFFAIR"--Described as a “Fatal Attraction"-style thriller about a spurned lover who uses black magic to exact her revenge. Directed by Deryen Warren. (Vidmark)

“CAPTAIN AMERICA"--Matt Salinger (in his feature debut) plays the colorfully clad superhero of Marvel Comics fame. Criminals will wish they’d picked a less dubious line of work when this law enforcer in leotards gets through with ‘em. Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin and Michael Nouri co-star under Albert Pyun’s direction. (Columbia)

“CAREER OPPORTUNITIES"--John Hughes scripts and co-produces this comedy that focuses on a hapless young man who locks himself in on his inaugural night as a department store custodian. Two bumbling burglars and a beautiful but troubled girl also stuck in the building add to the general chaos. Stars Frank Whaley, Jennifer Connelly, Dermot Mulroney and Kieran Mulroney. Directed by Bryan Gordon. (Universal)

“CHICAGO JOE AND THE SHOWGIRL"--Kiefer Sutherland and Emily Lloyd star in this scenario inspired by a true World War II occurrence. Sutherland’s an American GI who is thrust into a career of crime when a steamy British city girl (Lloyd) injects herself into his life. Bernard Rose directs. (New Line)

“DARKMAN"--"Evil Dead” director Sam Raimi brings us this bizarre tale of a scientist (Liam Neeson) who views life and love through different eyes after an experiment that leaves him severely disfigured. The scientist emerges from the mishap a superhero. “Mississippi Burning’s” Larry Drake (“L. A. Law”) and Francis McDormand co-star. (Universal)

“DEATH ANGEL"--Tough Dolph Lundgren plays a heroic L. A. cop who squares off with an imposing killing machine called Talec. Jim Haynie co-stars in this sci-fi thriller directed by Craig Baxley. (Visions)

“DIVE!"--Comedy that’s immersible follows the wacky travails of the U.S. Sub Standard. This nuclear submarine is guided by a claustrophobic buffoonish captain who calls orders to his lunatic crew. Sounds like the flip side of “The Hunt for Red October.” Mark W. Travis directs Bill Pullman, Wendy Schaal, Ned Beatty, Robert Vaughn and Roddy McDowall. (Warner Bros.)

“DUCKTALES THE MOVIE: TREASURE OF THE LOST LAMP"--A full-length animated feature, based on the TV show, starring the wildly eccentric Scrooge McDuck and, of course, Huey, Dewey and Louie. The duck mansion goes cuckoo when Scrooge digs up a magical lantern--complete with a genie. Voices by June Foray, Joan Gerber, Richard Libertini, Christopher Lloyd, Chuck McCann, Terry McGovern and Russi Taylor, and Alan Young as Scrooge. Bob Hathcock produces and directs. (Buena Vista)

“FARENDJ"--A young man, seeking his destiny, ends up at the estate of 19th-Century poet Rimbaud. An elderly woman notices the young man’s uncanny resemblance to the long-dead poet and believes him to be Rimbaud’s reincarnation. The woman happens to have despised the scribe’s legacy, so she sets out to make life unbearable for this visitor. Stars Tim Roth and Hodane Siad. Written and directed by Sabine Prenczina. (Vidmark)

“GRAFFITI BRIDGE"--Rock enigma Prince directs and writes this music-driven extravaganza. Prince plays The Kid, who power-struggles with Morris Day over the direction of the nightclub they share. The Purple One concocted 17 new songs for this one. Also stars Jerome Benton and Ingrid Chavez. (Warner Bros.)

