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1-25-2013 Kam's Kapsules: Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

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BIG BUDGET FILMS

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (PG-13 for violence) Revenge-fueled sequel, set 15 years after the conclusion of the Grimm Brothers' classic fairytale, finds Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) perambulating the planet as bloodthirsty bounty hunters hell-bent on exterminating witches wherever they can be found. With Famke Janssen, Zoe Bell and Peter Stormare.

Movie 43 (R for violence, drug use, pervasive profanity, graphic sexuality, frontal nudity, crude humor and coarse dialogue) A dozen directors collaborated on this raunchy series of short films chronicling three kids' internet search for the most banned movie in the world. A-list ensemble features Academy Award-winners Halle Berry and Kate Winslet, along with Oscar-nominees Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard.

Parker (R for nudity, sexuality, pervasive profanity and graphic violence) Jason Statham plays the title character in this adaptation of Flashfire, the Donald Westlake revenge thriller about a thief who enlists the assistance of a real estate agent (Jennifer Lopez) to get even with the gangsters who had double-crossed him. Supporting cast includes Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Patti LuPone, Bobby Cannavale and Wendell Pierce.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Happy People: A Year in the Life of the Taiga (Unrated) Aborigine documentary, narrated by co-director Werner Herzog, anthropological examination of the 300 remaining Bakhtia, a Siberian coastal people whose cultural traditions have remained preserved for centuries. (In English and Russian with subtitles)

John Dies at the End (R for gore, nudity, profanity, drug use and graphic violence) Horror comedy based on the David Wong novel of the same name about a couple of college dropouts (Rob Mayes and Chase Williamson) called upon to save the day when Earth is invaded by aliens. With Paul Giamatti, Glynn Turman and Daniel Roebuck.

Knife Fight (Unrated) Strange bedfellows drama about a political strategist (Rob Lowe) who comes to be haunted by the dark side of his profession while running interference for a trio of seedy political candidates (Eric McCormick, David Harbour and Carrie-Anne Moss). Support cast includes Shirley Manson, Jamie Chung and Richard Schiff.

Noobz (R for profanity and crude sexual references) Road comedy about four friends (Jason Mewes, Matt Shively, Moises Arias and Blake Freeman) who travel to L.A. to compete in a video game championship. With Casper Van Dien, Jon Gries and Carly Craig.

The Pirogue (Unrated) Seafaring saga about some Senegalese peasants who set out for Spain in a flat-bottomed sailboat in search of a better life. Starring Laity Fall, Balla Diarra, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye and Salif Jean Diallo. (In French with subtitles)

Race 2 (Unrated) Bollywood sequel revolving around a mobster (Saif Ali Khan) who ventures from India to Turkey to avenge the murder of his moll (Bipasha Basu) With Anil Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and John Abraham. (In Hindi with subtitles)

Supporting Characters (Unrated) Meandering Mumblecore, set in NYC, about a couple of film editors' (Tarik Lowe and Alex Karpovsky) struggle to juggle their demanding jobs and romantic relationships with impatient girlfriends (Melonie Diaz and Sophia Takal). Support cast includes Lena Dunham, Arielle Kebbel and Kevin Corrigan.

Yossi (Unrated) Bittersweet sequel to Yossi and Jagger, set a decade since the Yossi's (Ohad Knoller) life mate perished in a military ambush, finds him now a cardiologist but still in mourning until he's coaxed out of the closet by a handsome hitchhiker (Oz Zehavi). With Meir Golan, Amir Jerassi and Lior Ashkenazi. (In Hebrew with subtitles)

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

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