DESPICABLE ME 2 (PG).There's enough here for a nice little movie. El Macho (Benjamin Bratt) is plotting his usual world domination thing when a reformed Gru (Steve Carell) is recruited to assist his capture by the Anti-Villain League led by Silas Ramsbottom (big laugh for the kiddies there). "Despicable Me 2" gains considerably from Kristen Wiig's sing-song neuroses as AVL agent Lucy Wilde. The logical extension of Gru's rehabilitation is finding someone who'll make him a better man, and a partner for parenthood he never expected. Wiig and Carell would make a terrific rom-com coupling in the flesh but their voices will have to suffice for now. HH1/2 (Persall, Tampa Bay Times --7/4). 1:38.
ELYSIUM (R). Director Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to his breakout debut hit "District 9" is another action-heavy sci-fi picture. In the near future, the world's wealthiest 1 percent (led by Jodie Foster) will abandon our ruined planet and move into a mammoth space station orbiting Earth. The people left behind (including Matt Damon) are required to work in factories to keep the satellite running smoothly.
FRUITVALE STATION (R). Based on a true story, this drama traces the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African-American who was headed home with friends when they were detained by Oakland transit cops, responding to reports of a fight on a train. A gun goes off and Grant is mortally wounded by a white officer, claiming he intended to use a Taser and mistakenly grabbed his pistol. As direct and devastating as a point-blank bullet to the back. HHH1/2 (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 8/3). 1:24.
GROWN UPS 2 (PG-13). Basically, the sequel to the hit "Grown Ups" finds our Hollywood pal Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler), his wife (Salma Hayek) and brood moved back to his home town. That's where childhood pal Eric (Kevin James) runs a body shop, Kurt (Chris Rock) is a cable guy, and Marcus (David Spade) has just learned he's a deadbeat dad. Another pointless romp through Sandlerland -- where the women are buxom, the kids have catch phrases and the jokes are below average. H (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 7/12). 1:41.
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS (PG). Logan Lerman returns as the teenage son of Poseidon in this second adaptation of Rick Riordan's popular fantasy novels.
PLANES (PG). A cropduster (voiced by Dane Cook) dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. Yes, it does sound an awful lot like Pixar's "Cars," minus the Pixar. This one is just plain Disney.
THE BLING RING (R). Director Sophia Coppola's new film is based on a true story about a clique of teenagers in Los Angeles in 2008 who, feeling entitled to lives they envied, started casing and burglarizing the homes of stars like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.
THE CONJURING (R). A family is moving into a fixer-upper farmhouse that they'll discover is possessed. A throwback to old-school spine tingling, "The Conjuring" gets under your skin, where the goosebumps are. Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga. HH1/2 (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 7/19). 1:52.
THE SMURFS 2 (PG). Papa Smurf and his motley "B team" head to Paris to thwart a scheme by a dastardly magician who wants the magic formula for Smurf Essence. Filled with Smurf wholesomeness, Smurf puns and post-Smurf messages, "The Smurfs 2" still sucks Smurfberries. H (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 7/31). 1:38.
THE WAY, WAY BACK (PG-13). A water park becomes the unlikely location for a gawky youth's coming into his own over the course of a summer. The jokes are often double-edged, the performances always spot-on. You'll see more inventive movies this year but few more endearing. With Liam Grace, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Amanda Peet, Rob Corddry. HHH1/2 (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 7/19). 1:43.
THE WOLVERINE (PG-13). Hugh Jackman is back as Logan, this time on a fateful mission in Japan. A fairly satisfying if not stellar installment in the saga of the famous mutant hero that Jackman's been playing since 2000. HH1/2 (Noveck, Associated Press -- 7/26). 2:06.
TURBO (PG). An auto-racing obsessed garden snail is determined to escape his colony of tomato-munchers and race against the big guys. Think "Cars" with snails. While little children may be enchanted by this gastropod that could, adults will be more sorely tested. HH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 7/17). 1:35.
2 GUNS (R). Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington play a naval intelligence officer and a DEA agent, respectively, who are investigating each other, in the belief that each is stealing money from the mob. When they discover they've been set up -- they have, in fact, inadvertently ripped off the CIA -- they have to find a way to return the money. Too fun to notivce any holes besides thise being blown into people and property. Nothing succeeds like good-humored excess. HHH (Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 8/3). 1:41.
WE'RE THE MILLERS (R). In order to smuggle a large shipment of marijuana from Mexico to the United States, a pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) hires a stripper (Jennifer Aniston) and two kids to pose as his family.
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