Cover Story

Hot, hotter, & reheated: July

Read about the season's hottest movies

Die Hard 2
Now that Bruce Willis has made skyscrapers safe from terrorists, he has moved on to protect more important structures: airports. This time he walks into a terrorist assault on Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., and is forced to save the day. Bonnie Bedelia returns as Willis' wife, along with William Atherton as his TV reporter nemesis and Reginald VelJohnson as his policeman pal. (Opens July 4) (A,E)

Inside Stuff: Usually, it's bad weather that causes movies to go over budget. But in Die Hard 2's case, good weather was the culprit. A number of scenes called for snowy exteriors and when director Renny Harlin couldn't find any white powder in Colorado or Michigan, production was delayed and he was forced to use fake snow on a huge Los Angeles soundstage. Some estimates put the movie's final cost at $60 million.

Jetsons: The Movie
A prime-time cartoon fave back in the '60s, The Jetsons was a space-age knockoff of The Flintstones, which, of course, was a prehistoric knockoff of The Honeymooners. In this full-length animated feature, George Jetson, Jane his wife, his boy Elroy, and daughter Judy load up an intergalactic moving van and head for a new planet when George gets a promotion. (Opens July 6) (C,M,S,F,E)

Inside Stuff: Originally, the movie was going to feature all the voices that made the Hanna-Barbera show so popular: George O'Hanlon, Penny Singleton, Daws Butler, and Janet Waldo. But a year ago, when the picture was nearing completion, Universal decided that teen sensation Tiffany, signed to Universal's sister company MCA Records, would be a good box-office draw as the singing voice of Judy Jetson, with Waldo's voice retained for Judy's talking scenes. Uh-uh, said Tiffany's people. The kid who started her career in California malls either does the whole role or no role. So long Janet Waldo. The film's release was put off and, in the meantime, Tiffany's meteoric rise fizzled out, so who knows whether she'll attract the young audience Universal hopes for. Waldo says she was ''just crushed,'' but felt better when she received a bouquet of flowers along with a note from Joe Barbera that said, ''You are Judy Jetson and you'll always be Judy Jetson to us.''

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
Low-down stand-up comic Andrew Dice Clay, the foulest mouth in show biz, makes his bid for movie stardom as private dick Ford Fairlane — the rock & roll counterpart to Dick Tracy. When one of his clients (played by Mötley Crue's Vince Neil) is rubbed out onstage, it's up to Fairlane to run down the killer. Costarring Priscilla Presley, Sheila E., Robert Englund (of Freddy Krueger fame), and Wayne Newton, who plays a music-biz mogul. With his Die Hard 2 opening in the same week, Renny Harlin wins the award for the summer's busiest director. (Opens July 6) (A,C,M)

Inside Stuff: When Ford Fairlane turns to the camera and tells the audience he could have been a rock star if not for MTV, he's hardly kidding. Clay was banned ''for life'' from MTV when he talked dirty on its 1989 awards show, and the network made clear it would not air the Billy Idol video featuring the movie's theme song, ''Cradle of Love,'' if so much as one frame of Clay was in it.

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