Movies

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THEATERS

 

Cinemark Denton 2825 Wind River Lane off I-35E. 940-535-2654. www.cinemark.com .

Movie Tavern 916 W. University Drive. 940-566-FILM (3456). www.movietavern.com .

Rave Motion Pictures 8380 S. I-35E, Hickory Creek. 940-321-2788. www.ravemotionpictures.com .

Silver Cinemas Inside Golden Triangle Mall, 2201 S. I-35E. 940-387-1957.

 

OPENING FRIDAY

 

Here Comes the Boom (**1/2) This comedy, with Kevin James as a tubby high school science teacher who becomes a mixed martial-arts sensation, is every bit as ridiculous as it looks. That’s not such a bad thing for the movie, whose makers embrace the fact that they’re essentially doing a live-action cartoon. James plays a burned-out science educator who’s roused to action when the school principal (Greg Germann) announces huge cutbacks, including the music program run by a nurturing teacher (Henry Winkler). A decent college wrestler back in the day, Voss figures he can make some not-so-easy money as a punching bag in MMA fights. With Salma Hayek. Rated PG, 104 minutes. — The Associated Press

The Other Dream Team (****) Informative, heartwarming documentary from Marius A. Markevicius about four Lithuanian basketball players forced into playing for the U.S.S.R. when it won a gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Lithuania gains a hard-fought independence, which enables them to play for their own country in 1992 Barcelona and then beat Russia to win a bronze medal (while wearing donated tie-dye T-shirts from their fans the Grateful Dead). Riveting in its drama, both personally and nationally. Not rated, 93 minutes. At the Magnolia in Dallas. — Boo Allen

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (***1/2) This coming-of-age story, based on the best-selling young adult novel of the same name, features a well-chosen cast, an eclectic music mix and some moments of uncomfortable honesty as well as dreamlike wonder. It’s anchored by strong performances from Logan Lerman as Charlie, the high-school freshman whose reserved nature can’t hide his obvious intelligence and sweetness, and from Ezra Miller as Patrick, the quick-witted and gay senior-class clown who takes Patrick under his wing. The girl who completes their triangle of blissful misfits is Patrick’s stepsister, the perky but damaged Sam (Harry Potter star Emma Watson). Directed and written by novelist Stephen Chbosky, the film follows these characters and their friends over a school year and all its rituals. Rated PG-13, 103 minutes. — AP

Seven Psychopaths A frustrated screenwriter inadvertently gets mixed up with the criminal underworld when his friends kidnap a gangster’s dog. With Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh. Rated R, 109 minutes. — Los Angeles Times

Sinister A true-crime author stumbles onto something beyond his beat in Scott Derrickson’s Sinister, which follows Ethan Hawke’s Ellison Oswalt as he grows increasingly obsessed with a missing-girl case he hopes will lead to a best-selling book. Occasionally stupid (stretching even fright-flick conventions) but scary nonetheless, the pic should please horror fans. With Juliet Rylance, Fred Thompson and Vincent D’Onofrio. Rated R, 109 minutes. — The Hollywood Reporter

 

NOW PLAYING

 

End of Watch (****) Mismatched buddy cop movie in which the cops record their daily activities while on patrol, from mercilessly teasing each other in the squad car between calls to tracking bad guys through the dangerous streets and narrow alleyways of South Central Los Angeles. Co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena have such tremendous chemistry with each other, they make you want to ride alongside them all day, despite the many perils in store. With Cody Horn, America Ferrera and David Harbour. Rated R, 108 minutes. — AP

Frankenweenie (***1/2) Feature-length version of the 1984 short that revealed early glimmers of the veteran director’s darkly humorous style. Both films are about the powerful bond between a boy and his dog, one that goes on even after death. Beautifully detailed and painstakingly rendered in 3-D, black-and-white, stop-motion animation, Frankenweenie is a visual and thematic return to the best Burton has offered in his earliest films (Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice). Rated PG, 88 minutes. — AP

Hotel Transylvania Despite the proven talents of first-time feature director Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory), writers Peter Baynham (Arthur Christmas) and Saturday Night Live vet Robert Smigel, and a voice cast headed by Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, the collaboration falls flat virtually from the get-go. Overprotective daddy Dracula (Sandler) constructs a refuge of an exclusive resort where he and his monstrous ilk can feel free to be themselves. But a party crasher turns up in the form of Jonathan (Samberg), who catches the eye of Dracula’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). Rated PG, 91 minutes. — HR

House at the End of the Street A recent divorcee and her daughter move into a dream house in an upscale town, only to find that their new home hides dark secrets. With Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot and Gil Bellows. Written by David Loucka. Directed by Mark Tonderai. Rated PG-13, 101 minutes. — LAT

Looper (***) Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Joe, a looper — someone who disposes of bodies sent to him by organized crime from the future. When a job is botched, and another unexpected person (Bruce Willis) returns, Joe flees to the isolated farmhouse of a woman (Emily Blunt) and her son, all for vague reasons. Writer-director Rian Johnson delivers an engaging, if often confusing, time-travel saga, filled with twists and turns but, as in most time-travel movies, with little logic. Rated R, 118 minutes. — B.A.

Pitch Perfect (****) Cheeky and snarky but with an infectious energy, this comedy set in the world of competing college a cappella groups makes us fall in love with the very thing it’s making fun of. It’s ridiculous and predictable but also just a ton of fun, so you may as well give up and give into your inner musical theater geek. The debut feature from director Jason Moore (Broadway’s Avenue Q) and writer Kay Cannon (30 Rock), based on the nonfiction book by Mickey Rapkin, feels like a mash-up of Glee and Revenge of the Nerds. Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hana Mae Lee. Rated PG-13, 112 minutes. — AP

Taken 2 (**1/2) In this repetitive sequel, Liam Neeson again plays former CIA agent Bryan Mills. The father (Rade Serbedzija) of the men Mills killed in the original now seeks revenge, which results in more of the same: Mills using his detecting and tracking skills to ferret out locations, beating up and killing an army of men, and taking part in endless car chases, this time through Istanbul. The main difference is that mother (Famke Janssen) and daughter (Maggie Grace) get to participate. Lucky them. Rated PG-13, 91 minutes. — B.A.

Trouble With the Curve Corny, conventional and quite enjoyable father-daughter reconciliation story set mostly in the minor league baseball world of the South. Clint Eastwood plays an old-fashioned scout who disdains computers and fancy statistical charts in favor of his own time-tested instincts. Making his directorial debut, Eastwood’s longtime producer Rob Lorenz knows just how to pitch the story to take advantage of the humorous side of his star’s obstinate crankiness, and Amy Adams makes a good match as the career-driven daughter with festering resentments. Rated PG-13, 110 minutes. — HR

 

 


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