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The Cricket
Sean P. Means
Sean is the movie critic and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket.

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The Oogieloves — Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie (from left) — make their introduction in "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure," arriving in U.S. theaters on Aug. 29. Courtesy Kenn Viselman Productions
Wednesday movie roundup: Moonshine and lollipops

It's hard to think of two movies as different as the ones opening in theaters today -- in tone and quality.

"Lawless" is a rough, violent and often engrossing tale of moonshiners in Depression-era Virginia. It centers on the Bondurant brothers -- hulking oldest brother Forrest (Tom Hardy, fresh off of "The Dark Knight Rises"), wild-child middle brother Howard (Jason Clarke), and ambitious pipsqueak Jack (Shia LaBeouf) -- who make and sell bootleg liquor. The brothers get into a battle when they defy a dirty state official and his brutal special agent, Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce). Director Jeff Hillcoat ("The Road") and screenwriter Nick Cave (the rocker who also co-wrote the score) create a rich portrait of crime and corruption.

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On the other end is "The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure," a G-rated adventure aimed at the preschool crowd. It involves three "Teletubbies"-like characters on a journey to retrieve five magical balloons. The search brings the Crayola-colored figures into contact with such guest stars as Cloris Leachman and Toni Braxton, in interactive song-and-dance numbers that gets the littlest audience members up on their feet. It's all cheap-looking, cloying and condescendingly dim.

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