11 25 2015
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  • BIG BUDGET FILMS Creed (PG-13 for violence, profanity and sensuality) Seventh installment in the Rocky series revives the franchise with this spin-off which finds Apollo Creed's son (Michael B. Jordan) being trained for a title fight by his late father's legendary adversary (Sly Stallone). With Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad and Wood Harris. The Good Dinosaur (PG for peril, action and mature themes) Animated adventure about an anthropomorphic apatosaurus (Raymond Ochoa) that is befriended by a caveboy (Jack Bright) after falling into a river and being swept far away from home. Voice cast includes Sam Elliott, Jeffrey Wright, Anna Paquin and Frances McDormand. Victor Frankenstein (PG-13 for violence, macabre images and a scene of destruction) James McAvoy plays the title character in this variation on Mary Shelley's classic tale about a mad scientist whose experiment in reviving the dead goes horribly wrong. Cast includes Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay and Bronson Webb. INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS Bolshoi Babylon (Unrated) Russian gone postal documentary deconstructing the 2013 acid attack on Sergei Filin, the artistic director of Moscow's most-prestigious ballet company, by a disgruntled employee. The Danish Girl (R for sexuality and full-frontal nudity) Transgender biopic, set in Copenhagen in the Twenties, recounting the pioneering procedure undergone by Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne), one of the first recipients of a sex-change operation. With Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard and Matthias Schoenaerts. Iraqi Odyseey (Unrated) Middle East documentary, directed by Samir Jamal al Din, finds the Iraqi expatriate tracing the migration of his people over the past half century in the wake of wars, dictatorship and foreign occupation. (In Arabic, English, German and Russian with subtitles) Janis: Little Girl Blue (Unrated) Reverential retrospective chronicling the meteoric rise and untimely demise of Janis Joplin (1943-1970). Featuring interviews with record exec Clive Davis, filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker and singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson. Karski & the Lords of Humanity (Unrated) Holocaust documentary recounting the exploits of Polish resistance leader Jan Karski (1914-2000) posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2012 and credited with saving 200,000 Jews from the Nazis during World War II. Stink! (Unrated) Eco-expose' about many dangerous chemicals politicians knowingly allow avaricious corporations to manufacture and disseminate in consumer products. Submerged (Unrated) Harrowing thriller about a group of young party animals held for ransom when their stretch limo plunges into a canal after being forced off the road by kidnappers. Ensemble cast includes Mario Van Peebles, Rosa Salazar, Talulah Riley, Denzel Whitaker, Jonathan Bennett and Tim Daly.
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  • City considering an ordinance that would postpone questions about criminal history
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  • Event to focus on self-care for Black women, girls and non-binary people
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  • A video of the shooting was released after pressure from community activists 
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WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half a million people leave U.S. prisons each year, but with jobs, housing and mental health services scarce, many are soon back behind bars. On Monday, President Barack Obama will call for breaking that cycle of incarceration by helping former inmates successfully re-enter society.

With his visit to a drug treatment center in Newark, New Jersey, Obama aims to boost his ongoing push for overhauling the criminal justice system. In rare bipartisan fashion, Congress is considering legislation cutting sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, but Obama will seek to force attention to the plight offenders face once they're finally set free.

"Everyone has a role to play, from businesses that are hiring ex-offenders to philanthropies that are supporting education and training programs," Obama said in his weekly address.

Without new laws, Obama is limited in what he can to do. For example, Obama has asked Congress to "ban the box" — shorthand for prohibiting the government and its contractors for asking job applicants about criminal histories on applications. It's an issue resonating in the Democratic presidential primary, with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley all supporting steps to help those convicted of crimes find employment.

Using his own authority where possible, Obama will announce he's asking the government personnel office to wait until later in the hiring process to ask about criminal histories — a step most federal agencies have already taken, the White House said. The Obama administration will also clarify its "one strike" rule that prevents many people with arrest records from living in public housing.

At Integrity House, a state-funded drug and residential treatment center, Obama was to be joined by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. Obama also planned to host a roundtable and deliver a statement at Rutgers University's law school.

Aiming to seize some of Obama's limelight, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie planned his own events Monday on community policing and criminal justice in Camden.


Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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