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Bride Wars (PG)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

You know, there are some movies you are just sure you're gonna hate. As soon as I saw the trailer for Bride Wars, the chick-flick comedy about, um, warring brides, I planned to avoid it. Still, when a screener arrived, I figured I should give it a chance. So, while it is a shallow, sometimes unlikable, movie that paints women as horrible shrews who are vindictive and vengeful when they don't get the wedding of their dreams, I have to say that I found it ... cute? It has some funny moments, and the jokes that are the meanest work best. I found myself wishing that the movie had more balls, so to speak, to go all-out in a War of the Roses-type battle that doesn't cop out at the last minute with a manufactured "girl power" message. But I've never been a bride, so what do I know? — Louis Fowler

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Ready? OK! (NR)

Wolfe Video

Last fall, this dramedy from writer/director James Vasquez charmed local audiences with a single showing at the Lavender Film Festival. Lurie Poston is Josh, a happy-go-lucky 10-year-old who wants more than anything to support his school by shouting his cheers on the spirit squad. ("My name is Josh / I've got panache ..."). While the head nun scowls, and his stressed single mom (Carrie Preston) pushes him toward wrestling instead, the effervescent Josh struggles to stick with his dream. Further complicating the family's difficulties are a ne'er-do-well uncle who moves in and a tough-talking grandma who moves out; it's the wise, openly gay neighbor (Michael Emerson) who helps save the day. This rah-rah-riot (sorry, I couldn't resist) reveals some real heart and twists those tired after-school-special clichés. — Jill Thomas

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Donkey Punch (NR)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

My dad used to have a saying: "Don't go into bars and you won't get into fights." In other words, don't put yourself in stupid situations, and you'll live to see another day. The best thrillers always seem to act as great morality tales about that adage, and the suspenseful British flick Donkey Punch is a good example. (Once you get past the crassness of every single character in this movie, that is.) A trio of party girls hooks up with four frat-boy studs who happen to own a boat. They take the party on the water and start over-indulging in hard drugs and harder sex, including the titular sex act that leaves one of the participants dead and the rest of the gang scrambling to cover their asses. It's a tense movie very much in the Hitchcock vein, only if, you know, Hitchcock had been a Sigma Chi frat-boy perv. — Louis Fowler


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