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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?,’ ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,’ ‘The Visitor,’ ‘Smart People,’ ‘Redbelt,’ ‘Forbidden Kingdom,’ ‘Street Kings’

It’s almost over at this point, but for what it’s worth…

Yesterday was a three-movie day, which I’ve learned to avoid if I can, because it tends to be too much, but sometimes it’s not avoidable. Morgan Spurlock — he of Super Size Me fame — has a new doc about the global war on terror: Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? [opens limited April 18], which was at Sundance this year. I’ll just say this at moment: Spurlock continues to be wildly audacious. I also saw Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed [opens wide April 18], the “intelligent design” documentary that purports to blow the lid off how creationists are being denied equal access to the scientific community. Hmm. Third flick was The Visitor [opens limited April 11], the new film from Station Agent filmmaker Tom McCarthy. His sophmore effort might be even better than his first film, which was wonderful.

Monday was only two movies: I checked out Smart People [opens wide April 11] and Redbelt [opens limited May 2]. The former is one of those dysfunctional-family dramas about brainy folk — including Dennis Quaid’s college prof, Sarah Jessica Parker’s doctor, and Ellen Page’s Ivy League-bound high-schooler — doing stupid things, and the latter is David Mamet’s new flick about mixed martial arts and how deeply you can be betrayed if you’re ridiculously naive.

Wednesday and Thursday are one-flick days apiece. Tonight I’ll see Forbidden Kingdom [opens wide April 18], which I’m looking forward to because, you know, it’s Jackie Chan and Jet Li in the same movie, plus Michael Angarano, as the silly white kid, is kinda cute, in a Shia LaBeouf kind of way. On the other hand, it’s directed by Rob Minkoff, whose last movie was The Haunted Mansion, which was dreadful. Then again, before that he made the utterly charming Stuart Little movies, so go know. And tomorrow it’s Street Kings [opens wide April 11], starring Keanu Reeves as a Los Angeles cop. I know I’m in a minority in this, but I do think Reeves is underrated — we’ll see whether he lives up my expectations…

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