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"Stir of Echoes," "Stigmata," and "Love Stinks" 

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"Stir of Echoes""Stigmata""Love Stinks"




"Stir of Echoes" OK, am I the only one NOT seeing dead people these days? Yes, Kevin Bacon joins the ranks of empathetic receivers for the undead in this psychological thriller. Bacon is a blue-collar Chicago boy who doesn't cotton to all that paranormal crap. To prove it's all a lot of hooey, he allows himself to be hypnotized at a party. "What's the worst that could happen?" he says with a smirk.

Before you can say "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" he and his family find out the harrowing answer to that question. As his mind becomes a way station for the hereafter, Bacon tries to blot out the dizzying and disturbing visions that fill his mind's eye. But are they real? Then, like a bolt out of the blue, he realizes his son also shares his psychic abilities.

Bacon gives a taut, edgy performance and director David Koepp (who penned "Jurassic Park") knows his way around suspense. As good as it is, "Stir of Echoes" suffers from having to follow "The Sixth Sense."



"Stigmata" Call this one "Exorcist Lite." Overblown, overwrought and overstuffed with stylistic flourishes, this funky tale begs to be made fun of.

Patricia Arquette is Frankie Paige, a hairdresser who does not believe in any higher power then Paul Mitchell. But it seems she's been chosen to be martyred not unlike Christ by bearing the same five wounds he received during the crucifixion. Naturally, she's perplexed by their presence. Then, she starts seeing into people's heads and hearts. Her troublesome gifts soon escalate to talking in tongues and writing in ancient Aramaic. Uh-oh. Better call the Vatican. Nope, no need to. It seems they already know all about Frankie.

Enter Gabriel Byrne as hunky private-eye priest Father Andrew Kiernan. No, I can't go any further; it's not worth it. Suffice it to say, every man-of-the-cloth cliché gets fleshed out as good battles evil and director Wainwright employs every dove handler in Hollywood. Wait to catch this one on videotape and let the sarcasm rip.



"Love Stinks" And so does this movie. Literally. It's only calling card — other than sleazy lingerie — is a prolonged scene about flatulence. Why this didn't go straight to video is a mystery, other than some Hollywood exec's misguided take on mainstream America's love of the squinty-eyed alien on TV's "Third Rock," French
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