Monday, April 12, 2010

“Casting Jem the Movie -” plus 3 more

“Casting Jem the Movie -” plus 3 more

Casting Jem the Movie -

Posted: 11 Apr 2010 04:59 PM PDT

Jen Yamato

They did it to G.I. Joe, and they're doing it to The Smurfs. Hollywood is hell bent on bringing back the '80s, whether we like it or not. But where I had only a passing interest in the forced resuscitation of those totally '80s properties and the slew of similar adaptations and remakes set to come (including The A-Team, The Karate Kid, Predators, and Red Dawn), it now looks like one of my most beloved childhood franchises could be next in line -- and I'm not waiting around to let Hollywood turn the truly, truly, truly outrageous fashionista rock star heroine of my youth into some lame-o cash-in.

Hollywood, if you're making a Jem and the Holograms movie, here are my demands. For starters, you must spare no expense in giving Jem the star treatment she deserves. That means no flimsy treatment on par with Bratz: The Movie or Alvin and the Chipmunks-style lite pop gimmickry; we want a Jem movie that rocks. Hard. Do not, under any circumstances, allow it anywhere near Josie and the Pussycats territory. Hire a director like McG to give it that Charlie's Angels sheen, or if he's busy, call music video specialist Jonas Akerlund (Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone"). In the year 2010, the idea of holograms as cutting-edge technology is a tad outdated, so here's how you keep Jem's Synergy-fueled holographic escapades fresh and exciting: film it with Avatar technology! James Cameron's unique camera system will never be used to such fabulous effect again. That's how you make Jerrica Benton's transformation into Jem so believable that nobody in the world -- including her own boyfriend -- can figure out that they're the same person! Get the guys who worked on the Wachowski brothers' Speed Racer to create the Holograms' acid-trip pop art musical interludes and you're on your way to creating the most epic rock 'n' roll girl power adventure in history.

Which brings us to the most crucial element of a Jem and the Holograms movie: the casting. Surveying the landscape of music and moviedom, here's who I think would bring the spirit of Jem to the big screen in the 21st century.

Zooey DeschanelZooey Deschanel as Jerrica/Jem Before you go, "WTF?" my fellow Jem fans, hear me out on this unexpected casting choice. For starters, Deschanel can sing. More importantly, she's a good actress with the range, maturity, innocence, and strength that a Jerrica Benton/Jem needs to carry the film. She may not exactly resemble your idea of what Jerrica/Jem should look like, but that can work in her favor by making her transition into the pink-haired, glam rock fashionista singer all the more effective. "Yes, but can she rock?" you might ask. We'll see when Deschanel earns her rock 'n' roll stripes in HBO's adaptation of I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie. And then just take a look at Deschanel glammed up as a pink haired vixen in this Absolut Vodka ad from a few years ago -- glamor and glitter, fashion and fame, indeed.

Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan as Kimber
Quick! Name a redheaded starlet who can sing and convincingly play the soulful, slightly bitter second fiddle to Jerrica Benton's golden girl. La Lohan would be a perfect choice to play Jerrica's keyboard-playing little sis who struggles with the Holograms' rapid rise to fame (at least, when the spotlight's being stolen by Jem). Maybe Kimber's rebelled by becoming a hard-living party girl. Plus, who are we kidding… Lohan needs this.

RihannaRihanna as Shana
The Holograms' original drummer and back-up vocalist (and yes, the African-American member of the band) had a mean eye for clothes -- it's why she briefly left the band to become a designer, returning later to play the bass. (I'd cast Shakira as Raya, the percussion expert who takes over from Shana as the Holograms' drummer.) Barbadian singer Rihanna not only fits the bill as one of the music industry's more progressive fashion plates, she also brings a cutting-edge R&B flavor to the 21st century Holograms -- and she'll look even more like a super gorgeous alien in that signature Holograms make-up.

