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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Movie Guide: Go to Hell

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Good to have Hellboy back, but can we get better make-up for Abe? | Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Hellboy was one of the real surprises of 2004--a rollicking interpretation of the Dark Horse comic featuring a knockout performance by Ron Perlman in the title role and great turns by Selma Blair and Doug Jones/David Hyde Pierce as his fellow do-gooders. The whole crew returns in Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Freed from the strictures of an origin story, expect wall-to-wall action expertly staged by ace director Guillermo del Toro.

Brendan Fraser is an actor who will probably never get the credit he deserves. When you look at his resume, there's really a fascinating mix of performances: Gods and Monsters, The Quiet American, Blast from the Past....er, Scrubs. While Journey to the Center of the Earth appears to be little more than a generic family film, Fraser will almost certainly add something interesting to the mix. And new 3-D is cool.

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When was Eddie Murphy's last good comedy again? | Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Does Eddie Murphy really want to go down in history as the performer who did the absolute least with his considerable talent? Meet Dave looks as witless and ordinary as many of his other awful, recent vehicles: Norbit, Daddy Day Care, Pluto Nash. Frankly, other than his blip of a comeback in Dreamgirls, Murphy hasn't been in a decent movie since the vastly underrated Bowfinger. What a waste.

After his fantastically complex turns in both Memento and L.A. Confidential, it seemed that Guy Pearce would reserve a space at the very top of acting heap. Since then, though, he's made some bad Hollywood pictures (The Time Machine, The Count of Monte Cristo) and some okay indie films (Till Human Voices Wake Us, The Proposition). In Death Defying Acts, he portrays the legendary Harry Houdini. See it.

Garden Party tells the not-so-unique story of young hopefuls coming to Hollywood to try to make it in the entertainment field of their choice. You have your teenage runaway, your aspiring musician, your dancer, etc, etc. The main selling point of the movie (judging by its poster) appears to be the prospect of seeing some glistening teenage flesh in the altogether. Expect a gritty portrait of how tough it is to make it in L.A.

It's often said that there are no new stories to tell. Tell that to the creators of Harold. It tells the story of 13-year old Harold who--get ready--is prematurely balding. Badly. Is it a one-joke movie? Well, yes. But it's a good joke. Spencer Breslin (Abigail's big brother) stars as the titular character. The scene of his first day in a new school when he's asked to take off his baseball cap is pure pain and pure comedy.

The Stone Angel is a movie that is typically cobbled together as an MOW. Kudos to Vivendi for distributing it in theaters. The wonderful Ellen Burstyn stars as Hagar Shipley, an old woman who decides to go on one last fantastic journey before her son can confine her to a nursing home. Sure it sounds a bit corny, but the tight control of a narrative that constantly shifts through time marks it as a winner.

Tickets & Showtimes

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Meet Dave
Death Defying Acts
Garden Party
Harold
The Stone Angel

Reviews

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Meet Dave
Death Defying Acts
Garden Party
Harold
The Stone Angel

Previews

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Meet Dave

Death Defying Acts

Garden Party

Harold

The Stone Angel