02-19-2017  10:50 am      •     

The Bounty Hunter, left


The Bounty Hunter (PG-13 for profanity, violence and sexuality) Romantic comedy about a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter (Gerard Butler) hired to bring his bail-jumping ex-wife (Jennifer Aniston) to justice for a minor legal infraction who ends up on the run with her when they both become embroiled in the murder case she's been investigating. With Christine Baranski, Jeff Garlin, Jason Sudeikis and Dorian Missick.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (PG for crude humor and mild epithets) Combination live action/animated comedy based on Jeff Kinney's illustrated children's novel of the same name chronicling the misadventures of a wisecracking, junior high school student (Zachary Gordon) and his best friend (Robert Capron) over the course of a very eventful academic year. Supporting cast includes Steve Zahn, Karan Brar and Grayson Russell.

Repo Men (R for profanity, graphic violence, grisly images, sexuality and nudity) Sci-fi thriller, set in the near future, about an ex-collections enforcer (Jude Law) who fell behind on payments on an artificial heart who finds himself on the run from another repossession man (Forest Whitaker) ready to rip the life-saving device right out of his chest. Ensemble includes Live Schreiber, Carice van Houten, Alice Braga and rapper RZA.

The Runaways (R for profanity, sexuality and drug use) Kristen Stewart stars as Joan Jett in this coming-of-age bio-pic about the meteoric rise to fame in 1975 and burnout by 1977 of her all-girl rock and roll quintet comprised of attractive 15 year-olds. Co-starring Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie and Scout Taylor-Compton as Lita Ford, and with Tatum O'Neal and Michael Shannon.

Season of the Witch (PG-13 for violence, mature themes and disturbing elements) Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman star in this medieval adventure about a couple of knights assigned by the Church to escort a witch (Claire Foy) suspected of spreading the plague to a remote monastery where priests plan to perform an exorcism on her. With Christopher Lee, Stephen Campbell Moore and Robert Sheehan.


City Island (PG-13 for sexuality, smoking and profanity) Kitchen sink sitcom about a wacky Italian-American family with a lot of skeletons in the closet, from a patriarch (Andy Garcia) who's secretly taking acting lessons, to a Prodigal Son (Steven Strait) who's an ex-con, to a daughter (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) who's working as a stripper, to a teenager (Ezra Miller) who's a chubby chaser, to his sexually-frustrated wife (Julianna Margulies). Support cast includes Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Unrated) Screen adaptation of Stieg Larsson's best seller of the same name about a journalist-turned-amateur sleuth (Michael Nyqvist) who, with the help of a rebellious, young computer hacker (Noomi Rapace), tries to solve the mysterious disappearance of a teen heiress which transpired forty years earlier. (In Swedish with subtitles)

Greenberg (R for profanity, drug use and graphic sexuality) Ben Stiller stars in the title role of this poignant romance drama about the attempt of two lost souls, adrift in L.A., to forge a meaningful connection. With Jennifer Jason Leigh, Greta Gerwig, Juno Temple, Rhys Ifans and Chris Messina.

Hubble 3D (G) Intergalactic, IMAX documentary, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, offering an awe-inspiring view of our celestial surroundings while recounting the brave effort of Space Shuttle Astronauts Scott Altman, Andrew Feustel and Michael Good to repair the Hubble telescope during a daring spacewalk.

Kimjongilia (Unrated) Red Curtain documentary in which refugees of North Korean prison camps share their horror stories about the political repression, famine and general devastation they left behind when they escaped from their Communist homeland. (In English and Korean with subtitles)

Mid-August Lunch (Unrated) Dysfunctional family comedy, set in Rome over the Assumption holiday weekend, revolving around a cash-strapped, alcoholic, middle-aged bachelor (Gianni Di Gregorio) still living at home where he devotedly attends to the demands of his widowed, 93 year-old mom (Valeria De Franciscis) and three other elderly ladies he's preparing a feast for. (In Italian with subtitles)

Shutterbug (Unrated) Supernatural romance drama about a jaded photographer (Nando Del Castillo) who sets off on odyssey in search of the beautiful apparition burnt into his vision while shooting a sunrise. With Doug Barron, Anna Gutto and Brian Ish.

Vincere (Unrated) WWII saga about the love child spawned in 1922 by the illicit liaison of Benito Mussolini (Filippo Timi) and his secret mistress, Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), which was consummated before the Fascist dictator's rise to power. (In Italian and German with subtitles)


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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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