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Opening Films 

by Inlander Staff & r & Rent -- The ragged Broadway hit, full of unsympathetic characters and repetitive music, gets slicked-up for the screen. This is all about romantic relationships that have no chance of working -- either because of selfishness or weakness or illness. The songs are well sung, but some of them go on forever, getting in the way of the multiple stories. A couple of questions: How do such apparently poor people dress so well, and who the hell do they think they are, not wanting to pay rent? An exercise in bombast. (ES) Rated PG-13

Yours, Mine and Ours -- In its never-ending quest to remake every film and TV show of note, Hollywood may have actually stumbled on a winner -- 1968's Yours, Mine and Ours, which starred Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. In the remake, it's Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo who fall in love with tons of baggage -- 18 children between them, that is. The kids join forces to break up the happy couple. Rated PG

The Ice Harvest -- The cold makes a great character in films. Snow and ice have been well used to heighten the absurdism of films like Fargo, the claustrophobia of films like The Ice Storm and the drug trance effluvia of Angels in America. In The Ice Harvest, cold may well do all of those things. John Cusack is a mob attorney who, along with Billy Bob Thornton and, tries to extricate himself from his life as a crime barrister. So he steals a couple hundred Gs from his boss (Randy Quaid) in the middle of an atrocious ice storm. Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo writes and genius comedy director Harold Ramis (Caddyshack, Groundhog Day) directs. Rated R

Just Friends -- If we can use Eddie Murphy's late-'90s career resurgence as a guide, Ryan Reynolds will do movies where he plays a hapless fat man, then a hapless scientist, then a hapless cartoon character, then, hopefully, he'll become a hapless ex-star who never bothers us again. Just Friends is his hapless fat man movie. Rated PG-13

In the Mix -- Usher, impossibly cast against type as hot item DJ, explores the problems of gang violence in this dramatic action. The young DJ, after saving the life of a mob princess (Emmanuelle Chriqui), is assigned to be her bodyguard by her father (every-mobster Chazz Palminteri). Stop laughing, this is serious! Usher has to like get out of bed and do yoga, be treated to lunch and face her resentment at how pretty he his. (JDS) Rated PG-13

Pride and Prejudice -- Mark Twain once said you can make a library better by leaving out Jane Austen. Hollywood seems to be taking the exact opposite approach, studiously adapting and re-adapting Austen's work. Sure, the themes are always more or less the same -- marrying for love vs. marrying into wealth, class prejudice and other early 19th century proto-feminist tropes -- but we'll damned if those don't still carry weight today. Austen films are also a good showcase for fine emerging actresses, and time, it's Keira Knightly's turn. Rated PG

Touch the Sound -- This doucmentary exlpores sound, rhythm, time and the human body through the lens of Grammy-winning percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who is "profiundly deaf." At the Met. Unrated.

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