Short Takes for the week of Jan. 28:

• BRIDE WARS

• DEFIANCE

• GRAN TORINO

• HOTEL FOR DOGS

• LAST CHANCE HARVEY

• MARLEY & ME

• MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D

• NOT EASILY BROKEN

• NOTORIOUS

• PAUL BLART: MALL COP

• REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

• SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

• THE UNBORN

• UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS


Scale: # (waste of time) to √√√√ (fabulous)

• BRIDE WARS: When the weddings of two best friends are booked at the Plaza on the same day, the planning gets ugly and the gloves come off. Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Candice Bergen. Comedy. Rated PG. Not reviewed.

• DEFIANCE: Three brothers escape Nazi Poland, fight back, and try to create a sanctuary for Jews in the forests of Bellarus. Daniel Craig, Liev Schriber, Jaime Bell. Action. Rated R. Not reviewed.

• GRAN TORINO: Estranged from his family, a widower develops a relationship with the Hmung family next door. Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Ahney Her. Clint is entrancing as a hateful old man finding his soft spot and dealing with issues of hate, values and what it really takes to give a kid a chance. Rated R for language, violence. √√√.

• HOTEL FOR DOGS: A pair of kids take in a stray or two or a hundred and set them up in cushy style in a vacant house. Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Don Cheadle. Comedy. Rated PG. Not reviewed.

• LAST CHANCE HARVEY: On his way to his daughter’s wedding, a man who has given up finds a spark of love. Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker. Romance. Rated PG-13. Not reviewed.

• MARLEY & ME: A young couple learns about frustration and life after they adopt a very unruly puppy. Jennifer Anniston, Owen Wilson, Eric Dane. Comedy. Rated PG. Not reviewed.

• MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3-D: A serial killer with a valentine fetish returns to a small mining town for a third time. Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith. With buckets of blood, a standard story and a bit of suspense, the film delivers but doesn’t do anything new. Rated R for violence, gore, sex, nudity and language. √1/2

• NOT EASILY BROKEN: A couple’s strained marriage is tested even more after an accident leads them to other people. Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson, Jenifer Lewis. Drama. Rated PG-13. Not reviewed.

• NOTORIOUS: Christopher Wallace grows up in Brooklyn and rises to fame as rap star Notorious B.I.G., only to have his career end prematurely. Jamal Woolard, Derek Luke, Angela Bassett. Drama. Rated R. Not reviewed.

• PAUL BLART: MALL COP: Policeman wannabe Blart is the only man standing between a gang and a gang of crooks. “Die Hard” in a mall. Kevin James, Jayma Mays. Comedy. Rated PG. Not reviewed.

• REVOLUTIONARY ROAD: Feeling themselves slipping into a suburban rut, the Wheelers take off for Paris and a new life. Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio. Drama. Rated R. Not reviewed.

• SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE: Accused of cheating, a young man recounts the events that have led him to a game show’s winning seat. Dev Patel, Freido Pinto, Anil Kapoor. Alternately inspiring and shocking with its depictions of love, poverty and perseverance highlighted by the exotic Indian setting. Rated R for violence, language. √√√

• THE UNBORN: A young woman is tormented by the spirit of her unborn twin who wants to come into the world through her. Odette Yustman, Gary Oldman, James Remar. Horror. Rated PG-13. Not reviewed.

• UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS: Enslaved by their vampire brothers, the werewolves rise up in revolt. Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Rhona Mitra. Action. Rated R. Not reviewed.