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FREEZE FRAMES

A weekly update of film releases

1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE

- Gerard Depardieu looks just right as Christopher Columbus, but he sounds as ill-at-ease speaking English as the real Columbus probably would have. The story has many similarities to that of "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery," which came out a few weeks earlier, but this time the atmosphere is more pretentious. The only real interest in the movie, aside from a few stunning images, is its emphasis on the drive to impose European values on the New World as quickly as possible. Directed by Ridley Scott , with his usual sense of visual detail, from Roselyne Bosch's clunky screenplay. (Rated PG-13)

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LONDON KILLS ME

- A young man who sorely needs a new pair of shoes and a job, in that order, is among the main characters of this comedy-drama about British youth today. Although there are some engaging moments, most of the film is a disappointment coming from Hanif Kureishi, who wrote the memorable "My Beautiful Laundrette" and hasn't equaled it since. (Not rated)

SIMPLE MEN

- Romance complicates the odyssey of two brothers looking for their long-lost father, a legendary baseball star with a politically radical past. Written and directed by Hal Hartley with a mixture of humor, emotion, realism, and stylization, all more finely balanced and sensitively conveyed than anything in his previous films. (Rated R)