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This week's new release recommendations

"Ramona and Beezus"
"Ramona and Beezus"

Angelina Jolie returns to the action genre with this, a spy-on-the-run flick about a government agent who may or may not be a traitor. I’m not entirely expectant for anything truly spectacular here, but as this film is one of only two nation-wide releases this week, it’s the default See It!!

"Salt" Theatrical Teaser Poster
Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Ramona and Beezus
The classic children’s book character finally hits the big screen in this kid-friendly adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s timeless novels. Ramona is a third grader with her head in the clouds whose quantity of various adventures are only matched by her quality of imagination; a great movie for the whole family to enjoy together at home.

Rent It!!

Life During Wartime
Directed by Todd Solondz, this dark comedy is the sequel to his 1998 film Happiness (with a whole new set of actors portraying the continuing story of the same characters), and deals with the dysfunctional lives of three sisters and their shared and immediate families. Like its predecessor, this should be a well-made and thoughtful human study.

Rent It!!

The Radiant Child
This documentary is in fact a collage of archived interview footage of director Tamra Davis’ mid-1980s interactions with artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. A gifted but tragic neo-expressionist, Basquiat was one of the first African-American painters to achieve international fame, and his short life and work remain studied and celebrated today.

Rent It!!

Le Concert (The Concert)
A French film that tells the story of a disgraced and disbanded conductor who, 30 years later, is now the janitor of the opera house where he and his musicians once performed sold out concerts. After inadvertently intercepting an invitation to perform at a prestigious venue in Paris, the maestro scrambles to reunite his old orchestra and put on the [belated] show of a lifetime.

Rent It!!

L'affaire Farewell (The Farewell Affair)
Another Frenchie, this one is a dramatic presentation of the story of Vladimir Vetrov, a real-life spy in the 1980s who defected from the KGB and became a double-agent for NATO. Hailed as an excellent recounting of one of the most important and influential undercover operations in history, this should be an excellent film.

See It!!