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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Home Movies/Out on Digital: May 7

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Broken City

Russell Crowe towers over Broken City as the power-mad mayor of New York; Mark Wahlberg is capable as the hard-charging ex-cop-cum-PI he hires to follow his unfaithful wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The plot makes odd leaps but Broken City moves with the terse efficiency of a TV police drama and darkens, in its best moments, to a noir hue. The story of corrupt city politics and sordid urban "development" comes close to being a funhouse reflection of actual controversies in the Big Apple.

 Liz & Dick

In between bouts of bad publicity, Lindsay Lohan found time to play a previous prisoner of celebrity, Elizabeth Taylor, in a cable TV movie. With the surface charm of the jet-set era as backdrop, Liz & Dick tracks a love story that played out in tabloids. Lohan often comes close to the mark, while co-star Grant Bowler sometimes kindles the drunken hauteur of Richard Burton. Lacking emotional rudders, their love was as stable as nitroglycerine.

G-Dog

“Nothing stops a bullet like a job,” says Father Greg Boyle, the Roman Catholic priest better known in Los Angeles’ poorest neighborhoods as G-Dog. Boyle’s gang intervention program involves establishing businesses staffed by former gang members, most of them on probation or parole, along with seminars on parenting and personal responsibility. In Oscar-winner Freida Mock’s documentary, Boyle comes across as engaging and gregarious, leavening compassion with humor and hopefulness. According to a UCLA study, Boyle’s project has a much higher success rate than other gang intervention programs.

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