Movie Guide

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Black Snake Moan (R)

Director: Craig Brewer. With Christina Ricci, Samuel L. Jackson. (105 min.)

Samuel L. Jackson plays Lazarus, a God-fearing bluesman whose wife ran out on him. Then Christina Ricci's Rae turns up. Let's just say that she has an anxiety disorder that requires the services of a large portion of the male population. Left alone after her nervous-wreck husband, Ronnie (Justin Timberlake), heads for boot camp, she ends up in Lazarus's clutches. Hoping to cure her trampiness, he literally chains her to his radiator in order to talk some sense into her. The film is named after a blues song. Maybe Jackson should avoid any more movies with "snake" in the title. Grade: D
– Peter Rainer

Full of It (PG-13)

Director: Christian Charles. With Teri Polo and Ryan Pinkston. (93 min.)

Diminutive math whiz Sam Leonard (Ryan Pinkston) transfers to Bridgeport High, more concerned about fitting in than with earning a scholarship. A counselor suggests that he tell lies to become popular. Of course, everyone laughs at his claims of basketball prowess and irresistibility to Carmen Electra. When the lies start coming true, Sam alienates his best friend and starts failing math courtesy of his dog's sudden appetite for homework papers. This throwaway teen fantasy has its moments but it appears as if the dog ate the script. Grade: C–
– M.K. Terrell

Sex/Nudity: 14 (11 are instances of innuendo)

Violence: 5

Language: 24 mild instances

Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 4 scenes with drinking

Wild Hogs (PG-13)

Director: Walt Baker. With Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, William H. Macy. (99 min.)

The subculture of weekend warrior bikers is such rich comic material that the ineptitude of "Wild Hogs" is doubly offensive. At first, it's amusing that this quartet (Allen, Travolta, Lawrence, and Macy) would want to slap on the leather jackets and skull bandanas and do the "Easy Rider" thing. But since none of these characters resemble anything more than a kiddie cartoon adult, the fun fades fast. Grade: F
– P.R.

Sex/Nudity: 12 (11 are instances of innuendo)

Violence: 11

Language: 64 mild uses and 12 stronger ones

Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 9

Gray Matters (PG-13)

Director: Sue Kramer. With Heather Graham, Thomas Cavanaugh, Bridget Moynahan. (96 min.)

A brother and sister both fall for the same woman in this sitcom-ish comedy that rarely raises a titter. Heather Graham plays the sister, and her sunniness and wide, saucer eyes wear out their welcome fast. Graham was good in films such as "Boogie Nights" and "Bowfinger" where her apparent innocence was a smoke screen for her lustful connivance. To be effective in the movies, she needs something to counteract her wholesomeness. In "Gray Matters" – her name is Gray, get it? – what you see is what you get. The fact that her character "discovers" she is gay is as unbelievable as it is contrived. Grade: D
– P.R.

Still in Release
Ghost Rider (PG-13)

Director: Mark Steven Johnson. With Peter Fonda and Nicolas Cage. (115 min.)

When he was a teenager, motorcycle stunt rider Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) sold his soul to Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) to cure his father's illness. Now that Johnny's grown up, the devil gives him the diabolical powers of a Ghost Rider to battle Mephistopheles Jr., who's plotting an underworld coup. In this movie version of the Marvel Comics series, Johnny enlists a former Ghost Rider (Sam Elliott) to help him turn his abilities to the side of good. Grade: C
– M.K.T.

Sex/Nudity: 0

Violence: 23

Language: 15 mild uses and 1 stronger one

Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: 5

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