Sunday, September 19, 2010

Movie Capsules by Barry Epstein– Sept. 17, 2010 Playing at the Cinemark, Muvico, Regal & Sunrise Cinemas

Life During Wartime ***
Controversial filmmaker Todd Solondz returns with this quasi-follow up to 1998's Happiness with this Werc Werk Works production, centering on a group of intertwining love stories with Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Renee Taylor Ally Sheely and Paul (Peewee Herman) Reubens. Separated from her incarcerated husband Bill (Hinds), Trish (Janney) is about to be married again. Bill is a pedophile, so Trish couldn't be more excited to have Harvey (Lerner), a "normal" father figure for her two sons. But when Bill is released from prison and the boys finally meet their future stepdad, the family is forced to decide whether to forgive or to forget. Trish's sister, the virginal, angelic Joy (Henderson), is also haunted by ghosts of lovers past. On leave from her degenerate husband, Allen (Williams), and her job at a New Jersey correctional facility, Joy unwittingly leaves behind a trail of shame and exposed secrets wherever she goes. In one of the film's most stylized sequences, the image of Joy walking the dark streets of Miami in her nightgown maintains her innocence against a backdrop of self-affliction and desire. R 1 hour 36 minutes. Three stars

The Town ***
Drama. Ben Affleck directs and stars. Doug MacRay is an unrepentant criminal, the de facto leader of a group of ruthless bank robbers who pride themselves in stealing what they want and getting out clean. But that all changed on the latest job, when they briefly took a hostage, bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). They let her go unharmed, but sometime later she meets an unassuming and rather charming man named Doug, not realizing that he is the same man who only days earlier had terrorized her. R 125 minutes. Three stars

Easy A ** 1/2
Comedy. After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean cut high school girl sees her life paralleling Hester Prynne's in "The Scarlet Letter," which she is currently studying in school - until she decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. Starring: Emma Stone, Stanley Tucci, Amanda Bynes and Malcolm McDowell. pG-13 92 minutes. Two and a half stars.

Alpha and Omega *
Kids/Family, Comedy/Adventure and Animation. What makes for the ultimate road trip? Hitchhiking, truck stops, angry bears, prickly porcupines and a golfing goose with a duck caddy. Just ask Kate and Humphrey, two wolves who are trying to get home after being taken by park rangers and shipped halfway across the country. Humphrey is an Omega wolf, whose days are about quick wit and snappy one-liners. Kate is an Alpha: duty, discipline and sleek Lara Croft eye-popping moves fuel her fire. Back home rival wolf packs are on the march and conflict is brewing. Only Kate and Humphrey can restore the peace. But first, they have to survive each other. With the voices of: Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover and Dennis Hopper. PG 88 minutes. 0ne star

Barry Epstein is president of Barry R. Epstein Associates, a full service public relations, marketing and political consulting firm based in Boca Raton, Fl. For more information, visit or call 561.852.0000. Watch “barry Epstein live” every Friday morning at 10 AM on or anytime by clicking ondemand barryepstein

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