“Her” (R, 126 minutes, Warner): Joaquin Phoenix delivers a gentle, thoroughly disarming performance in this wildly inventive, scrupulously understated romance from Spike Jonze. Set in a Los Angeles that’s been ingeniously photographed to exploit its most futuristic vernacular, “Her” takes place at a time that may be just around the corner, when our virtual lives have merged even more seamlessly with corporeal, real-world experience: Welcome to Earbud Nation. When Phoenix’s character, Theodore, takes advantage of the latest upgrade, he finds that his computer is now being run by a charming, Siri-like disembodied voice that calls itself Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Contains profanity, sexual content and brief graphic nudity.
“That Awkward Moment” (R, 94 minutes, Sony): With their chirpy, pseudo-hip banter and super-designed faux-downscale apartments, the men of “That Awkward Moment” rarely convince viewers that they’re more than obnoxious, entitled brats, running amok in the big city with too much disposable time, income and healthy liver enzymes at their disposal. Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) proves a sensitive, soft-spoken exception in a group that includes a female wingman (Mackenzie Davis) who can drink and swear and sweet-talk ladies with the best – or worst – of the laddies. The chief frustration of “That Awkward Moment” is that everyone in it is so much better than the material. Contains sexual content and profanity.
“I, Frankenstein” (PG-13, 92 minutes, Lionsgate): Right from the title, there’s an off-putting air of pomposity about “I, Frankenstein.” The aura of goofy grandeur is enough to scare some viewers off of the movie, an adaptation of Kevin Grevioux’s graphic novel about Mary Shelley’s monster, set in a modern-day dystopia being fought over by demons and angel-like gargoyles. Don’t be frightened. The contents of the film are a lot more fun than the package looks. Aaron Eckhart – his newly buff bod covered with more stitches than a crazy quilt – makes for a surprisingly deep and compelling antihero in this update of an antique monster movie for the Imax 3-D age. Contains sequences of intense fantasy action and violence throughout.
Television series: “Louie: Season 3,” “The New Normal: First Season,” “Orange Is the New Black: Season One,” “Eastbound & Down: Fourth and Final Season,” “ “Afterlife: Season One” (2005 BBC sci-fi series) and “Last Man Standing: First Season” and “Last Man Standing: Second Season” (both Fox).
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