Jamie ChungJamie Chung as Aja
I admit, the field for casting the Holograms' Asian-American lead guitarist (and automotive enthusiast, since she always ends up driving) is disappointingly narrow. But former "Real World"-er Jamie Chung has emerged in recent years as a fresh-faced young actress game for anything (Dragonball, anyone?). I'd like to see her put a normalized, accent-free spin on Aja.

Lady GagaLady Gaga as Pizzazz
Some folks favor Gaga as Jem, but I think she'd be better cast as the Holograms' wicked, spoiled, and uber-aggressive nemesis, Pizzazz. Gaga's already proven the most powerful force in pop music of late and is known for her eye-popping, avant-garde fashion choices -- let her co-design Pizzazz's look, write the Misfits' music (their songs are better), and camp it up as Jem's main villainess, and the Jem and the Holograms movie becomes an instant cult classic.

Kristen StewartKristen Stewart as Roxy
Misfits bassist Roxy is a tough former runaway from Philadelphia who runs a close second to Pizzazz as the band's most mischievous member. She's rough, illiterate (until one of the Starlight kids helps her learn to read), and is always on the brink of a violent explosion. It's a perfect chance for Twilight star Stewart to continue the departure from nice girl Bella Swan that she started by playing Joan Jett in this year's The Runaways, and she's got just the right delicate-bordering-on-dangerous features to sport Roxy's trademark face paint and white hair.

Christina AguileraChristina Aguilera as Stormer
Pushed around by Pizzazz and Roxy, Stormer is the underappreciated songwriter of The Misfits. She also plays the awesomest instrument: the keytar! Stormer reluctantly goes along with her mean-spirited band mates, though deep down inside she's got a sensitivity that songstress-turned-actor Christina Aguilera could convey… in song! Aguilera, a seasoned performer and fashion chameleon, would add solid pop credibility to the Jem movie line-up -- and just imagine the Top 40 potential of a Misfits' hit single from the combined forces of Lady Gaga, Kristen Stewart, and Xtina!

M.I.A.M.I.A. as Jetta
This British addition to The Misfits grew up poor in England and has a penchant for lying about her background and famous friends. In the show Jetta played the sax, but cast M.I.A. and Jetta can become Pizzazz's right hand dance-rapping female MC, full of attitude and plenty of style.

MadonnaMadonna as Synergy
Who better to play the super sophisticated, all-powerful holographic supercomputer that guides Jem and the Holograms to their fabulous rock 'n' roll destinies than the reigning queen of pop herself? Using the aforementioned Avatar technology, Madge can transform into a purple-skinned demi-goddess of glam that appears and projects holograms in mind-blowing 3D, the perfect mentor and mother figure to this cast of up-and-coming pop starlets.

Joseph Gordon LevittJoseph Gordon Levitt as Rio
He's cute, he's dark (purple) haired, he's in love with Jerrica but drawn to Jem -- Rio is the guy who's always there for our heroine and her alter ego. He helps out at Starlight House and struggles with his attraction to Jem with a naivete we see in the adorable Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Bonus: we reunite Gordon-Levitt with his (500) Days of Summer co-star Deschanel to finally give them their happy romantic ending (and with his singing and dancing skills, he can get a song or two of his own).

Sean CombsP. Diddy as Eric Raymond
Sean "P.Diddy" Combs knows the svengali role inside and out in real life (just ask those kids from Making the Band). Cast him as the sneaky, devious record exec Eric Raymond, who tries to mold The Misfits into the next Danity Kane.

Debbie HarryDebbie Harry as Mrs. Bailey
More brilliant casting: The former Blondie front woman as the resident house mother of the Starlight Foundation's home for foster girls!

John WatersJohn Waters as Howard Sands
The character of the kind-hearted Hollywood producer who gives Jerrica and her foster girls a break was reportedly based on the Hairspray director, so why not bring him back in a stroke of self-reflexive homage?

Justin TimberlakeJustin Timberlake, Kristen Wiig, and Fergie as The Stingers
The Jem and the Holograms movie may only have room for one competing rival band, so Eric Raymond's hot new hair band The Stingers may only make a cameo appearance -- Justin Timberlake as the confident and vain, Kristen Wiiggolden-maned lead singer Riot, Kristen Wiig as his right hand woman Rapture, Fergiewho has a weird knack for running scams, and Fergie as Minx, the maneating synth player who has her eye on Rio.

