Joe's Apartment'

July 26, 1996|By Michael H. Price | Michael H. Price,Fort Worth Star-Telegram

** 1/2 ; Rated PG-13

The art is almost as old as cinema itself, but dimensional animation still has the ability to make an audience sit up and say, "WOW!"

The response to "Joe's Apartment," the latest example of this fascinating technique, is just as likely to be "Eew, gross!" But John Payson's expansion of his own MTV short film is an improvement in many respects, with more and better effects cavorting over a bigger and brighter screen. So what if there's barely enough story for a feature-length running time?

The main attraction -- main repulsion, if you prefer -- is an all-singing, all-dancing troupe of 50,000 cockroaches, the inhabitants of the squalid apartment where Joe (Jerry O'Connell) lands upon his arrival in New York from Iowa.

Joe's landlord, played gnashingly by Hawaiian lounge crooner Don Ho, conspires to leave Joe homeless so that the apartment building can be sold for a fortune.

Megan Ward makes a charming romantic interest, and hip-hop star Sandra Denton is memorable as a tough-talking chum. The bad-guy quotient is well accounted for by Ho and Robert Vaughn.

Pub Date: 7/26/96

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