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Sterritt **** Past, present, and future blend into an exquisite whole in this sort-of-sequel to Wong's great "In the Mood for Love," about a writer and an enigmatic train. Filmed to perfection by the great Christopher Doyle and others. In Cantonese, Mandarin, and Japanese with subtitles. - D.S.Skip to next paragraph
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Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck. With Adrianci Gonzalez, Alexander Guerra Hoez, Alexis Rodriguez, Krudas. (69 min.)
Sterritt *** Documentary about Cuba's restless rap-music scene. An eye-opening movie, both socially and politically. In English and Spanish with subtitles. - D.S.
Director: Richard Linklater. With Billy Bob Thornton, Marcia Gay Harden, Greg Kinnear, Sammi Kane Kraft. (111 min.)
Sterritt *** Remake of the 1976 comedy about a burned-out ballplayer who finally grows up while coaching a seemingly hopeless kids' baseball team. Thornton is excellent as the coach, Kraft is just right as the estranged daughter he eventually bonds with, and the kids in the cast are uniformly fine. Look out for lots of foul language and sleaze-oriented gags, though.
Staff ** Sloppy and redundant.
Sex/Nudity: 7 instances. Violence: 9 scenes of schoolyard fighting. Profanity: 125 strong and mild expressions. Drugs: 16 with drinking/smoking.
Director: Tim Burton. With Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore (116 min.)
Sterritt **** A youngster wins a rare ticket for a guided tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious candy-making outfit, where zillions of surprises are in store. Depp wittily plays Willy as a sort of zoned-out hippie capitalist, and Burton lets his imagination soar to some of the most outlandish heights it's ever reached. It's sometimes a patented Burton frightmare.
Staff *** Off-kilter, slightly insane, expressionistic.
Sex/Nudity: mild innuendo. Violence: 10 instances. Profanity: None. Drugs: 1 instance of drinking.
Director: Tim Story. With Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, Kerry Washington. (106 min.)
Sterritt ** The Human Torch, the Invisible Woman, The Thing, and Mr. Fantastic himself join forces for the Marvel Comics tale of astronauts who gain exotic powers from a radiation storm in outer space. It's fun to watch superheroes who aren't quite at ease with their abilities. "The Incredibles" - last year's similarly themed animated film - is livelier and funnier.
Staff *1/2 Superfluous, miscalculated, some good effects.
Sex/Nudity: some mild innuendo. Violence: 20 scenes. Profanity: 17 profanities. Drugs: 3 scenes with drinking.
Director: Michael Bay. With Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Steve Buscemi. (127 min.)
Sterritt ** The year is 2019, the heroes are escapees from a clone-making operation, and the villains are sinister agents tracking them down. The first half is high-quality science fiction, the rest is a high-tech chase adventure with a gleeful yen for destructive thrills.
Staff **1/2 Snappy, derivative, conscience-tweaking.
Sex/Nudity: 5 scenes. Violence: 23 instances. Profanity: 11 profanities. Drugs: 6 scenes with drinking.
Director: Luc Jacquet. With plenty of penguins, voice of Morgan Freeman. (80 min.)
Sterritt ** Documentary about the mating and chick-raising routines of Emperor Penguins, whose Antarctic habitat makes almost every activity hazardous to their health and even their lives. As a zoological spectacle, the movie is riveting. But the narration tries to make us think of these adorable animals as if they saw the world in human terms, which they obviously don't.