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Arts and Entertainment

Movie Preview Thursday: Knocked Up, Day Watch, Mr. Brooks, Gracie + more!

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The plucky underdogs are front and center this weekend during a brief break between the summer sequel heavyweights. They’ll be trying to steal what little bit of box office they can post-Pirates, pre-Ocean. Have to move fast though, Clooney and his Ocean’s crew seduce your ticket dollars next week with their sensitive eyes, well-tailored suits and charmingly witty speech-cadence.

Knocked Up - Seth Rogen accidentally impregnates Katherine Heigl during a one-night-stand (I should be so lucky), hilarity ensues. Damn near the entire cast of cult hit “Freaks and Geeks” make appearances in the film. Advance word on this movie has been VERY positive. Director Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin) knows how to make people laugh. He's also a marketing genius as evident by the funnyordie clip he has going around with Michael Cera.

Crazy Love -The name says it all. A documentary about the love/hate relationship between Linda Riss and Burt Pugach in all of its adulterous, violent, passionate glory. Sending a girl flowers is quaint, sending hired goons to throw lye in her face and blind her for life...that's crazy love.

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Day Watch - Part two of the Russian gothic-horror "Night Watch" trilogy (the first film, "Night Watch" came out in 2004, "Dusk Watch" is in production) again deals with the forces of light and dark battling it out in Moscow. There's a more involved plot with vampires and all manner of supernatural beings, but its too convoluted to share in this space. Know this, "Day Watch" is Russia's first post-communism film to hit $30 million in receipts. That's not saying much in our land of billion-dollar blockbusters, but in Russia it was absolutely colossal.

More new movie releases after the jump...

Four Lane Highway - Indie film about a man who spends his time drinking and womanizing in a small town. That is, until he realizes he needs to change (I'm sorry, why?) and does so via road trip to NYC in pursuit of a girl he met tending bar.

Gracie - Davis Guggenheim follows up "An Inconvenient Truth" with "Gracie", a film about a teenager fighting for a woman's right to play competitive soccer. No word on whether Al Gore has a cameo as a coach concerned with climate change.

I'm Reed Fish - Big weekend for Jay Baruchel ("Million Dollar Baby" "Undeclared"). In addition to his support role in "Knocked up" he stars as the title character in this dramady about a small town love triangle. Reed is faced with a life altering decision when his high school crush shows up on the eve of his marriage to another woman (Note: By unwritten law isn't this a Zach Braff starring vehicle? Was he busy with his other "Transition to adulthood through a will-he-or-won't-he-get-married plotline" film?).

Mr. Brooks - Kevin Costner abandons his normal "Costner as messiah" role in favor of a darker (more believable?) "Costner as schizophrenic serial killer" part. Demi Moore plays the detective on his case, the always impressive William Hurt stars as his murderous alter-ego.

Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman - Brit biopic about the life of Albert Pierrepoint. Following in his father's footsteps, he became a hangman for the British government. Unfortunately for him, he did so in the 20th century when public sentiment in England turned against capital punishment. Pierrepoint wanted to live a private life as a grocery delivery man and government hangman, instead he ended up being attacked as the public face of the death penalty.

Rise: The Blood Hunter - Lucy Liu, Carla Gugino, Cameron Richardson. All hot, all vamping it up in this gothic-horror flick (wait, didn't I just write that? Is this weekend some sort of pagan-movie dumping ground I didn't know about?). Liu plays a reporter who wakes up in a morgue and tracks down the vampires who killed her. Michael Chikless helps.

The Trials of Darryl Hunt - Documentary about Darryl Hunt, a man wrongly convicted of a brutal rape/murder in the south. Needless to say, his African-American heritage played a major part in his conviction and sentencing. Hunt spent 20 years in prison before finally being exonerated. 10 years of filming culminates in a story about racial bias still alive in our judicial system.

Yuki Ni Negau Koto - Japanese film about a broken family brought back together through horse training/racing. Both the film and director (Kichitaro Negishi) have picked up just about every award Asia has to offer.