Capsule reviews by Desson Howe unless noted. OPENINGS
GOING PLACES (Unrated) -- Before his films became pretentious, convoluted parodies of themselves, French director Bertrand Blier made this bold and brazen nihilistic comedy (French title, "Les Valseuses") in 1974, about drifters Jean-Claude (Gerard Depardieu) and Pierrot (the late Patrick Dewaere), who wander around France terrorizing people, ripping them off and, among other things, sniffing a little girl's panties. The movie, originally cut to avoid an X-rating, has been restored to its 122 minutes and features a virtual who's-who of French cinema, including Miou-Miou, Jeanne Moreau, Brigitte Fosey and Isabelle Huppert. Dupont Circle.
MISPLACED (Unrated) -- Shot over a period of three years in and around the District by director Louis Yansen, this movie has the kind of clunky script associated with small-movie character dramas. But it often exceeds those boundaries and is quite watchable. It's about a Polish mother and son (Elzbieta Czyzewska and John Cameron Mitchell), who escape the Jaruzelski clampdown on Solidarity in the early 1980s to join the boy's grandmother (Viveca Lindfors) in a Virginia suburb. The least effective vignettes have to do with Czyzewska, as she goes from orderly to radio announcer at the Voice of America with uncanny, flag-waving speed, while striking up a potentially romantic relationship with her landlord. The best, freshest parts follow the escapades of the kid, a violin player, who has some initial difficulty adjusting to his new American lifestyle. He exchanges Polish words for hip-hop at one point with a fellow park cleaner, then learns a little heavy-metal culture with a goofily likable Led Zeppelin fan from his class. In English, and some Polish with subtitles. Biograph.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (R) -- This is a remake of the great George A. Romero classic in which zombies roamed the earth looking for living human chow. And why did it have to be remade? Because the original was in black and white. Tom Savini, who did the makeup for "Dawn of the Dead" and "Friday the 13th," makes his directorial debut and recreates the story -- in color. The cast features D.C.-born Tony Todd, who was in "Platoon" and "Lean on Me," and Tom Towles, who played the creepy, murderous friend in "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." Area theaters.
QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER (PG-13) -- This Western, a liberal's travelogue through the land of 'roos and oppressed Aborigines, which features TV-stud Tom Selleck and "sex, lies, and videotape" star Laura San Giacomo, was down under from the start. Perhaps diehard Selleck fans will find something more than innocuous in it. American sharpshooter Tom Selleck comes to Australia in reply to an ad posted by dastardly British landowner Alan Rickman (the arch-smart nasty in "Die Hard") asking for a marksman. But as soon as Rickman tells Selleck he wants someone to shoot all those Aborigine pests, Selleck is outraged and a personal war between the two men is started. Of course, no mention is made of what American cowboys are doing to their Aborigines and African slaves back home. When Rickman's henchmen rough up Selleck and leave him (and addlebrained partner San Giacomo) for dead in the desert, they inexplicably leave him his lethal rifle. After a recuperative, consciousness-raising stay with the friendly Aborigines, it's time for the obvious face-off. While San Giacomo takes care of a deserted native baby and wards off dingos, Tom goes a-shooting. Please, guys: no sequel, huh? Area theaters.