Black Sea: It's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre under water as a coalition of English and Russian profiteers searches for sunken treasure they may not be able to trust one another with. Trivia note: One of two wide releases this week that concern the hunt for Nazi gold. (R)
The Boy Next Door: Remember the late-'80s genre of "from hell" movies? There was the Nanny From Hell (The Hand That Rocks the Cradle), the Roommate From Hell (Single White Female), the Mistress From Hell (Fatal Attraction) and God knows what else. I guess it's time for a revival, because The Boy Next Door makes a belated entry in that sleazy sweepstakes: the Himbo Jailbait From Hell. Jennifer Lopez plays a single mom who gets entangled with her underage stud muffin of a neighbor, only to find that the guy is just too damn clingy. Like, psychotically so. Jeez, who woulda thought that boffing the schoolkid across the hedge could turn out to be a bad idea? Back in the day, it would have been Adrian Lyne expecting us to be shocked, simply shocked; now, it's shit-meister Rob Cohen (xXx). And thus is the torch of paranoiac dreck passed. Trivia note: One of two wide releases this week to feature Kristin Chenoweth. (R)
Mortdecai: Whenever a fabulously successful actor like Johnny Depp takes on a questionable project like Mortdecai, the explanation proffered is usually "Maybe he just likes to work." So let's count the kinds of "work" the erstwhile Captain Jack could have been doing instead of making this picture: 1) building homes for Habitat for Humanity; 2) signing up the uninsured for Obamacare; 3) delivering parcels for UPS; 4) dealing dope out of the back of a Twistee Treat. Instead, he's playing an art dealer who has to evade cops and robbers alike as they all follow the trail of some Nazi gold. (See? Toldja!) (R)
Strange Magic: Once upon a time, calling something a musical meant that you had actually written some original songs for it. Now, all you have to do is throw together a bunch of pop hits from the last six decades, and you have yourself a Strange Magic – which, on the basis of that description, sounds something like an animated Moulin Rouge. But the comparison LucasFilm is making is actually to A Midsummer Night's Dream, with fairies and other fantastic creatures in pursuit of a powerful potion (and not Nazi gold, interestingly enough). Not only is George Lucas the film's executive producer, but he also gets a story credit. DAMMIT, NOW HE THINKS HE'S EFFIN' SHAKESPEARE! Trivia: The voice cast includes Alan Cumming, Alfred Molina and Kristin Chenoweth. (See? Who do ya trust!) (PG)
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