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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.'

January 21, 1996|RICHARD CROMELIN

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)

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