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Friday movie roundup: A Dickens of a weekend
As the 2014 Sundance Film Festival winds down, the Hollywood movies keep churning out.
The studio didn't screen "I, Frankenstein" for critics - not a surprise for a movie from the producers of the "Underworld" films (which almost invariably arrived in theaters without critics seeing them first). This one stars Aaron Eckhart as a very buff creature, caught in the middle of a war between supernatural clans.
The other studio entry is "Gimme Shelter," a scattershot inspirational drama that follows the plight of a homeless pregnant teen (Vanessa Hudgens) who seeks out her long-lost father (Brendan Fraser). The movie goes through its share of Lifetime Movie cliches, but there are some nice moments when Hudgens' character meets the no-nonsense operator (Ann Dowd) of a shelter for pregnant teens.
At the Broadway is the opening of "The Invisible Woman," which looks at the late years in the life of Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes, who also directed) and his affair with a much-younger woman (Felicity Jones). Fiennes creates a genteel, perfectly Victorian film about desire vs. propriety.
Lastly, there's the Utah-made Mormon comedy "Inspired Guns," in which a pair of LDS missionaries get mistaken for mobsters and wackiness allegedly ensues. The comedy is painfully forced, and writer-director Adam White crowbars a heavy-handed spiritual message.