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Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

Posted 11/18/2009

Cannibal Women In The Avocado Jungle Of Death

In 1989 writer/director/producer and general entertainment visionary J.F. Lawton hadn't quite achieved his 1990s greatnesses--as the creator of Steven Segal's Under Siege characters and as the creator of Pamela Lee Anderson's V.I.P. series, which had the super genius idea to wittily send up TV's boobs-and-crime-fighting formula--but he was well on his way with this debut outing, in which erotic-thriller queen Shannon Tweed stars as a feminist scientist contracted by the U.S. government to investigate the piranha women, led by Adrienne Barbeau, who have cornered the Southern California avocado racket and like to eat men. Yes, this is a Hearts of Darkness/Apocalypse Now spoof with one foot in poker-faced satire and the other in late-night cable titillation. Gloriously awful. At Towson University's Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m

Duck Soup

Possibly the Marx Brothers' funniest movie and definitely their most insanely anarchic, Duck Soup is where all those Groucho/Karl jokes start to make sense--if you can stop laughing long enough, you might almost read it as a satiric call for the withering away of the state. In its hour of need, the nation of Freedonia turns, inexplicably, to Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho), who plunges the country into war with neighboring Sylvania, mainly because he doesn't like the Sylvanian ambassador. (Firefly to his driver: "I've got an appointment to insult Ambassador Trentino and I don't want to keep him waiting. Step on it!") He enlists the help of spies Chicolini and Pinky (Chico and Harpo), who work for Sylvania, but don't much like the ambassador either. Duck Soup is Marxism distilled to its magnificent essence--no dewy romantic subplot, no harp interludes, and utterly no respect for authority. Just Groucho at his most witheringly wisecracking, Chico at his most slyly English-mangling, Harpo at his most dervishly destructive, and Margaret Dumont at her most regally long-suffering. (Andy Markowitz) At the Charles Theatre at noon Nov. 21 and 7 p.m. Nov. 23.

Planet 51

Animated family fare about humans invading a foreign planet from the writer of Shrek. Opens Nov. 20.

Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire

Producer/director Lee Daniels transforms Sapphire's blistering 1996 novel about an overweight, pregnant African-American teen in Harlem into a fever dream of a movie, anchored by Mo'Nique as an abusive mother and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in the title role. Opens Nov. 20.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Director Chris Weitz helms this installment in the movie adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's fantasy/romance novels starring Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke, Robin Pattinson, and Pattison's eyebrows. Opens Nov. 20.

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