Jeff Giles

The Unfriendly Ghost

This first paragraph is specifically addressed to the most pragmatic moviegoers: people who want to see something on Saturday night, and just need to know if "What Lies Beneath" is worth $8.50.

'Shanghai Noon' At The Comic Corral

Owen Wilson is an actor, but think of him as a sort of secret agent. He has an offbeat, indie-movie sensibility. Every so often, however, he infiltrates some big-budget movie he clearly doesn't belong in--"Anaconda," "Armageddon," "The Haunting"--and struggles valiantly to stop it from sucking.

Hello, It's Me

Early in "frequency," a young boy stumbles on an old ham radio buried deep in the closet of a cop named John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel). "So this is what people used before the Net, huh?" Well, ham radios never worked quite like this.

Grand Entrance

When Zadie Smith published her first book in Britain earlier this year, the press and literati agreed: the novel and the novelist were "drop-dead cool." Her sweeping, multiracial satire, "White Teeth," became a best seller, and everybody cooed about her leather jacket, her glasses, her shoes, her deep, jazzy speaking voice.

Of Mice And Moneymen

In the fall of 1994, Jeffrey Katzenberg was poised to launch DreamWorks, and he was sort of hoping his old boss, Disney kingpin Michael Eisner, would wish him well.

The 20 Million Dollar Woman

The first time you met her she was 21 and had a real mouth on her. She smoked. She swore. She kept grabbing your arm when she talked. You asked if she'd left Georgia because she wanted to be an actress, and she said, "Well, and I didn't want to stay in Smyrna and be a dental hygienist." It was the summer of 1989, in Manhattan.

The Headless Horseman Rides Again

Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" has got to be the most gorgeous, sumptuous, painterly movie ever made about multiple decapitations. The director can make anything look beautiful--the picking of flowers, the exhuming of coffins, even the steady stream of heads that come rolling toward you through the leaves.Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is no longer a geeky schoolteacher, as in Washington Irving's famous story, but a geeky detective.

Bond--Stirred, Not Shaken

Bond is in the details. the script for the latest 007 adventure, "The World Is Not Enough," called for the legendary superagent (Pierce Brosnan) to be helicoptered to a wintry mountaintop with a gorgeous oil heiress (Sophie Marceau), who wants to "check out the pipeline." The script then called for Bond to be ambushed by flying snowmobiles.

Knocking On Heaven's Door

Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) are angels with a bad employment history. Thousands of years ago, when God was in his act-of-vengeance mode, they did most of the heavy lifting: choreographing Noah's flood, slaughtering the first born in Egypt and bickering all the while. ("You got to just stand there and read at Sodom and Gomorrah," Loki complains. "I had to do all the work.") Then they decided that murdering, even in the name of God, was wrong.

Happily Ever Apple

Here's the thing that Fiona Apple hates about stories about Fiona Apple: they're never about her music. "They don't say bad things about it," says the singer and pianist, 22. "They don't say anything about it.

He's Flying Solo

Things are looking a little bleak to Chris Cornell, which is how he likes it. He's just released his first solo album, and, to get a sense of how he feels about the music industry at large, you ask if he watched the MTV Video Music Awards a while back. "That s--t's really depressing to me," says the singer, 35. "I couldn't watch it.

The Heart Of The Country

Independent booksellers tend to have good taste and big mouths. They were pressing "Cold Mountain" and "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" into customers' hands back when their counterparts at the chain stores were--well, you saw "You've Got Mail," you get the idea.

Reborn To Run, Again And Again

You want exuberance? On July 15, onstage at the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey, saxophonist Clarence Clemons managed to sweat through not only his shirt but his suit--and he spent a lot of the show playing the cowbell.

Time To Check Out

The restaurant is lovely--the sort of swishy place where the waiter recites the specials as if they were "an epic poem." The company, however, needs work.

Stepping Out--Gingerly

She is an ambassador of good will--and not just for the United Nations. Geri Halliwell kisses your cheek hello and goodbye. She touches you constantly. Flops down next to you on a small couch, and cozies up.

Heartsick

Jean Thompson's short-story collection "Who Do You Love" is a beautiful book, but a hell of a sad one. Tell the author this, and she pauses, waiting for evidence.

The Joys Of Summer

Tarzan Animation by Disney, tunes by Phil Collins and a story that explores our hero's fight to balance his human and animal impulses--a struggle any child ought to relate to.

Early Warning 2

THE SUMMER IS OVER AND FALL is upon us. We can deny that fact, or we can embrace it. Frankly, denial seems underrated sometimes. Here is our second annual bid for an endless summer: a preview of what Hollywood plans for the dog days of 1998.

Gold Mountain

THE FIRST THING YOU HEAR about Charles Frazier is that he's shy. It is also the second thing you hear, and the third. When you finally speak to him on the phone, he gives you directions to his home outside Raleigh, N.C., where he raises show ponies on an 11-acre spread among the pines.

A Piece Of The Action!

Sly, Arnold and Harrison will all be in their 50's by summer--geez, these guns are heavy--and a new generation wants to muscle in. Get ready for a fight.THE JET'S WINDSHIELD SHATtered at 45,000 feet.

Can't Take No Moore

ON THE FACE OF IT, THE question doesn't seem so complicated that a team of experts would have to puzzle it out. What do three Demi Moore bombs have in common?

Future Schlock

THE FRENCH FILM COMPANY GAUmont still insists that Luc Besson's $110 million sci-fi thriller ""The Fifth Element'' is the ""Star Wars'' of the '90s. In fact, it's already prepping a script for a sequel.

How Big Is Yours?

IT CAME TO HIM IN A dream. Jan De Bont, the director of "Speed" and "Twister," knew he'd found his next project when he dreamed of an out-of-control cruise ship crashing into a seaside village.

The Father Won't 'Kiss' And Tell

IN HER RECENT MEMOIR, "The Kiss," Kathryn Harrison told the world that, beginning when she was 20, she had a four-year affair with her father. She has been estranged from her father for years; she doesn't use her maiden name and masked her father's identity in the book.

Early Warning

THIS IS A SUMMER-MOVIE PREVIEW. No, it's not three months too late. If you must know, it's 10 months too early: we're about to raise the curtain on the summer of 1997.

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