(R, 120 minutes, Fox): A profane, pistol-packing riff on the Bond formula starring Melissa McCarthy as a deskbound CIA analyst who volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer and prevent a global disaster. McCarthy is more empowered than delusional, more under-estimated than her go-to pity party loneliness. They’ve built a character that’s more real and likable, and they’ve found yet another foil for her to swap insults with. The fights and deaths are somewhat comical, the one-liners hit or miss and the stunts faked with less sleight of hand than a director experienced in action might have managed. Director Paul Feig has done better by McCarthy here, and she delivers a performance that’s more deft than her usual daft. That makes “Spy” a “Johnny English” that works, a Bond movie where the empowered women have it all over the Bonds – and the Bond babes. Contains profanity, violence and some sexual content, including brief graphic nudity.
(R, 106 minutes, Warner): The HBO ensemble series starring Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon is revived for the big screen. Writer Doug Ellin does a quick, efficient job of introducing novices to the concept of the show he created in 2004. Movie star Vincent Chase (Grenier) has risen to fame and taken three pals with him: manager Eric (Connolly), driver Turtle (Ferrara) and half-brother Johnny (Dillon), who has yet to establish his own acting career. Hard-driving agent Ari Gold (Piven) has gotten rich, quit and come back as the head of a studio. He wants Vince to star in a modern-day Jekyll/Hyde story, and Vince agrees – if he can direct. Contains pervasive language, strong sexual content, nudity and some drug use. Extras: A deleted scene; Blu-ray version adds “The Gang - Still Rockin’ It,” “Hollywood, Baby!” “The Making of Hyde,” deleted scenes, gag reel, “Meet the Newest Member of Entourage,” “Lucas Ellin is Jonah Gold.”
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(PG-13, 94 minutes, Fox): A remake of the 1982 film about a family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces that abduct their youngest daughter. This might be a pretty scary movie for 13-or-unders, just as the original was for their parents back in 1982. Those parents might find this one an enjoyable trip down memory lane, even if they do now recognize it as largely a well-served collection of horror-movie tropes. Gil Kenan directs the new incarnation, which has lots of 21st-century updates – such as the pivotal television being a big ol’ flat screen, and iPhones, GPS devices and a drone camera coming into play. Being sucked into the netherworld looks even more convincing than it did back in the ’80s. And who comes to the family’s rescue? A guy with a ghost-hunter reality TV show. Contains scary images, brief sensuality and some crude language.
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