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I LOVE YOU, BETH COOPER 2 stars (PG-13) During his graduation speech, geeky valedictorian Denis Cooverman (Paul Rust, who's in his late 20s and looks it) professes his true feelings to head cheerleader Beth Cooper (Hayden Panettiere of "Heroes"), and they subsequently spend one of those "one crazy nights" typical of high school comedies. The painful slapstick and mean-spirited jokes border on contempt for the characters, and director Chris Columbus lost the flair he showed for the genre with Adventures in Babysitting. The script only glances at the idea that Denis' speech shook up high school clique roles. You can find more teen insight in the "Stick to the Status Quo" song from High School Musical. — Holman
IMAGINE THAT (PG) Eddie Murphy eschews latex makeup for this family comedy in which he plays a workaholic finance executive who discovers that his daughters' imaginary friends may be able to advance his career. It sounds kind of like Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories, with fewer special effects.
LAND OF THE LOST (PG-13) This big-budget version of the Sid and Marty Krofft cult kid's series from the 1970s stars Will Ferrell, Anna Friel of "Pushing Daisies" and Danny R. McBride (who's in everything these days) as a threesome who hit a time warp and encounter prehistoric monsters and reptilian Sleestaks.
LITTLE ASHES 2 stars (R) This period piece captures three of Spain's most renowned artists in their embryonic state, chronicling the tempestuous relationships of young painter Salvador Dalí (Twilight's Robert Pattinson), budding filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty) and poet/playwright Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán). Little Ashes succeeds better as an art history lesson than a character study, although Dalí and Lorca (who may have been more than friends) offer contrasting examples of artistic political engagement. Pattinson plays Dalí's antics with self-conscious awkwardness, and it's hard to tell whether he's deliberately trying to convey that the artist's outbursts were a pose, or if the actor simply cannot convey the spark of inspiration. — HolmanMOON 4 stars (R) The sole human operator of a lunar mining operation (Sam Rockwell) begins to question his identity near the end of his three-year contract. Director Duncan Jones (incidentally, the son of David Bowie) pays loving homage to the dark, character-driven science fiction of the 2001: A Space Odyssey era, including an ominously dispassionate computer (voiced by – who else? – Kevin Spacey). The twisty but satisfying tale features some of Rockwell's best work as a blue-collar astronaut with a fracturing personality. — Holman
MY LIFE IN RUINS (PG-13) Star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding reconnects with her native Greece in an effort to recapture her kefi (Greek for "mojo"). In hopes of finding some direction in life, Georgia (Nia Vardalos) works as a travel guide while waiting for her dream job.
MY SISTER’S KEEPER (PG) A young girl (Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin), brought into the world as a genetic match for her ailing older sister, sues her parents for medical emancipation. Cameron Diaz plays the no-doubt conflicted mom and Alec Baldwin plays as the younger sister’s lawyer. It’s hard to imagine any summer movie being a bigger, more overt tear-jerker than this one.
O’HORTEN 2 stars (PG-13) Odd Horten (Baard Owe), a 67-year-old Norwegian train engineer, finds himself discombobulated upon reaching mandatory retirement age. This comedy from Factotum director Bent Hamer frequently puts Horten in nearly dialogue-free comedic situations worthy of Jacques Tati or Mr. Bean, as well as other scenes that cause him to contemplate death, decline and the prospect of his own wasted life. The film features a charming central performance and several witty set pieces, but builds to little but a facile resolution. — Holman
THE PROPOSAL (PG-13) Sandra Bullock plays a Canadian-born New York book editor who pretends to be engaged to her assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to avoid deportation. It sounds like Green Card gives way to Meet the Parents when they fly to Alaska to meet his family.
PUBLIC ENEMIES In 1933, celebrity outlaw John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) robs banks and eludes the pursuit of the FBI’s Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), who grows disenchanted with the investigative techniques championed by an oily J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup). The first hour or so comes on like, well, gangbusters as Heat director Michael Mann sets up compelling scenes of bank theft and manhunt procedures. The film feints at overarching themes, like the idea that neither Dillinger nor Purvis have a place among “modern” mobsters or feds, but the script leaves both men underdeveloped as characters. Public Enemies almost literally starts with a bang and ends with a whimper. — Holman
SPIKE & MIKE’S SICK AND TWISTED ANIMATION (NR) Spike & Mike have brought their famous collection of joyfully rude animated short subjects to digital home video, which includes plenty of sex, violence, foul language, gross humor, and everything else that makes modern entertainment worthwhile.
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