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Movie News & Reviews
Movies opening this weekend - April 18
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Photo by ALLEN FRASER
Connor Corum, left, stars as Colton and Greg Kinnear as Todd in "Heaven is For Real."
Bears is newest true-life adventure from Disneynature; Depp stars in Transcendence. A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release.

Bears
Genre: True life adventure
Director: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey and Adam Chapman
Rated: G

"Bears" captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet's last great wildernesses - Alaska.

In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature's upcoming True Life Adventure "Bears" showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life's most important lessons. Set against a majestic backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting - but risky - as the cubs' playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food - ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run - while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf.

Transcendence
Genre: Drama and science fiction
Cast: Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser and Cillian Murphy
Director: Wally Pfister
Rated: PG-13

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions.

His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him.

However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed-to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can ... but if they should.

Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.

Heaven is for Real
Genre: Drama
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum, Margo Martindale and Thomas Haden Church
Director: Randall Wallace
Rated: PG

Based on the No. 1 best-selling book of the same name, "Heaven is for Real" brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.

The film stars Academy Award nominee and Emmy award winning actor Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo and co-stars Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo, the real-life couple whose son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum) claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth ... things he couldn't possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event.

A Haunted House 2
Genre: Comedy, horror and thriller
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Gabriel Iglesias, Jaime Pressly, Ashley Rickards, Essence Atkins, Affion Crockett and Dave Sheridan
Director: Mike Tiddes
Rated: R

Crossing new lines and breaking old barriers, "A Haunted House 2" is the sequel to the hilarious box-office hit starring Marlon Wayans as Malcolm who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children.

After moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events. With spine-tingling tension and hilarious punch-lines "A Haunted House 2" is inspired by the latest supernatural horror movie franchises and shows that this time ... it's not just the house that's haunted.

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

Fading Gigolo
Genre: Comedy
Cast: John Turturro, Woody Allen, Liev Schreiber, Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, Vanessa Paradis, Max Casella, Bob Balaban, Aida Turturro and Jill Scott
Director: John Turturro
Not rated

Fioravante (John Turturro), at his friend Murray's (Woody Allen) suggestion, enters into the world's oldest profession, and ends up finding something he didn't know he was looking for.

As moving as it is funny, John Turturro's fifth is about people's endless and never fully satisfying quest to find happiness through sex and love.

Proxy
Genre: Horror and thriller
Cast: Alexia Rasmussen, Alexa Havins, Kristina Klebe and Joe Swanberg
Director: Zack Parker
Not rated

While walking home from her latest OB appointment, a very pregnant Esther Woodhouse is brutally attacked and disfigured by a hooded assailant.

This horrible event seems to be a blessing in disguise when Esther finds consolation in a support group. Her life of sadness and solitude is opened up to friendship, understanding, and even acceptance. However, friendship and understanding can be very dangerous things when accepted by the wrong people.

Small Time
Genre: Drama
Cast: Christopher Meloni, Dean Norris, Devon Bostick, Bridget Moynahan, Kevin Nealon, Garcelle Beauvais, Xander Berkeley and Amaury Nolasco
Director: Joel Surnow
Not rated

Al Klein (Christopher Meloni) and his longtime friend, Ash Martini (Dean Norris) own a used car lot.

These two know every trick in the book when it comes to selling cars. Martini is a good time charley, who never settled down. Klein, however, still pines for his ex-wife Barbara (Bridget Moynahan) who left him years ago for a more successful man.

After their son, Freddy (Devon Bostick) graduates high school, he decides to forego college in favor of selling cars with his old man. Klein is thrilled when Freddy moves in with him - it's the first time these two have lived under one roof since Freddy was a kid. Barbara, on the other hand, is very far from thrilled. But what's good for Klein might not be the best thing for Freddy, as Freddy quickly transforms from innocent young man into a seasoned car salesman ... leaving Al with a tough decision to make.

Tasting Menu
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Stephen Rea, Finnoula Flannagan, Claudia Bassols, Jan Cornet Rodrigo Cortes and Togo Igawa
Director: Roger Gual
Not rated

One of the greatest restaurants in the world is closing and an eclectic mix of international patrons have arrived in beautiful Catalonia for the final dinner service in this witty and delicious ensemble comedy.

As the staff prepare and serve an audacious tasting menu, a young couple in the midst of a divorce who made their reservation a year ago (before separating) reunites for this once-in-a-lifetime meal. Can their romance be rekindled with the help of the widowed countess dining with her husband's ashes? Will the brilliant chef be able to pull off a perfect finale?

An Irish and Spanish co-production, "Tasting Menu," like all great ensemble dramedies centered on culinary delights, is a crowd-pleasing mishmash of relationships, feuds, and broken dreams that are mended through the simple act of "breaking bread" and the universal appreciation of great food.
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