G-Force: A team of highly trained government agents save the world from an evil billionaire's diabolical scheme. Only the agents are a quartet of guinea pigs, a cockroach, a fly, and a star-nosed mole. This family-friendly Disney adventure was the #1 movie in the country this past summer. Celebrity rodent voices include: Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, and Sam Rockwell.
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The Hangover: Another huge box-office hit from the summer of 2009, The Hangover stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms (Andy from The Office), and Zach Galifianakis as the bewildered leads in this post-bachelor party comedy. Cameos include Las Vegas regulars: Mike Tyson, Wayne Newton, and...Carrot Top.
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Inglourious Basterds: Somewhat disingenuously touted as Quentin Tarantino's take on The Dirty Dozen (1967), Inglourious Basterds is so uniquely the work of its idiosyncratic director that the result is virtually indescribable. Tarantino is always divisive, and certainly many viewers will be put off by the film's pulpy violence and refusal to adhere to war-movie conventions. For this reviewer's money, Inglourious Basterds is one of the outstanding films of 2009 and the director's best work since Reservoir Dogs (1992).
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Taking Woodstock: Ang Lee has directed films as stylistically disparate as Sense and Sensibility (an adaptation of Jane Austen's 1811 novel), Hulk (a big-budget take on the Marvel Comics superhero), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (the revolutionary multi-national martial arts sensation), and the Academy Award winning drama Brokeback Mountain. Lee's most recent film is Taking Woodstock, which examines the 1969 Woodstock Festival from the fortuitous perspective of Elliot Tiber (played by actor/comedian Demetri Martin). Based on Tiber's memoir Taking Woodstock: a True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life, published in 2007.
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