Movies It seems unlikely that anyone would cast Mel Gibson, below, as the lead in a new film version of ''Hamlet,'' but that's exactly what Franco Zeffirelli has done, and this is anything but stunt casting. Gibson, who first made it as ''Mad Max,'' is a respectable Hamlet. He isn't the best, but he does exceptionally well with the soliloquies. Glenn Close, as Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, is even more persuasive. You may know all the details, but the film makes them seem new. Violence. Rating: PG. *** The Ridge String Quartet, a celebrated young chamber music group, plays at 8:30 tonight in the Shriver Hall Concert Series at Johns Hopkins University's Homewood Campus. The players are Krista Bennion Feeney and Robert Rinehart, violinists; Maria Lambros Kannen, viola, and Peter Wyrick, cello. The group has won both the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions. The program includes Mozart and Janacek. Tickets are $16 and $6. Call 338-7164.
A delightful production of George Bernard Shaw's charming satire, "Candida," is currently at Center Stage. Set in England in 1894, Shaw's witty story concerns the strong-minded wife of a prominent minister who is pursued by a desperately passionate young poet. The wise Candida, exquisitely portrayed by Joyce O'Connor, left, teaches both men lessons in life and love. 8 p.m. 700 N. Calvert St. Tickets: $13-$29. Call 332-00333, ''Gremlins 2 The New Batch'' is funny throughout, unlike the first film, which was amusing for a time but became very dark. Towson State's John Glover is the Donald Trump-like character whose New York tower is invaded by the nasty little Mogwai creatures. Phoebe Cates, as love interest to Zach Galligan, manages to take a few scenes from the Mogwai, and so does Glover. Violence. Rating: PG-13. ***