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By The Inlander & r & & r & 28 WEEKS LATER


Seven months have passed since the last Rage Virus victim died of starvation in London. The U.S. Army controls the empty city's quarantined district where adolescent siblings Tammy (Imogen Poots) and Andy (Mackintosh Muggleton) are reunited with their father Don (Robert Carlyle) after his narrow escape from a marauding band of diseased zombies that ostensibly took the life of the children's mother Alice (Catherine McCormack). Enormous plot holes, indistinct swipes at social satire and a wayward emphasis on feeble child characters contribute to the film's tedious clinicism. (CS) Rated R





BUG


Where Bug succeeds, it does so by inducing in you the ordinary distress of modern living Agnes (Ashley Judd) lives with on a daily basis. She drinks too much. She does drugs. She has, at best, one friend. She is harassed via telephone by her ex-husband. And she's got other ghosts haunting her, too. There aren't armies of creepy-crawlies all over the screen here -- the creepy-crawlies get into your mind. And yet, the more Bug embraces its ethos of nervous paranoia and conspiracy-spiked secrecy, the less satisfying it becomes, as if putting a concrete name to the madness somehow makes it less mad. (MJ) Rated R





DISTURBIA


Kale (Shia LeBeouf), under house arrest, without his broadband Xbox connection and totally iTunes-less, finds alternate ways of spending his summer. Like spying on his neighbors, one of whom seems to be a serial murderer. An initially clever, intriguing remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window for teen audiences becomes a listless slasher flick. (LB) Rated PG-13





FIGHT CLUB


Fight Club stands as novelist Chuck Palahniuk's greatest, best-rendered story idea. David Fincher's adaptation is similarly brilliant in tone and execution. Grimy yet sleek, sexy and wretch-inducing, Fincher tells both a linear story of two dudes, Tyler and the Narrator, and their soap business/domestic terrorism operation, and a fleeting, subliminal, pornographic tale of schizophrenia. The two dovetail just in time to see the world's great lending establishments blown to pieces. Still visceral after eight years. Friday and Saturday midnights at the Garland. (LB) Rated R





GRACIE


This project might be a little too much in the family for it to rise above typical inspirational-sports-movie fare: Director Davis Guggenheim is married to Elisabeth Shue (whose high school experiences are the basis of this movie, who's playing the title character's mother, and whose brother Andrew plays the coach here). In 1978, a girl faces sexist obstacles when trying to join her school's boys' soccer team. Here's hoping she can bend it like the Karate Kid. (MB) Rated PG-13





HURRICANE ON THE BAYOU


Katrina can be discussed in human, social and political terms in forums ranging from political roundtables to Spike Lee films. But Hurricane on the Bayou examines the hurricane as an ecological issue. Beginning as a documentary about the Mississippi Delta, the filmmakers end up turning their IMAX cameras on Katrina as an example of a worst-case scenario. The human and economic costs of ecological mismanagement are laid bare in 45 minutes. (MD) Not Rated; no deaths are depicted





KNOCKED UP


A story about a slacker (of course) who gets an ambitious young entertainment reporter preggers, Knocked Up is a nice commentary on the current state of the family (how young people really don't want to have them). Writer/director Judd Apatow's male characters are enthralling, especially Pete (Paul Rudd). His women lack multi-dimensionality but the casting choices (Katherine Heigl and Leslie Mann specifically) add depth and warmth. (LB) Rated PG





MR. BROOKS


Kevin Costner again shows his nasty side (see 3000 Miles to Graceland), as a troubled man who's addicted to killing strangers, and feels the urge coming back after thinking he's licked it. He's goaded on by his "inner demon," played with nasty glee by William Hurt, who can only be seen and heard by Costner's title character. There are a couple of exceedingly violent and bloody scenes, but much of this is filled with black, black humor. (ES) Rated R





PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END


Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley return to argue, do battle, and (this time) star in a film with a story that makes little sense -- something about "nine pirate lords" and hints of them going up against Lord Beckett, who wants to "rule the seas." Visual effects are great, but add nothing to the story; the soundtrack is ear-splittingly bombastic; Keith Richards pops by for five minutes to give "advice" to his son (Depp) and plunk a tune on a pirate guitar. Arrrgh! (ES) Rated PG-13





SHREK THE THIRD


Shrek's deconstruction of fairy tales managed to be both deliciously subversive and heartwarmingly traditional. Shrek 2 stunned me in that it was even smarter and slyer and more seditious than the first. We've been primed for the tweaking of fairy tales and the post-ironic spin on myths and mythmaking. We've seen it. We've been around the park twice, bought the T-shirt and the Shrek ears, sent a postcard home. Now we're bored. Shrek the Third is... fine. But I wanted a lot more than "fine." I expected much, much more than "fine." (MJ) Rated PG





SPIDER-MAN 3


The first film was pretty good, the second was great, this one ups the action and the angst (and the budget) and is the best of the series. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) have everything going for them, till a black blob of goo drops from the sky, just about the same time a bunch of different people turn into monsters. Multi-leveled storytelling zips along at a frantic pace, but director Sam Raimi, despite leaving questions about the power of the goo, maintains masterful control. Dark, but lots of fun. (ES) Rated PG-13





WAITRESS


At the center of this marvel of a movie is a near-perfect performance by Keri Russell as Jenna, the waitress who finds strength enough to get out of a bad, loveless, exploitive marriage and the good sense not to go hopping right into another one. Adrienne Shelly's deceptively sharp script remains steadfast, keeping expectations low then making all the right counterintuitive choices. It's the best, most satisfying film about personal growth I've seen this year. (LB) Rated PG-13

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