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“The Conjuring” – More silly than scary. This absurdly over-hyped horror flick from “Saw”/”Insidious” director James Wan is pokily paced and filled with terrible dialogue and anachronistic howlers (I never believed it was taking place in 1971). A CGI sequence of marauding birds is so laughably inept it looks like an outtake from Ed Wood’s “Plan Nine from Outer Space.” A lot of good actors (including Lili Taylor, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) are wasted on penny-dreadful material. (C).
“Red 2” – Utterly gratuitous, but surprisingly entertaining sequel to the 2010 sleeper hit. Reminiscent of the sort of gauzy, star-encrusted baubles journeyman types like Peter Hunt directed back in the ’60s–usually starring Audrey Hepburn. Anthony Hopkins makes a fine addition to the original’s nonpareil ensemble cast (Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, et al). (B).
“R.I.P.D” – Resembling a dreary videogame that nobody in their right mind would ever want to play, this $130-million-plus amalgam of “Men in Black” and “Ghostbusters” is shockingly devoid of wit, style or originality. A career low point for Jeff Bridges and yet another nail in poor Ryan (“The Green Lantern,” “The Change-Up”) Reynolds’ coffin. Can someone explain to me why Mary Louise Parker is doing an imitation of that annoying dingbat Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials? (D).
“Turbo” – Blah 3-D CGI ‘toon about a snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds who can’t get a break this week) with dreams of entering the Indianapolis 500. Undemanding kids (say, ages 3-6) might like it, but there’s precious little grown-up appeal. Or interest. (C).
New on DVD:
“Ginger and Rosa” – Directed by critics’ darling Sally (“Orlando”) Potter, this is a beautifully acted, if emotionally muted coming of age tale set against the backdrop of early ’60’s London. The wonderful Elle Fanning does a spot-on British accent as a teenager whose rebellious best friend (Alice Englert from “Beautiful Creatures”) is having a secret affair with her father (Alessandro Nivola). The exceptionally strong supporting cast includes Annette Bening, Christina Hendricks and Oliver Platt. (B).
“Trance” – Uber-stylish, hallucinatory thriller by chameleonic, Oscar-winning director Danny (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “Trainspotting”) Boyle keeps you guessing right until the deliciously tricky ending. It flopped in theaters this spring, but should find an enthusiastic following on home video. (A-).