SNEAKS ‘96 : SUMMER : Hot enough for ya? Try this: a singing ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame,’ a chunky ‘Nutty Professor,’ a Cruise-ing ‘Mission: Impossible’ and a pumped-up “Independence Day.’ To chill, try ‘Moll Flanders,’ ‘Pinocchio’ or Tom Hanks’ directing debut, ‘That Thing You Do.’

Alaska. Two kids and a polar bear cub face tough terrain and bad guy Charlton Heston as they try to rescue their dad from his downed plane. The star’s son, Fraser C. Heston, directs. (Columbia)

Basquiat. Artist Julian Schnabel wrote and directs this bio of painter Jean Michel Basquiat (Jeffrey Wright), who died at age 27. David Bowie (as Andy Warhol) stars with Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Parker Posey and Courtney Love. (Miramax)

Bliss. Terence Stamp follows his “Priscilla” resurrection with the role of an unconventional sex therapist. He’s the focus of a journey of self-discovery for young couple Craig Sheffer and Sheryl Lee. (Triumph)

Bound. A female ex-con and the mistress of a mobster plot to swindle the Mafia out of $2 million. Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon star for debut directors Larry and Andy Wachowski. (Gramercy)

The Cable Guy. Matthew Broderick is the victim of renegade cable installer Jim Carrey. Ben Stiller directs. (Columbia)


Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and computer imagery help spin the magic in a live-action adaptation of the family classic, with Martin Landau as Gepetto and Jonathan Taylor Thomas as his creation. (New Line)

Carpool. Ad man David Paymer under pressure and con man Tom Arnold on the lam get tangled in a hostage-based relationship. Can an unlikely friendship be far behind? Arthur Hiller directs. (Warner Bros.)

Children of the Revolution. Australian Judy Davis writes fanciful love letters to the Kremlin and ends up making a visit to Russia. This comedy of the absurd also features Sam Neill and Rachel Griffiths. (Miramax)

Courage Under Fire. Military officer Denzel Washington, investigated for his involvement in a Gulf War friendly fire incident, seeks redemption in his own exploration of the death of a pilot (Meg Ryan). (Fox 2000)

Crime Story. Action hero Jackie Chan is a Hong Kong police inspector who has trouble cracking a kidnapping case, leading to elaborate stunt work executed by the star himself. (Miramax)

The Crow: City of Angels. Vincent Perez assumes the big bird’s powers, returning from the dead and setting out to destroy the bad guys (including rocker Iggy Pop) who populate a surreal city of evil. (Miramax/Dimension)

Dangerous Ground. Ice Cube gets a welcome to a new ‘hood, Johannesburg, where he searches with Elizabeth Hurley for his brother, who might have wronged the wrong crowd. Shot in South Africa by “Sarafina!” director Darrell Roodt. (New Line)

Dead Drop. Morgan Freeman and Keanu Reeves star in a thriller about a new technology, government frame-ups and a hot pursuit involving a lab technician and a beautiful scientist. (Fox)

Dragonheart. Dennis Quaid and his dragon sidekick (voice by Sean Connery, body by Industrial Light & Magic) battle a tyrannical ruler in this 10th century epic fantasy. (Universal)

Eddie. Whoopi Goldberg plays a rabid fan of a sad-sack NBA team who is appointed coach by the eccentric owner. (Hollywood)

Eraser. Arnold Schwarzenegger is an elite federal marshal protecting Vanessa Williams so she can testify against some powerful foes. James Caan and James Coburn are in on the taut action. (Warner Bros.)

The Fan. Robert De Niro is the title character, and the object of his obsession is baseball star Wesley Snipes. Tony Scott (“Crimson Tide”) directs. (TriStar)

Fled. Prison escapees Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Baldwin are caught between the law and the Cuban mob as they race against time for cash and an incriminating computer disk. (MGM)

The Frighteners. Michael J. Fox as a ghostbuster whose profitable scam is threatened when a sinister supernatural force arrives in a small town. (Universal)

The Ghost and the Darkness. After coping with Demi Moore in “Disclosure,” hungry lions should be child’s play for Michael Douglas. He teams with Val Kilmer to hunt two cunning carnivores who have downed more than 130 folks in 1896 Africa. (Paramount)

Gone Fishin’. Pals Joe Pesci and Danny Glover get sidetracked on their way to the water, becoming embroiled with two beautiful detectives and a dangerous criminal. (Hollywood/Caravan)

Harriet the Spy. Michelle Trachtenberg, star of Nickelodeon’s “Adventures of Pete & Pete,” plays the lead in this adaptation of Louise Fitzhugh’s novel about an inquisitive teenager. (Paramount)

Head Above Water. Harvey Keitel is a judge, Cameron Diaz his wife and Billy Zane her ex-lover and now a dead body. Jim Wilson wrote and directs this black comedy. (Fine Line)

