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Weekend Box Office: July 20-22, 2007
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry tops the box office with $34.2 million

Daily Box Office: Thursday, July 26, 2007
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry tops Thursday's box office with $3.8 million

The Simpsons Movie / *** (PG-13)
A feature-length adventure starring America's most dysfunctional family, which succeeds in the nearly fatal pollution of Springfield. That story is interspersed with a lot of wickedly funny spoof of the most famous sequence in the Austin Powers movies.

My Best Friend / *** (PG-13)
That superb French actor Daniel Auteuil plays an antique dealers who is shocked to be told bluntly that they don't really like him. He runs into a chatty taxi driver (Dany Boon) and eventually hires him to teach him to make friends. Witty, affectionate, strange comedy by Patrice Leconte ("The Girl on the Bridge," "The Man on the Train").

No Reservations / ** (PG)
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart co-star as rival chefs; she hates him as a rival, but inevitably they're drawn together, thanks partly to the matchmaking of her sister's orphaned child (Abigail Breslin). Alas, the characters seem to feel more passion for food than for one another. Remake of the 2002 German film "Mostly Martha." With Patricia Clarkson, Bob Balaban. Directed by Scott Hicks ("Shine").

Vitus / *** (PG)
A sentimental crowd-pleasing "Pinocchio" fable that turns the child prodigy movie on its ear. The title characcter is a budding piano genius who wants nothing more than to become a real boy. Enjoyable performances.

Into Great Silence / ***1/2 ()
by Jim Emerson The acclaimed documentary "Into Great Silence" returns to the Music Box in Chicago. We get a lot of movies about noise these days: gunshots, screams, explosions, fist thunks, thunderous roars, revving engines, squealing tires and those deafening sonic swooshes that accompany nearly every corporate logo before the feature even gets started. But we don't experience many moments of silence at the movies (and I'm not just talking about the audiences). "Into Great Silence," though devoid of narration, musical score or much at all in the way of dialogue, encourages us to listen closely: to the sound of snow falling in the mountains, a nocturnal prayer whispered in a small wooden cell with a knocking tin stove, a bell rope pulled in a chapel. Nobody yells. Nothing detonates.

Hairspray / ***1/2 (PG)
Pure fun, from the moment a roly-poly teenager named Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) bounces out of bed and serenades the neighborhood with "Good Morning, Baltimore!" Circa 1962, she dreams of getting on the local TV teen dance show, but on her way there she gets indignant about how the show is all- white except for one day a month. Based on the 1988 movie and broadway musical; still fresh. With John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Chrisopher Walken.

Sunshine / *** (R)
The sun is dying, and a desperate space mission seeks to re-ignite it. The crew finds the close quarters confining, and some of them are overwhelmed by the metaphysical aspects of the journey. Written by Ale Campbell, directed by Danny Boyle, with awesome special effects and some sinister developments on their way past Mercury. With Michelle Yeoh, Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Troy Garity, Rose Byrne, Benedict Wong.

Interview / *** (Not rated)
Steve Buscemi is a Washington correspondent sent to interview a bimbo starlet (Sienna Miller), who quickly discovers he knows nothing about her. Their mutual loathing turns into an all-night drunkathon, in which truths may or may not be revealed. Directed by Buscemi, fascinating for the insights they bring to their characters, possibly from their own observations.

Goya's Ghosts / *** (R)
Set in the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Milos Forman's film interweaves stories of the Spanish artist, an innocent young girl, a priest, a merchant, and the royal court. Extraordinarily beautiful, as much a series of striking images as a linear story. Starring Stellan Skarsgard, Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman, Jose Luis Gomez and Randy Quaid. Filled with blood, sex and fears.

Cashback / **1/2 (R)
Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter films) plays an all-night grocery clerk who fights boredom by freezing time and drawing some of the customers nude. Eventually he falls in love with a checkout clerk (Emilia Fox) and they share a whimsical romance. A gentle, sort of quiet film, even a date movie.

Broken English / **1/2 (PG-13)
Parker Posey stars as a Manhattan hotel concierge who has bad luck with men, and then maybe good luck. Movie starts out complex and interesting, Posey is good, and then plot bogs down in formula. With Gena Rowlands, Justin Theroux, John Hamilton, Drea de Matteo; directed by Zoe Cassavetes.

Great Movie: WR -- Mysteries of the Organism (1971)
by Roger Ebert "When I started making films, sex and humor were considered as very serious matters -- even high treason." Dusan Makavejev is remembering the uproar over his "WR -- Mysteries of the Organism" (1971), a film of sex and comedy that had a mixed reaction: best director at the 1971 Chicago festival, around-the-clock screenings at Cannes, an uproar in New York by followers of Wilhelm Reich, banned in Yugoslavia and at the Venice Film Festival, denounced as pornographic, irresponsible, anti-Soviet, anti-American, anti-cinema.

Movie Answer Man: Space-age brain freeze
Q. I've just read your review for "Sunshine," and I'm confused. You say that according to Isaac Asimov, the human body can survive in the cold vacuum of space for longer than I might think. I was under the impression that, in space, a naked human would initially freeze to death, and then summarily explode. Ali Arikan, Istanbul, Turkey A. Asimov and Sir Arthur C. Clarke, both scientists, explored this question in fiction. And www.damninteresting.com reports: "Though an unprotected human would not long survive in the clutches of outer space, it is remarkable that survival times can be measured in minutes rather than seconds, and that one could endure such an inhospitable environment for almost two minutes without suffering any irreversible damage." In terms of NASA's experience, in a test gone wrong in 1965, a subject in a vacuum remained aware for 14 seconds.

Commentary: Feedback: Gamers and artists
Many readers have responded to "Games vs. Art: Ebert vs. Barker." Here's a sampling: From: Eric-Jon Waugh, Oakland, CA The thing is, videogames -- like film, novels -- are about establishing a particular perspective of the world. Whereas film and novels explore this perspective through a linear narrative, videogames define the world of the observer through a limited set of laws. The artist's control is in defining the world, the laws that govern it, and thereby -- critically -- the potential consequences of action.

Commentary: Games vs. Art: Ebert vs. Barker
A year or so ago, I rashly wrote that video games could not be art. That inspired a firestorm among gamers, who wrote me countless messages explaining why I was wrong, and urging me to play their favorite games. Of course, I was asking for it. Anything can be art. Even a can of Campbell's soup. What I should have said is that games could not be high art, as I understand it.

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