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Is it worth $10? No

Jacky and Alexandre are French chefs with something in common: Both men are too good for their own good. In writer/director Daniel Cohen's ("Les Deux Mondes" [2007]) "Le Chef," Jacky struggles with managing his creative impulses, ending up at odds with his employers. Alexandre is the older, master chef, known throughout France, but the new CEO of the company that owns his restaurant wants him out in favor of his cost-cutting strategies.

When Jacky (Michaël Youn, "Around the World in 80 Days" [2004]) gets fired again, with a baby on the way, he relents and takes a job as a building painter. Alexandre (Jean Reno, "Leon The Professional" [1994]), meanwhile, scrambles to save his restaurant from the bottom-line-obsessed magnate of microwave foods.

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“Obvious Child” is a funny comedy that feels refreshingly honest, but whether it is completely honest or not I have no idea. The main character is a female stand-up comedienne, and as the film opens she’s doing a routine on, among other embarrassing things, the condition of female underwear after a long day. No doubt this belongs next to the “shrinkage” episode of “Seinfeld” in terms of “things we’d rather the opposite sex” not know.

For the comedienne, Donna (Jenny Slate, “Saturday Night Live”), her life is even messier than her underwear. Her boyfriend Ryan (Paul Briganti) dumps her and says he’s sleeping with one of her friends. Her boss (Stephen Singer) tells her the bookstore is closing, so she’s out of a day job. Drunken voicemails on Ryan’s phone don’t preserve much dignity. And her one-night stand with Max (Jake Lacy) has lifelong ramifications when she learns she’s pregnant. She’s then faced with an abortion scheduled for Valentine’s Day, but is unsure if it’s the right thing to do.

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It looks like we'll be seeing John Rambo at least one more time. Filmfutter has learned that Splendid Film has purchased the rights to the fifth Rambo film, and a synopsis has hit the web. The studio stated the following: "With 'Rambo V' Sylvester Stallone returns in his iconic role. This time he goes up against a Mexican cartel. Stallone, who has also written the screenplay, describes the new Rambo as his version of 'No Country for Old Men.' Like the last film, 'Rambo V' is produced by Avi Lerner ("The Expendables 1-3")." I think this could be an excellent way to wrap up this iconic franchise by having him die in the end, in a sort of sacrificial way. The last film, "Rambo," in 2008 grossed over $100 million worldwide, and was written/directed by Stallone himself (and it was BRUTAL!). This is the kind of role Stallone is made for, something that requires little acting range, and I can't wait to see him tear up the big screen as John Rambo one more (final?) time.

Deadline learned that a lot of A-list talent is looking to join the Coen Brothers next film "Hail, Caesar!." Set in 1950s Hollywood, the film has already attracted the likes of George Clooney and Josh Brolin as the leads. It's about a fixer who works for Hollywood's studios to protect its stars. The project is now getting the attention of Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes, who are all in talks to join the project in undisclosed roles. I would normally say that watching all this talent flock to a project lets you know it's going to be good, but that point is moot considering it's a Coen Brothers film; by default it will be incredible. 

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Continuing the slo-mo splatter porn trend ushered in by the first “300” back in 2006 is “300: Rise of an Empire.” This movie isn’t a sequel or prequel so much as it is a parallel story that takes place side by side with the events of “300.” The awesomely named Sullivan Stapleton plays Greek general Themistocles, who must defend Greece from the invading Persian armada led by their ruthless and cunning naval commander Artemisia (Eva Green).

Director Noam Murro lets the red stuff fly, but it is (thankfully) toned down from the first film. Instead we get a tower defense game on water, as Themistocles and Artemisia match wits and try to out-strategize each other. Themistocles must find a way through or around the Greek defenses, and Themistocles must make sure he plans his defenses well enough to block her attack. Much of the suspense and entertainment at the core of the film is derived from seeing these two use their respective navies to out maneuver each other.

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There may not be a better compliment for a musical than this: The songs are good, but the story’s even better. One of the real pleasures of “Jersey Boys” is that yes, it is a fine jukebox musical featuring the work of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, but it’s also an emotional story about friendship and the mafia.

This is a movie with real surprises and deep emotions. Based on the Best Musical Tony Award-winning Broadway show, in mid-1950’s New Jersey Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) is a small-time crook with a big-time attitude. He’s also an aspiring musician alongside bassist Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and lead singer Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for his Broadway performance). The group struggles for success as control freak Tommy leads them nowhere; it’s not until songwriter Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) joins the band and producer Bob Crewe (Mike Doyle) gives them a chance that they find success. Soon, “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man” are number one hits in the early ‘60s; Valli and Gaudio would later have success with “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” among others.

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"Ida" opens with exterior shots of a large convent on a snowy day in Poland. When writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski cuts to the interior, he observes the uniformity of the novice nuns and their elders as they sit in their habits, nourishing themselves with soup, and unintentionally performing a ballet and symphony of spoons. The black and white photography intensifies the austerity of the religious dwelling.

Watching this work by Pawlikowski ("Last Resort" [2000]) projected from an honest-to-goodness 35mm print (by far the best way to enjoy it) gives you the same feeling as gently dropping a classic vinyl LP onto a turntable and lowering the stylus into the groove. That first, unmistakable little pop coming through the speakers is part of the satisfaction. This analogy may not have been lost on the writer/director who includes more than a couple of scenes where characters listen to music on vinyl.

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Dutch Director Alex van Warmerdam's ("The Northerners" [1996]) near-perfect, oddball crime thriller and official Cannes selection "Borgman" is a film composed of dozens of little ingenious twists and turns. So, prudence pays before giving absolutely anything away, lest its delicate structure come crashing down like a poorly poked Jenga puzzle.

In a succinct opening sequence with no music save for a growling dog, a steel spear against a motorized sharpening stone, and an altar boy's hand bell, you see Camiel Borgman (Jan Bijvoet, spot-on in a tricky role) living hermit-like in a hand-fashioned little home in the forest. As recluses go, he's fairly social, with friends nearby who he can reach via cellphone--and what friends they are! As they assist Borgman in his plights, they demonstrate a dazzling array of skills, including ballet, gardening, and conspiracy, all at professional level.

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Deadline learned Warner Bros. is in the early stages of rebooting their live-action "Scooby-Doo" franchise. The original film starred Freddie Prinze Jr, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda Cardellini and Isla Fisher as the young sleuths, but there's no word (hope?) that any of them will return for the reboot. I think Lillard played the perfect Shaggy, and I would love to see them bring him back just for kicks. The original films grossed over $268 million so there's little question as to why the studio wants to bring back another franchise to give them guaranteed profits in the future. Randall Green has been hired to write the story, and original producer Charles Roven will be back on as well.

Two more are joining the upcoming WB comedy "The Intern." The story revolves around a seventy-something widower (Robert De Niro) who enters an internship program and is assigned to the founder of a successful fashion website (Anne Hathaway). Now Vulture is reporting that Reid Scott ("Veep") and Christina Scherer ("True Blood") will be taking on supporting roles. Scott will play Eric Sheekey, a fast-talking, overly confident businessman Hathaway sees as a possible CEO of her booming company. Scherer will play Hathaway’s assistant Becky. I kind of like the concept of this film, the whole "fish out of water" element with De Niro, but at the same time it doesn't seem very unique. We've had plenty of films like this in the past, but at least the talent is strong.  

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