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NEW RELEASES
Better Housekeeping! (R)

Director: Frank Novak. With Bob Jay Mills, Petra Westen. (90 min.)

Sterritt ** The boisterous story of a feuding couple whose fights disrupt friends and family when the husband builds a "Berlin Wall" in the middle of their home. The movie was originally called "Good Housekeeping," but the magazine didn't want louts like these associated with its name. It's hard to argue with that, but you don't see such feisty acting very often.

Die Another Day (PG-13)

Director: Lee Tamahori. With Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, John Cleese, Judi Dench. (110 min.)

Sterritt ** See review.

The Emperor's Club (PG-13)

Director: Michael Hoffman. With Kevin Kline, Emile Hirsh, Harris Yulin, Ron Morrow. (115 min.)

Sterritt ** An idealistic classics teacher sticks to his principles when less scrupulous folks around him let their moral values slide. Kline is excellent as the lovable hero, and the story makes valuable points about the importance of ethics in a society driven by money and prestige. But at a time when much public education is in a state of perilous decay, one wonders whether this sentimental ode to old-school dignity and privilege is in touch with today's pressing realities.

Personal Velocity (R)

Director: Rebecca Miller. With Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey, Fairuza Balk, Leo Fitzpatrick. (85 min.)

Sterritt **** Three separate tales of troubled young women: one on the run from an abusive husband, one sorting through mixed emotions as her professional fortunes rise, and one a pregnant runaway with a horrific past. The episodes don't give as much insight into their subjects or characters as one would hope, but Miller shows terrific talent as a director with a sharp eye for images, a keen ear for dialogue, and a refreshing willingness to take storytelling risks.

The Quiet American (R)
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