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The Reel Deal

It’s September and even though the leaves will not begin to turn in Southern California, the frowns on parents’ faces will be magically transformed into smiles from the knowledge that the kids are going back to school. Now they—the parents, not the kids—can go to the movies in the middle of the day all by themselves. All this just proves my theory that the best place to spend a beautiful fall day is in a dark movie theater.

On September 19, you’ll really be missing out if you don’t go see the multi-talented comedian and writer Ricky Gervais in the role of Bertram Pincus – a cranky dentist who, when revived after being clinically dead for seven minutes, can suddenly see dead people. And he is monumentally irked about it. This guy is already indifferent to the needs of other people, and all of the residents of Ghost Town seem to want something from him, especially Frank Herlihy, played with relish by Greg Kinnear. Frank promises Pincus that he’ll make all the ghouls go away if only the dentist can help him with one itty bitty problem: He wants him to thwart the impending marriage of the ex-Mrs. Herlihy. A solid cast, good direction and snappy dialogue come together to make Ghost Town a delight.

Spike Lee’s newest offering is a war movie called Miracle at St. Anna. It comes to the screen on September 26 and features a stellar cast of African American actors. This follows close on the heels of Lee’s criticism of fellow director Clint Eastwood for not including black actors in his own war flicks. This is the story of four soldiers trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII and there is no question—because of the title alone—that something extraordinary is afoot after the group rescues a young Italian boy. Derek Luke, Michael Ely, Laz Alonso and Omar Benson Miller fare well under the sure hand of Lee, and the action is tempered by a moving score from Spike’s crony Terrence Blanchard.

Pass the popcorn, it’s going to be a great fall at the movies!

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