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Max Payne (NR)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Because of Saturday Night Live's brutal impersonation of him, it's a little hard to watch Mark Wahlberg anymore without wanting him to blurt, "Say hello to your mother for me!" Still, such unrequited desire doesn't hamper the ridiculously fun Max Payne, which is based on a video game I've never played. Wahlberg plays the title character, a cop who's been searching for the guys who slaughtered his family three years ago. Somehow, he makes his way to a group of Russian thugs who may or may not be Viking demon gods that can only be seen after taking a drug called Valkyrie. Or something like that. Either way, Max Payne, while not necessarily a good movie, is still silly and completely nonsensical which makes for the best brain-cell-killing entertainment out there. Louis Fowler

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2012: Science or Superstition (NR)

The Disinformation Company

Did you know 12/21/2012 will be a time of great change? No, really, it heralds great transformation ... (yawn) ... 2012 big stuff's happenin'. That's how this hour-plus film can be reduced. Interviewee after interviewee save the token grumpy naysayer thrown in for balance says the same thing. So, the date is the end of the Mayans' long-count calendar, signifying a great cosmic alignment. Will it spell catastrophe or the dawn of an enlightened age? Who the hell knows? One thing we do know this film's been slayin' it in iTunes sales. Too bad a one-star customer review poses a question just stupid enough to be more entertaining than the film: "Did anyone ever stop to think that the Mayan writing the calendar just got writer's cramp and quit on December 21, 2012?" Matthew Schniper

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Henry Poole is Here (PG)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Is it just me, or does Luke Wilson nowadays only play second-banana interests in romantic comedies or depressed loners in indie flicks? Henry Poole is Here is the latter, with Wilson as a sad-sack terminal case who moves into a new house to drink and die, only to be interrupted by quirky neighbors who see the image of Jesus on the side of his house. When miracles start appearing all around him, he's thrust into a world of faith that he doesn't really want to be a part of. The spiritual, almost pro-Catholic message is surprising in a mainstream film, and it actually really works, never getting preachy or, worse, treacly. The end result is a nice little movie that is as uplifting as it is entertaining. Still, Wilson eventually has got to get out of this corner he's painted himself into. Louis Fowler

  • Max Payne; 2012: Science or Superstition; Henry Poole is Here

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