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Movie News & Reviews
Opening this weekend - April 22
Article published on Monday, April 4, 2011
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[Image]
Photo by OWEN NEWMAN/DISNEY ENTERPRISES
At the center of Disneynature’s “African Cats” is an endearing lion cub.
[Image]
Photo by BOB MAHONEY
Starring in “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family” are, from left, Cassi Davis as Aunt Bam, Shad “Bow Wow” Moss as Byron, Shannon Kane as Kimberly and Isaiah Mustafa as Calvin.
[Image]
Photo by DAVID JAMES/20TH CENTURY FOX
Christoph Waltz and Reese Witherspoon star in 20th Century Fox's “Water for Elephants.”
[Image]
Photo by MICRO-SCOPE/SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
Lubna Azabal stars as Nawal Marwan in “Incendies.”
[Image]
Photo courtesy of VARIANCE FILMS
Donnie Yen stars as Chen Zhen, administering his trademark flying kick, in a scene from Andrew Lau’s “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen.”
Disneynature follows a lion cub, Witherspoon and Pattinson star in ‘Water for Elephants’. A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:

African Cats
Genre: Documentary
Director: Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill
Rated: G

An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth, “African Cats” captures the real-life love, humor and determination of the majestic kings of the savanna.

The story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother’s strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a once banished lion.

Disneynature brings “The Lion King” to life on the big screen in this True-Life Adventure directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill. “African Cats” is an awe-inspiring adventure blending family bonds with the power and cunning of the wild.

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family
Genre: Comedy, drama and adaptation
Cast: Loretta Devine, Shad “Bow Wow” Gregory Moss, Cassi Davis, Rodney Perry and Teyana Taylor
Director: Tyler Perry
Rated: PG-13

Madea, everyone’s favorite wise-cracking, take-no-prisoners grandma, jumps into action when her niece, Shirley, receives distressing news about her health.

All Shirley wants is to gather her three adult children around her and share the news as a family. But Tammy, Kimberly and Byron are too distracted by their own problems: Tammy can’t manage her unruly children or her broken marriage; Kimberly is gripped with anger and takes it out on her husband; and Byron, after spending two years in jail, is under pressure to deal drugs again. It’s up to Madea, with the help of the equally rambunctious Aunt Bam, to gather the clan together and make things right the only way she knows how: with a lot of tough love, laughter … and the revelation of a long-buried family secret.

Water for Elephants
Genre: Drama and adaptation
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz
Director: Francis Lawrence
Not yet rated

During the Great Depression, Jacob, a penniless and recently-orphaned veterinary school student, parlays his expertise with animals into a job with a second-rate traveling circus.

He falls in love with Marlena, one of the show's star performers, but their romance is complicated by Marlena's husband, the charismatic but unbalanced circus boss.

The following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.

Incendies
Genre: Foreign and drama
Cast: Remy Girard, Maxim Gaudette, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, Lubna Azabal and Abdelghafour Elaaziz
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Rated: R

When notary Lebel (Rémy Girard) sits down with Jeanne and Simon Marwan (Mélissa Désormeaux Poulin, Maxim Gaudette) to read them their mother Nawal’s will (Lubna Azabal), the twins are stunned to receive a pair of envelopes – one for the father they thought was dead and another for a brother they didn’t know existed.

In this enigmatic inheritance, Jeanne sees the key to Nawal’s retreat into unexplained silence during the final weeks of her life. She immediately decides to go to the Middle East to dig into family history of which she knows next to nothing.

Simon is unmoved by their mother’s posthumous mind games. However, the love he has for his sister is strong, and he soon joins her in combing their ancestral homeland in seach of a Nawal who is very different from the mother they knew.

With Lebel’s help, the twins piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, discovering a tragic fate as well as the courage of an exceptional woman.

An adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s hit play, “Incendies” is a deeply moving story that brings the extremism and violence of today’s world to a starkly personal level, delivering a powerful and poetic testament to the uncanny power of the will to survive.

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
Genre: Foreign and action
Cast: Azrael Chung, Donnie Yen, Shu Qi, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang and Yasuaki Kurata
Director: Andrew Lau
Not yet rated

In 1925, the nation of China is divided by infighting, and Japan has become the most powerful force in Asia.

With the city of Shanghai torn in half by international conflict, the popular nightclub “Casablanca” has become a hotbed of spies, mobsters, English officials and the Japanese military – all looking to gain control of the country, with little regard for what happens to its citizenry.

Into this den of intrigue enters Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen), who has returned to China after fighting alongside the Allied forces in Europe, bringing some dark secrets from his past along with him. During the day, he's known as "Qi", and appears to be just another wealthy playboy. But at night, he takes to the street as masked warrior, determined to subvert the Japanese invasion while becoming entangled with the sultry Kiki (Shu Qi), who has a dangerous secret of her own. When his past catches up to him, Zhen is faced with near impossible odds – but his skills are formidable, and he's up to the challenge.
Article published on Monday, April 4, 2011
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