"Wonder Park" (PG) -- June (voiced by Brianna Denski) and her mother (Jennifer Garner) create fanciful, detailed stories involving an amusement park run by animals. Then her mom gets sick, and June's hustled off to camp by her dad. Rebelliousness takes her off the bus to camp and into the woods, where she's sidetracked en route home by the living, albeit dilapidated, Wonder Park. With the help of a pair of beavers (Ken Jeong and Kenan Thompson), a porcupine (John Oliver), a boar (Mila Kunis) and a narcoleptic bear (Ken Hudson Campbell), June will need to rescue a chimp who is magically able to architect June's imagination into reality. I thought the sad, sick mom angle was unnecessary and really at odds with the fun of an amusement park setting, but my kids blissfully glossed over that part and thought the movie was OK.
"The Beach Bum" (R) -- Epic debauchery and hedonist hullaballoo are afoot in the tale of Moondoggie (Matthew McConaughey), a writer and South Florida character whose antics are financed by a wealthy wife (Isla Fisher). If you imagine McConaughey at his wide-eyed stoner weirdo best, and then imagine he challenged a few actor friends (Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron, Jonah Hill) to attempt to out-bizarre him, and the whole shenanigans were filmed by a director (Harmony Korine) with a taste for the absurdly disturbing, this would be the result. It's gonna get crazy.
"Slaughterhouse Rulez" (NR) -- It's hard to beat "Shaun of the Dead" for a horror comedy, but director Crispian Mills ("Fantastic Fear of Everything") reteams with Simon Pegg to give it his prep-school best with this tale of a boarding school employing questionable fracking practices that rile up a den of demonlike creatures which then terrorize the student body and teachers alike. Starring a clutch of English A-listers -- Michael Sheen as school headmaster, the aforementioned Pegg as a teacher and even Nick Frost as a land-squatting activist -- our heroes are Asa Butterfield as a bullied misfit, the hardy new kid Don (Damian Cole) and school "goddess" Clemsie (Hermione Corfield). It's not unseating the champion, but I thought it was pretty cute, if not terrifically scary.
"Hale County, This Morning, This Evening" (NR) -- RaMell Ross directs, produces and collects moments large, small, dramatic and pedestrian in rural Hale County, Alabama, over the course of about five years. It was nominated for an Academy Award and the Independent Spirit Award, plus a winner at Sundance, and it's not hard to see why. You're lured into the vignettes, piqued by title cards with questions and commentary, and while the documentary itself is not a linear story, we do get a slightly concentrated look at three lives -- Daniel, who played high school basketball and goes off to college; Quinn, fellow ballplayer and young father; and Boosie, the mother of Quinn's children.
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(c) 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.