ANOTHER 48 HRS. (R) --
Since Paramount's 1982 "48 HRS.," Eddie Murphy's success has been more financial than critical ("Coming to America", "Beverly Hills Cop," etc.), while Nick Nolte's success has been the other way around, with unflaggingly strong, also-ran performances in a series of flops ("Q & A," "Farewell to the King," "Weeds," "Three Fugitives"). Now Paramount wants them to replay the big-lug-sassy-bro thing again. In this, Nolte faces a jail sentence for killing someone in his dogged pursuit of a mysterious bad dude called "the Iceman," just around the time Murphy's about to be released from prison. When Nolte hears the Iceman has a contract on Murphy, he tries to enlist his ex-con partner. Other returnees to the sequel include producer Lawrence Gordon, director Walter Hill and co-screenwriter Larry Gross. Area theaters.
THE SANDGLASS (Unrated) --
Every shot of this Polish-made movie is filled with symbolism, bleakness, biblical references and allegory. Are you ready for 124 minutes of this? A moviegoer could die, rot and disintegrate by the time the sand empties from this movie's constricted neck. Of course, given the existential content of this film, that could be mistaken for a standing ovation. Here's what "happens": When a guy called Joseph (Jan Nowicki) goes to visit his dying father, it's the beginning of a spiritual journey into Joseph's past. He'll bump into his father (a man with a weird thing for birds), his mother, a former maid and a couple of other friends (or are they metaphorical friends, who knows?). Director Wojciech Has, who adapted this from three short stories by Bruno Schultz, employs all of the drabness-of-existence stuff associated with grim Eastern European animation (such as the Quay Brothers' darkly brilliant "Street of Crocodiles"), but without the talent. The sets are imaginatively constructed, the cinematography is striking but all the visual beauty in the world cannot make this aimless, circular, momentum-less sequence of happenings make any sense -- not without Cliff Notes anyway. Biograph. In Polish with subtitles.