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The Runaways

“The Runaways” opens tight on a drop of menstrual blood. This image can be digested three ways: a sign of oncoming womanhood, a defiant stand of earthy feminism, or a wildly accurate reflection of director Floria Sigismondi’s irritating fixation on details that have little to do with the amazing story of the band in question.

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Rating: D-

The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond

A painfully low-budget horror turkey, “The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond” at least has a corker of a premise: think a satanic version of “Jumanji.”

What director Gabriel Bologna actually does with this picture is less devilishly enchanting, punishing the viewer with atrocious acting, formulaic plotting, and ghastly scripting. Cinematic ambition is one thing, but execution is what matters most, and this feature is missing a stimulating directorial imagination to sell what could’ve been something amusingly heinous.

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Rating: D+


Imagine “The Matrix,” with all of its eye-popping violence, sensuality, and salty language giving the material its very identity, as intended by the filmmakers.

Now picture “The Matrix” stripped of its coarseness, boiled down to a family-friendly adventure without bite and, for the most part, creative logic. In Utah, a war against sin has been waged for the last decade, pitting Hollywood legal firepower against a hungry Mormon movie nation, clamoring for blockbusters without balls.

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Rating: B

Paper Man

“Paper Man” has the appearance of a deeply felt, earnest film concerning unfinished emotional business.

It literalizes the burden of guilt in strange seriocomic ways, but the film as a whole is a woeful misfire of inexplicable outbursts and overpowering performances. “Paper Man” certainly reaches out for a hug and demands a few tears, but the execution of the film is irritating, making this sensitive picture dishearteningly hopeless and, at least during a few key moments of the feature, seemingly endless.

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Rating: D+

Why Did I Get Married Too?

For his ninth feature film, writer/director Tyler Perry has returned to the source of his most inspired work.

“Why Did I Get Married Too?” is a sequel to the 2007 domestic disturbance ensemble piece, reuniting all of the original cast to once again delve into the flood waters of marriage, trust, and infidelity. The original film wasn’t an astounding emotional investigation, but it permitted Perry a chance to work on a script concerning adults, without the pinching shackles of the demonic Madea character or his feckless stabs at religious enlightenment. “Married Too” continues the coarse matrimonial adventure, only now the childish rage and jarring tomfoolery has moved to the Bahamas, allowing the earsplitting melodrama a chance to grab a tan.

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Rating: F