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Opening Films 

by Inlander Staff & r & & r & The 11th HOUR

"How is this one better than the other one?" I heard one critic mutter. I knew just what he meant. The "other one" featured Al Gore, won an Oscar, and miraculously shifted the tide of public opinion toward the climate change yea-sayers. This isn't nearly as riveting, but may succeed in transporting redemptive ideas from the fringe to the mainstream movie-going audience. (JL) Rated PG; at the Panida and Magic Lantern


David Cronenberg follows up A History of Violence with another study of seedy, dangerous people crossing paths with innocent folks. Here it's members of London's Russian mob coming in contact with a midwife (Naomi Watts) who's trying to trace the history of a mysterious young woman who died in childbirth on her watch. Viggo Mortensen plays the malevolent driver for the crooks who may or may not get too close with the midwife. The violence is over the top and in your face, there's male and female full-frontal nudity, yet the film also features a streak of tenderness. (ES) Rated R


Isn't it strange that a great performance can also be responsible for helping to ruin a movie? That's the case with Dan Fogler's contribution to this otherwise crude, wretched comedy. Fogler is amazing as a plastic surgeon whose hobby is ogling beautiful women while spouting off filthy language. The simplistic plot, about a lady's man (Dane Cook) who is cursed -- after women sleep with him, they fall in love with the next man they meet -- has a couple of laughs and lots of groans. Cook is OK in the part, but Jessica Alba, as the woman he falls for, proves that she has no concept of comedic acting. (ES) Rated R


A biopic about the Judy Garland of France, Edith Piaf, with a central performance by Marion Cotillard that's long been gathering Oscar buzz. Though pimped out by her own father and tiny ("The Little Sparrow" was 4-foot-8), she wasn't without defenses. Piaf tried to look at life through rose-colored glasses, but betrayals, insults and deaths drove her to drugs and alcohol. Writer-director Olivier Dahan may mythologize a bit, but even if you don't like her old-fashioned vocals, Piaf delivered emotion and delivered it raw. (MB) Rated PG-13


Amanda Bynes (Hairspray) is Snow White! Only she's in a sorority during her first year at college. But then a sorority witch forces her to move into a run-down house with a bunch of nerdy guys. I know -- let's call them the Seven Dorks! It's like a revenge comedy targeted against prissy blondes -- a kind of humor that's very satisfying for the non-prissy and totally dorky among us. (MB)


Director Laurent Tirard has an answer for a gap in the bio of France's greatest playwright. What was Moliere up to in 1644? Chasing women, spending time in jail, and (supposedly) getting himself involved in some intrigue that sounds a lot like the plot of Tartuffe. A riotous and lusty costume comedy that demonstrates how great literature often comes out of tawdry circumstances. In French with subtitles. (MB) (Rated PG-13)


Going further afield from its source material than the usual third installment of a videogame franchise spin-off, Extinction takes the familiar characters and bio-zombies and gives them a Mad Max makeover. (LB) Rated R

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