MGM reportedly does some marvelous things on screen in its sci-fi adventure Stargate (PG-13), opening today. Hurtling through time and space to save the Earth from testy extraterrestrials is challenging stuff. What MGM couldn't accomplish is getting a print of Stargate to Tampa Bay in time for a review in Weekend. Kurt Russell (Tombstone) stars as an Army officer leading a top secret team of space cops, and James Spader shucks his yuppie-slime persona for an overdue heroic role as an Egyptologist aiding the investigation. Jaye Davidson (The Crying Game) leaves no doubt about his gender this time as an alien god.
Bruce Beresford's Silent Fall is one of the most enjoyably bad movie experiences since Jack the Bear. Richard Dreyfuss stars as a burned-out child psychologist who reluctantly helps to solve a crime through the fractured psyche of an autistic boy (Ben Faulkner). Nothing in Beresford's film can be taken seriously, from its whatever-is-convenient view of autism to Dreyfuss' climactic near-death scene. In one unintentionally hilarious bit, Faulkner falls asleep on his mother's body outline at the murder scene. How touching. How dumb. The only ingenuity in Silent Fall is the casting of character actor J.T. Walsh as a sheriff instead of making him the villain as usual. Wait for cable or tape, if you're a confirmed cinema smart aleck, then have a ball. Grade: D.