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click to enlarge A.X.L.

A.X.L.

Opening in Orlando: American Animals, A.X.L. and more 

THIS WEEK:

American Animals After a false alarm in these pages seven weeks ago (Sorry! Sorry!), the opening-night film of the 2018 Florida Film Festival finally returns for a full engagement at Maitland's Enzian Theater. To find out what our Cameron Meier thought of this story of four friends who attempt a rare-book heist, check out his review at orlandoweekly.com. And keep watching this page for news of everything that isn't opening in Orlando. (Sorry again!) (R)

A.X.L. A young bike rider befriends a robot dog that was created by the U.S. military, then helps protect said dog from said military when they attempt to recapture him after an accident gone awry. Learn more about it in my upcoming companion book, This Is a Movie That Was Actually Made in 2018. (PG)

Dog Days The second canine-themed release of the week is an ensemble comedy about Los Angelenos whose lives intersect thanks to their furry, four-footed friends. So in other words, it's Must Love Dogs, Actually? The cast of starring humans includes Eva Longoria, Vanessa Hudgens and Stranger Things/It breakout kid Finn Wolfhound. Excuse me, Wolfhard. (PG; opens Wednesday, Aug. 8)

The Meg Not a Family Guy spinoff flick, although wouldn't that be something? The "Meg" here stands for Megalodon, as in the supposedly extinct super-shark that in this film arises from the Chinese oceans to bedevil a bunch of scientists. Brought in to save the day is Jason Statham, who will apparently attempt to defeat the shark by driving much faster than it. (PG-13)

Slender Man The well-traveled internet creepypasta gets its own, official feature, in which a trio of teenage girls go on the hunt for the titular child abductor. Not everybody is happy about the film's release, though, including the parents of some real-life girls who are doing serious time in mental-health facilities for stabbing a classmate 19 times in a misguided attempt to curry the favor of the wholly fictitious Slender Man. Hey, there's always a spoilsport. (PG-13)

Also playing:

Generation Wealth Documentarian Lauren Greenfield captured Orlando-area ostentation on film in her previous film The Queen of Versailles, which profiled filthy-rich local disgraces David and Jackie Siegel. Jackie is also in Greenfield's new doc, Generation Wealth, but she's merely one of the personalities on display in a movie that probes our allegedly acquisitive culture. Greenfield's thesis is that rampant greed for things we don't need has become the motivating force in American society. That's funny: Most of the people I know are motivated by the need to scrabble together $1,200 a month to live in a dumpster behind 55 West. But you do you, Lauren. (R; playing at Regal Winter Park Village Stadium 20 & RPX)

Karwaan A Bollywood road-trip movie in which an IT worker has to retrieve his father's corpse after it's sent to the wrong family. Yahoo India Movies calls Karwaan a "comedy of error," which sure sounds like a case of lowering expectations to me. (NR; playing at AMC Universal Cineplex 20)

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