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  • Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas in "Ruby Sparks."

    Fox Searchlight Films

    Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas in "Ruby Sparks."

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  • Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas in "Ruby Sparks."

    Fox Searchlight Films

    Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas in "Ruby Sparks."

"Ruby Sparks"
In a movie world so top-heavy with big-budget action flicks and gross-out comedies, a film such as "Ruby Sparks" is a magical gift.
It's a brilliantly written love story that's such a flawless blend of comedy and drama -- and this will shock the sunglasses off movie studio executives -- it'll entertain anyone, young or old, who's ever fallen in love.
As a bonus, the film's a grand entrance for star and writer Zoe Kazan, granddaughter of famed filmmaker Elia Kazan. It's almost unfair one person should be so talented both as an actor and scribe.
Grade: A
"The Campaign"
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, two comedians who couldn't find the word "subtle" in the dictionary if you spotted them the first five letters, have come together to take a shot at politics.
Ferrell plays ineffective North Carolina Congressman Cam Brady, who appears headed toward another unopposed term until Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) throws his knitted sweater into the ring.
Galifianakis delivers a warm and funny performance. But Ferrell gives a watered-down version of the former President George W. Bush impersonation he's done for years. If Ferrell were slightly more original, the film would have been more consistently funny.
Grade: C
Also new
"The Penguins of Madagascar: Operation: Antarctica": Spunky penguins leave the zoo to go on a mission.
"Coma": Lauren Ambrose stars in the cable miniseries based on Robin Cook's book.
"House of Dark Shadows" and "Night of Dark Shadows": Two films based on TV soap are on Blu-ray.
"A Christmas Story 2": Daniel Stern is part of this sequel to the holiday classic.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

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