Beat the Heat!

1996 Summer Guide

Kingpin From the makers of Dumb and Dumber: a one-armed has-been on the pro bowling circuit (Woody Harrelson) mentors an Amish contender (Randy Quaid). Bill Murray plays Harrelson's old nemesis.

Larger than Life Bill Murray inherits an elephant. With Janeane Garolfalo.
Multiplicity A workaholic admits he'd have to be four people to do everything he wants -- so he clones himself. Starring Michael Keaton, Michael Keaton, Michael Keaton and Michael Keaton. With Andie McDowell as his confused wife.

Phenomenon A blinding light turns a regular guy (John Travolta) into a genius. Kyra Sedgwick, Robert Duvall and Forest Whitaker look concerned.

Ransom Calling all Ross Perot supporters: when kidnappers snatch the son of a maverick tycoon (Mel Gibson), the rich guy takes law enforcement into his own hands.

A Very Brady Sequel Before they all became the Brady Bunch, Carol thought her first husband was dead. She was wrong. With Shelley Long, Gary Cole and the rest of the cast from The Brady Bunch Movie.

August
Basquiat What the art-house crowd has been waiting for: Julian Schnabel's bio-pic about the tragically hip artist.

Chain Reaction Morgan Freeman: an evil scientist who's made off with the solution to the world's energy problems. Keanu Reeves: a lowly lab technician out to clear his name. Rachel Weisz: the obligatory love interest.

Courage Under Fire Meg Ryan stars as a Persian Gulf soldier killed in the line of duty. (Yes, really.) Denzel Washington fights to get her a posthumous Medal of Honor.

Matilda Adapted from the Roald Dahl book. Mara Wilson plays a first-grader who develops superpowers; Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are her no-good parents.

The Crow: City of Angels The sequel to the movie that killed Brandon Lee. Vince Perez inherits the starring role, Iggy Pop plays the bad guy and Mia Kirshner is the love interest.

Emma Yet another film mined from Jane Austen's slender ouevre. The lovely Gwyneth Paltrow stars as the matchmaking heroine.

Jack The dark underbelly of Big: a rare disease causes a little boy (Robin Williams) to age prematurely.

John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. More than a decade after Escape from New York, an eye-patched Kurt Russell once again battles serious urban blight. This time the year is 2013, a quake has rendered L.A. a gang-controlled island and the president's daughter has swiped a doomsday device.

Supercop Jackie Chan kicks his way across mainland China. Hong Kong cinema fans saw this one a long time ago, but now, thanks to the success of Chan's Rumble in the Bronx, it's being released to a general U.S. audience.

Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood Undead hookers! Dennis Miller investigates.

A Time to Kill Yet another John Grisham product: lawyer Matthew McConaughey and proto-lawyer Sandra Bullock defend Samuel L. Jackson, who's accused of murdering the creeps who raped his nine-year-old daughter.

Tin Cup Can Kevin Costner look sexy in golf clothes? This time, the obligatory love interest is Rene Russo. As a bonus, you can look for Houston golf landmarks, since parts of the film were shot in The Woodlands.

Summer School

May 29
Flavors of the Third Coast Chef Russell Knott, trained in the kitchens of Brennan's and Ruggles, offers tips on preparing fresh, summer-flavored foods that are as satisfying as they are light. 6:30 p.m. Rice Epicurean Market, San Felipe near Voss, 789-6233 or 789-5426. $35.

May 30
Introduction to Novel Writing Why spend your summer vacation reading one of the great American novels when you can write one? Award-winning novelist Venkatesh Kulkarni offers a five-week course. Thursdays through June 27, 6:00-9:30 p.m. (June 27, 5:30-9:30 p.m.) Limited enrollment. For more information or to register, call 520-6022. $195.

June 1
Argentine Tango workshop Larry Carroll, a dancer from Los Angeles, will be in Houston on holiday, and will graciously teach a one-day workshop during his visit. Intermediate lessons, for those with some tango know-how, 10 a.m.noon; beginning workshop, with some flashy steps, 15:30 p.m. The workshop will be held at Stevens of Hollywood, 2143 Westheimer (at Greenbriar). For more information, call the Houston Tangueros hot line, 665-3812.

Houston Ballet The Houston Ballet Academy offers a full range of classes for adults. Beginners and those who've had some training are both welcome. Those who'd like to stretch and strengthen their bodies in an artistic workout can enroll at any time; summer classes end August 24. For more information, call Lisa Morton, 523-6300, ext. 210.

June 5
Accelerated Spanish Tessy Atcheson, who taught at UH for years, offers two fun eight-week courses this summer. Music, games and role-playing are key to her dynamic teaching methods. For more information on the June or the July course, call 877-1981. $140.

Wine tasting at Charley's 517 Wine Spectator magazine says Clive Berkman has one of the top 13 wine lists in the country, and Berkman is offering ordinary fans of the grape a chance to share his expertise. The June class covers six wines (French, Italian and California), and Berkman will talk about the wines' qualities and the best ways to enjoy them. On July 24, Berkman gives a practical class on great wines under $10. For more information on either class, call 877-1981.

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