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New in theaters

A round-up of new movies, including 'Hot Rod' and the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Antony vehicle 'El Cantante.'

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New in theaters Hot Rod (PG-13)

Director: Akiva Schaffer. With Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Sissy Spacek. (98 min.)

Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg of "Saturday Night Live" fame) fancies himself a stunt rider, following in his late father's footsteps. With a support team exhibiting more enthusiasm than sense, Rod attempts ever more outlandish tricks, all on an ancient moped. To earn money for his stepdad's operation, Rod agrees to jump 15 buses. Then there's Denise next door (the marvelous Isla Fisher, performing the most dangerous feat of all – acting, not only without a net, but without benefit of script or direction). Samberg's fans may enjoy this comedy, but this outsider found it rather limp. Grade: D+
– M.K. Terrell

No End in Sight (Not Rated)

Director: Charles Ferguson. With the narration of Campbell Scott. (102 min.)

Although it presents no new information, this documentary by Charles Ferguson, a former political scientist and Web-design entrepreneur, is perhaps the most cogent and straightforward dissection of the Bush Administration missteps leading up to the current Iraq nightmare. Although this is Ferguson's first feature – he paid for it himself – it's a masterfully assured piece of filmmaking. Among the many who are interviewed, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, are particularly revealing. Whatever side of the war you are on, this film is an eye-opener. Grade: A
– Peter Rainier

El Cantante (R)

Director: Leon Ichaso. With Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez. (116 min.)

Real life husband and wife Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez play real life husband and wife Héctor and Puchi Lavoe in this biopic about the late Puerto Rican salsa singer. Spanning the 1960s through the 1980s, "El Cantante" takes Héctor from his arrival in New York's Latino music scene right up to his achievements as a salsa legend. His slide into drug addiction is harrowing but repetitive. This may be true to the nature of addiction but the sameness doesn't do much for the audience. Anthony doesn't have a large emotional range as an actor, and neither does Lopez. Still, the musical numbers, which constitute a hefty portion of screen time, are thrilling. Grade: B
– P.R.


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