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A weekly update of film releases

* FOREIGN STUDENT - Romance blossoms between a young European man and an African-American woman he meets while attending school in the American South during the 1950s. As the visiting student, Marco Hoffschneider has the same boyish charm he showed in the popular ``Europa Europa,'' but Robin Givens is out of her depth as his lover. As a result of this and other shortcomings, the picture fails to build much credibility on either the personal or the sociological level. (Not rated) * KILLING ZOE - A young American visits a friend in Paris and finds himself helping with a bank robbery that turns nightmarishly violent. The picture was written and directed by Roger Avary, who worked with Quentin Tarantino on ``Pulp Fiction'' and ``True Romance.'' Avary shares Tarantino's taste for over-the-top nastiness without partaking of his formidable talent for visual storytelling. Eric Stoltz and Julie Delpy have some effective moments, but energetic acting isn't enough to redeem the movie from its pointless excesses. (Rated R) * RED ROCK WEST - A poor but honest drifter blows into a Southwestern town and promptly gets caught in a power struggle between the local sheriff, who's looking for a hit man to murder his wife, and the endangered spouse, who needs protection from her money-mad husband. Nicolas Cage gives a wild and witty performance as the confused but resourceful hero, and Dennis Hopper is in good form as a hit man who eventually barges into the story; lending solid support are J.T. Walsh as the sheriff and Lara Flynn Boyle as his potential victim. The thriller gets off to a slam-bang start, with multiple plot twists and amusing visual jokes, then tapers off long before the end. In all, it is a flawed but lively adventure that shows much promise in director John Dahl and his brother Rick Dahl, who co-wrote the screenplay. (Not rated)

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