In the New Year, Some Depressing Choices : THIS WEEK’S MOVIES

When you walk into your video store and look over the “new arrivals” shelves, it will only seem as if every bad film from last year has just been released on tape.

No such luck. As awful as this week’s selection may be, there are lots of other 1990 duds on the way.

Fortunately, they’ll also be joined by last year’s better examples of the cinematic art and some enticing vintage video (see “Coming Attractions” below).

The problem with this week’s new releases isn’t quantity--which was lacking during the holidays--but quality.


Among the depressing choices:

“The Lemon Sisters” (HBO, $92.99, R). They should have just called it “The Lemon Movie.” How bad can a comedy/drama about three female friends reviving their singing act, directed by a woman (Joyce Chopra) and with a cast like this--Diane Keaton, Carol Kane, Kathryn Grody, Elliot Gould--be? Rent it and see.

“Repossessed” (Live, $89.95, PG-13). As if the official sequels to “The Exorcist” weren’t ridiculous enough, here’s a kidding-on-purpose spoof that features original “Exorcist” star Linda Blair, Leslie Nielsen, Ned Beatty and one dumb gag after another for 89 minutes. Gluttons for punishment can look forward to March 7, when “Exorcist III” also comes out on video.

“Delta Force 2: Operation Stranglehold” (Media, $89.98, R). Unfortunately, the stranglehold isn’t on violent-film star Chuck Norris, whose predictable sequel this is. The plot concerns--how’s this for originality?--an attempt to bring a drug lord to justice.


“Rainbow Drive” (Vidmark, $89.95, R). The picture that answers the question: How can another cop movie starring “RoboCop” star Peter Weller have remained so obscure?

“Circuitry Man” (RCA/Columbia, $89.95, R). Sci-fi scenario about a character named Plughead, who plugs into other people’s minds. You’ll want to pull the plug.

“Guns” (RCA/Columbia, $79.95, R). Not even the presence of several Playboy Playmates (along with former “CHiPs” star Erik Estrada) can save this low-budget detective movie.

“Night Life” (RCA/Columbia, R). The addled adventures of four teen-age zombies.


Don’t throw away your VCR yet. The future holds some relief, including: “Orpheus Descending” and “What Price Hollywood” (Wednesday), “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Young Guns II” (Thursday), “The Freshman” (Jan. 22), French classics “My Life to Live,” “Story of Women” and “Zazie Dans Le Metro” (Jan. 24), “Die Hard 2" (Jan. 31), “Cinema Paradiso” and “Days of Thunder” (Feb. 7), “The Witches,” “Flatliners” and “Gay Purr-ee” (Feb. 13), “The Two Jakes” and “State of Grace” (Feb. 28) and “Wild at Heart” (March 6).

And when can you expect to watch that blockbuster “Home Alone” home alone--or with friends? Around early summer, the industry publication Video Insider speculates, and possibly at a low price.



For the kid who can’t get enough of those turtles: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles--Attack of the Big Mac” (FHE, $14.95), a 47-minute cartoon involving the quartet with a good-natured robot that drops in from the future.