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FREEZE FRAMES

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HARLEM NIGHTS - Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor star in this African-American version of ``The Sting,'' about two small-time criminals outsmarting a mobster and his gang. Murphy also directed the movie, which looks and sounds quite polished, and has a surprising number of first-rate performances to its credit. The language is as raunchy as you'd expect from the combined garbage-mouths of Murphy and Pryor, though, and the picture's attitude toward women is nothing short of barbaric. (Rated R) LOOKING FOR LANGSTON - Impressionistic documentary about the African-American poet Langston Hughes and the ``Harlem renaissance'' in which he played a part. Directed by Isaac Julien, who seems more interested in Hughes's hidden homosexuality than in his literary importance. (Not rated)

VALMONT - Yet another version of ``Les Liaisons Dangereuses,'' from the 18th-century novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, detailing the sexual intrigues of some wily French ariscrats. Directed by Milos Forman, this film is livelier, more absorbing, and generally better acted than ``Dangerous Liaisons,'' which arrived a year ago. But it runs out of inspiration long before it runs out of plot twists, and we've seen the twists too many times before, going back to Roger Vadim's modernized adaptation of the story back in 1959. Enough already! (Rated R)


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