Jem fans, I know this is a lot of fantasy casting to process; mull over this cast and chime in below with your thoughts on who you'd cast should Jem and the Holograms make it to the big screen. And who would you pick to direct this epic glam rock-pop music girl power extravaganza?

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Mel Gibson to donate movie sets to Mexican museum - Associated Press

Posted: 11 Apr 2010 03:40 PM PDT

VERACRUZ, Mexico (AP) -- The governor of the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz says Mel Gibson will donate sets from the movie he's currently filming to a future museum.

Gov. Fidel Herrera says several sets were built inside the Ignacio Allende prison in the port city of Veracruz and that the jail will be converted into a museum once Gibson is done filming.

In January, 1,500 inmates were transferred out of the prison to make room for Gibson's film, which began production this week and is tentatively titled "How I Spent My Summer Vacation."

Herrera made the announcement Thursday.

Gibson filmed his 2006 Mayan-language movie "Apocalypto" in Veracruz.

Herrera said Gibson also donated some of the sets from that movie.

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Can a Book Be Movie-Proof? - Cinematical (blog)

Posted: 11 Apr 2010 06:03 PM PDT

Filed under: Comedy, Drama, Independent, Deals

For as long as Hollywood has been adapting books for the screen there have been works that have earned the title: unfilmable. Usually, the list of 'cursed' books includes Ulysses, The Confederacy of Dunces, Gravity's Rainbow, Neuromancer, and Catcher in The Rye. The medium of literature allows for a level of detail and time and space that most films can never match, and sometimes a book is just too sweeping, too complicated, or just too darn long to make into a movie. Granted, there have been some exceptions, but sometimes I think there are stories that are better when they're left on the bookshelf. As I was perusing the news, I noticed that Chuck Palahniuk's novel Invisible Monsters was back on the movie radar. Now if ever there was a book that I believed was not cut out for the big screen, it's Monsters.

Relative unknown Cameron MacLaren would not be the first person to try to adapt Palahniuk's novel, and the property has been kicking around in one form or another since Jesse Peyronel optioned it back in 2001. Monsters is one of Palahniuk's finest (and most hilariously disturbing) books, but I'm not sure any director could get audiences to look past **spoiler alert** the story of a woman with the lower half of her face missing. But maybe I'm just not thinking this through. These properties must hover on the radar for a reason, and there are always filmmakers who love a challenge and want to bring these stories to the screen.
After all, a story like Clockwork Orange must have seemed impossible to adapt into a film, but as soon as Stanley Kubrick was on the case -- presto! You have one of the greatest films of all time. So just imagine what the right director could do for Monsters. But what about those other movie-proof books? Well, how about Wes Anderson directing Catcher in The Rye (assuming Hollywood could ever wrangle away the rights) or Darren Aronofsky at the helm for Neuromancer? Tell me those don't sound like some pretty cool flicks.

This might be the optimist in me talking, but I'm not convinced there is such a thing as a book that is movie-proof. Even though the thought of screwing up a story that means so much to so many must be a little intimidating, when it comes to books that have earned the title of 'unfilmable', maybe it's just a matter of finding the right person for the job.

So what do you think: is there such a thing as a book that is 'movie-proof'?

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'Titans,' 'Song,' 'Married Too?' among new movie ... - Burlington County Times

Posted: 11 Apr 2010 04:59 PM PDT

The following capsule reviews, listed alphabetically, will give you an idea of the caliber of films unreeling locally. Please refer to the movie schedule for theaters and show times.
The films are graded as follows: Very Good, (A); Good, (B); Fair, (C); Poor, (D); Turkey (F). Those with (NP) have not been previewed. (To locate a Web site, go to and type in the film's title.)