High School High. The inspirational story of an idealistic young teacher (Jon Lovitz) at Marion Barry High--a school so tough it has its own cemetery. Don’t look now, but there are “Naked Gun” genes in the production team. (TriStar)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Victor Hugo’s much-filmed novel gets the Disney animation treatment, with Tom Hulce and Demi Moore giving voice to Quasimodo and Esmerelda, and Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz giving them songs. (Walt Disney)

Hustler White. The relationship between a visiting foreigner and an accident-prone youth is the center of this comedy about life among the hustlers on Santa Monica Boulevard. (Strand)

I Love You Not. Wendy Kesselman adapted her own play about teenager Claire Danes (“My So-Called Life,” “Little Women”), who faces decisions of identity as romance looms with Jude Law. (Miramax)

Independence Day. Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum head the cast in the “Stargate” team’s drama about a mysterious force that threatens the Earth. (Fox)

Joe’s Apartment. Joe (Jerry O’Connell), fresh off the bus from Iowa, gets a primer in New York life from his roommates--50,000 singing, dancing roaches. Based on the MTV live-action/animated short. (Warner Bros.)

John Carpenter’s Escape From L.A. No, it’s not about the director and co-writer’s relocation to a more film-friendly town. It’s a sequel to “Escape From New York,” with Kurt Russell roaming a post-quake wasteland. (Paramount)

Jude the Obscure. Christopher Eccleston is Jude Fawley in this interpretation of Thomas Hardy’s novel about obsession and doom. (Gramercy)

Kazaam. Shaquille O’Neal plays a genie released from a boom box and eager to help young Francis Capra, who has problems with family and bullies. (Walt Disney)

Kingpin. Woody Harrelson and Randy Quaid couldn’t be a more mismatched duo as they leave for Las Vegas--a former bowling champ reduced to petty hustling and an Amish man he envisions as his protege. Bill Murray and Vanessa Angel also star. (MGM)

Last Man Standing. Walter Hill directs Bruce Willis as a hired gun facing off against rival crime syndicates, in an adaptation of Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo.” (New Line)

Last of the High Kings. Director David Keating collaborated with Gabriel Byrne on this adaptation of Fredia MacAnna’s novel about the coming of age of a 17-year-old boy (Jared Leto) in 1977 Dublin. (Miramax)

Matilda. Danny DeVito directs and stars with his wife, Rhea Perlman, in an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book about a child trapped in a world of horrid adults--until she discovers some extraordinary powers. (TriStar)

Meet Ruth Stoops. Laura Dern is a pregnant woman thrown into a crucible of controversy. Swoosie Kurtz and Burt Reynolds are also in the cast of writer-director Alexander Payne’s film. (Miramax)

Mission: Impossible. If Harrison Ford could do it for “The Fugitive,” why not Tom Cruise for another classic TV series? Director Brian De Palma sends the star into a web of international intrigue. (Paramount)

Moll Flanders. Robin Wright follows Kim Novak as Daniel Defoe’s spirited heroine. Morgan Freeman and Stockard Channing also star in the story of survival in 18th century London. (MGM)

Multiplicity. Send in the clones. That’s Michael Keaton’s solution to the pressures besetting him, but in Harold Ramis’ comedy it leads to complications for him and wife Andie MacDowell. (Columbia)

Napoleon. Adam Wylie, Bronson Pinchot, David Ogden Stiers and Joan Rivers are among those supplying voices to the title character, a golden retriever puppy, and the many critters he encounters in his Australian outback adventure. (Samuel Goldwyn Co.)

The Nutty Professor. Eddie Murphy tries on Jerry Lewis’ mortarboard, cooking up a potion that transforms him into the suave Buddy Love. Some “Ace Ventura” veterans (including director Tom Shadyac) are enlisted to return Eddie to laugh land. (Universal)

One Fine Day. Divorced mom Michelle Pfeiffer has an exceptionally hectic day in New York, even by New York standards. (Fox 2000)

Palookaville. The winner of the Kodak Prize for best first film at the Venice Film Festival follows the fortunes of three men who seek to solve their unemployment problems by committing the perfect crime. (Samuel Goldwyn Co.)

The Phantom. Billy Zane dons the hooded outfit of the comic strip hero. Treat Williams, Kristy Swanson and Patrick McGoohan are along for the adventure ride. (Paramount)

Phenomenon. John Travolta is transformed into a genius on his 37th birthday, becoming an inspiration to some, prey to others and a pariah to his townsfolk. With Kyra Sedgwick, Robert Duvall and Forest Whitaker. (Touchstone)

Plump Fiction. The Tarantino oeuvre is just one of the cinematic sacred cows gored in a spoof that features Julie Brown, Sandra Bernhard and Tommy Davidson. (Rhino)

The Quest. First-time director Jean-Claude Van Damme is joined by 15 martial artists in a story about an invitation-only fight with a purse that would make Don King’s hair go flat. (Universal)

