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Capsule reviews of recently reviewed films 


DRAG ME TO HELL (PG-13) Sam Raimi, director of the Spider-Man trilogy, gets back to his Evil Dead horror roots in this promisingly lurid-looking thriller in which Alison Lohman rejects the mortgage extension of a spooky old woman, only to find herself on the receiving end of a demonic curse. It could be The Omen for an age of home foreclosures.
ENLIGHTEN UP! (NR) See review.
SUMMER HOURS (NR) See review.
UP 5 stars (PG) See review.


BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) 4 stars (PG) Fire up the DeLorean and travel back to the innocent times of 1985, when Robert Zemeckis' twisty time-travel comedy ruled the multiplexes. Free. 6-11 p.m., film starts at sunset. Thurs., May 28. Screen on the Green. The Great Lawn at Centennial Park.

OUT ON FILM FESTIVAL (NR) See coverage at


ADVENTURELAND 3 stars (R) A cerebral — and virginal — college graduate (Jesse Eisenberg) finds dreary summer employment and the possibility of romance at Adventureland, a seedy Pittsburgh amusement park. The likeable cast includes Twilight's Kristen Stewart as a beguiling co-worker involved with the park's resident "cool guy" (Ryan Reynolds), as well as scene-stealing Martin Starr as an underemployed, overeducated geek. Writer/director Greg Mottola previously directed the hit Superbad, and Adventureland, while funny, offers a bittersweet account that suggests those youthful, fateful summers weren't as fun to experience as our nostalgic memories might suggest. — Curt Holman

AMARCORD (1973) 5 stars (R) Translated as "I Remember," Amarcord presents director Federico Fellini's at times fanciful account of his adolescence in a coastal Italian village in the 1930s. If not as thematically complex as some Fellini classics like or La Dolce Vita, Amarcord features an endless string of haunting images and funny, bawdy episodes. — Holman

AMERICAN VIOLET 2 stars (PG-13) In a small town in Texas, a waitress and mother of four (Nicole Beharie) is wrongfully arrested for dealing drugs, and eventually challenges the racial inequities of the war on drugs by suing the powerful local D.A. (Michael O'Keefe). Director Tim Disney captures the terror of shock-and-awe arrest tactics and the Orwellian nightmare of unfair criminal prosecution (especially for the working poor), and builds to a lively cross-examination in a deposition. Unfortunately, American Violet's saintly treatment of its heroine and one-dimensional characterizations (despite the work of such strong actors as Tim Blake Nelson, Alfre Woodard and Charles Dutton) keep the film on the level of a made-for-TV movie. — Holman

ANGELS & DEMONS 2 stars (PG-13) In Rome, a Harvard symbologist (Tom Hanks) and a young physicist (Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer) race the clock during a papal election, a hostage crisis and the countdown until a stolen speck of antimatter could wipe out Vatican City. This follow-up to The Da Vinci Code features a faster pace yet a less compelling historical conspiracy. It’s hard to get the sense that Hanks, director Ron Howard or anyone else involved in the production felt passionately about the material, except maybe for the set designers and art directors. Who would guess that Angels & Demons would have more corpses than and more technobabble than Star Trek? — Holman 

ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL 4 stars (R) Sacha Gervasi's documentary follows the painful, at times hilarious attempts of the 1980s heavy-metal band Anvil to find musical success. Comparisons to This Is Spinal Tap are inevitable, but Gervasi finds an enormously sympathetic subject in fiftysomething singer/guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow, who struggles to keep the dream alive while working for a catering company in snowy Toronto. Kudlow makes such a gregarious, emotionally transparent figure that the audience invests enormous concern in the headbanger's fate, without even realizing it. — Holman

BATTLE FOR TERRA 2 stars (PG) Evan Rachel Wood voices a spunky, tech-savvy teenager on Terra, a planet of legless, floating tadpole-people. When the remnants of humanity come to colonize her world, can she and a shipwrecked soldier (Luke Wilson) convince their races to give peace a chance? Had Battle for Terra beat Delgo to theaters, its technically more sophisticated animation might have been more impressive, but instead the project feels derivative of too many sci-fi sources. — Holman

THE BROTHERS BLOOM 2 stars (PG-13) A pair of con-artist brothers (Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody) attempt to swindle a kooky heiress (Rachel Weisz) but love gets in the way. Brick director Rian Johnson writes and directs a confident but twee homage to the caper movies of a century ago, to the point where the gorgeous, obsessive artifice stifles the film's surprises. The cast seems to be enjoying themselves, especially Weisz and Babel's Rinku Kikuchi as the brothers' silent, super-cool partner. — Holman

CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) is pissed off. Organ thieves have stolen his heart and now he's going to fight them to get it back.

DANCE FLICK (PG-13) The Wayans family, creators of the Scary Movie
series, presents this satire of the dance genre about two hoofers from opposite sides of the tracks. I've got a hunch it'll be more like Epic Movie than Walk Hard. — Holman
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