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Driving Lessons


The kids from Harry Potter grow up, just like real child actors. Eventually, they'll even have to confront life outside of a major motion picture franchise. Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley to you Potter fans) is the first to take the step into the art house. Driving Lessons is a coming-of-age comedy in which the young man finds himself caught between two women: an outlandish aging actress (Julie Walters) and his domineering mother (Laura Linney). Rated PG-13





Van Wilder 2:


The Rise of the Taj


The hero's sidekick from the first Van Wilder, Taj Mahal Badalandabad (Kal Penn) trades one college for another as he climbs up the rungs of higher (and higher and higher) education. Not having Ryan Reynolds as Van, however, does not bode well for this franchise -- unless Penn can carry the movie on his own. Rated R





The Nativity Story


This one's hoping to be The Parturition of the Christ. Screenwriter Mike Rich, who's devout, has remained Gospel-faithful while envisioning a Nativity sequence less event driven than character-driven. We see Mary and Joseph as human beings caught up in the extraordinary: their arranged betrothal, the Annunciation, Joseph's dream, the sand-blown journey to Bethlehem, the three Magi, and one very paranoid Herod. (Thankfully, director Catherine Hardwicke didn't ask Mel Gibson to help film the Massacre of the Innocents.) The cast includes Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) as Mary, Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog) as Elizabeth, and Alexander Siddig (Deep Space Nine) as the archangel Gabriel. Rated PG





Turistas


Silly Americans. Don't you know that going backpacking in a foreign country is a bad idea? Haven't you seen An American Werewolf in London or Hostel? As must happen in these films, a number of kids (in various relationships and degrees of undress) from "not around here" get drunk in Brazil, think they're all hot, then run for their lives when they realize the locals want to kill them. Rated R

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