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NOVEMBER 9, 1998: 

BELLY (R)
Hollywood has finally tired of exploiting the New York Italian Mafia scene and now turns its jaded eyes on the New York African American drug trade. DMZ is Tommy Brown, Nas is Sincere, and each must find his own path through the back-stabbing treachery that is high stakes crime.
Prediction: Director Hype Williams has worked magic with music videos for Sean "Puffy" Combs, Mary J. Blige, and the Wu-Tang Clan—to name just a few. But producing four magnetic minutes of highly edited action is a different beastie than producing two hours' worth, which, in a way, explains why movies starring Tom Arnold are universally despised.
Probable Entertainment Value: C



LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (PG-13)
Springtime for Hitler this ain't. What it is is a Chaplinesque fable about the power of love and imagination over the horrors of WWII and Auschwitz. Guido (Roberto Benigni) settles into a Tuscan town, just as Mussolini decides to cave in to Germany. Guido and his son are deported and survive the concentration camp experience using humor, fantasy, and love.
Prediction: Life Is Beautiful has already won eight David di Donatello Awards (the Italian Oscar), the Grand Jury Prize at the 1998 Cannes Festival, and the Audience Award at the Toronto and Vancouver International Film Festivals. Sometimes the Guru's job is just so difficult...
Probable Entertainment Value: A



LIVING OUT LOUD (R)
I think there's some strange genetic predisposition for rich white men to dump their wives and take up with young, buxom girls. And the wives that they dump are predisposed to feel horribly guilty about it. Judith (the stellar Holly Hunter) ponders this as she strives to reinvest herself in her life, with the help of Danny DeVito's doorman Pat and a random one-night stand.
Prediction: First-time director Richard LaGravenese also wrote The Fisher King, The Horse Whisperer, and The Bridges of Madison County, which proves that he knows a thing or two about the biz. But does he know his dolly shot from his crane shot?
Probable Entertainment Value: B



THE SIEGE (R)
Bruce Willis is saving the world again, this time with help from Denzel Washington and Annette Bening after terrorists attack New York City. Edward Zwick (Glory, Legends of the Fall) directs this message movie cloaked in action-adventure garb.
Prediction: Can Willis handle the complexities of his character in a psycho-drama that delves into whether or not might makes right? Didn't think so.
Probable Entertainment Value: C



THE WATERBOY (PG-13)
Adam Sandler is The Waterboy—brought to you by the same team that wrote, directed, and produced Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison.
Prediction: Sandler never fails to make this Guru bust a gut. No, it isn't great art, but it is funny. Stay home and watch old Chris Farley movies if you can't stand the Sand.
Probable Entertainment Value: B


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