VIDEOSHoffman as a gangster"Billy Bathgate" passed quickly...


April 04, 1992|By Stephen Hunter


Hoffman as a gangster

"Billy Bathgate" passed quickly from the screen last fall as one of the biggest flops of the year. But the film, with Dustin Hoffman as the gangster Dutch Schultz, was certainly worth seeing, even if it lacked the dynamism of the '30s gangster films and the operatic grandeur of the "Godfather" films. Hoffman's vitality kept it afloat. The movie only foundered when it left him and instead followed the less interesting adventures of young Billy (Loren Dean). Rated R. ** 1/2 stars. "Thunderheart" has some brilliant performances by American Indians who give the movie a sense of reality that's greatly appreciated. Graham Greene, who was so good in "Dances With Wolves," is equally good here. The story, however, is merely routine, with Val Kilmer not impressive as a young FBI agent of American Indian heritage sent to unravel a killing. Rated R. ** 1/2 .

Stephen Hunter


Israeli superstar

Israeli pop singer Ofra Haza may be a superstar in her homeland, but the only time she cracked the Top 40 in this country was as an anonymous, exotic voice sampled into "Pump Up the Volume" by M/A/R/R/S. A shame, too, because Haza's voice is superb, and her material -- which ranges from contemporary disco to traditional Yemenite songs -- can be just as memorable. Hear for yourself Sunday at Max's On Broadway. Show time is 9 p.m. Tickets are $17.50. Call (410) 675-6297 for information, (800) 551-7328 for tickets.

J.D. Considine Sometimes a show is so awful that you can't stop watching it. "Seduction: Three Tales From the Inner Sanctum," at 9 Sunday night on WJZ-TV (Channel 13), is one of those great-bad productions. Victoria Principal -- of the "Bobby, Bobby, is that you?" shower scene in "Dallas" -- finally finds a script that's a perfect match for her talents. The ABC ads say it all: "Three erotic stories of obsessive love. Victoria is a woman aroused. Victoria is a woman seduced. Victoria is a woman deceived." Victoria is a woman who can't act.

David Zurawik

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