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HANNIBAL RISING


French actor Gaspard Ulliel (Strayed) plays the incipient cannibal who, after his affluent parents are murdered by Nazis, witnesses the cannibalization of his younger sister. Hannibal goes temporarily mute before he's taken to a brutal Soviet orphanage that solidifies his detached reasoning of cruelty before he escapes to Paris where his widowed Japanese aunt, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li, Memoirs of a Geisha), welcomes him. It isn't long before Hannibal's indoctrination into Japanese traditions, French cuisine and medical techniques sends him on a revenge-killing spree unlike any other. (CS) Rated R





MUSIC AND LYRICS


Hugh Grant is an '80s has-been pop singer. Drew Barrymore is just the girl who waters his plants -- but she can write the lyrics he wants for his big comeback. (The realism inspires, doesn't it?) He needs her, she dotes on him, they get all cutesy-wuvvy, cue the music. (Which, unfortunately, requires them to sing.) In typically crass marketing for V-Day, heartless flacks are fobbing off a chick-flick trick upon us. As for the quality of the Grant-Barrymore love duets: He's Milli, she's Vanilli. (MB) Rated PG-13





NORBIT


This just in: The Academy has preemptively stripped Eddie Murphy of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor that he's going to win for Dreamgirls. They've given it instead to somebody who knows how to pick projects. In Norbit, Murphy goes all Nutty Professor on us, playing a wimpy version of himself and his hideous and overbearing wife and a couple other people and who cares? Norbit is unworthy of Murphy's talent. It is an insult to black people, fat people, skinny people, movie people and all carbon-based life forms. (MB) Rated PG-13

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