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House, Immortals, J. Edgar, Jack and Jill, Like Crazy, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

HOUSE

Don’t be alarmed if the opening reels of this 1977 Japanese cult item inspire you to sigh and silently wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into. Once teenage schoolgirl Angel (Kimiko Ikegami) and her BFF Fanta (Kumiko Ohba) and their friends giggle and squeal and plan their summer holidays amid a baffling mix of bizarro shots and weird painted backdrops, director Nobuhiko Ohbayashi transfers the action to a remote hilltop mansion owned by Angel’s slightly sinister long-lost aunt (Yôko Minamida). And as the girls start to disappear, things get more and more frenetic and weirder and weirder and weirder. Like a flying disembodied head that bites people on the ass. Like a carnivorous piano played by stand-alone severed fingers. Like a rising tide of glowing supernatural house-cat blood. All of this is whipped into a froth by a cavalcade of ’70s-vintage special effects, off-the-hook editing, and constant screaming.

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House

remains a minor pleasure, but if you’ve been searching for an unheralded missing link between

Suspiria

and

The Evil Dead

, look no further. (LG)

IMMORTALS

Director Tarsem Singh (of crazypants stylized serial-killer flick

The Cell

fame) returns with a mythic action yarn that looks a lot like an unofficial sequel to 300.

Opens Nov. 11.

J. EDGAR

Clint Eastwood directs Leonardo DiCaprio in a biopic of former FBI head J. Edgar Hoover. Look for it to be about a half-hour longer than it needs to be.

Opens Nov. 11.

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JACK AND JILL

Adam Sandler plays a guy and (in drag) the guy’s sister in what is, ostensibly, a comedy.

Opens Nov. 11.

LIKE CRAZY

A transatlantic romcom starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones.

THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE

A 1974 cult classic that influenced many later crime/action flicks but retains it own original kick,

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

proves what great casting can do to lift an already exciting little thriller into orbit. Robert Shaw plays a shrewd and fierce professional killer who leads three disgruntled mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it-anymore types (Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo, and Earl Hindman) in a harrowing plot to get a million bucks for hostages held on board a New York subway car. Facing down Shaw and his colorful bunch is transit-police Lt. Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau in one of his best roles), a quintessentially tough, cynical New York cop trying to juggle the crooks underground and the crooked politicians aboveground as he manages the tense negotiations for money and lives. Director Joseph Sargent lets the action unfold in real time, packing more wallop into the story’s built-in suspense, but it’s the potent cast that really gives Pelham its zip. (Luisa F. Ribeiro)

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