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Fast Furious Presents: Hobbs Shaw

directed by David Leitch,

(PG-13, 2 hours, 17 minutes)

Regular readers know that I’m hopelessly smitten with Dwayne Johnson, which makes it difficult to be judicious about this latest in the Fast Furious franchise.

Keep that in mind when I tell you that it’s great if lightweight fun to watch Johnson as super-cop Luke Hobbs, teaming here with outlaw Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to challenge the superiority of a cyber-genetically enhanced bad guy who, as you might expect, is intent on ending the future of humanity.

Oh, I neglected (but did not forget) to mention that the bad guy is played by Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther, Pacific Rim), who’s right up there with Dwayne Johnson in my ranking of actors with whom I am smitten. So don’t expect any even-handedness here. With Vanessa Kirby (The Crown), Helen Mirren (The Queen, HBO’s Catherine the Great).

The Art of Racing in the Rain (PG, 1 hour, 49 minutes) Even a witty and verbally adept golden retriever named Enzo (voice of Kevin Costner) can’t rescue this drama from drowning in saccharine cliches and overwhelming melodrama as he recalls the life lessons learned from his Formula One race-car driving owner Denny. (Milo Ventimiglia) With Amanda Seyfried, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Martin Donovan, Gary Cole, Kathy Baker; directed by Simon Curtis.

Memory: The Origins of Alien (Not rated, 1 hour, 35 minutes) A densely layered and fact-laden documentary that discusses the origins of Ridley Scott’s Alien, rooted in Greek and Egyptian mythologies, underground comics, the art of Francis Bacon, and the dark visions of Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger (who designed the alien). Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe.

Ophelia (PG-13, 1 hour, 54 minutes) Set in medieval Denmark, beautifully photographed, and spoken in modern cadences, this handsome if undistinguished drama allows the heroine of Shakespearean

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