JETSONS: THE MOVIEG, 1990, 82 minutes, closed-captioned, MCA Home Video, $22.95.
For what it's worth, "Jetsons: The Movie," a feature-length version of the cartoon series, comes closer to having an actual cultural vision than any other movie of the year. It's an elaborate social critique done in cartoon terms -- a combination of Care Bears and "Das Kapital." That doesn't mean it's good, but for kiddies it's colorful and bouncy at least, and it's weird enough to keep adults open-mouthed with disbelief. The film, which is shot in the bland, one-dimensional animation style that earned William Hanna and Joseph Barbera their reputation as butchers of the animator's art, presents the most improbable of situations. It seems that George Jetson's employer, Cosmo Spacely, is a capitalist oppressor who runs Spacely Sprockets with robust disregard for its effects on the ecosystem. Because of this, a Spacely factory on a faraway Third World asteroid is the target of sabotage from a gang of cuddly, Ewok-like terrorists called Grunchees. To solve these operational problems, Spacely needs a man who's, well, expendable, and no one is more so than the hapless George. The Jetson family members -- wife Jane, daughter Judy, boy Elroy and, of course, Astro the dog -- are far from happy to learn that their lives are being uprooted, but they adjust. With George's help, the Grunchees negotiate a co-ownership deal with Spacely. As a result the Grunchees smile brightly as they work their assembly line jobs, Spacely is happy, George is happy -- heck, the whole universe is happy. "Jetsons: The Movie" is nothing less than a master plan for Utopia. Hal Hinson
LOVE AT LARGER, 1990, 97 minutes, closed captioned, Orion Home Video, $89.95.
Following an Alan Rudolph film is like feeling your way down a mountain road on a moonless night -- sudden curves and inky shadows. The characters are caught in the headlights, bewildered, luminous and as leggy as deer. This romantic fable with Tom Berenger, Elizabeth Perkins and Anne Archer bears all the idiosyncrasies of Rudolph's other personal pictures: The actors, stringy and distracted, are searching for perfect love in a blissfully offbeat land of never-never noir. The plot, an existential meditation on this and that, is never tailored but fits the hero like used threads from a classic-clothing store. Clad in a tired fedora and trademark trench coat, Berenger plays the pleasantly worn gumshoe Harry Dobbs, who finds all the right answers by turning up all the wrong clues. At the moody Blue Danube supper club, Harry meets Archer's veiled vamp, Miss Dolan, who hires him to follow her lover, described as a tall blond man in glasses who smells nice. When the lady vanishes into the night, Harry pursues the wrong man, unaware that he too is being tailed by spunky private eye, Stella Wynokowski (Perkins). Caught in a case of mistaken identities, the two detectives agree to join forces, only to find themselves drawn to each other. Not so arch as the farcical "Choose Me," this film nevertheless returns to the territory of the heart. Only this time, the beats are off by several measures. Rita Kempley
FIRE BIRDSPG-13, 1990, 86 minutes, closed-captioned, Touchstone Home Video, $89.95.
For those of us wondering -- in light of the radical changes in the global body politic -- who our enemies are now, "Fire Birds" steps in with a few answers. In South America a powerful, well-funded, well-armed drug cartel is spreading its influence to the north. They've got jets; they've got choppers; they've got everything a first-class enemy needs, including a glowering terrorist leader. Their target, this jingoistic copter adventure tells us, is the American way of life, whose treasured values they intend to subvert with their dread white powder. These guys make Nazis looks like amateurs. When they are blown out of the sky, you can cheer without the slightest trace of conscience. "Fire Birds" is a primitive dogfight movie, with Nicolas Cage and Sean Young as its stars, that serves as a kind of extended commercial for the U.S. Army and its AH-64 Gunship helicopter, also known as the Apache. It would be hard to reduce filmmaking more to its basics than "Fire Birds" does. Director David Green and his writers, Nick Thiel and Paul F. Edwards, have created a story line that intrudes only slightly on the action sequences. Cage is a magnetic presence, for sure, but little things -- like making an actual connection with his costar -- are beyond him. But any actor performing opposite Sean Young, the undead starlet, may face similar problems. Hal Hinson
LABYRINTH OF PASSIONUnrated, 1982, 100 minutes, CineVista, $79.98.
"Labyrinth of Passion" is a flaming soaper, a belching, ogling comedy of sexual malfunction set in Madrid in 1982, when the city was still in a post-Franconian frenzy. Anything goes, from loose bowels to bondage, in this sordid satire from Pedro Almodovar, the zany Spanish auteur who graduated to more mainstream material in 1989's "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown." Though coarser and cheaper than his more recent efforts, this prototypically Pedrovian comedy marks the beginning of his romance with passion as the unbridled, gassy fuel for storytelling. Cecilia Roth and Imanol Arias star as a nymphomaniac and a gay prince whose unlikely destiny is to find one another, overcome their sexual preferences and live happily ever after on a tropical island. Roth, warm as sun on your face, is Sexilia, a promiscuous rock star who strolls through Madrid's busy marketplace, happy as a bee in a bakery eyeballing the hombres. Arias plays the Byronically punky Riza, a homosexual whose father, a deposed Islamic shah, is dying of cancer. His stepmother, the ex-empress, coincidentally is being treated for infertility by Sexilia's father, a dysfunctional psychiatrist. Many orgies hence, the youngsters discover each other in an underground club full of punk poseurs sniffing nail varnish and gagging up songs. This cartoonish documentary on the Madrid avant-garde is a tediously aberrant experiment. Rita Kempley