02-19-2017  10:41 pm      •     


Jumping the Broom (PG-13 for sexuality and profanity) Ghetto-meets-bourgie comedy about the sparks which fly when the families of a bride (Paula Patton) and groom (Laz Alonso) from opposite sides of the tracks converge on Martha's Vineyard for an eventful weekend wedding. Ensemble includes Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Meagan Good, DeRay Davis, Mike Epps, Romeo, Gary Dourdan and Bishop T. D. Jakes. The Skanner News Video: trailer

 The Beaver (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, drug use, mature themes and disturbing content) Jodie Foster directs and co-stars opposite Mel Gibson in this ventriloquist's dummy dramedy about a depressed CEO who only talks to his wife and sons (Anton Yelchin and Riley Thompson Stewart) through his hand puppet. With Jennifer Lawrence, Cherry Jones and Zachary Booth and featuring cameos by Terry Gross, Jon Stewart and Matt Lauer.

Something Borrowed (PG-13 for sexuality and drug use) Romantic comedy based on Emily Giffin's novel of the same name about the complications which ensue after a successful attorney without much of a love life (Ginnifer Goodwin) sleeps with her best friend's (Kate Hudson) fiancé (Colin Egglesfield) on her 30th birthday. With John Krasinski, Jill Eikenberry and Ashley Williams.

Thor (PG-13 for intense action and violence) Aussie Chris Hemsworth stars as the Marvel Comics superhero from another planet exiled to Earth where he puts his mighty hammer to good use as an intrepid defender of the planet. Cast includes Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Renee Russo, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner.


The Colors of the Mountain (Unrated) End of innocence saga, set in the Colombian countryside, about the plight of a 9 year-old boy (Hernan Mauricio Ocampo) who unwittingly lands in the middle of a civil war conflict after he and a couple of buddies (Genaro Aristizabal and Nolberto Sanchez) chase an errant soccer ball into a field booby-trapped by guerillas with lethal landmines. (In Spanish with subtitles)

Daydream Nation (R for sexuality, profanity, violent images and teen drug and alcohol abuse) Romance drama revolving around a precocious, 17 year-old from the big city (Kat Dennings) who moves with her widowed father (Ted Whittall) to a small town where she becomes embroiled in a love triangle with a teacher (Josh Lucas) and a stoner classmate (Reece Thompson).

Extraordinary Stories (Unrated) A trio of mysteries, set in Argentina, weaving a surrealistic, cinematic tapestry involving missing persons, buried treasure and desperate jailbirds. With Hector Diaz, Walter Jakob and Klaus Dietze. (In Spanish and English with subtitles)

Forks over Knives (PG for smoking and mature themes) Vegan documentary endeavoring to substantiate the proposition that most of the degenerative diseases afflicting humanity are a consequence of eating animals and processed foods. Featuring commentary by Junshi Chen, Gene Baur and Dr. Doug Lisle.

Harvest (R for profanity and brief sexuality) Skeletons-out-of-the-closet drama about the tensions which surface among members of a grieving family reunited for the summer in the wake of the passing of its beloved patriarch (Robert Loggia). Cast includes Jack Carpenter, Barbara Barrie, Arye Gross and Victoria Clark.

Hobo with a Shotgun (Unrated) Revenge comedy about a homeless vigilante (Rutger Hauer), recently arrived in a town called Hope, who sets about dispensing double-barreled street justice to corrupt cops, pedophiles and other dastardly evildoers. With Gregory Smith, Nick Bateman and Brian Downey.

An Invisible Sign (Unrated) Jessica Alba stars in this adaptation of Aimee Bender's best-seller of the same name about a 20 year-old schoolteacher who uses math as a means of helping students deal with emotional crises. Cast includes J.K. Simmons, Sonia Braga, Bailee Madison and Chris Messina.

Last Night (R for profanity) 7-year itch saga a housewife (Keira Knightley) who goes out for drinks with an old flame (Guillaume Canet) on the same evening that her husband (Sam Worthington) finds himself tempted by an attractive colleague (Eva Mendes) while away on a business trip.

Lord Byron (Unrated) Midlife crisis dramedy about an incurable romantic (Paul Baptiste) living with his ex-wife (Renee King) and kids who fritters away his days pursuing loose women and smoking weed. With Katryn Schmidt, Justin Bickham, Joseph Diaz and Rosco Hall.

Octubre (Unrated) Peruvian morality play, set in Lima, about a lonely loan shark (Bruno Odar) who leans on the shoulder of his pious, next-door neighbor (Gabriela Velasquez) for help with caring for the newborn (Sheryl Sanchez) deposited on his doorstep by a prostitute he used to frequent. (In Spanish with subtitles)

Passion Play (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity, violence and drug use) Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox co-star in this crime thriller about a down-and-out jazz trumpeter who finds salvation with the help of a circus sideshow freak while on the run from a ruthless mobster (Bill Murray). Support cast includes Bud Cort, Rhys Ifans and Charlie Brown.

Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story (Unrated) "Advance to Go" documentary explores the history of the classic board game while profiling some of the colorful players competing for the coveted title of Monopoly World Champ.

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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