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New This Week

Posted 3/3/2010

ALICE IN WONDERLAND The recently MOMA-ized Tim Burton takes a swing at Lewis Carroll's children's novel of Victorian fantasia with Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, and Mia Wasikowska as the titular adventurer. Opens March 5.

BROOKLYN'S FINEST Training Day/Shooter director Antoine Fuqua tackles Sleeper Cell writer Michael Martin's script about three Brooklyn cops who find their own paths to being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Opens March 5.

DECEMBER HEAT Estonian director Asko Kase's 2008 historical drama follows a young soldier's story during a 1924 Communist coup in Tallinn. Screens March 5 at Towson University's Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m.

THE GHOST WRITER Director Roman Polanski's latest checks in on the titular writer for hire (Ewan McGregor) who runs into some unsavory things while working on his latest project, the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan). Opens March 5.

PRINCESS MONONOKE Set in a folkloric version of feudal Japan, Princess Mononoke sports a boffo opening: Young warrior Ashitaka (dubbed by Billy Crudup) must stop a rampaging demon covered in wriggling, leech-like tendrils before it lays waste to his pastoral village. He succeeds, but not before he inherits its evil curse. Forced to leave his home and embark on a quest to discover the source of his ill fortune, Ashitaka comes to a primeval forest where the forces of modernity, led by iron-mining mogul the Lady Eboshi (Minnie Driver), are locked in conflict with the forces of nature, championed by a wild child named San (Claire Danes). What follows is both superlative and all too typical for anime: cute little forest dwellers and characters who are bloodily beheaded by arrows. Miyazaki's laborious animation dazzles, while the characters and themes are complex and shaded. At the same time, the labyrinthine plot and displaced cultural frame of reference will lose anyone who's not completely enthralled to begin with. (Lee Gardner) Screens March 6 at Towson University's Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

WILD RIVER Elia Kazan's under-seen 1960 movie pairs heartthrob Montgomery Clift and beauty Lee Remick in a drama about a Tennessee Valley Authority man (Clift) in charge of clearing an area set to be damned in 1930s when he falls for the granddaughter (Remick) of a woman who refuses to relocate. As shot by veteran cinematographer Ellsworth Fredericks, it's reportedly a gorgeous, lyrical color look at the New Deal '30s. At the Charles Theatre at noon March 6, at 7 p.m. March 8, and 9 p.m. March 10.

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