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DISNEY'S THE KID

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STARRING BRUCE WILLIS, SPENCER BRESLIN, EMILY MORTIMER, JEAN SMART, JERI RYAN DIRECTED BY JON TURTELTAUB

BUZZ-O-METER 4

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? This little guy may not see dead people, but a tyke plus Willis certainly has jackpot potential.

”More than any other actor, Bruce has an amazing knack for making an a — hole charming.” That’s director Turteltaub talking about his leading man. Sure, one hardly expects such language used to describe the star of a Disney flick. Then again, if anyone’s earned the right to be an a — hole at the Mouse House, it’s Willis, who’s single-handedly saved the studio’s bacon two summers in a row with Armageddon and The Sixth Sense. And it sounds like he’ll have to summon all the lovable prickliness he can muster for The Kid, in which he plays a 40-year-old jerk who finds his softer side after coming face-to-face with himself at age 8 (Breslin). If The Kid sounds a tad syrupy in an It’s a Wonderful Life way, that’s because Turteltaub also directed Phenomenon and While You Were Sleeping. ”I was actually referred to in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY as ‘the master of white-bread weepies,”’ he laughs. ”Fortunately, it was early enough in my career that I was just happy to be the master of anything.” (July 7)