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THE MOVIES : SUMMER SCREEN PREVIEW : Capsule descriptions of films that are coming your way.

May 29, 1988|PAT H. BROESKE and DAVID PECCHIA

Summertime--and the movie-goin' is easy.

Ever since "Jaws" gobbled up the box office, back in the summer of '75, the warm-weather months have been the major period for film releases. The latest onslaught, which began with three biggies--sequels to "Crocodile Dundee" and "Rambo" and George Lucas' "Willow"--kicked off on or around Memorial Day.

Hopefully to amuse you, rather than abuse you, the summer screen strategy (and we emphasize "strategy"--as all of this is subject to change) follows:

THE BIG THREE

" 'Crocodile' Dundee II" --It's a g'day as Paul Hogan returns for more adventures in the Aussie Outback with his lady love (and enterprising American journalist) Linda Kozlowski. The charismatic Hogan co-scripts; John Cornell produces/directs. With John Meillon. (Paramount)

"Rambo: First Blood Part III" --Sylvester Stallone returns as explosive Vietnam vet John Rambo. The film opens to find Our Hero living a life of peace (at last!) in Thailand. Then comes word that his mentor (and only friend), Col. Sam Trautman (Richard Crenna), has been kidnaped and is being held prisoner in Afghanistan. Again Rambo goes to war! Veteran cinematographer Peter MacDonald makes his directorial debut. Stallone co-scripts with Sheldon Lettich. Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna exec produce; Buzz Feitshans produces. (Tri-Star)

"Willow" --George Lucas produces; Ron Howard directs; Bob Dolman scripts, based on an original story by Lucas. An epic adventure of good and evil, knights and castles, fairies and monsters, the story finds little Willow Ufgood (3-foot-4-inch Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok in "Return of the Jedi") faced with a big job: to transport a baby girl to the land of her heritage. Ah, but there are many obstacles, including the roguish knight played by Val Kilmer. But wait--the handsome Kilmer becomes an ally--another unlikely hero on a quest far bigger than he or Willow realizes. With Joanne Whalley (as the beautiful Sorsha), Jean Marsh (as the evil Queen Bavmorda) and special effects wonders--courtesy of Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic. (MGM/United Artists)

AND OTHER TITLES KICKING OFF THE SUMMER

"Buy and Cell" --Robert Carradine is a shy investment broker who's framed and sent to prison where he specializes in insider trading. That is, he sets up Con Inc.--which buys and sells stock from behind bars. His partners: Ben Vereen, Tony Plana, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Michael Winslow. With Randall (Tex) Cobb as the toughest prison guard, Malcolm McDowell as the cruel warden and Lise Cutter as the attractive doctor who strikes up more than a friendship with Carradine. Robert Boris directs. (Empire)

"Ghost Town" --What looks like a ghost town isn't. A young woman who happens upon the town, and the young deputy sent to find her, wind up in a Western with horrific overtures. Richard Governor directs. With Franc Luz, Jimmie F. Skaggs and Catherine Hickland. (Empire)

"Out Cold"-- Teri Garr, John Lithgow and Randy Quaid in what's described as a tale of "love, death and refrigeration." That is, Garr and Lithgow go on the run following the refrigeration (!) death of Garr's hubby. Quaid is the private eye who's, um, hot on their trail. Malcolm Mowbray directs. (Tri-Star)

JUNE

"Big" -- Another one about a kid who's suddenly transformed into a man--this time via a carnival "wishing machine." Elizabeth Perkins is the career woman who falls in love with the man-child, Tom Hanks. With Robert Loggia, John Heard and the direction of Penny Marshall. James L. Brooks co-produces. (20th Century Fox)

"Big Business"-- Whoops! Two sets of newborn twins are mismatched. One pair (Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin) is reared by a wealthy New York family while the other (Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler) grow up in rural Jupiter Hollow. Thirty-plus years later, the mistake is discovered during a frantic Manhattan weekend. Jim Abrahams (one of the guys who let loose "Airplane!") directs. (Buena Vista)

"Call Me"-- Oh, the perils of telephone sex: A woman who receives a series of obscene telephone calls thinks it's her boyfriend trying to liven up their relationship. She agrees to meet the mystery caller. The fantasy turns to terror when she witnesses a brutal murder at a bar and then becomes a potential victim. Still, those calls keep coming. Sollace Mitchell directs/co-writes. With Patricia Charbonneau and Patti D'Arbanville. (Vestron)

"Chronicle of a Death Foretold" --Murder mystery based on novel by Nobel Prize-winning Gabriel Garcia Marquez that explores tight social structures and unwritten codes of honor within a tiny South African community. Rupert Everett, Ornella Muti and Anthony Delon star. Francesco Rosi directs. (Island)

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