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Falling Up (NR)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

I fully expected to hate this romantic comedy, just based on the box's description. I've had my fill of quirky comedies about love and loss, so I moaned to myself as I put the DVD in the player and didn't even try to stifle loud gagging noises. But the more I settled into the film's story, the more I found it ... charming? Yeah, it's actually a pretty pleasant movie: Nursing student Henry (Joseph Cross) drops out of school to work as a bellboy after his dad dies and leaves the family destitute. Of course Henry falls in love with one of the building's high-class residents, leading to all types of third-act conflict. Typically, this would irritate me, but throw in a fantastic performance by — of all people — Snoop Dogg as a fellow bellhop who shows him the ropes, and you've got a nice little lark of a picture. — Louis Fowler

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Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (PG)

Sony Pictures

In this animated feature based on the book by Ron and Judi Barrett, the filmmakers treat the charming nonsense of food falling from the sky like rain with exactly the sort of buoyant nimbleness it deserves. There was no reason for the phenomenon in the book, but writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller expand on the notion. In a town called Chewandswallow, where the restaurants have no roofs, they add an enchantingly goofy, slightly mad scientist (voiced by Bill Hader) with a wayward invention. The tender wit in the book is replaced here with wordplay so fast and cunning you'll wish for seconds. And though different, some of the book's most ingenious imagery — the school covered in a giant pancake, a fortress of Jell-O — has been lovingly transferred to the film. Wild and subversive and endless fun to look at, this is as good as animated movies get. — MaryAnn Johanson

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The Marine 2 (R)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

I love action films released by WWE Studios. Sue me, call me a simpleton, whatever. They are the Cannon Films of the 2000s, offering one solid flick after another with no concern for class or pretension. In this direct-to-DVD sequel to 2006's The Marine, wrestler Ted DiBiase Jr. takes over the title role as a Marine sharpshooter who's vacationing with his wife at a lush South Pacific resort. But instead of enjoying some well-deserved R 'n R, wouldn't you know it — ethnically and religiously ambiguous terrorists strike, kidnapping the "infidels" and beheading them one by one until a "tribute" is paid. Enter our Marine, snapping the necks and kicking the asses of the various nameless thugs, all of whom are trained in Muay Thai. These movies are a classic return to '80s action that is fun and stupid and mindless in the best way possible. Louis Fowler

  • Falling Up, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Marine 2


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