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Film Clips: Tonight's movie openings and more February 12 2010

Julia Roberts made $3million for her six minute appearance in Valentine's Day. How much do you make in six minutes?

 

OPENING FRIDAY

44 INCH CHEST 2 stars (R) The writers of Sexy Beast reunite with two of the stars of the 2000 gangster film, Ray Winstone and Ian McShane, for another film that savages innocent civilians and the English language with equivalent violence. Winstone plays a heartbroken mobster who’s been dumped by his wife, while his mates (including Tom Wilkinson, John Hurt and Stephen Dillane) attempt to help him exact vengeance. The cast’s verbal volleys of the cockney dialogue proves highly diverting at first, but the flashy flashbacks, dream scenes and movie clips fail to pad the underdeveloped plot, so 44 Inch Chest leaves viewers feeling deflated. — Curt Holman

HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (R) A baby sitter (Jocelin Donahue) gradually suspects that the creepy parents (character actors Mary Woronov and Tom Noonan) have something sinister in mind. An homage to the horror flicks of the 1980s, this 2009 cult film never saw theatrical release in Atlanta before now.

Feb. 15-21. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St. S.E., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.

THE LAST STATION 4 stars (R) Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren justly earned Oscar nominations for their portrayals of Count Leo and Countess Sofya Tolstoy in this livelier-than-usual literary biopic. Dramatizing the last days of the author of War and Peace, The Last Station offers a surprisingly pertinent critique the media spotlight as reporters hang on every bit of gossip in a power struggle between the Countess and Tolstoy’s literary adviser (Paul Giamatti) over how the author with bequeath his copyright. A romantic subplot starring James McAvoy as a bumbling, adoring Tolstoy fan overplays the film’s themes about the paramount importance of love, but otherwise The Last Station seems relevant to an age of paparazzi and bloggers a century later. — Holman