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Peace, Love and Misunderstanding (R)

IFC Films

In this week's entry into the "White People With Problems" cinematic sweepstakes, the cloying Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, pits a highly stereotyped '60s free-love relic mother (Jane Fonda) against her mildly stereotyped conservative high-powered lawyer daughter (Catherine Keener) when she visits Mom after her divorce. Tagging along are her two skull-crushingly annoying teen kids who only seem to exist in movies like these. The boy is a filmmaker who admires Werner Herzog, and the girl is a mopey, sullen teen who quotes Walt Whitman at a drop of the hat, which duly impresses the hot butcher next door ... who also quotes Whitman! Of course, Grandma teaches these uptight prudes how to live via keeping chickens in the house, howling at the moon, and talking incessantly about the awesome '60s. There's nothing funny about Peace, Love and Misunderstanding. — Louis Fowler

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2016: Obama's America (PG)


Documentarian and former Ronald Reagan adviser Dinesh D'Souza thinks President Barack Obama's just nifty. Oh, yeah. In his conservative-funded, limited-run hit film, D'Souza (with co-writer and co-director John Sullivan) even has visual comparisons to show how much like Obama he is: They were born in the same year, both graduated from Ivy League colleges, and are both mixed-race. What's the point of all this? Well, it's probably just to stretch for time up front — because in the film's second half, D'Souza attempts with minimal journalistic effort and Vaseline-smothered lenses to support his thesis that young Barry always wanted to be a commie anti-Colonialist like his absentee father. As he leads clearly befuddled interviewees into politely agreeing with whatever new fallacy he dreamt up the previous night, it's ludicrous, hysterical and, admittedly, kind of entertaining. — Justin Strout

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Chained (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

With Chained, Jennifer Lynch, daughter of famed cult director David Lynch, has made a movie that is even more disturbing than two Eraserheads and a Lost Highway combined. It's not great, or really even good, but it is disturbing. Vincent D'Onofrio plays a demented, lisping cabbie who's also a brutal psycho-sexual serial killer. When one of his latest conquests nets him a 9-year-old boy, he renames him Rabbit, chains him to the wall, and makes him his servant and eventual protégé. Fast-forward about 10 years, and Rabbit is still chained to that wall, digging graves and bathing his paternal master. But as traumatized as Rabbit is, he can't bring himself to follow in his tormentor's footsteps. This is all intriguing, but it's not so well-written and tends to drag on. At least the twist ending is a real hoot, if for all the wrong reasons. — Louis Fowler


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