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Opening Films 

by Inlander Staff & r & FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS

The photo of six Marines planting an American flag on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima became iconic from the moment it ran on the covers of newspapers across the States. Clint Eastwood's film of the biographical book looks at the troubled lives of three of those men during and after the days when they were labeled heroes and forced by the military to shill for war bonds. Horrific war scenes mix with introspective emotional sequences, resulting in a story that's both patriotic and damning. This is a major triumph for Eastwood, who has quietly and steadily become one of America's best filmmakers. (ES) Rated R


The book (My Friend Flicka) is about a boy and a horse, but this film remake of the adaptation goes the girly route. On a ranch -- one that needs saving, like so many -- a girl (Alison Lohman) wants to prove herself capable of taking over the family business by riding a wild horse. Tim McGraw as Daddy means this will be a coming-of-age in the saddle story for proto-agricultural feminists (and their mothers). Rated PG


You're bound to raise hackles when you have an iconic 18th-century child queen skip around Versailles in powder blue Converse. The punk infusion Sofia Coppola has given her biography of the woman (girl) who became the symbol for French decadence leading to the storming of the Bastille is purposefully anachronistic. There's considerable debate, though, whether that anachronism is a puckered socio-political statement or mere kitsch. Rated PG-13


Fans of The Illusionist need not worry that this is just more early 20th-century magician business. This one gives you two magicians for the price of one, and fierce competition between them gets very much out of control. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale star as the master performers, with gadget builder Michael Caine and a surprisingly restrained Scarlett Johansson as a love interest. Twists and turns galore, under the twisting, turning direction of Christopher Nolan (Memento), are accompanied by a quiet, mannered performance by David Bowie as Nikola Tesla. (ES) Rated PG-13

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