June 06--OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (Disney) A circus con man with a hipster goatee winds up in another world, where he's mistaken for the fulfillment of a prophecy of the arrival of a great wizard. Sam Raimi's big-budget prequel to the "Wizard of Oz" stories is missing everything -- partly the result of copyright issues -- that made the 1939 movie an enduring classic, and instead is a Disneyfied horse of a different color that combines an "Alice in Wonderland" plot and an "Avatar" landscape with the witches of "Charmed" and Disney's anthropomorphism and theme-park tendencies. With James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis. (PG; action, scary images, mild language) ??1/2
HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (Paramount) Those crazy kids who went into the gingerbread house have grown up and become expert witch slayers. Now, they're up against a new breed. Fantasy-action-fest with a side order of snark, starring Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton. (R; fantasy violence, gore, sex, nudity, language) Not reviewed.
SNITCH (Summit/Lionsgate) A desperate father, played by Dwayne Johnson, agrees to turn DEA informer to get his teenage son out of a lengthy prison sentence. Although the movie strives to tell a timely, meaningful story about the war on drugs -- and the issues surrounding mandatory-minimum-sentencing laws -- it settles for contrivances, melodrama and absurd action that comes completely out of left field. With Barry Pepper, Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt. (PG-13; drug content, violence) ??
KNIFE FIGHT (IFC) Rob Lowe plays a political strategist who's an expert at scandal management, until he starts thinking about the implications of his work. With Eric McCormack, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jamie Chung, Julie Bowen, Richard Schiff. (R; language, some sex, nudity) Not reviewed.
FRED WON'T MOVE OUT (Virgil) A struggling filmmaker tries to convince his aging father to move with his Alzheimer's-inflicted mother into an assisted-living facility, but the old man has other ideas. With Elliott Gould, Judith Roberts, Fred Melamed. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
THE TASTE OF MONEY (IFC) In South Korea, a young man hired to be a rich woman's personal secretary gets a ringside seat at one of the country's most powerful -- and corrupt -- families. In Korean with English subtitles. (Not rated; sex) Not reviewed.
NINJA MASTERS (Lionsgate) A young martial arts instructor, hired as a bodyguard for a powerful couple, sets out to to rescue them when they're kidnapped and winds up in the world of underground fighting. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (PG-13; violence) Not reviewed.
HELLBOUND? (Virgil) Documentary about the debate over the doctrine of hell. (Not rated) (Not reviewed)
CLIP (Artsploitation/Kino Lorber) A rootless teenager in post-independence Serbia drifts into a life of partying. Gritty Serbian drama, with English subtitles. (Not rated; sex, nudity, drug use) Not reviewed.
MASQUERADE (Inception/CJ) In medieval Korea, a commoner serves as the king's body double, until the king's death forces him to find a way to keep the country together. Historical drama with Lee Byung-hun. In Korean with English subtitles. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
STOKER (Fox), 21 & OVER (Fox), QUARTET (Starz/AnchorBay), THE LAST EXORCISM PART II (Sony), JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (Warner), MOVIE 43 (Fox), THE BRASS TEAPOT (Magnolia), SUMMONED (Lionsgate), AMERICAN MARY (Xlrator)
NO (Sony), THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE (Warner), THE CALL (Sony), A PLACE AT THE TABLE (Magnolia), PHANTOM (Fox), UPSIDE DOWN (Millennium), INTO THE WHITE (Magnolia), AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT (IFC), BLACK POND (Entertainment One), PUSHER (Starz/Anchor Bay), LORD OF DARKNESS (Lionsgate)
IDENTITY THIEF Lovable Melissa McCarthy plays a dimpled, big-haired sociopath in capri pants who steals the identity of wage slave Jason Bateman. McCarthy, who became a national comic treasure with her turns in "Mike & Molly" and "Bridesmaids," does not make this mismatched-buddy road-trip knockoff better, but she does make it funny. (R; sex, language) ??1/2
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD Wisecracking cop John McClane goes to Moscow to get his son out of trouble, only to discover he's actually a spy working undercover -- and Dad's arrival may have turned his mission upside down. Fifth time around for Bruce Willis' tough-as-nails supercop, with Jai Courtney as his estranged son, Jack. (R; violence, language) ??1/2
WARM BODIES A young zombie warms up to love -- and, maybe, life -- when he rescues a human girl from his fellow undead. This rather conventional romance -- outside of the fact that one of the two people falling in love isn't alive -- has an easygoing, modest appeal, thanks in no small part to Nicholas Hoult, who effectively conveys zombie demeanor and the more relatable awkwardness of trying to impress a crush, generating substantial laughs in the process. With Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich. (PG-13; violence, some language) ???
ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH A space explorer from another planet has to get help from his nerdy brother when they're captured by the U.S. government and taken to Area 51. Computer-animated family movie, with voices by Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, William Shatner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, George Lopez, Sofia Vergara, Jane Lynch. (PG; some mild rude humor) Not reviewed.
JUST LIKE BEING THERE Documentary celebrating the art of the gig poster -- posters plastered on walls and telephone polls promoting bands and shows -- and the people who make them. (Not rated; language) Not reviewed.
THE LAST RIDE Drama chronicles the final days of country legend Hank Williams, from the point of view of his young driver. With Henry Thomas, Jesse James, Fred Dalton Thompson, Kaley Cuoco. (Not rated; drinking) Not reviewed.
MENTAL When their mother ends up in an institution, a group of sisters ends up in the charge of a free-spirited nanny. Australian comedy-drama with Toni Collette, Anthony LaPaglia, Liev Schreiber; directed by P.J. Hogan ("Muriel's Wedding"). (Not rated; mature themes) Not reviewed.
THE HORDE It's the wrath of Khan -- Genghis, not the "Star Trek" villain -- in this historical epic about the Mongol invasion of Russia. In Russian and English, with English subtitles. (Not rated; violence) Not reviewed.
MOSQUITA Y MARI Coming-of-age story about two Latina girls who fall in love, testing their families' expectations for them. In English and Spanish, with English subtitles. (Not rated; mature theme) Not reviewed.
THE COMPANY WE KEEP A young record label president struggles to balance career and love life. With Nefetari Spencer, Shelli Boone, Khleo Thomas. (Not rated; mature themes) Not reviewed.
A PORTRAIT OF JAMES DEAN: JOSHUA TREE, 1951 Portrait of the movie star before he was a star, wrestling with his sexual identity and expectations of fame. With James Preston, Dan Glenn. (Not rated; sex) Not reviewed.
SADAKO 3D An online video of a teen suicide spurs a string of copycat deaths -- or are they? Latest installment in the Japanese horror cycle spun from "The Ring." In Japanese with English subtitles (Not rated; violence) Not reviewed.
DARK SKIES A suburban family finds itself under siege by some pretty scary stuff -- and discovers it's not by coincidence. Supernatural thriller from the producer of "Paranormal Activity" and "Insidious," with Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, J.K. Simmons. (PG-13; violence, horror, sexual material, language, drug use) Not reviewed.
Compiled by Chris Foran.Star ratings are from reviews by film critic Duane Dudek and other reviewers for the Journal Sentinel. For more, see jsonline.com/movies.
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