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"Small Time Crooks," "Road Trip," "Dinosaur" and "Up at The Villa"

Quick Flicks

!B! "Small Time Crooks"!B! "Road Trip"!B! "Dinosaur"

"Small Time Crooks" — After a dreary 20-minute setup, Woody Allen's latest movie takes off, turning into a wacky and droll fairy tale about some very inept crooks. Allen plays Ray, a hapless ex-con. Tracey Ullman plays his wife, Frenchy, a former exotic dancer who yearns for the good life. With a little help from his friends (Jon Lovitz and Michael Rappaport), Ray convinces Frenchy to open a cookie shop next door to a bank. While she's tending customers, they're below tunneling into the vault.

The robbery's a bust, but Frenchy's cookies put Mrs. Field's to shame and soon the couple become millionaires. Eager for acceptance, Frenchy enlists suave though shady art dealer Hugh Grant for lessons in instant class. Ray hates their new life and plans a jewel heist with Frenchy's equally dimwitted cousin (a hilarious Elaine May). Slight but entertaining fare for fans of Allen's earlier, sillier fare.

"Road Trip" — Vulgar but funny, the movie is this summer's gross-out answer to "American Pie." It all starts when freshman Josh (Breckin Meyer) two-times his childhood sweetheart. But only because he thinks she's cheating on him. He even videotapes the event. But things get really hairy when he finds out that 1) she wasn't cheating on him, and 2) he accidentally mails the video of his indiscretion to her. Yikes! What's a fellow to do but gather a few friends, including a geek (a terrific DJ Qualls) with the wheels, and leave Ithaca for Austin to get that tape back? They leave MTV's Tom Green in charge of their stuff at the dorm, including a python. (Hence the now-infamous mouse scene.) Comic hijinx ensue as these guys traverse the country and find themselves sharing a variety of adventures from exploding cars, stolen buses and even some heavy romance.

"Dinosaur" — Visually exciting and dazzling, Disney's cutting-edge, computer animation mixed with live-action cinematography tells the tale of dinosaurs caught in a life-and-death struggle. Unfortunately, the predictable plot pales by comparison to the gee-whiz effects and animation. And for many 8-and-under, all that realistic animation may be too scary.

During a ravishing opening sequence a dinosaur egg is carried across mountains, canyons and waterways until it's dropped into a forest and discovered by a family of lemurs. Out hatches Aladar (D.B. Sweeney's voice), who grows into a gentle giant. After a meteor destroys their island, the animals find refuge on the mainland where Aladar encounters other dinosaurs for the first time. His sweetness clashes with the fierce rule of Kron (Samuel E. Wright), but Darwin-be-damned: It's the Golden Rule and not the survival of the fittest that triumphs in this touchy-feely retread of "Bambi."

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