Cinema: Tom Terrific

In his fiery new film, Hollywood's top gun aims for best-actor status

The souped-up Chevy Lumina circles the track at North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway. At the wheel is Tom Cruise, daredevil superstar. The hazel eyes that laser out of his handsome face focus on the thrill of speed and risk. Nor is this challenge confined to a roadway's hard curve; it applies as well to his career in the movies, even if it means taking dangerous curves toward roles that might confound his fans. This day, after a dozen laps, Cruise sees a dime, stops on it and emerges from the Lumina to say hello to a visitor. He extends a hand...

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