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Opening Films

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BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE


Perhaps the first film to combine elements of arranged marriages, forbidden love and a society of bloodthirsty werewolves, Blood and Chocolate is clearly trying to blur the line between horror and romantic comedy. That intent is a little unclear from the title though. Filmmakers should have called it Like Water for Werewolves. (LB) Rated PG-13





CATCH AND RELEASE


Jennifer Garner's fianc & eacute; dies. In the process of getting over that tragedy (like in so many other films with this exact plot), she finds love where she least expects it. (LB) Rated PG-13





EPIC MOVIE


With a cast that ranges from sexpot Carmen Electra to comic Fred Willard to nutso Crispin Glover, the funny possibilities for Epic Movie are nearly endless. Unfortunately the plot doesn't leave as much room for laughter, spinning itself out as a skewering of Hollywood's recent superproductions (think Harry Potter and Superman). Weren't those films ridiculous enough on their own? (MD) Rated PG-13





NOTES ON A SCANDAL


A meditation on exploitation in several forms: Cate Blanchett befriends fellow teacher Judi Dench, then goes on to have an affair with one of her students. Dench's character finds out and suddenly the affable Mrs. Covett begins extorting Mrs. Hart (Blanchett), not for money, but for company. Turns out our Covett is a lonely old bird. (LB) Rated R





SMOKIN' ACES


Jeremy Piven stars as a Vegas magician who's hooked himself up with the Mob and ends up as a target for all kinds of competing hit men. It's as funny as it is bloody, and it would be wise not to root even for characters played by familiar actors, since they're likely to get knocked off. This is similar in rapid-action style to the wild films Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. (ES) Rated R

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