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On The Screen

HHHH: Excellent

HHH: Good

HH: Average

H: Poor

HHH1/2 Addams Family Values

This sequel is as funny as the original The Addams Family, with all of the old cast returning. This episode focuses on Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd and lots of make-up) and his quest to find love, which he finds (in a way) in Joan Cusack, who plays the nanny for the newborn and mustachioed addition to the Addams Family. This plot is suitably kooky and creepy, but it is Wednesday Addams's (Christina Ricci) antics at summer camp that are truly hilarious, as she exacts her calculated revenge on her neo-hippie, feel-good counsellors. Raul Julia and Angelica Huston are wonderfully motivated as Gomez and Morticia Addams, the heads of this spooky family. Be sure to watch for their version of the masochism tango. All around, the delightful characters make for an entertaining production. -J. Michael Andresen. LSC Friday

HHHH In the Name of the Father

Daniel Day-Lewis offers a riveting portrayal of a young man named Gerry Conlon who is convicted, along with friends and family, of an IRA bombing of a British pub in 1974. The film addresses the grave injustice that the British government dealt the Conlons, but it uses the relationship in prison between Gerry and his father Guiseppe (an excellent Pete Postlethwaite) to carry the film's message of hope and redemption. Director Jim Sheridan's pro-Irish bias provides an effective retaliation against England's tendency to make Ireland a scapegoat for the IRA's actions. And Emma Thompson gives a solid performance as the lawyer who struggles to bring freedom to the Conlons. Quite simply, it ranks as one of the best films of 1993. -Scott Deskin. Loews Copley Place

HHH1/2 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Harrison Ford fights the Nazis once again in this the third film of the Indiana Jones saga. This is the most intellectual stimulating of the three, as Indiana teams up with his father (Sean Connery) to beat the Nazis in tracking down the long-lost Holy Grail. The puzzle that Indiana must solve at the end is nicely conceived and suitably perplexing. Ford is at his best when playing an action hero, especially when he is accompanied by the exciting music of John Williams. The antics and escapades of Hollywood's favorite archaeologist once again prove very entertaining, including the opening cameo by the late River Phoenix as a young Indiana Jones. -JMA. LSC Sunday

HHH Naked Gun 331/3: The Final Insult

From what is promised to be the final chapter in an unpretentious trilogy, this film was anticipated as a letdown but proved every bit as enjoyable as the first Naked Gun. Leslie Nielsen reprises his role as the inept Lt. Frank Drebin, but he has retired from Police Squad to domestic bliss with his career-minded wife, Jane Spencer-Drebin (Priscilla Presley). The plot, as transparent as ever, centers around a terrorist (Fred Ward), his buxom accomplice (Anna Nicole Smith), and a scheme to neutralize the festivities at the Academy Awards. The film is merely a vehicle for the staggering number of lowbrow references, pratfalls, and sight gags, but nonetheless is a streamlined vehicle which can boast more hits than misses. Sometimes the acting appears more brainless than the plot, but Nielsen's mannerisms and the effective Zucker-Abrams-Zucker production values are appealing and transcendent of the material. For mindless entertainment, it's pretty impressive. -SD. Loews Cheri

HHH The Paper

This day-in-the-life look at a New York newspaper markets itself as a comedy, but credibly mixes elements of drama, mystery, and even romance. It captures the occasional hysteria of the newsroom, and from first sight of The Sun's office, the whole movie rushes forward as if in fear of the ever-present deadline. When Michael Keaton, as the manic metro editor, faces off against managing editor Glenn Close in yet another mega-bitch role, sparks and stinging one-liners fly faster than newsy rumors. Under the masterful direction of Ron Howard, the star-studded cast shows us how to laugh and learn about life, just in time to get the news out. -Ann Ames. Loews Cheri

HHH The Ref

It isn't The Fugitive, but The Ref does okay in its own right. Denis Leary plays a man running from the law in this comedy by Ted Demme. After goofing up a burglary, Leary's character takes Caroline and Lloyd Chasseur (Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey) hostage while waiting for his escape. The film covers two hours of Leary's attempts to stay on top of his predicament, despite visits from the couple's son and various in-laws. The film is full of funny scenes, most dominated by Leary, but there are also serious moments. Both sides of the spectrum are acted well by the whole cast. -Kamal Swamidoss. Loews Copley Place

H1/2 Threesome

Writer-Director Andrew Fleming tried to create a film about college life but ends up with a weak look at the struggle of one confused student who is trying to determine his sexual orientation. Eddy (Josh Charles) is attracted to Stuart (Stephen Baldwin) who is attracted to Alex (Laura Flynn Boyle) who is attracted to Eddy. The film's premise, which finds Alex mistakenly placed as a roommate to Eddy and Stuart, is overplayed in importance and only distracts from the initial presentation of the characters. Overall, the film would have been much better had Fleming either concentrated on either the development of Eddy's character or on the interaction of all three characters. -PM. Loews Harvard Square