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DECEMBER 8, 1997: 

FLUBBER. In this remake of The Absent Minded Professor, Robin Williams plays the Fred MacMurray role not just absent-humoredly, but with that saccharine vocal lilt he always uses in kids' movies--the one that makes him sound like he's trying to reassure a baby. The flubber itself is anthropomorphized to the point where it becomes a Gummi human, thus saving us the tedious task of imagining its personality ourselves. Then there's Weebo, an intelligent flying robot/secretary whose crush on Williams is, to be honest, rather sick. Basically, everything in Flubber is blibber-blubber. Screenwriter John Hughes and his team of corporate filmmakers have turned the once-charming Disney story into an effects-dominated rehash that's lost nearly all of its bounce. --Woodruff

KISS OR KILL. Just in case you haven't seen enough variations on the young-lovers-on-the-run movie, here's one set in the desolate Australian outback. The twist is that the lovers, played by Matt Day and Frances O'Conner (both last seen in Love and Other Catastrophes), have good reason to suspect each other of the throat-slitting murders that mysteriously occur wherever they go. Though the film feels cool, with its grainy cinematography, enigmatic minor characters and listless narration, it's loosely executed to a fault. Key narrative elements are left so sketchy, so "whatever," that suspense drains through the cracks. Somebody please tell director Bill Bennett that excessive jump cuts and other forms of purposeful sloppiness no longer qualify as style. --Woodruff


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