As the Year Winds Down......Hollywood’s Pace Picks Up


The Jackal. Bruce Willis is the title character, an assassin pursued by an unlikely triumvirate--FBI honcho Sidney Poitier, Russian officer Diane Venora and imprisoned operative Richard Gere. (Universal)

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Nov. 16, 1997 FOR THE RECORD
Los Angeles Times Sunday November 16, 1997 Home Edition Calendar Page 99 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 19 words Type of Material: Correction
Film title--In last Sunday’s Holiday Sneaks list of upcoming movies, “Mortal Kombat Annihilation” was listed with an incorrect title.
Los Angeles Times Sunday November 16, 1997 Home Edition Calendar Page 99 Calendar Desk 2 inches; 48 words Type of Material: Correction
Franzoni clarification--David Franzoni is the sole writer credited by the Writers Guild of America with the screenplay of the movie “Amistad.” The Times did not intend to imply that Franzoni’s credit was undeserved in a story in last Sunday’s Calendar. In addition, a separate listing for “Amistad” incorrectly gave credit to a second writer.

Kiss or Kill. Rugged Australian landscapes frame the noir doings in the story of a con couple on the run, with corpses in their wake. (October Films)

The Little Mermaid. A reissue of that 1989 animated favorite. (Walt Disney)


The Man Who Knew Too Little. Bill Murray stars as a man who mistakes the cloak-and-dagger events unfolding around him for the scenes of an interactive theater piece. (Warner Bros.)

The Mouse. John Savage, Angelica Torn and her dad, Rip, take the leads in the true story of boxer Bruce “The Mouse” Strauss, whose specialty was putting up a good fight, then getting knocked out with style. (Strand)

Nick and Jane. The mismatch between a cab-driving artist (James McCaffrey) and an Upper West Side financial analyst (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) sparks this romantic comedy. (CFP)

One Night Stand. Wesley Snipes, Nastassja Kinski, Robert Downey Jr., Kyle McLachlan and Ming-Na Wen star in Mike Figgis’ follow-up to “Leaving Las Vegas,” about a married man’s brief affair and its long-lasting aftereffects. (New Line)

NOV. 21

Anastasia. The veteran team of Don Bluth and Gary Goldman crafted this story of the fabled Russian princess. Contributing voices include Meg Ryan, Kelsey Grammer and Angela Lansbury. (Fox Family Films)

John Grisham’s The Rainmaker. Francis Ford Coppola directs a film based on the bestseller about an idealistic law school grad (Matt Damon) taking on his first big case. (Paramount)

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Clint Eastwood directs an adaptation of John Berendt’s book about a murder in Savannah, Ga. (Warner Bros.)


Mortal Kombat II: Annihilation. Superheroes take on a warlord with aims on planet Earth. John Leonetti directs this installment of the action-adventure series. (New Line)

The Sweet Hereafter. A tragedy in a small Canadian town is the pivotal event in director Atom Egoyan’s adaptation of Russell Banks’ novel. Grand prize winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. (Fine Line)

Z. A re-release of Costa-Gavras’ Oscar-winning 1969 political thriller. (Fox Lorber).

NOV. 26


Alien Resurrection. Sigourney Weaver teams with Winona Ryder in the series’ fourth entry. This one aligns the heroine with a group of smugglers. (Fox)

Bent. The film version of Martin Sherman’s award-winning play about Nazi persecution of homosexuals. (MGM)

Flubber. Robin Williams succeeds Fred MacMurray as the absent-minded professor in a remake of the bouncy 1961 comedy. (Walt Disney)

The Imax Nutcracker. This elaborate, non-ballet production marks the mega-screen operation’s move from documentary into the musical narrative genre. (Imax)


Welcome to Sarajevo. British stage star Stephen Dillane as a TV reporter in Yugoslavia, where the brutality of war impels him to disregard his journalistic code in order to save a life. (Miramax)

NOV. 27

Bad Boy Bubby. Rolf de Heer’s disquieting film follows the picaresque adventures of a man who emerges after spending his first 35 years in a tiny apartment with his deranged mother. (PMB Films International)

DEC. 5


Good Will Hunting. Fresh off “To Die For,” Gus Van Sant directs Matt Damon as a brilliant but destructively angry Boston youth and Robin Williams as the therapist trying to figure him out. (Miramax)

Hugo Pool. Experimental film icon Robert Downey’s tale of an L.A. pool cleaner who falls for a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease--a character modeled on the director’s wife, who co-wrote the script before she died of the illness at 36. (Northern Arts)

Office Killer. Art-world maverick Cindy Sherman directs Carol Kane as a mousy murderer who sets out to downsize the staff at Constant Consumer magazine. (Strand)