Opening this week

CLASH OF THE TITANS 3-D: (B-) During this special-effects-driven fantasy, starring Sam Worthington ("Avatar"), Ralph Fiennes ("The English Patient") and Liam Neeson ("Taken"), the son of Zeus fights a giant scorpion, faces Medusa and battles the gigantic Kraken in his quest to save mortals from the wrath of the gods. The highly energized fantasy is a reboot of the 1981 cult favorite with stop-motion special effects by Ray Harryhausen, whose credits include "Jason and the Argonauts" and "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad." (110 minutes) Fantasy action and violence, some frightening images, brief sensuality. (PG-13) FORMOSA BETRAYED: (C) In this fact-based thriller, starring James Van Der Beek ("Varsity Blues") and Wendy Crewson ("Air Force One"), an FBI agent investigates the murder of a Taiwanese-American professor. He discovers that the victim might have been killed for stumbling upon information that links the U.S. government and the Chinese mafia. Adam Kane made his directing debut. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (103 minutes) Violence. (R)
THE LAST SONG: (B) Fans of Miley Cyrus ("Hannah Montana") should cheer this coming-of-age tale in which the singer-actress goes from daddy's little girl to Hollywood's sweetheart in a project designed by the Walt Disney Co. to transition her from tween roles to young adult parts. In the family drama, co-starring Greg Kinnear ("As Good As It Gets"), she plays a 17-year-old daughter whose world was crushed when her parents divorced. She has not spoken to her father in years and discovers a tragic family secret when she's forced to live with him for a summer. The teen also finds romance in the arms of a volleyball player (Liam Hemsworth of "Knowing"). The script was co-written by popular author Nicholas Sparks ("The Notebook"). (107 minutes) Mature themes, some violence, sensuality, mild language. (PG)
THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS: (A) Filmmakers Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith co-directed this documentary on Ellsberg, a Pentagon official and Vietnam War strategist who in 1971 decided the war was based on decades of lies. He then leaked 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to the New York Times. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (94 minutes) (Unrated)
TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?: (NP) An ensemble — including Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Sharon Leal, Malik Yoba, Richard T. Jones, Tasha Smith and Michael Jai White — all return from the 2007 original. Louis Gossett Jr. ("An Officer and a Gentleman") and Cicely Tyson ("Madea's Family Reunion") are featured in this comedy-drama sequel that follows four close couples who gather in the Bahamas for a reunion. Disaster strikes when the ex-husband of one of the friends arrives and disrupts the fun. In addition to writing, producing and directing, Perry has a role in the picture. The distributor declined to screen the film in advance for reviewers. (121 minutes) Sexuality, language, drug reference, some domestic violence. (PG-13)
VINCERE: (A-) Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio directed this import about a woman who was the mother of Benito Mussolini's first-born son. She is locked away in an insane asylum to be restrained and tortured when the military leader decides to be with another woman. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (122 minutes) (Unrated)
Returning films
ALICE IN WONDERLAND 3-D: (B+) Superstar Johnny Depp (the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise) teams once again with director Tim Burton for this colorful $200 million adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic fairy tale. Burton, whose credits with Depp include "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," combines live-action footage, performance-capture animation, and computer-animated images in this epic children's fantasy. In the story, Alice (20-year-old Australian actress Mia Wasikowska) is an older teen who attends an engagement party on a Victorian estate, sees a white rabbit, follows the creature into a hole and ends up in Wonderland, where she must battle an evil ruler. Depp, Helena Bonham Carter ("Fight Club") and Anne Hathaway ("Get Smart") play the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen and the White Queen, respectively. Burton provides vivid colors, psychedelic touches and bizarre characters, and his wildly original approach will please some viewers and turn off others. (109 minutes) Fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, a smoking caterpillar. (PG)