“HIGHWAY TO HELL"--When a demon cop kidnaps Charlie Sykes’ girlfriend and transports her to the devil, Charlie’s soon hot on his trail. In this retelling of the Orpheus myth, Sykes runs into a number of flamboyant characters in the underworld. Stars Chad Lowe, Kristy Swanson and Patrick Bergin. Ate de Jong directs. (Hemdale)

“HOT SPOT"--Dennis Hopper directs while Don Johnson plays a disenchanted drifter who falls into a love triangle while meandering in Texas. Virginia Madsen and Jennifer Connelly form the other points in the triangle, with further complications stemming from blackmail, bank robbery and . . . murder. (Orion)

“THE ICICLE THIEF"--A winner of many foreign awards, this Italian movie-within-a-movie stars and was written and directed by Maurizio Nichetti. Filmmaker Nichetti is interviewed in a TV studio while his black-and-white masterpiece is being broadcast. When weird and inexplicably wild things start to occur, Nichetti freaks and the comedy begins. Caterina Sylos Labini and Heidi Komarek also star. (Aries)

“THE INTERROGATION"--Completed in 1982, this Richard Bugajski-directed effort chronicles Stalinist-style police repression, arrests and tortures in Poland. Some years after filming in Warsaw, Bugajski escaped to Canada and completed the film in Toronto. Stars Krystyna Janda and Janusz Gajos. (Circle)

“LENSMAN"--Innovative cartoon fare combining computer-generated movement with traditional animation. Yoshiaki Kawajiri directs this Japanese production based on the E. E. (Doc) Smith novels. (Streamline)

“LIFE IS A LONG QUIET RIVER"--This French satire looks at the disparity between two families: one a painfully snobbish upper-class type and the other irredeemably low-rent. The fun gets underway when it’s learned that their two adolescent children were mistakenly swapped at birth. Helene Vincent and Andre Wilms top the cast. Directed by Etienne Chatilliez. (MK2 Productions)

“MEMPHIS BELLE"--Producer David Puttnam offers this look at the young American flyboys who kept the Memphis Belle B-17 bomber airborne in World War II. All-star cast includes Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, John Lithgow, David Strathairn, D. B. Sweeney, Sean Astin and Billy Zane. Michael Caton-Jones (“Scandal”) directs. (Warner Bros.)

“MILLER’S CROSSING"--Albert Finney stepped in when Trey Wilson died before production started on this film. From The Brothers Coen (director-writer Joel, producer-writer Ethan) of “Raising Arizona,” this 1929-set film deals with politics, corruption and a deadly love triangle. Gabriel Byrne and Marcia Gay Harden complete the triangle. (20th Century Fox)

“MO’ BETTER BLUES"--Director/pro- ducer/writer/star/social activist Spike Lee’s new film centers on trumpeter Denzel Washington. Washington, also a bandleader, must face an agonizing decision . . . should he commit his all to his music or to his women? Film was called “Love Supreme,” after the John Coltrane instrumental. Title change became necessary when Coltrane’s widow objected to racy tone of Lee’s screenplay. Co-stars Cynda Williams, Ruben Blades, Giancarlo Esposito. (Universal)

“PEACEMAKER"--"Licence to Kill’s” Robert Davi is an alien law enforcer who drops down to earth to perform a delicate assignment. It seems that a deadly killer--also from Davi’s native planet--has come to earth to exude viciousness, and Davi must intercept him. Written and directed by Kevin Tenney. (Gibralter)

“PRESUMED INNOCENT"--This adaptation of Scott Turow’s bestsellerstars Harrison Ford as prosecuting attorney Rusty Sabich. When Sabich is accused of murdering a colleague and ex-lover, he’s thrust into a frantic search for the killer. Alan J. Pakula directs. Co-stars Brian Dennehy, Bonnie Bedelia, Raul Julia, Greta Scacchi and Paul Winfield. (Warner Bros.)

“PUMP UP THE VOLUME"--Christian Slater takes his little maverick radio station and turns his dull, suburban town upside down. Slater, at the mike, imbues his community with some life while endeavoring to dump the tyrannical high school principal. Allan Moyle directs. Co-stars Ellen Greene, Seth Green, Ahmet Zappa and Samantha Manthis. (New Line)

“SKETCHES"--C. Thomas Howell, Jason Bateman and Jonathan Silverman are friends who make their glorious way from Cleveland to the beaches of California. This comedy-drama also stars Annie Potts as the zany lady the three pick up during their travels and travails. Neal Israel directs. (MCEG)

“SPIRITS"--Erik Estrada and Carol Lynley saunter forth in this tale of fallen priest Estrada and his attempts to help a coalition of scientists and psychics determine if life succeeds death. Also stars Robert Quarry, Kaitlin Hopkins, Oliver Darrow, Kathrin Lautner and Brinke Stevens. Fred Olen Ray directs and co-produces with T. L. Lankford. (A.I.P.)

“TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS"--Director Arthur Hiller teams with James Belushi and Charles Grodin in this comedy. Grodin plays a yuppie account executive who misplaces his day planner--into the mitts of Belushi. Belushi, on “temporary leave” from his minimum-security cell, assumes Grodin’s identity. (Buena Vista)

“THE TWO JAKES"--Jack Nicholson’s “Chinatown” sequel project. Robert Towne, writer and Oscar winner for the original, again spins this yarn set in 1940s Los Angeles. Director Nicholson again assumes his famous Jake Gittes private-eye role, this time looking into a killing, and in doing so he confronts mysterious connections to his own past. Harvey Keitelplays Jake No. 2, and Meg Tilly, Madeleine Stowe, Eli Wallach, Ruben Blades, Frederic Forrest, David Keith and Richard Farnsworth round out the players. (Paramount)

“WILD AT HEART"--Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern and Diane Ladd star in director David Lynch’s first feature since the much ballyhooed “Blue Velvet.” Cage and Dern are on the run with Dern’s mom (Ladd) in hot pursuit. Harry Dean Stanton, Isabella Rossellini, Willem Dafoe and Crispin Glover are also featured. (Goldwyn).


“THE FRESHMAN"--Marlon Brando takes on his first starring role since 1980’s “The Formula.” Matthew Broderick plays the title role, a frosh film student who meets and befriends father figure (Godfather figure?) Brando. Brando’s eligible daughter also comes into play in this offbeat comedy. Bruno Kirby co-stars; Andrew Bergman writes and directs. Soon after shooting wrapped, Brando bad-mouthed the movie, then quickly recanted. (Tri-Star)

“HARDWARE"--This horror story revolves around a young man rendered incoherent by extreme radiation poisoning. He painstakingly makes his way home through a land decimated by war and environmental devastation. Dylan McDermott and Stacey Travis star, Richard Stanley directs. (Miramax)

“HELLGATE"--Ron Palillo, formerly Horshack on “Welcome Back, Kotter,” stars in this horror show as a man who picks up a statuesque but deadly hitch- hiker on a lonely mountain road. Things go downhill from there. Directed by William Levey. (Vidmark)

“HIT MAN"--More exploitational fare, this one starring ex-"CHiPS” heartthrob Erik Estrada. Estrada enjoys life in a biker gang until the gang accidentally kills a mother and her son. He does the right thing and testifies, but this infuriates his old pals and they exact revenge. Joseph Merhi is writer-director. (PM)

“NIGHT WISH"--Horror springs forth when a dream-research team is surrounded by danger as fantasy and reality slowly--and inexplicably--meld. Clayton Rohner, Alisha Daus and Brian Thompson star; Bruce R. Cooke writes and directs. (Vidmark)

“QUEENS LOGIC"--A group of childhood friends, now in their 30s, regroup in Queens to discuss what they’ve done in their lives. Massive cast includes Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Linda Fiorentino, John Malkovich, Joe Mantegna, Tony Spiridakis, Tom Waits, Chloe Webb and Ken Olin of “thirtysomething.” (New Visions)

“WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART"--Clint Eastwood directs and stars in the John Huston role made famous by the Peter Viertel novel. Shot in Kenya, the movie delves into events inspired by the making of “The African Queen.” Also stars Jeff Fahey, George Dzundza and Marisa Berenson. (Warner Bros.)

This special issue of Los Angeles Times Magazine was produced by: Robert Epstein, Editor; Donald Burgess, Design Director; David Pecchia, Editorial Assistant; Jefferson G. Stillwell, Operations Director ; Robert Stone, Art Production.

Editorial Director: Wallace Guenther.