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Lifestyle

December 15, 2012

IN THEATERS

(Continued)

SMASHED

Mary Elizabeth Winstead transcends addiction movie cliches in this sharp, spirited indie about an L.A. couple (Aaron Paul is the guy) who drink way too much. Authentic, heartbreaking, but thankfully kind of funny, too. 1 hr. 25 R (drugs, alcohol, sex, profanity, adult themes)

Taken 2

This sequel is so much lousier than it needs to be, largely due to a director in over his head. Extending a work trip to vacation with his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) and daughter (Maggie Grace), Liam Neeson’s ex-CIA op, Brian Mills, is kidnapped and held captive in a hellhole by murderous Albanians. There is no film without Neeson shooting, stabbing, strangling, and mixed-martial-arts-ing dozens of Albanians who want him dead, want his ex-wife dead, and want his daughter as a sex slave. The action is a headache, and even Neeson can’t save this one. PG-13 (intense sequences of violence and action, and some sensuality).

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part2

1/2

Please let this be the last. The final installment of the “Twilight” franchise, hopefully, is strictly for the fans. Newly vampired Bella (Kristen Stewart) is adjusting to her new powers, new life, new child, and the uneasy truce with the werewolves led by Jacob (Taylor Lautner). There’s some Edward (Robert Pattinson) of course, and a bright spot turn by Michael Sheen as Aro, head of the undead Volturi, but largely this comes off as a particularly smug fashion shoot. PG-13 (sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity).

Wreck-It Ralph

1/2

The latest from Disney Animation is a wild and imaginative exploration of a video game fantasy, i.e. what happens in the lives of our favorite game characters when we’re not playing them? Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is weary of his prescribed lot in life: he’s not a bad guy, so why does he have to play a bad guy in everybody’s favorite arcade game “Fix-It Felix Jr.”? Ralph breaks out and goes on the run, teaming up with Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) to traverse the video game world landscape and grapple with the modern-era game soldiers led by Sgt. Calhoun (Jane Lynch). It’s fun enough, but a bit hectic. PG (some rude humor and mild action/violence).

— Tribune Media Service

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