THE ART OF THE STEAL: (A-) Philadelphian Don Argott ("Rock School") directed this timely documentary about the Barnes collection, which includes works by Renoir, Cezanne and Matisse, and how it is being moved from its original home in Lower Merion, Pa., to a new location near the Philadelphia Museum of Art to increase tourism. Albert C. Barnes, who died in 1951, stipulated that the works were never to be moved, sold or loaned, and the documentary shows how political kingpins, museum-world figures and movers and shakers sidestepped his wishes. It's a fascinating meditation on art versus commerce. (101 minutes) Harsh four-letter profanity. (Unrated)
AVATAR: (B+) Visually staggering and dramatically lacking, this fantasy, which cost $500 million to make and market, has been the obsession of director James Cameron ("Titanic"), who spent more than a decade envisioning and developing it. Cameron used a 3-D digital camera to shoot the adventure epic, which — a la "Dances With Wolves" — follows a military man who initially plots against the indigenous people on a far away planet and then becomes their guardian. The sumptuously mounted film, which in IMAX 3-D fills the screen with colorful digitally created characters, triumphs as a technical marvel. Sam Worthington ("Terminator Salvation") and Sigourney Weaver ("Aliens") co-star. Watching it in 3-D requires wearing glasses. It won Oscars for best special effects, cinematography and art direction. (161 minutes) Intense battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language, some smoking. (PG-13)
THE BOUNTY HUNTER: (C-) The sex appeal of Gerard Butler ("300") and Jennifer Aniston ("Marley & Me") provides no screen heat to this generic romantic thriller. Butler plays a bounty hunter who's hired to track down his ex-wife, a reporter working on a murder story in Las Vegas. Soon afterward, they're running for their lives. Jeff Garlin ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") co-stars, and Andy Tennant ("Hitch") directed. (110 minutes) Sexual content, including suggestive comments, language, some violence. (PG-13)
BROOKLYN'S FINEST: (C+) A talented ensemble cast, headed by Richard Gere ("Chicago"), Don Cheadle ("Ocean's Eleven"), Wesley Snipes ("Blade") and Ethan Hawke ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"), tries to bring some energy to this heavy-handed crime drama. The plot follows three troubled officers who are at various points in their careers and struggling with personal demons. Antoine Fuqua, who infused "Training Day" with so much raw power, creates some interesting moments, but the narrative takes far too long to unfold. Will Patton ("Remember the Titans"), Lili Taylor ("Ransom") and Ellen Barkin ("The Big Easy") co-star. (140 minutes) Bloody violence, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content, and nonstop harsh four-letter profanity. (R)
CHLOE: (C+) In this predictable erotic thriller, with Julianne Moore ("A Single Man"), Amanda Seyfried ("Dear John") and Liam Neeson ("Taken"), a doctor suspects her spouse, a university professor who enjoys flirting with his much younger students, is cheating. She hires a young prostitute to seduce him and prove he's unfaithful and quicker than you can say "Fatal Attraction," the plan takes some very unexpected turns. Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan ("The Sweet Hereafter") directed. (96 minutes) Strong sexual content, including graphic dialogue, nudity and harsh four-letter profanity. (R)
CITY ISLAND: (B) In this low-budget slice-of-life tale, starring Andy Garcia ("The Godfather III") and his real-life daughter, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, a meek prison guard lives quietly in a fishing community on the outskirts of New York. His life drastically changes when he follows his dream of taking acting lessons and, during an exercise, reveals a secret that turns his life upside down. Julianna Margulies ("ER"), Emily Mortimer ("Redbelt") and Alan Arkin ("Little Miss Sunshine") co-star. Raymond De Felitta ("The Thing About My Folks") directed. (100 minutes) Sexual content, smoking, language, adult themes. (PG-13)
