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Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters
directed by Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis
Remember a few months back when Boston went on virtual lockdown because some people thought the electronic ads for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters were really bombs? This week, we finally get to see if all that hubbub was worth it. The movie is a big-screen adaptation of the popular Cartoon Network program that explores the origins of the show’s three main characters, Meatwad (Dave Willis), Frylock (Carey Means) and Master Shake (Dana Snyder). Fans of the show will undoubtedly be drawn to the movie, but casual observers might be a little more than confused by the attraction of an animated movie starring a talking wad of meat, French fry box and milkshake. Also starring the voices of Fred Armisen, Andy Merrill and Bruce Campbell.

Disturbia
directed by D.J. Caruso
We’ve certainly reached a strange point in the current remake culture, one where Hollywood is remaking classics without calling them “remakes.” Case in point, Disturbia. This thriller centers on Kale (Shia LaBeouf), a young man stuck at home because he’s under house arrest. Luckily, he has a lot of expensive photography and video equipment, which allows him to spy on his neighbors. He witnesses what he thinks is a murder; his friends, one of whom, Ashley (Sarah Roemer), is an attractive blonde, try breaking into the neighbor’s house to get evidence; things become really dangerous… Oh, if you’ve seen Rear Window, you know the rest. And really, the only way Disturbia could be any more like the 1954 classic is if a zombie Hitchcock were the director. Also starring David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss and Aaron Yoo.

Pathfinder
directed by Marcus Nispel
Ah, the oft-forgotten history of the struggles between Native Americans and the Vikings. This is the jumping off point for this action-adventure thriller about a Viking boy who is left behind and raised by Native Americans. The boy grows to be Ghost (Karl Urban), who is forced to defend his tribe by repelling the invading Viking hordes when they return to the land. Judging from the over-stylized approach in the movie and the derivative, been-there-seen-that narrative, it’s probably safe to say that Pathfinder will quickly be as forgotten as its historical context. Also starring Russell Means, Moon Bloodgood, Jay Tavare and Clancy Brown.

Perfect Stranger
directed by James Foley
April is, traditionally, the last month of Hollywood’s annual dump period. You know, that time between Oscar season and the tent-pole summer when genre pictures and projects that really didn’t come off right are dropped into theaters when no one’s really paying attention. Perfect Stranger, a combination “Law & Order” and The Pelican Brief with a sprinkling of The Devil Wears Prada workplace politics, looks to be the perfect bridge between Hollywood’s lean period output and its loud summer blockbusters. Rowena (Halle Berry) is a journalist who goes undercover as a trampy temp in Harrison Hill’s (Bruce Willis) ad agency to discover how and why her friend was murdered. It could be a mess, but James Foley is competent enough as a director to keep things interesting. Also starring Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Portnow and Nicki Aycox.

Year of the Dog
directed by Mike White
Mike White wrote The Good Girl, an indie hit in 2002 that showed Jennifer Aniston could be more than just Rachel on “Friends.” It looks like his latest film, Year of the Dog, will do the same for Molly Shannon. The “SNL” vet tends to be typecast as the spastic, loud head-case comic relief in films like Serendipity. Here, though, she’s a more complete character, Peggy, who is struggling with her perhaps unhealthy love of dogs and her insecurities in love with humans. White is an individual talent whose films are quirky and irreverent. But he’s not quirky for the sake of being quirky–he uses eccentricity to heighten the humanity in his work. Year of the Dog should be no different. Also starring Peter Sarsgaard, Laura Dern, John C. Reilly and Regina King.

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