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Arts and Culture (Movie Reviews)

An iconic villain gets a makeover in this flighty fairytale
Betrayed by a boyfriend, fairy Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) becomes the vengeful protector of enchanted lands where she grew up. As her revenge, she will curse the human king’s newborn daughter.
 
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Friends don’t let friends date poorly

Debbie (Joy Bryant: Parenthood) and Danny (Michael Ealy: Almost Human) aren’t much for relationships. When they are brought to a bar by their friends Joan (Regina Hall: The Best Man Holiday) and Bernie (Kevin Hart: Ride Along), who have had a one-night stand, both believe they are along for moral support. In fact, Bernie and Joan are playing matchmaker to set up their best friends.
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This week Punxsutawney Phil gave us the not-unexpected news that winter will continue for six more weeks. To help stave off the chill, Bay Weekly has compiled an array of 18 films guaranteed to fight off cabin fever.

–compiled by Diana Beechener

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This series is a ghost of its former self

For his high school graduation, Jesse (Andrew Jacobs in his screen debut) gets a cool camera and a bite mark on his arm. This bite bestows some interesting powers on Jesse. He can leap great heights, float in midair and throw people across rooms. Jesse thinks he’s becoming a superhero, like Spiderman, and puts his camera to work filming his stunts, then posting them on YouTube.
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The Coen Brothers’ newest is a melancholy ­ballad to struggling artists

"If it’s not new, but it never gets old, it’s a folksong.” So Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac: Won’t Back Down) tells his audiences. The songs may never get old, but the lifestyle of a folk singer does.
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How Walt Disney won over Mary Poppins

After Mary Poppins became a literary phenomenon in 1934, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks: Captain Phillips) promised his daughters he would make their favorite book into a movie. A lucrative film adaptation is a dream offer for many, but Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson: Love Punch) didn’t share the Disney vision. Horrified by all things animated and kitschy, Travers fought for 20 years to keep her beloved book out of the hands of “the Man Behind the Mouse.”
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Here be dragons

If Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen: The Wolverine) weren’t a wizard, he would have been an excellent travel agent. He seems to live for organizing meandering trips through Middle-earth, acting as activities director for a ragtag group of his choosing.
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When fighting for life and liberty, who has time for teen romance?

In a dystopian nation of Panem, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence: The Silver Linings Playbook) is considered lucky. The winner of the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss was the last woman standing in a government-sponsored death match. With a spark of rebellion, she refused to kill hometown boy Peeta (Josh Hutcherson: Epic), claiming that she loved him and would rather die than end his life. The two were allowed to live as the first pair of winners in Hunger Games history....

The story of a man who wanted to die with his boots on

A few lines of cocaine, a three-way with rodeo groupies and a belt or two of whiskey is how Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey: Mud) liked to start his mornings. Before long, hard living and hard fighting make a mess of this bull rider.
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Even a brilliant foil can’t save this weak entry in the Marvel series

When the universe began, light spread throughout the cosmos. Light is usually a good thing, but it did not please a race called the Dark Elves. Their leader Malekith (Christopher Eccleston: Doctor Who) responded with Aether, a weaponized energy source, to bring back darkness and destroy the universe.
    It didn’t work.
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