New Reviews

we recommend:

See "Fluff Done Right" (Edwards Westpark, Irvine)

See "Killer Instinct" (Countywide)

also showing:

See "Hussy 'N' Flow" (Countywide)

It's a retransmission of the previously recorded performance by the New York Metropolitan Opera of Chinese composer Tan Dun's epic opera, which features legendary tenor Plcido Domingo as Emperor Qin, who founded an empire that would survive for 2,000 years. Tan Dun's East-West musical mix and monumental production apparently got a big thumbs up from Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou. Warning: ticket prices are even steeper than the usual movie tickets. (7 p.m. Wed. at AMC 30 at the Block, Orange; AMC Downtown Disney, Anaheim; Edwards "Big One" Megaplex, Spectrum, Irvine)

New Line Cinema horns in on the youth market with British director Christian Charles' strenuously edgy take on a hoary old teen-comedy standby—high-school dweeb sells his soul for status, and lives to reap as he has sown. Ryan Pinkston (of the television show Quintuplets) is excellent as Sam Leonard, an insecure runt whose humiliation at the hands of big bullies in his grubby new high school leads him to lie his way to self-reinvention as a studly achiever. His nose doesn't grow longer, but his puny member does, and gradually takes over his personality as he brags his way to universal popularity. The twist is that all Sam's lies come nightmarishly true—his wholesome parents (John Carroll Lynch and Cynthia Stevenson) become heedless narcissists; his pretty blond teacher turns into a sex maniac; the dog really does eat his homework; everyone but his above-the-fray friend (Kate Mara) wants a piece of him; and worst of all, the It girl he covets (a very funny Amanda Walsh) turns out to be a ravenous stalker. Full of It abandons the de rigueur hot pastels of the average high school caper in favor of distressed browns and greens, but in the end all the funky style masks little more than a Pinocchio retread for the adolescent grunge set. (Ella Taylor) (AMC 30 at the Block, Orange)

See "Like Pigs to Slaughter" (Countywide)

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