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Wishful Drinking (NR)

HBO Studios

Wishful Drinking is the film version of the one-woman Broadway show by writer-actor Carrie Fisher, the one-time most-lusted-after girl in the galaxy (see Star Wars) who transitioned to a successful screenwriting career. She wrote Postcards From the Edge based on her difficult relationship with real-life mother Debbie Reynolds, and again, in this fascinating performance, has a helluva story to tell. Fisher literally needs charts and graphs to detail just how fucked up her family life was when she was a kid. How this child of the previous century's Brad and Angelina came out of it alive, let alone articulate, is a wonder. Her real-life father was Eddie Fisher, who left her famous mom for the even more famous Elizabeth Taylor. It's ugly and painful, yes, but also inspiring in a bizarre way to watch Fisher pick up the pieces, stand back and simply shake her head. — Justin Strout

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Just Peck (NR)

Image Entertainment

It's time for an end to quirky high-school comedies. Ever since Rushmore, no indie director has made a movie about real teens in real schools with real parents in the real world. Everything has to be a shitty young-adult-novel fantasy, created by out-of-touch adults to make problematic underdog kids have some sort of fictional touchstone to treasure, no matter how much grief it causes them socially. The unlikably gawky Keir Gilchrist is the titular Peck, a 104-pound nerd forced into the science fair by his annoyingly progressive parents (Marcia Cross and Adam Arkin, always a bad sign). He also falls for the school's most popular senior, an extremely troubled youth also in need of guidance. He designs a science fair project to impress her, which only lands him in more precociously dumbed-down situations. I wish he had just designed a black hole to suck this movie into. — Louis Fowler

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Brand New Day (PG-13)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Brand New Day is a thoroughly charming cinematic adaptation of one of Australia's biggest musicals of all time. It features rockin' original numbers, a likable mostly Aborigine cast, a star-power assist from Geoffrey Rush, and a parental mix-'em-up finale that should have Mamma Mia! fans frothing at the mouth. Willie is a young seminary student experiencing pangs of doubt as his hormones begin raging for his female best friend. This doubt is only intensified when the seminary's headmaster goes on a racist, anti-Aborigine tirade. Willie escapes home to his fishing community with the help of his drunken uncle, as well as a German hippie and his blissfully ignorant free-love girlfriend. Set in 1969, the songs have a real early-rock feel to them and are extremely catchy, but the inspirational tunes such as "Long Way Away From My Country" are the real stand-outs. — Louis Fowler

  • Wishful Drinking, Just Peck, Brand New Day

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