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The Adjustment Bureau, Beastly, Beetlejuice, District 9, Take Me Home Tonight, Thin, Paprika, Pocket Ninjas

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star in writer George Nolfi's feature debut as writer/director, wherein the scribe of the entertainingly twisty if superficial

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Ocean's Twelve

,

The Sentinel

, and

The Bourne Ultimatum

tackles Philip K. Dick's short story "The Adjustment Team."

Opens March 4.

BEASTLY

Beauty and the Beast gets its supernatural teen/romance makeover-complete with Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen, Dakota Johnson, and Alex Pettyfer-in writer/director Daniel Barnz's follow-up to his precociously adorable

Phoebe in Wonderland

.

Opens March 4.

BEETLEJUICE

What a time capsule this thing has become. In director Tim Burton's 1988 breakout movie, Michael Keaton is funny, Geena Davis is a big movie star, Alec Baldwin is skinny, and Winona Ryder is an enigmatic teen with her whole career ahead of her. Most important of all, Burton's peculiar goth-y vision is fresh and new and feels eminently elastic, not an ossified default. A pair of sweet small-town ghosts (Davis and Baldwin) linger in their bucolic Victorian home until a family of pretentious black-clad city people (Jeffrey Jones, comedy goddess Catherine O'Hara, Ryder) move in and wreck their tranquil afterlife. They enlist the title real-deal apparition (Keaton) to scare the newcomers away; complications ensue. Keaton goes kinda nuts (in a good way) with his role, but really it's Burton's imaginative and gleefully unpredictable handling of the material (Giant sandworms and shrunken heads? Why not?) that makes

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Beetlejuice's

spindly claymation wings flap. (Lee Gardner)

Screens as part of Gunky's Basement film series at the Charles Theater March 3 at 9

p.m

.

DISTRICT 9

This sci-fi action flick drops nearly two million aliens in the titular shantytown refugee camp in Johannesburg, South Africa, puts a possibly nefarious private corporation in charge of their forced relocation after 20 years of semi-peaceful existence on the fringes of society, and then lets all hell break loose in expected but entertaining ways. Writer/director Neill Blomkamp doesn't reinvent the F/X thriller here, and he does no better/worse with his obvious quasi-political veneer than Paul Verhoeven did in

Total Recall

. At least

District 9

doesn't skimp on the high-tech, ultra-violent weaponry, a familiar mistrust of big business and quasi-govermental agencies, and a creeping sense of paranoia. (Bret McCabe)

Screens as part of Towson University's College of Liberal Arts' Eighth Annual Film Festival in Lecture Hall Room 238 at 6:30 p.m.

TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT

Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lucy Punch, Bob Odenkirk, Michael Ian Black, Chris Pratt, Michael Biehn, and Angie Everhart-

Angie Everhart?

-star in this comedy penned by Jackie and Jeff Filgo, both

That '70s Show

writing alumni.

Opens March 4

.

THIN

Lauren Greenfield's 2006 documentary looks at four South Florida women enduring anorexia and bulimia. Screening in conjunction with the MICA exhibition

The Narcissism of Minor Differences

, and hosted/introduced by MICA humanities faculty member Mikita Brottman.

At the Brown Center's Falvey Hall March 3 at 7:30

p.m

.

PAPRIKA

Connecting the proverbial dots between dreams and movies, Japanese director Satoshi Kon offers up his psychedelic head trip Paprika as an animated tonic to the monochromatic complacency of everyday life. Boasting vérité-style animation, this hallucinatory examination of societal madness manages to present a surreal meditation on entertainment in the guise of a blockbuster sci-fi thriller. There's murder, action, eye-popping visuals, and even a little sex. There are also creepy geisha dolls, bizarre echoes of Disney, and marching kitchen appliances. The basic plot follows Dr. Atsuko Chiba, a buttoned-up research scientist whose devil-may-care alter ego, Paprika, can enter and manipulate people's dreams using a revolutionary new machine that interfaces the human mind with the internet. When one of the machines is stolen and used to destroy unsuspecting victims' psyches, the doctor and her colleagues attempt to track down and capture the psychic terrorist. To do this, however, Paprika must enter the damaged dreams of friends, colleagues, and a guilt-ridden police detective. (Jeff Meyers)

At Towson University's Van Bokkelen Hall March 5 at 7:30

p.m

.

POCKET NINJAS

This month's installment of the more-fun-than-a-roomful-of-puppies film series Mondo Baltimore is director Dave Eddy's 1997 teen kung-fu action movie parody Pocket Ninjas, in which workhorse action-movie co-star Gary Daniels stars as a sensei to some half-pint ninja tweens battling a crime lord-or something.

At the Windup Space March 6 at 7

p.m

.

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