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Weekend Box Office: August 24-26, 2007
Superbad tops the box office with $18.0 million

Daily Box Office: Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Superbad tops Wednesday's box office with $1.9 million

Death Sentence / ***1/2 (R)
"Death Sentence" (R, 99 minutes). Kevin Bacon stars as a man whose (spoiler) is killed, and gets a gun and seeks revenge. Kelly Preston is his wife, and John Goodman and Garrett Hedlung play the creepiest father-and-son pair outside the Chainsaw Family. Directed by James Wan ("Saw") and effective at getting the job done, if this is the kind of job you like to be seen done effectively. Rating: Two and a half stars

Delirious / ***1/2 (Not rated)
"Delirious" (PG, 107 minutes). Steve Buscemi stars as a desperate paparazzi who dreams of that one great celebrity shot that will make his fame and fortune. Michael Pitt is the street kid who signs on as his unpaid assistant, and Alison Lohman is the starlet who becomes their obsession. Written and directed by indie legend Tom DiCillo, and the best of his films I’ve seen. Rating: Three and a half stars.

Self Medicated / *** (R)
"Self-Medicated" (R, 107 minutes). Monty Lapica, at 24, wrote, directed, and stars in the story of a drug-abusing Las Vegas teenager who is committed by his mom against his will to a "treatment facility" from hell. Strongly seen, made with conviction, fairly enlightened about drug abuse. With Diane Venora as the pill-popping mom. Rating: Three stars.

Ratatouille / **** (G)
"Ratatouille" (G, 110). Not merely funny, smart, beautiful to look and surprisingly moving, but with one of the most lovable heroes in a long time—Remy, a rat with a culinary genius. He teams up with a dishwasher to save a famous Paris restaurant, in one of the most inspired animated films in years. Directed by Brad Bird ("The Incredibles," "The Iron Giant") and with the voices of such as Peter O’Toole, Ian Holm, Janeane Garofalo, Brian Dennehy and Patton Oswalt as the hero rat. Rating: Four stars.

Balls of Fury / **1/2 (PG-13)
"Balls of Fury" (PG-13, /// minutes). Former child Ping-Pong phenom Andy Daytona (Dan Fogler), now I his 20s and grown pudgy, is discovered in Vegas by Rodriguez (George Lopez), an FBI agent who wants him to get back into training so he can compete undercover in an illegal global Ping-Pong and martial arts tournament run by the evil criminal weapons dealer Mr. Feng (Christopher Walken). Co- starring James Hong as Blind Master Wong and Maggie Q as his niece, who act as Daytona’s coaches. Not all that bad. Rating: Two and a half stars.

Resurrecting the Champ / *** (PG-13)
"Resurrecting the Champ" (PG-13, 111 minutes). Samuel L. Jackson stars as a former boxer, now a Skid Row drunk nicknamed Champ, who tells his story to a sports writer (Josh Hartnett). He was a contender once, he says, and the writer scents a great story. Jackson is good so is Alan Alda is the writer's editor, although the movie bogs down in details of the writer's domestic life. Rating: Three stars.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters / *** ()
"The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" (PG-13, 90 minutes). A documentary that is beyond strange, about two arch-enemies and their grim long-term rivalry to set the world record score in the 1980s arcade game Donkey Kong. One is a hot sauce tycoon, the other just got laid off at Boeing, and they both spend way more time playing Donkey Kong than any human life should have to endure. Somewhat limited fame and immortality go to the man who can best protect the damsel from the gorilla. Rating: Three stars.

The 11th Hour / ** (PG)
"The 11th Hour" (PG, 91 minutes). A dire warning about the demise of planet Earth, presented in a deadening format of taking heads and what often looks like stock nature footage. The doc has a lot of valuable information, but fails to convey it in an effective, involving way. Rent Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" instead. Rating: Four stars

2 Days in Paris / *** (R)
"2 Days in Paris" (R, 96 minutes). Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg play a New York couple, she French, who wrap up a miserable European holiday by spending two days in Paris, living above her parents. Not your usual lovers-in-Paris movie, but about two original, quirky characters so obsessed with their differences that Paris is almost a distraction. Written, directed, co-produced, edited, and scored by Delpy; when a women takes that many jobs, we slap her down for vanity. When a man does, we call him the new Orson Welles. Rating: Three stars.

September Dawn / (R)
By Roger Ebert On Sept. 11, 1857, at the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a group of fanatic Mormons attacked and slaughtered a wagon train of about 120 settlers passing through Utah on their way to California. Can we all agree that the date has no significance? No, we cannot, because "September Dawn" is at pains to point out that on another Sept. 11, another massacre took place, again spawned by religion.

The Nanny Diaries / **1/2 (PG-13)
“The Nanny Diaries” (PG-13, 107 minutes). Told from the point of view of a bright college graduate (Scarlett Johansson) who is accidentally hired as a nanny by a rich Manhattan family. Satire on the lifestyles of the rich and famous, with Laura Linney effective as the complex Mrs. X, and Paul Giamatti as her cheating zillionaire husband. Sort of bland, obvious and comfortable; nobody is really despicable enough. Rating: Two and a half stars.

Private Property / ***1/2 (No rating)
"Private Property" (Unrated, 95 minutes). Isabelle Huppert plays the divorced mother of twin sons, who treat her badly. Her ex- husband has remarried and has a child. She's started to date a man, and they talk about running a B&B. It is time for her to live her own life. Her sons don't think so. Also starring real life brothers Yannick and Jeremie Renier, the movie builds suspense in the way so many feelings are cloaked, especially the mother's. Rating: Three and a half stars

Illegal Tender / **1/2 (R)
"Illegal Tender" (R, 105 minutes.) Wanda DeJesus stars in a strong performance as a smart South Bronx girl whose boyfriend is shot dead the day she gives birth. She wisely invested his profits, 20 years later is wealthy, and tries to hide herself and family in the suburbs, but the past comes calling. Rick Gonzalez co-stars as her son, who grows from Joe College in a man who vows to “end all this,”

Zodiac / **** (R)
“Zodiac” (R, 156 minutes). The “All the President’s Men” of serial killer movies, with Woodward and Bernstein played by a cop and a cartoonist. It’s not merely “based” on California’s infamous Zodiac killings, but seems to exude the very stench and provocation of the case. Key characters trying to end the California madman’s murders:

Great Movie: Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
By Roger Ebert "Pan's Labyrinth" is one of the greatest of all fantasy films, even though it is anchored so firmly in the reality of war. On first viewing, it is challenging to comprehend a movie that on the one hand provides fauns and fairies, and on the other hand creates an inhuman sadist in the uniform of Franco's fascists. The fauns and fantasies are seen only by the 11-year-old heroine, but that does not mean she's "only dreaming;" they are as real as the fascist captain who murders on the flimsiest excuse. The coexistence of these two worlds is one of the scariest elements of the film; they both impose sets of rules that can get an 11-year-old killed.

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