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Weekend Box Office: July 6-8, 2007
Transformers tops the box office with an estimated $67.6 million

Daily Box Office: Sunday, July 8, 2007
Transformers tops Sunday's box office with an estimated $19.2 million

Transformers / *** (PG-13)
Shia LaBeouf stars as a high school who gets a used Camero that is part of an invasion by two groups of battling robots. The Transformers and Decepticons can twist, fold and double in upon themselves, like a Rubicís Cube crossed with a contortionist. Opening scenes are exciting and funny, with a lot of stuff that blows up real good, but the grand finale, robots battling in special effects, goes on too long. Directed by Michael Bay.

Lady Chatterley / ** (Not rated)
A long, serene, lyrical, pastoral film, based on an earlier, kinder, gentler version of the D. H. Lawrence novel. Swept the French Oscars (the Cesars), is loved by most critics, but left me unmoved, despite the quality of performances by Jean-Louis Coullocíh (cq) as the gamekeeper and Marina Hands as Lady Chatterley. Too much icing, not enough cake.

The Departed / **** (R)
by Roger Ebert Note: I was ill when "The Departed" was released last year, and given its Oscar-winning stature, I wanted to double back and review it. Most of Martin Scorsese's films have been about men trying to realize their inner image of themselves. That's as true of Travis Bickle as of Jake LaMotta, Rupert Pupkin, Howard Hughes, the Dalai Lama, Bob Dylan or, for that matter, Jesus Christ. "The Departed" is about two men trying to live public lives that are the radical opposites of their inner realities. Their attempts threaten to destroy them, either by implosion or fatal betrayal. The telling of their stories involves a moral labyrinth, in which good and evil wear each other's masks.

Black Sheep / ** (Not rated)
This New Zealand comedy/horror/gross-out picture isn't really baaaad, but it does get tedious after a while. Turns out that watching livestock eat people is not all that much more fun that watching them graze on vegetation. Jim Emerson

Great Movie: Moolaade (2007)
"Moolaade" is the kind of film that can only be made by a director whose heart is in harmony with his mind. It is a film of politics and anger, and also a film of beauty, humor, and a deep affection for human nature. Usually films about controversial issues are tilted too far toward rage or tear-jerking. Ousmane Sembene, who made this film when he was 81, must have lived enough, suffered enough and laughed enough to find the wisdom of age. I remember him sitting in the little lobby of the Hotel Splendid in Cannes, puffing contentedly on a Sherlock Holmes pipe that was rather a contrast with his bright, flowing Senegalese garb.

Movie Answer Man: A walk on the 'Wild' side
Q. I got a chuckle out of the Movie Glossary entry titled "The Walk." This shot, of the characters lined up and walking meaningfully toward the camera, became so hackneyed it was used three times in each and every episode of the reality TV game show "Fear Factor." The earliest film I can think of to use "The Walk" is "A Clockwork Orange," as Malcolm McDowell and his gang walk along the harbor, just before McDowell attacks his gangmates. Both the director, the late Stanley Kubrick, and the film seem like likely places for other filmmakers to draw their influences. Before I saw Tarantino's "Kill Bill, Vol. 1," I would have said the last time this shot was effective or looked cool was in his "Reservoir Dogs." In "Kill Bill," it seemed to me that both the music and the motion were noticeably faster paced than normal for "The Walk." How is it that Tarantino manages to take an element so familiar and make it his own and so seemingly original? Nick Fovargue, Toronto A. There's something so quirky and personal about Tarantino's style that even when he's ripping off an old movie, you say "That's a Tarantino shot!" As I tirelessly repeat, it's not what the film is about, but how it's about it. By the way, film critic Peter Debruge claims an earlier Walk in "The Wild Bunch," as shown on the poster.

Commentary: Chris Curveball & the Blonde Bomb
by Roger Ebert Following is the transcript of Chris Curveballís televised interview last night with Ann Coultist, held before a group of high school students. CHRIS: Weíre here to talk about the new book by right-wing commentator Ann Coultist, but first, Ann, we have a woman on the line who wants to ask you something. ANN (uses fingers to comb back long blonde hair): Right wing! Thatís a new one.

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