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Sci-fi, horror humor and inspirational movies all new this weekend

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What a weird mix of movies are new at the theaters this weekend! There's a new movie that's definitely firmly in the sci-fi realm. At the same time a silly comedy that makes fun of the horror genre is new. Also, for those looking for inspiration, comes a tale of a near-death experience that was turned into a bestselling book. Can any of them knock off Captain America? That remains to be seen.

Here are the films opening the weekend of April 18, 2014:

Heaven is For Real - Greg Kinnear, Thomas Haden Church, Margo Martindale. Based on the bestselling novel, this movie tells the story of an average family that narrowly avoids a tragedy. Their young son has a medical emergency and barely makes it out alive. As he comes home, he begins to tell his parents that while he was being treated, he saw heaven. The child knows things that his parents say he could not possibly know and talks of having met his dead grandfather and the baby that his mother lost ages ago. The film is getting very good reviews and not just for Christians, either, but just for those looking for a good story, decent acting and an inspirational tale. Rated PG.

Transcendence - Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall. The first movie, in a while, where Depp is not playing a character buried under tons of makeup. This time he plays a man on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence who ends up shot by those who don't think that A.I. is a good thing. This causes his consciousness to be uploaded to a giant computer - and then the internet. Now he is pure consciousness and obsessed with world power. The movie is by Christopher Nolan's longtime cinematographer as his first directorial debut. The movie is getting savaged by critics who say the plot is muddled and hard to follow and that the movie is, overall, rather flat. Rated PG-13.

A Haunted House 2 - Jaime Pressly, Marlon Wayans, Cedric the Entertainer. Another of those movies where a bunch of third-rate celebrities get together and make fun of the movies that are generally popular in a certain genre. This time it's more horror movie hijinx and making fun of the various horror movies that have come out in the past couple of years. Critics are saying to avoid this one like the plague. Rated R.

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