DEC. 10


Amistad. Steven Spielberg directs the story of mutinous slaves whose fate in 1839 America brings President Martin Van Buren into conflict with founding father John Quincy Adams. Written by David Franzoni and Steven Zaillian (“Schindler’s List”). (DreamWorks)

DEC. 12

The Apostle. Robert Duvall directed this intense, complex character study from his own script. He also plays the lead role, an evangelist on the lam. (October Films)

Deconstructing Harry. Woody Allen’s latest features a typically eclectic ensemble cast that includes Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Elisabeth Shue and Demi Moore. (Fine Line)


For Richer or Poorer. Tim Allen and Kirstie Alley reassess their values when they flee the IRS and take refuge in an Amish community. (Universal)

Scream 2. Wes Craven reconvenes original cast members Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Liev Schreiber and David Arquette to deal with some secrets from the past. (Miramax)

Twisted. The late William Hickey (“Prizzi’s Honor”) plays the Fagin role in Seth Michael Donsky’s stylized recasting of “Oliver Twist,” set in New York’s gay world. (Leisure Time Features)

DEC. 19


Home Alone 3. Eight-year-old Alex Pruitt (Alex D. Linz) has chicken pox, but he’s the last line of defense against a team of criminals that’s invaded his neighborhood. (Fox Family Films)

Mousehunt. Brothers Nathan Lane and Lee Evans battle a resourceful rodent when they set out to renovate a mansion. (DreamWorks)

Titanic. The romance of aristocratic Kate Winslet and lowly Leonardo DiCaprio is the central human drama in writer-director James Cameron’s monumental depiction of the ill-fated voyage. (Paramount)

Tomorrow Never Dies. Pierce Brosnan is back for an encore as James Bond, squaring off against media mogul Jonathan Pryce--whose wife (Teri Hatcher) goes way back with 007. (MGM)


Will It Snow for Christmas? This Paris Film Festival success centers on a woman and her seven children, and the tyrannical father who exploits them. (Zeitgeist)

DEC. 23

As Good as It Gets. Novelist Jack Nicholson, cafe server Helen Hunt and artist Greg Kinnear form an unlikely bond, thanks to a dog named Verdell. James L. Brooks directs. (TriStar)

DEC. 24


Wag the Dog. Spin doctor Robert De Niro and producer Dustin Hoffman set out to manufacture a war in Hilary Henkin and David Mamet’s satire, directed by Barry Levinson. (New Line)

DEC. 25

An American Werewolf in Paris. Julie Delpy is the lovely lycanthrope who wins the heart of Tom Everett Scott. (Hollywood)

Jackie Brown. Writer-director Quentin Tarantino, source novelist Elmore Leonard and blaxploitation heroine Pam Grier team on the story of a woman trying to slip a fortune through a web of gunrunners and federal agents. (Miramax)


Kundun. Martin Scorsese’s story of the Dalai Lama’s early life, which depicts China’s invasion of Tibet, is a sore point in U.S.-Chinese relations. (Touchstone)

Mr. Magoo. Leslie Nielsen portrays the Sultan of Squint in the story of a stolen gem and ruthless villains. (Walt Disney)

The Postman. Kevin Costner directs and stars in an action thriller set in a futuristic American West. (Warner Bros.)

The Tango Lesson. Director Sally Potter draws on her own experience and plays the lead--a filmmaker who strikes a difficult bargain with a tango instructor in Paris. (Sony Pictures Classics)


The Winter Guest. Emma Thompson and her mother, Phyllida Law, head an ensemble cast in a look at the people of a Scottish town on a day so cold that the sea has frozen. Directed by Alan Rickman. (Fine Line)

DEC. 26

Afterglow. Alan Rudolph’s latest romantic traffic jam occurs at the intersection of two dissatisfied couples (Nick Nolte and Julie Christie, Lara Flynn Boyle and Jonny Lee Miller). (Sony Pictures Classics)

Ma Vie En Rose (My Life in Pink). Belgian director Alain Berliner’s first feature concerns a young boy whose determination to change his gender sets off an uproar in his family and community. (Sony Pictures Classics)


Underground. To perpetuate his black market operation, a man convinces his colleagues that World War II rages on--a charade he maintains for decades in Emir Kusturica’s black comedy. (New Yorker)

DEC. 31

The Boxer. Daniel Day-Lewis and director Jim Sheridan (“My Left Foot,” “In the Name of the Father”) reunite in the story of a fighter who returns to the ring--and the despair of Belfast--after 13 years in prison. (Universal)

Great Expectations. Robert De Niro, Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow head the cast in an updated and transplanted version of the Dickens classic set in Florida and New York. (Fox)


Oscar and Lucinda. Gillian Armstrong directs Ralph Fiennes as a British priest and Cate Blanchett as an Australian businesswoman who share a passion for gambling and a dream of transporting a glass church to a remote parish. (Fox Searchlight)