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Opening Films 

by Inlander Staff & r & & r & 16 Blocks -- Bruce Willis is a worn-out city cop, Mos Def is the chatty special witness he must escort to a court house and David Morse heads up a group of dirty cops who don't want him to get there. All three are excellent in their parts. Richard Donner's film is gritty and tense, with taut action sequences, but Richard Wenk's script offers a terrific character study of the three men at its center. (ES) Rated PG-13

Transamerica -- Dangerous Housewife Felicity Huffman plays a gnarly looking pre-op male-to-female transsexual who strikes out in search of (zoinks!) the son she never realized she fathered. Her performance earned her an Oscar nom for Best Actress and further underscores what Sports Night fans have known for years. That lady can act. Rated R

Dave Chapelle's Block Party -- From the moment Dave Chapelle said he loved the word "skeet" because white people didn't know what it meant yet, we were hooked. And no, we didn't know what it meant. We rejoice now at the coming of his Block Party, half concert film and half documentary of the man himself. This is getting great reviews. Rated R

Night Watch -- From Russia with blood! Why can't Americans make fantasy horror flicks with this much verve and zazz? Plotted kinda like Constantine meets Dracula, but dark like Blade and with Matrix-y wirework, Nochnoi Dozor is a liter of former-Soviet blood pumped into a genre that -- with crap like Bloodrayne following close upon crap like Underworld 2 -- is in desperate need of a transfusion. Rated R

Ultraviolet -- It's got the sleek futurism of The Island and the robotic-looking soldiers of Equilibrium! Remember how much both of those movies sucked? This one will too. Still, it's got the hot Milla Jovovich of The 5th Element (not the janky Jovovich of Resident Evil), so, you know, that's a plus. Rated PG-13

Aquamarine -- Splash meets the Goonies meets, I dunno ... Emma, in this fractured fairy tale for tweens. Somehow, and we haven't got this completely figured out yet, the mysterious beaching of a mermaid following a winter storm will teach us all a valuable lesson about marrying for love and about, you know, not moving away from your neighborhood. Or something. Rated PG

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