Movie Guide

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On a Clear Day (PG-13)

Director: Gaby Dellal. With Peter Mullan, Brenda Blethyn. (98 min.)

Frank Redmond (Mullan) is a Glasgow dockworker who gets laid off and can't bear to go on the dole or seek employment assistance. Instead, he gets it into his head to recharge his pride by swimming the English Channel. Mullan always looks as if he's about to explode - sometimes he does - and he's in good enough shape to make the aquatic conceit believable. But too much about "On a Clear Day" is pat and sentimental. Blethyn, as Frank's wife, is less high-strung than usual, which is a boon. Grade: B-
- Peter Rainer

Sex/Nudity: 5 instances of innuendo. Violence: 3 scenes. Profanity: 2 strong terms, 20 milder. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 6 scenes with drinking, 1 with smoking.

Look Both Ways (PG-13)

Director: Sarah Watt. With Justine Clarke, William McInnes. (100 min.)

This first feature by Sarah Watt, who has worked as a writer, director, and producer of animated films in Australia for 15 years, has almost as many plot strands and multicharacter coincidences as Oscar-winner "Crash." Three people meet at the site of a train crash: an artist, a reporter, and a photographer. (Sounds like the setup for a joke, no?) What follows is a series of star-crossed affairs, dire medical diagnoses, and an unplanned pregnancy. Watt keeps everything pitched screechingly high. The best parts of the movie are its occasional animated sequences. Grade: B-
- P.R.

The Wild (G)

Director: Steve Williams. With the voices of Kiefer Sutherland, Janeane Garafolo, William Shatner, James Belushi. (94 min.)

The roar of Samson the lion (Sutherland) is a star attraction at the New York Zoo. Samson's cub Ryan, dejected that his own roar is more of a meow, wanders into a shipping container and finds himself on the boat for Africa. Samson and an odd collection of friends set off to bring him back. The plot is more than a little reminiscent of last year's "Madagascar," and the lion vs. wildebeest theme comes from "The Lion King." The naturalistic animation is beautiful to watch, but may help make the violence too intense for the smallest children. Grade: C+
- M.K. Terrell

Still in Release
Ice Age: The Meltdown (PG)

Director: Carlos Saldanha. With the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary. (90 min.)

I remember thinking when I saw the first "Ice Age" that I wouldn't mind spending more time with Sid the sloth (Leguizamo), Manny the woolly mammoth (Romano), Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Leary), and especially the prehistoric squirrel, Scrat. In "Ice Age: The Meltdown," the warming of the climate has resulted in an unfortunate consequence: A glacial dam holding back oceans of water is threatening to break and flood the valley. The overall look of this second film is cooler and crisper than the first. Grade: B+
- P.R.

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