COP OUT: (B-) In this very low-brow buddy picture, starring Bruce Willis ("Live Free or Die Hard") and Tracy Morgan (TV's "30 Rock"), a veteran New York City policeman suffers a major financial loss when a rare baseball card, which he planned to sue to pay for his daughter's wedding, is stolen. He asks his partner to help him track down a crook who specializes in memorabilia. The Larry-the-Cable-Guy-type humor is broad and often gross, but watching Willis and Morgan try to wring some laughs out of the thin material offers some fun. New Jersey filmmaker Kevin Smith ("Clerks") directed. (108 minutes) Language, sexual references, violence, brief sexuality. (R)
THE CRAZIES: (B-) During this conspiracy chiller, with Timothy Olyphant (HBO's "Deadwood") and Radha Mitchell ("Feast of Love"), a military toxin gets into the water supply of a small Iowa town and drives the residents insane. The plot has plenty of promise, but the B-film, which is a remake of George A. Romero's 1973 thriller, moves along without generating enough scares. Breck Eisner ("Sahara") directed. (101 minutes) Bloody violence, harsh four-letter profanity. (R)
CRAZY HEART: (B+) A stunning, Oscar-caliber performance by Jeff Bridges ("The Big Lebowski") anchors this film based on Thomas Cobb's novel about a hard-living, 57-year-old country singer looking back at his failed marriages, disastrous career choices and drinking problems. He sees hope for a better future in the arms of a young journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal of "Secretary"). Robert Duvall ("Tender Mercies") co-stars. T Bone Burnett composed the original music, and actor-turned-filmmaker Scott Cooper ("Broken Trail") makes his directing debut. Bridges received a best actor Oscar. (111 minutes) Harsh four-letter profanity, drug use, smoking, brief sexuality. (R)
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: (NP) Steve Zahn ("A Perfect Getaway") stars in this live-action adaptation of Jeff Kinney's illustrated novel about a wise-cracking student trying to survive junior high. Thor Freudenthal ("Hotel for Dogs") directed. (120 minutes) Rude humor and language. (PG)
THE GHOST WRITER: (B) In this tense and timely conspiracy thriller, starring Ewan McGregor ("Moulin Rouge"), Pierce Brosnan ("GoldenEye"), Kim Cattrall ("Sex and the City"), Olivia Williams ("Rushmore") and Tom Wilkinson ("Michael Clayton"), a writer agrees to become the memoirs ghostwriter for the former prime minister of England. The politician must be protected from harm after a former British cabinet minister accuses him of war crimes for illegally seizing suspected terrorists and handing them over for torture to the CIA. Soon after, the writer discovers that he can trust no one and his life may be in danger. Roman Polanski ("The Pianist") directed. (130 minutes) Sexual elements, violence, harsh four-letter profanity, adult themes. (R)
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO: (B+) In this riveting foreign thriller, starring Noomi Rapace, a rich old man is convinced that his beloved niece died at the hands of a relative four decades ago. The girl's body was never found, and the avenging relative hires a middle-aged journalist and a 24-year-old computer hacker to look into the disappearance. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, the Swedish import is based on the first installment of the best-selling "Millennium" trilogy by the late author Stieg Larsson. (152 minutes) Sexually explicit scenes containing graphic violence, nudity and language. (Unrated)
GREENBERG: (B+) In this edgy comedy, Ben Stiller ("Tropic Thunder") plays an annoying neurotic guy whose extremely self-centered approach to life proves toxic to his relationships. Greta Gerwig ("Baghead") co-stars as a 25-year-old woman who is coming off a bad relationship, falls for the title character, and doesn't realize that he's probably the worst thing that could happen to her. Noah Baumbach ("The Squid and the Whale") wrote the screenplay and directed. (107 minutes) Sexual elements, nudity, harsh four-letter profanity, drug use, adult themes. (R)
GREEN ZONE: (B-) This 2003-set thriller, starring Matt Damon ("Invictus"), follows the Army inspectors dispatched to find weapons of mass destruction believed to be stockpiled in the Iraqi desert. Paul Greengrass ("United 93"), who worked with Damon on "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum," directed the edgy political picture, which raises more questions about the war than it answers. The screenplay by Brian Helgeland ("Payback") is based on Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book, "Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone." (115 minutes) Violence, harsh four-letter profanity. (R)
