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CineList, 3.7.13

New Releases

Dead Man Down (R, 110 mins) A revengeful woman (Noomi Rapace) uses the only weapon she can possess in a Hollywood film — her body — to seduce the right hand man (Colin Firth) of the crime lord (Terrence Howard) who wronged her. Opens wide.

Emperor (PG-13, 98 mins) An opportunity to get laid influences U.S. General Fellers (Matthew Fox) as he decides what to do with Emperor Hirohito at the conclusion of WWII. His investigation is overseen by Tommy Lee Jones strutting around as General Douglas MacArthur. At least the actress who plays Fellers’ love interest Aya (Eriko Hatsune) is actually Japanese. Opens wide.

Oz the Great and Powerful (PG, 130 mins) A circus magician (James Franco) is catapulted into the magical world of Oz. No, the magician doesn’t dabble in any of Oz’s CGI intoxicants. That’s just Franco’s acting. Opens wide.

PICK - West of Memphis (R, 147 mins) See review, this issue.

Now Playing

21 and Over (R, 93 mins) An overachieving student (Justin Chon) goes wild with a group of friends the night before his medical school interview. Or, “The Hangover” at college.

A Good Day to Die Hard (R, 97 mins) John McClane (Bruce Willis) teams up with his son (Jai Courtney) to blow things up while combating Russian criminals. They couldn’t have made a worse “Die Hard” movie if they tried. (CB: 2.14.13)

PICK - Argo (R, 120 mins) When 52 Americans were taken hostage inside the U.S. embassy in Iran, six others escaped and found refuge in the house of the Canadian ambassador. Attempting to get them out without Ayahtollah Khomeini noticing, the CIA propped up a phony movie, sent agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) through Turkey to Tehran posing as a film producer, and he walked the six Americans around town for a couple days as his production crew before attempting an escape. This is a great film, “Gigli” fans. We don’t have Ben Affleck to kick around anymore. (CB: 10.11.12)

PICK - Beasts Of The Southern Wild (PG-13, 91 mins) A man wears a helmet light, holds a bottle of liquor and blasts impotently at a raging storm with a shotgun. The man is named Wink, and he is watching his home disappear due to an unholy combination of climate change, industrial rot and the tug of officialdom. Wink and daughter Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) refuse to play by civilization’s rules. You could write a term paper exploring the nuances of Wallis’ performance. (KC: 7.19.12) Village Square

Beautiful Creatures (PG-13, 124 mins) Secrets are uncovered in a small Southern town when two teens (Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert) fall in love. Despite a show-stealing performance by Emma Thompson as a church fanatic, this film falls flat halfway and treads a well-worn supernatural path. (MK: 2.14.13) Colonnade

The Berlin File (NR, 120 mins) A North Korean secret agent (Jung-woo Ha) must discover if his wife (Gianna Jun) or country betrayed him, following an illegal weapons trade gone wrong. Korean. Village Square.

Bless Me, Ultima (PG-13, 106 mins) A Mexican-American teen is caught between worlds during the 1940s. This film feels rushed and needs more wonder. (MK: 2.20.13) Sams Town

Dark Skies (PG-13, 95 mins) Once again, a white family (Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton) is terrorized by something that lurks within their suburban home.

Django Unchained (R, 170 mins) Quentin Tarantino directs this story of a slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx) and his rescue of his abused wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo Dicaprio). Even with show-stealing performances, this ultra-violent film is not Tarantino’s best. (MK: 12.20.12) Sams Town, Sunset Station

Escape From Planet Earth (PG) Astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser), a national hero on the planet Baab, responds to a call for help from Earth. Animated.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (PG-13, 100 mins) Bounty Hunters Hansel and Gretel (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) track and kill evil magical creatures throughout the world.

A Haunted House (R, 86 mins) A couple (Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins) face demons and possession when they move into their dream home. A parody of modern horror films like “Paranormal Activity.” Texas Station, Tropicana

Here Comes the Boom (PG, 105 mins) To save his high school’s music program, biology teacher Scott (Kevin James) turns MMA fighter.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (PG-13, 169 mins) Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a hobbit from the world of “The Lord of the Rings,” leaves the Shire to retrieve stolen treasure and face his destiny. Peter Jackson’s overly long creation is not fun or clever. (CB: 12.13.12) Tropicana

Hotel Transylvania (PG, 91 mins) When a boy discovers a luxury resort patronized by all the classic horror figures, Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) gets put in charge of damage control in a plot that sounds an awful lot like “Monsters, Inc.”

Identity Thief (R, 111 mins) A dude named Sandy (Jason Bateman) has his identity stolen and exploited by a woman played by the big, crass chick from “Bridesmaids.”

Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13, 114 mins) Jack (Nicholas Hoult) slaughters giants and scores the hot princess, despite looking mildly like a troll himself.

The Last Exorcism Part II (PG-13) A demon shows its penchant for possessing white girls in the rural South when it terrorizes helpless Nell (Ashley Bell) once more. When will this demon get a hobby?

