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New Movies week of Sept. 24

film_astro_boyASTRO BOY A futuristic Pinocchio for a generation that grew up with the old Japanese cartoon series, this is a big screen adaptation of the story of a boy robot built by a lonely inventor who finds acceptance when he defends his city against a band of monster robots. Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, and  Kristen Bell provide voices. David Bowers (Flushed Away) directs. (PG)
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film_fameFAME The ultimate ’80s backstage musical melodrama gets a post-modern, new millenium makeover in this revamp. Asher Book, Kristy Flores, Paul Iacono, Paul McGill, and Naturi Naughton are among the newcomers starring as talented and diverse kids wending their way through four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. Old pros Debbie Allen, Charles S. Dutton, Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally, and Bebe Neuwirth are on board as the staff. Kevin Tancharoen directs. (PG) Starts Friday.
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film_pandorumPANDORUM Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster star in this sci-fi thriller as two astronauts who wake up on a ship hurtling through space with no idea who they are or what their mission is. Things become more ominous as they try to unravel the deadly secret of their voyage. Cam Gigandet (Twilight), and martial arts master Cung Le co-star for director Christian Alvart. (R) 108 minutes. Starts Friday.
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film_paranormal_activityPARANORMAL ACTIVITY Buzz is huge over Oren Peli’s no-budget horror thriller about a young couple who think their new house is haunted; they set up a video camera in their bedroom to record any malevolent activity—and boy, does it ever. The film is being test-marketed in only a few select areas, so Cruzans get to be among the first kids on the block to see what all the fuss is about. (R) 99 minutes. Thursday, 10 p.m., and Fri-Sat midnight only. At the Del Mar.
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film_surrogates_ver2SURROGATES Bruce Willis stars in this futuristic thriller from director Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3; Breakdown). In a future where real people stay locked in the safety of their homes while robotic surrogates of themselves go out to manage the messy business of daily life, an FBI agent (Willis) is forced to retire his surrogate and venture out into the world in the flesh to uncover a conspiracy behind the surrogate biz. Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, James Cromwell and Ving Rhames co-star. (PG-13) Starts Friday.
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film_worlds_greatest_dadWORLD’S GREATEST DAD Robin Williams stars in this dark satire written and directed by comedian Bobcat Goldthwaite. A dejected high school poetry teacher whose own brilliant writing career never quite materialized, Williams’ character is enabled by a freak tragedy to launch an epic writing project; the Catch 22 is, he dare not take credit. Alexie Gilmore and Daryl Sabara co-star. (R) 99 minutes. Starts Friday.
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film_bright_starBRIGHT STAR Reviewed this issue. (PG) 119 minutes. (★★★1/2) Starts Friday.

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