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maryann johanson, free spinster

Annapolis (review)

There’s something comfortably familiar in this tale of a tough blue-collar young man trying to make his way on the right side of the tracks, and that’s just fine: this is solid B-movie stuff right outta the time when “B movie” wasn’t an insult but more a mark of quality craftsmanship. That said, the underrated James Franco (Tristan & Isolde) continues to be better than his material — he barely has to break a creative sweat as a Navy shipyard welder who gets the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream of attending the titular U.S. Naval Academy, and once there finds he has to push himself a lot harder than maybe he wants to. (One gets the feeling that Franco’s close attention to ensuring that the Maryland accent of his Navy plebe was juuuust right was how he pushed himself here.) Someone needs to figure out that Franco is done paying his dues, and give him a role that’ll challenge him… and surprise us.

MPAA: rated PG-13 for some violence, sexual content and language

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