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  • Issue of
  • Apr 15-21, 2009
  • Vol. 29, No. 27

News & Views

Arts & Culture

  • The Scene
  • 12

    Much like writer Reginald Rose’s 1955 liberal, kitchen-sink drama, 12 uses a seemingly open-and-shut case — a Chechnyan teen accused of murdering his adoptive Russian father — as a window into the cultural mind-sets and mores of the 12 men who must decide his guilt or innocence. But, unlike the original, the accused’s life is no longer on the line. While life imprisonment’s no vacation (especially, one imagines, in a Russian prison), without the specter of death hanging over the boy’s head, the stakes aren’t as high or urgent.
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  • The Scene
  • Observe and Report

    Ronnie Barnhardt (Rogen) heads security at a suburban mall, where a flasher has started terrorizing shoppers in the parking lot. The delusional and likeably creepy mama’s boy sees it as an opportunity to show his law-enforcement skills and land the job of his dreams as a police officer. Even better, Brandi, a vapid makeup counter girl (Anna Farris) is accosted, giving him access to the object of his desire. Unfortunately, the arrival of an arrogant investigating detective (Ray Liotta) spins Ronnie between psychotic competitiveness and sycophantic posturing.
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  • The Scene
  • Hannah Montana: The Movie

    Miley Cyrus stars as Miley Stewart, a gawky teen girl who dons a blond wig and becomes singing sensation Hannah Montana, a superstar character Cyrus also performs in real life, and whose image is plastered on all manner of posters, toys, pencil boxes and Trapper Keepers as far as the eye can see. This despite that she looks like a Muppet with its face squished against a windshield. Miley’s dad Robby Ray is conveniently played by Miley’s real dad, Billy Ray. The flimsy plot finds Miley getting way too cozy in the Hollywood lifestyle, her alter ego; therefore Pop imposes a two-week timeout back on the farm. So it’s off to pastoral Crowley Corners, Tenn., an idyllic country dreamland of lush, rolling hills, tall grass and big dollops of folksy homespun wisdom doled out by Grandma (Margo Martindale). There’s also a hunky cowboy with whom Miley can flirt, and a comely farmhand (Melora Hardin) for Dad to mack on, in between impromptu front-porch sing-alongs.
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