Capsule reviews by Desson Howe unless noted.



Apart from the unanswered question, Why do a takeoff of "Fantasia" anyway, this 1976 Italian sendup of the 1940 Walt Disney film is not so very goodo. Its cartoons aren't nearly up to their Disney counterparts, and the human introductory segments -- consisting of a narrator, an animator and an orchestra full of old women -- are so comically forced, you can almost see fissures appear on the screen. An example of the "humor": Narrator Maurizio Micheli announces to us he's just completed a movie set to classical music that is destined for immortality. Suddenly he gets a call from Hollywood. The movie's already been done, he's told and -- wait for the humor -- he mishears the name of that movie's producer. Some guy called "Prisney," he thinks. Here's another rib-tickler: Maurizio Nichetti (currently starring in "The Icicle Thief") tries to draw a cartoon on a sloped drafting table while keeping his ink well from sliding down. He puts it back. It slides back down. He puts it back . . . The cartoons are all supposed to be mischievous versions of their Disney counterparts: A piece about prehistoric creatures marching through their evolutionary stages is set to Ravel's "Bolero." A towering man looms above skyscraper buildings, parodying the god of evil and death in "Fantasia's" "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence. In a takeoff of Disney's sylvan "The Pastoral Symphony" sequence, a bumblebee trying to protect its flowery territory has to evade the gigantic crashings of two countryside lovers. "Allegro" is really not as satirical as it thinks it is. In Italian with subtitles. Biograph.


French director Bertrand Tavernier's period drama is set just after World War I, a frustrating time for Maj. Dellaplane (Philippe Noiret), head of the War Casualties Indentification Bureau. His personal mission, to provide an accurate, person-by-person accounting of the Great War dead, is at odds with his superiors, who care little for such energies. They also want him to produce a nameless corpse for a planned soldier's memorial at the Arc de Triomphe. Dellaplane is approached separately by feisty Parisian aristocrat Irene (Sabine Azema) and schoolteacher Alice (Pascale Vignal), who seek word of their missing men. After much searching, Dellaplane discovers the answer to both women's questions. He also discovers a growing love for Irene. This 135-minute drama, handsomely shot, moves with rather painstaking precision. While there's nothing glaringly at fault with it, it merely climbs to a modest dramatic level and remains there. Noiret's performance, however, is exceptional. He's -- variously -- bawdy, gruff, stubborn and tender. It's mostly the strength of his screen personality that helps you get through this movie. In French with subtitles. Key.


See review on previous page.

MR. DESTINY (PG-13) --

See review on previous page.


Winona Ryder is the town rebel in Clyde, Ohio, a teenager who wants to find acceptance on her own terms. That opportunity presents itself when erstwhile Clyde rebel, Roxy Carmichael, who has since become a living legend, returns to her hometown. Also features Jeff Daniels. Area theaters.