Les Miserables (PG-13, 157 mins) A former prisoner (Hugh Jackman) establishes himself in French society on the eve of the revolution while being hunted by an obsessive inspector (Russell Crowe) and becoming a surrogate father to the daughter of a factory worker (Anne Hathaway). Despite impressive musical performances, this films tries too hard at winning Oscar gold. (PB: 12.20.12) Village Square, Colonnade

Life of Pi (PG, 127 mins) A Canadian writer had traveled to India to write a story about Portugal and hears a local legend about a boy named Pi, who — as fate would have it — now lives in Montreal. The writer meets adult Pi (Irrfan Khan) who weaves his tale of a boy who shares a lifeboat with a tiger for nine months. Unfortunately, like many sermons, the story is preposterous and shallow. (CB: 11.22.12) Village Square

PICK - Lincoln (PG-13, 149 mins) In this Spielberg-treated biopic of our 16th President, Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) has to decide whether slaves should be legally freed, deals with the anxieties of wife Mary Todd (Sally Field), and her histrionics fueled in part by the criticism of chief radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) — all in the four months leading to the President’s assassination. Day-Lewis is phenomenal. (MK: 11.15.12) Sams Town

Mama (PG-13, 100 mins) A couple (Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) must raise two girls who lived ferally in a forest and are now followed by a sinister being. Despite containing great genre atmosphere, the excessive plot and familiar scares demonstrate the weakening Guillermo del Toro brand. (CB: 1.17.13) Sams Town, Texas Station

Phantom (R) The epileptic captain (Ed Harris) on a Cold War submarine faces impossible odds when he is forced into a stereotypical covert mission. Hollywood spent $18 million on a movie that also stars David Duchovny. Orleans

Red Dawn (PG-13, 93 mins) Shown as a trailer that might be an over-sensationalized Marine Corps ad, a group of teenagers have to protect their Washington state city from foreign paratroopers. Chris Hemsworth is basically still Thor, but with guns.

Safe Haven (PG-13, 115 mins) A widower (Josh Duhamel) uncovers the truth about the mysterious woman (Julianne Hough) he falls for in a North Carolina town.

Side Effects (R, 106 mins) A successful New York couple (Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara) encounter hardships when the wife is prescribed problematic drugs by her psychiatrist (Jude Law). Though not perfect, this film shows retiring director Steven Soderbergh’s craftsmanship. (CB: 2.06.13)

Silver Linings Playbook (R, 122 mins) After Pat (Bradley Cooper) hits rock bottom, he meets a similarly troubled girl (Jennifer Lawrence) with whom he forms an unlikely connection. By David O. Russell (“I [Heart] Huckabees”).

PICK - Skyfall (PG-13, 143 mins) After the theft of a hard drive containing the identities of undercover British agents, Bond (Daniel Craig) goes from Istanbul to Shanghai and Macau before returning to the U.K. to defend the homeland from Silva (Javier Bardem). “Skyfall” ends on such a perfect note of old-school grace that it leaves us anxious for Bond 24, and should put to rest the series’ soul-searching. (TRW: 11.8.12)

Snitch (PG-13, 95 mins) A father (Dwayne Johnson) goes undercover to infiltrate a drug cartel to save his son.

Texas Chainsaw 3D (R, 92 mins) You know the drill: An outsider (Alexandra Daddario) inherits a Texas mansion in proximity to where a chainsaw massacre occurred.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 (PG-13, 115 mins) After the Cullens (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) give birth to a child, they have to band the other vampire clans to protect the child from unfounded claims against the family. Also, werewolves. Texas Station

Warm Bodies (PG-13, 97 mins) After the undead take over the world, a hot zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) saves a girl (Teresa Palmer) and subsequently falls for her. Like “Twilight” with zombies.

Wreck-It Ralph (PG, 101 mins) When Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) gets fed up with being the bad guy of his arcade game and always having to lose in the end, he escapes his game, jumping from game to game trying to prove his heroism — but in doing so, he unleashes a terrible evil. Sams Town, Tropicana

PICK - Zero Dark Thirty (R, 157 mins) A CIA operative’s (Jessica Chastain) unyielding pursuit of the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden leads to his assassination in May 2011 by a Navy SEAL team. This honest portrayal of torture and war transcends debates to create a thrilling action film. (MK: 1.10.13) Green Valley Ranch

Special Screenings

Clue & Rocky Horror Double Feature A live shadowcast of Science Fiction Double Feature’s “Clue” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” both starring Tim Curry. Sat, 9p. The Sci-Fi Center 600 E. Sahara #12, 792-4335, $10.

Dr. Who Night (NR) Episodes from the BBC television show, chronicling the adventures of the eccentric time-traveling alien and his friends. Friday, 8p. The Sci-Fi Center, 900 E. Karen Ave., Suite D-202, 792-4335, $5

PaleyFest Featuring the Cast of The Big Bang Theory A live broadcast of a Q&A session and sneak peak of an unaired episode with the stars of the CBS show. Wed, 7p. See for ticket and location info. $13-$15.

PaleyFest Featuring the Cast of The Walking Dead Stars of the AMC show participate in a Q&A that includes behind-the-scenes footage. Thu, 8p. See for ticket and location info. $13-$15.

Possessed (NR, 76 mins) A woman who enjoys sex (Joan Crawford) moves to New York and meets a rich attorney (Clark Gable) who satisfies all her healthy sexual needs. Scandalous. Try not to be too distracted by Crawford’s penciled eyebrows. Tue, 1p, Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 507-3400.