Death Wish

By the second reel, you'll be hoping for a swift end to Life As a House

Director Winkler -- better known as the producer of such terrific films as the original Rocky, Raging Bull and The Right Stuff -- has no qualms about spooning out the sap, and Kline's cloying, mawkish performance -- all quiet self-sacrifice and synthetic nobility, mixed with the odd wisecrack -- is likely to make all but the most devoted three-hankie crowd squirm in its seats. If you must see a movie soon in which a dying man redeems himself while redeeming a sullen teenager with purple hair, Christine Lahti's My First Mister is a better bet -- sharper, funnier, a little stingier with the hearts and flowers. As for House, it's one piece of real estate better left on the open market.

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