HOT TUB TIME MACHINE: (B) During this crude absurdist time-travel comedy, starring John Cusack ("2012"), Crispin Glover ("Alice in Wonderland"), Rob Corddry ("Old School"), Craig Robinson (TV's "The Office"), Collette Wolfe ("The Foot Fist Way") and Chevy Chase (TV's "Community"), some middle-age buddies have grown bored with today's world. They then wake up in 1986 at a ski resort and experience nonstop partying. After that, they must decide where they want to go with their lives. Steve Pink ("Accepted") directed the uneven but often funny romp. (93 minutes) Strong crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use, harsh four-letter profanity. (R)
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3-D: (B+) The voices of Gerard Butler ("300"), Jay Baruchel ("She's Out of My League"), America Ferrera (TV's "Ugly Betty") and Kristin Wiig (TV's "Saturday Night Live") are featured in this computer-animated adventure about a Viking teen who is considered a misfit and a poor candidate to follow in the footsteps of his macho father. The boy ends up capturing and taming a legendary dragon and then rides the winged creature to defend his people. The colorful adventure is based on the book by Cressida Cowell. Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, who previously teamed on "Lilo & Stitch," co-directed. (98 minutes) Scenes of intense action, some scary images. (PG)
THE LAST STATION: (B) This historical drama, starring Christopher Plummer ("The Sound of Music") and Helen Mirren ("The Queen"), follows Russian author Leo Tolstoy at the end of his life as his attempt to forgo material things confounds his devoted wife, Sofya. Paul Giamatti (HBO's "John Adams") and James McAvoy ("Wanted") co-star, and Michael Hoffman ("One Fine Day") directed. (112 minutes) Sexuality, nudity. (R)
MOTHER: (B+) In this involving Korean import, a parent (Hye-ja Kim) relentlessly searches for the killer who framed her son for murder. Joon-ho Bong ("The Host") directed. (128 minutes) Some sexual content, violence, drug use, language. (R)
NEIL YOUNG TRUNK SHOW: (B) The 64-year-old rocker performs two shows at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pa., during his Chrome Dreams II tour. The songs include "Sad Movies," "Mexico," "Cinnamon Girl," "Kansas" and "Ambulance Blues." Jonathan Demme ("Neil Young: Heart of Gold") directed. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (82 minutes) (Unrated)
OUR FAMILY WEDDING: (B) America Ferrera (TV's "Ugly Betty") and Lance Gross (TV's "House of Payne") star in this romantic comedy about a Hispanic bride and African-American groom whose fathers (comic Carlos Mencia and Oscar winner Forest Whitaker of "The Last King of Scotland," respectively) instantly dislike each other and argue against the marriage. The early sitcom-like elements seem forced, but the film's second half stresses a timely and welcome message about the importance strong attachments among family members. (101 minutes) Some sexual content, brief strong language. (PG-13)
PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: (B) Pierce Brosnan ("GoldenEye"), Rosario Dawson ("Death Proof"), Catherine Keener ("Where the Wild Things Are") and Uma Thurman ("Kill Bill, Vol. 1") in a colorful fantasy that's set in the modern world where the 12 gods of Mount Olympus are alive and creating a new race of mythological heroes. Chris Columbus ("Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets") directed the fantasy, which is based on the first title in Rick Riordan's book series. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (119 minutes) Scenes of action violence, peril, scary images, suggestive material, mild language. (PG)
A PROPHET: (A) French filmmaker Jacques Audiard ("The Beat That My Heart Skipped") directed this acclaimed crime drama about an Arab man who becomes a mob kingpin while behind bars serving a long prison sentence. The import received an Oscar nomination as best foreign film. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (150 minutes) Strong violence, sexual content, nudity, language, drug material. (R)
REMEMBER ME: (C+) British favorite Robert Pattinson tries to distance himself from the "Twilight" vampire series by starring in this dreary and slow-moving romantic drama about a young man and woman who meet in New York City and discover that each has been sadly altered by a family tragedy. Emilie de Ravin (TV's "Lost"), Lena Olin ("The Unbearable Lightness of Being"), Pierce Brosnan ("GoldenEye") and Chris Cooper ("Adaptation") co-star, and Allen Coulter ("Hollywoodland") directed. (128 minutes) Violence, sexual content, smoking, harsh four-letter profanity, adult themes. (PG-13)
