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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Movie Guide: Jodie is back, pissed

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It's a fairly busy release schedule tomorrow with a few studio pictures and a bunch of indies hitting the screens. Neil Jordan directs Jodie Foster in The Brave One (or, as it was originally titled, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang: The Lady Bernie Goetz Story). Reviews are mostly positive and it does have the supremely underrated Nicky Katt (and the formerly underrated, now probably properly rated Terrence Howard), so I'll give it a look.

After winning an Oscar a couple years back for his remarkably simplistic Crash, Paul Haggis returns to the director's chair with In the Valley of Elah. Critical reception has been sharply mixed on the Iraq War-influenced murder flick, but even those who didn't particularly like the film have singled out the performance of Tommy Lee Jones for praise. Given the pedigree of all involved (especially Roger Deakins), I'll certainly check this one out.

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Beatles diehards should flock to see Julie Taymor's Across the Universe. The film is entirely structured around the music of the Fab Four and features some truly eye-popping visuals. Early word was not good and a majority of reviews haven't been positive, but I don't see how you pass up a movie as ambitious as this one. Even if it sucks, you at least get to listen to the Beatles for a few hours. Plus, uh, Evan Rachel Wood has a nude scene.

Master of the squirm, David Cronenberg is back with his latest film, Eastern Promises. It doesn't appear to be a major Cronenberg work (The Fly, Scanners, Dead Ringers), but it's de rigueur to catch every one of his films, right? Viggo Mortensen and the ethereal Naomi Watts star as a gangster and mid-wife, respectively. Expect blood-letting and sexual tension. Note: the fight in the steambath is supposed to be unbelievably violent.

Of the other openers, Silk (Keira Knightley, Michael Pitt) has been getting savagedby critics. I like both actors, though, so I may give it a whirl. Dragon Wars was not screened for critics--usually not a good sign. Mr. Woodcock has been sitting on the shelf for quite awhile--usually an even worse sign. Ira and Abby, December Boys and Moving McAllister are all on only a handful of screens. None have significantly roused critical attention.

Tickets and Showtimes:

The Brave One
In the Valley of Elah
Across the Universe
Eastern Promises
Silk
Dragon Wars
Mr. Woodcock
Ira and Abby
December Boys
Moving McAllister

Photos courtesy of Warner Brothers and Sony Pictures Entertainment