Ransom. Ron Howard directs Mel Gibson as a tycoon facing his toughest negotiations: those with his son’s kidnappers. His strategy ultimately turns radical. (Touchstone)

The Relic. Oscar winner Stan Winston (“Jurassic Park,” “Aliens”) created the critter who tears it up in a natural history museum. Beautiful scientist Penelope Ann Miller and cop TomSizemore try to bring it to bay. (Paramount)

The Rock. Commando Ed Harris and Co. capture Alcatraz and hold San Francisco hostage with chemical weapons. Can the FBI’s Nicolas Cage and crafty con Sean Connery save the day? (Hollywood)

She’s the One. Edward Burns (“The Brothers McMullen”) moves up in budget class for this story of two brothers trying to sort out their conflicts about the women in their lives. (Fox Searchlight)

Spy Hard. Villain Andy Griffith is unarmed (he lost them in an explosion) but extremely dangerous, as his old nemesis Leslie Nielsen discovers in this high-spying sendup. (Hollywood)

Stealing Beauty. Liv Tyler stars as a 19-year-old American who encounters an assortment of characters (including Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fiennes and Sinead Cusack) during a revealing sojourn in Italy. Bernardo Bertolucci directs. (Fox Searchlight)

Stonewall. A semi-fictional tale following the lives of some gay New Yorkers in the weeks leading up to the 1969 Greenwich Village riots that spawned the gay rights movement. (Strand)

Striptease. Demi Moore needs to appeal the decision that’s placed her daughter in the custody of her dangerous ex. She decides to fund the proceedings by hiring on at a Miami strip club. Based on the Carl Hiaasen novel and directed by Andrew Bergman. (Columbia/Castle Rock)

The Stupids. Tom Arnold heads the cast in a whimsical family comedy based on the popular children’s books. (New Line/Savoy)

Summer Snow. Poignancy and comedy are conjoined in the story of a Hong Kong family that must care for the husband’s widowed father. (Miramax)

Switchblade Sisters. A re-release of Jack Hill’s 1975 cult item about some tough chicks (including Lenny Bruce’s daughter Kitty). (Miramax)

Tales From the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood. The customers here have to dig really deep to come up with payment for services. Dennis Miller and Erika Eleniak are out to bust the demonic plot behind it. (Universal)

Talk of Angels. Political and sexual passions boil over for an Irish governess (Polly Walker) and the son (Vincent Perez) of an aristocratic family in a Spain on the brink of civil war. (Miramax)

Temptress Moon. An epic story stretching from China’s last imperial dynasty to the post-revolution underground. Chen Kaige directs Gong Li (“Shanghai Triad”) and Leslie Cheung (“Farewell My Concubine”). (Miramax)

That Thing You Do. Tom Hanks wrote and co-stars in his directorial debut, about the heady times of a rock band that hits the top of the charts in 1964. (Fox)

Three Ifs and a Maybe. Barmaid Lara Flynn Boyle toils to help her ex-ballplayer husband find a cure for his disabling injury. A surprising discovery spurs her to launch a complex scheme. (First Look)

A Time to Kill. Director Joel Schumacher turns from “The Client” to John Grisham’s first novel, about the team of Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey defending Samuel L. Jackson in an emotional murder trial in a Southern town. (Warner Bros.)

Tin Cup. Bull Durham hits the links, as writer-director Ron Shelton reunites with Kevin Costner in the story of a lowlife golf hustler inspired by love (Rene Russo) to qualify for the U.S. Open. (Warner Bros.)

To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday. Peter Gallagher’s wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) has been dead for two years, but he’s not letting her go. This Michael Pressman-directed romantic drama follows his passage from denial to release. (Triumph)

Trainspotting. Ewan McGregor (“Shallow Grave”) anchors a group of unsavory friends speeding toward self-destruction in the underbelly of Edinburgh, Scotland. (Miramax)

Unhook the Stars. John Cassavetes’ son Nick directs his mother, Gena Rowlands, as a widow who finds herself at a crossroads when she’s courted by truck driver Gerard Depardieu. (Miramax)

The Van. Stephen Frears directs the last installment of Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy, following “The Commitments” and “The Snapper” with the story of two pals trying to make a go of it with their fish-and-chips van. (Fox Searchlight)

A Very Brady Sequel. Here’s a story, about Carol Brady, whose first husband suddenly reappears. That’s a recipe for chaos in this follow-up to “The Brady Bunch Movie,” with Shelley Long returning as the matriarch. (Paramount)

The Visitors. France’s highest-grossing film ever concerns knight Jean Reno (“La Femme Nikita”), who is transported by a witch from the 12th century to the 20th. (Miramax)

Welcome to the Dollhouse. The torment of a girl (Heather Matarazzo) facing the onset of the teenage years yields dark comedy in writer-director Todd Solondz’s film. (Sony Classics)



You’ve only made it through summer, and there’s one more season to go. For fall and holiday films, please see Page 16.


Photo Research: Kathleen Craughwell