REPO MEN: (C+) During this incredibly gory futuristic thriller, starring Jude Law ("Sherlock Holmes"), Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland"), Liev Schreiber ("The Manchurian Candidate") and Alice Braga ("Redbelt"), brutal thugs remove expensive mechanical organs from those who fall behind in their medical payments. Those who enjoy wildly over-the-top thrillers may have fun, but others might be grossed out by the detailed surgery sequences. Miguel Sapochnik made his directing debut. (111 minutes) Strong bloody violence, grisly images, language, sex, nudity. (R)
THE RUNAWAYS: (B) Teen favorites Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning (both of the "Twilight" franchise) play guitarist/vocalist Joan Jett and keyboardist/vocalist Cherie Currie, respectively, in this raw and rousing biography of the all-girl, barrier-breaking teenage rock band from the 1970s. Scout Taylor-Compton ("Halloween" remake), Michael Shannon ("Revolutionary Road") and Tatum O'Neal ("Paper Moon") co-star. Italian filmmaker Floria Sigismondi, who created music videos for Sheryl Crow, David Bowie and Marilyn Manson, made her directing debut. (109 minutes) Language, drug use, sexual content — all involving teens. (R)
THE SECRET OF KELLS: (B+) The voice of Brendan Gleeson ("Green Zone") is featured in this animated tale about a boy who must overcome his fears and travel to an enchanted forest. Once there, he must discover a secret that will save the residents of his medieval outpost from raids by barbarians. The import, co-directed by Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, was nominated for a best-animated-film Oscar. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (Unrated)
SHE'S OUT OF MY LEAGUE: (C+) Young performers Jay Baruchel ("Tropic Thunder"), Alice Eve ("Crossing Over") and Bucks County native Mike Vogel ("Poseidon") star in this raunchy comedy about a very average guy who finds that a beautiful woman has taken a romantic interest in him. He fears that such a relationship is too good to be true. Actor-turned-filmmaker Jim Field Smith made his directing debut with the one-note romp, which is set in Pittsburgh. (90 minutes) Harsh four-letter profanity, sexual elements. (R)
SHUTTER ISLAND: (B) Director Martin Scorsese travels a dark and dangerous road during this 1954-set psychological chiller about two U.S. marshals ordered to solve the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from a fortresslike hospital for the criminally insane. Leonardo DiCaprio ("Titanic"), Michelle Williams ("Brokeback Mountain"), Mark Ruffalo ("Zodiac"), Ben Kingsley ("Lucky Number Slevin") and Jackie Earle Haley ("Watchmen") star. The picture is based on the 2003 novel by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote "Mystic River" and "Gone, Baby, Gone." Scorsese previously teamed with DiCaprio on "Gangs of New York" (2002), "The Aviator" (2004) and "The Departed" (2006). (138 minutes) Disturbing violent content, language and some nudity. (R)
TERRIBLY HAPPY: (B+) During this Copenhagen import, directed by Henrik Ruben Genz, a city cop makes a mistake, must see a therapist, and is reassigned to a small town. During the dark comic thriller, he discovers the prime suspect in a murder is innocent but is still in danger of being convicted of the crime. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (102 minutes) (Unrated)
VINCERE: (A-) Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio directed this import about a woman who was the mother of Benito Mussolini's first-born son. She is locked away in an insane asylum to be restrained and tortured when the military leader decides to be with another woman. Quality rating based on Web and wire-service reports. (122 minutes) (Unrated)
THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF: (B-) A gifted ensemble cast — including Kristen Stewart ("Twilight"), William Hurt ("A History of Violence") and Maria Bello ("World Trade Center") — brings some touching moments to this drama about a lonely ex-con and two teens seeking emotional connections during a seemingly ill-fated road trip. Udayan Prasad ("Gabriel & Me") directed. (102 minutes) Sexual content, some violence, harsh four-letter profanity, adult themes. (PG-13)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.









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