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Movie News & Reviews
Opening this week
Werewolves battle vampires in ‘Underworld,” Brendan Fraser gets into a book
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PINELLAS COUNTY – A number of new movie releases will hit theaters Jan. 23, including the following:

“Inkheart” – Based on the best-selling book by Cornelia Funke, “Inkheart” is a fantasy adventure that sends a father and daughter on a quest through worlds both real and imagined.

Mortimer “Mo” Folchart (Brendan Fraser) and his 12-year-old daughter, Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett), share a passion for books. What they also share is an extraordinary gift for bringing characters from books to life when they read aloud. But there is a danger: when a character is brought to life from a book, a real person disappears into its pages.

On one of their trips to a secondhand book shop, Mo hears voices he hasn’t heard for years, and when he locates the book they’re coming from, it sends a shiver up his spine. It’s “Inkheart,” a book filled with illustrations of medieval castles and strange creatures – a book he’s been searching for since Meggie was 3-years-old, when her mother, Resa (Sienna Guillory), vanished into its mystical world.

But Mo’s plan to use the book to find and rescue Resa is thwarted when Capricorn (Andy Serkis) kidnaps Meggie and, discovering she has inherited her father’s gift, demands that she bring his most powerful ally to life – the Shadow. Determined to rescue his daughter and send the fictional characters back where they belong, Mo assembles a small group of friends and family – some from the real world, some from the pages of books – and embarks on a daring and perilous journey to set things right. Rated PG.

“Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” – This prequel to the “Underworld” franchise delves into the origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires, known as Death Dealers, and the barbaric Lycans (werewolves).

A young Lycan, Lucian (Michael Sheen), emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Bill Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has persecuted them for hundreds of years. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, the beautiful vampire Sonja (Rhona Mitra), in his battle to free the Lycans from their brutal enslavement. Rated R.

“Donkey Punch” – Opening in limited release, “Donkey Punch” follows best friends Kim (Jaime Winstone), Tammi (Nichola Burley) and Lisa (Sian Breckin) on a girl’s weekend in Mallorca.

Feisty Kim and carefree Lisa are determined to party and distract Tammi from an ex-boyfriend back home. They hit the town and find three middle-class London boys: smooth operator Marcus (Jay Taylor), bad boy Bluey (Tom Burke) and fresh-faced Josh (Julian Morris).

The boys brag about the luxury yacht they are crewing on for the summer, and lure the girls back to the boat for sunset tunes and bubbly. There they meet Sean (Robert Boulter) who’d stayed behind on the boat while the boys were bar-hopping.

On board, loud music, booze and drugs lead to an explanation of the phrase “donkey punch” as well as sexual experimentation and a horrific, fatal accident.

In the aftermath, the boys turn against the girls and against each other as drug-fuelled paranoia sets in and the true nature of each character comes to the fore. Rated R.

“Rachel Getting Married” – When Kym (Anne Hathaway) returns to the Buchman family home for the wedding of her sister Rachel (Rosemarie Dewitt), she brings a long history of personal crisis, family conflict and tragedy along with her. The wedding couple’s abundant party of friends and relations have gathered for a joyful weekend of feasting, music and love, but Kym – with her biting one-liners and flair for bombshell drama – is a catalyst for long-simmering tensions in the family dynamic.

This Sony Pictures Classics film will open on Friday, Jan. 23, at Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., Tampa.
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