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Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler January 21-27: Strange Mortdecai Boy Cake

  In Theaters.  Well, this week is juggernaut-free, which suits me just fine — not that I don’t understand the pull of last week’s newsmaking big winner. I just can’t join in the enthusiasm for it. Probably the most interesting thing this week is the chance to see whether or not Jennifer Aniston was “robbed” […]

New Movie Releases

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Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Wei Tang, Leehom Wang, Viola Davis

Blackhat

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The Story: After a rogue hacker melts down a Chinese nuclear plant, an imprisoned hacker is set free to help track him down. The Lowdown: Occasionally far-fetched, sometimes idiotic and often run-of-the-mill action flick that tries to spruce itself up with some topicality.
cake-11
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington, Mamie Gummer, Felicity Huffman

Cake

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The Story: A 40-ish woman suffering from chronic pain and loss tries to cope with her situation. The Lowdown: A modest, flawed, but mostly engaging drama that showcases a solid — and out of character — performance from Jennifer Aniston.
Wedding-Ringer-1
Starring: Kevin Hart, Josh Gad, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Olivia Thirlby, Jenifer Lewis

The Wedding Ringer

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The Story: A friendless groom hires a professional best man to help him with his wedding. The Lowdown: A likable Kevin Hart performance isn’t enough to prop up this tired, hokey comedy.

Special Screenings This Week

day2
Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Vladimir Menshov, Valeriy Zolotukhin, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina

Day Watch

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In Brief: Timur Bekmambetov's Day Watch is, of course, the even more ambitious follow-up to Night Watch. (A third film was announced, but it appears to be dead in the water.) Everyone from the previous film is back for more — and by that I mean more of everything. It's bigger, it's over a half-hour longer, the effects…
halfshot poster2
Starring: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee, Edna May Oliver, George MacFarlane, Leni Stengel

Half Shot at Sunrise

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In Brief: This early sound Wheeler and Woolsey comedy (their fourth) finds the duo in great form as they milk every possible gag and pun — and a few impossible ones, too — to be found in the service comedy format. Actually, until the last reels, it's only slightly a normal service comedy, since our heroes are…
operation
Starring: Sophia Loren, George Peppard, Tom Courtenay, Jeremy Kemp, Anthony Quayle, Lilli Palmer

Operation Crossbow

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In Brief: Reasonably well-produced, fairly standard 1960s war movie (there seemed to be a new one every week through 1967, mostly thanks to the wildly popular The Guns of Navarone in 1961), Operation Crossbow (1965) was largely sold on Sophia Loren's name (well, it was produced by husband Carlo Ponti). It was good business sense…
teorema
Starring: Silvana Mangano, Terence Stamp, Massimo Girotti, Anne Wiazemsky, Andrés José Cruz Soublette

Teorema (Theorem)

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In Brief: While this surreal — and sexually charged — drama is certainly nowhere near the most unsettling thing Pier Paolo Pasolini ever made (that would be 1975's Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom), Teorema is high on the Not for Everyone list. It's less that the film is upsetting (though some will find…