02-19-2017  6:04 pm      •     

Chico David Colvard, director of the documentary 'Family Affair'



Eat, Pray, Love (PG-13 for brief profanity, sexual references and male rear nudity) Julia Roberts stars in this screen adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir about a miserably-married career woman who quits her job and divorces her husband (Billy Crudup) to embark on a globetrotting journey of self-discovery financed by an advance from the publisher who purchased the rights to her book. With Javier Bardem, James Franco, Viola Davis and Richard Jenkins.

The Expendables (R for profanity and graphic violence) Sly Stallone wrote, directed and stars in this political potboiler about a team of mercenaries on a mission to overthrow an evil, South American dictator (David Zayas) who discover that they've been double-crossed by a traitor in their midst. Cast includes Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, stylized violence and drug references) Michael Cera stars in this romantic comedy based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic comic book series about a bass playing, 23 year-old slacker in a garage band who discovers that he must contend with seven, evil ex-boyfriends before he can win the heart of the girl of his dreams (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Cast includes Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, Jason Schwartzman, Ellen Wong and Brandon Routh.


Animal Kingdom (Unrated) Aussie crime drama about a detective (Guy Pearce) mourning the death of a colleague who endeavors to rescue a 17 year-old (James Frecheville) before he becomes a made man in a ruthless mob family. With Luke Ford, Joel Edgerton and Jacki Weaver.

Down Terrace (R for violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Mafia comedy about a recently-paroled father (Robert Hill) and son (Robin Hill) kingpins of a tight-knit crime syndicate who become obsessed with finding the snitch responsible for sending them up the river. Cast includes Julia Deakin, Sara Dee and Mark Kempner.

Family Affair (Unrated) Dysfunctional family documentary about three sisters' lifelong effort to recover from being molested by their father over the course of their childhood. Directed by their brother, Chico David Colvard, who shot one of his siblings in the leg when he was just 10.

Neshoba: The Price of Freedom (Unrated) Civil Rights Era documentary about a Mississippi County which remains divided along the color line 45 years after the murders there of equality advocates James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner by the Ku Klux Klan.

Peepli Live (Unrated) Social satire, set in the heart of rural India and revolving around a couple of brothers (Omkar DasManikpuri and Raghubir Yadav) who contemplate committing suicide for the insurance money to avoid losing the family farm in bankruptcy. With Farrukh Jaffar, Shalini Vatsa and Malaika Shenoy. (In Hindi with subtitles)

The People I've Slept With (Unrated) Baby-daddy comedy about a promiscuous pregnant woman (Karin Anna Cheung) who goes to great lengths to determine the baby's paternity with the help of her gay best friend (Wilson Cruz). Cast includes Chris Zylka, Archie Kao and Stacie Rippy.

Salt of This Sea (Unrated) Middle East drama abut a Brooklyn-born Palestinian (Suheir Hammad) who returns to her roots in Jaffa to reclaim an inheritance frozen in a bank account, only to forge an unholy alliance with a young man (Saleh Bakri) whose dream is to leave the region forever. With Avi Ammar, Iman Aoun and Diana Buttu. (In Arabic with subtitles)

La Soga (Unrated) Revenge-fueled saga, set in the Dominican Republic, about the 10 year-old son (Manny Perez) of a butcher who is recruited by the secret police and gradually turned into a stone-cold killer, after witnessing the murder of his father (Nelson Baez) by a mobster (Paul Calderon) from NYC. Ensemble includes Denise Quinones, Juan Fernandez and Joseph Lyle Taylor. (In Spanish with subtitles)

Tales from Earthsea (PG-13 for violence) Animated fantasy about a wandering wizard (Timothy Dalton) who investigates the appearance of dragons with the help of a young boy Prince (Junichi Okada). Voice cast includes Aoi Teshima, Bunta Sugawara and Jun Fubuki. (In Japanese with subtitles)

Trust Us, This Is All Made Up (Unrated) Ad-lib documentary chronicling the career of the improv team of TG Jagodowski and David Pasquesi, alums of the legendary Second City comedy troupe.

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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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