Rip-roarin’ ammo fest ‘Wanted’ is a Can’t Miss

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/ Source: msnbc.com contributor
By By Michael Ventre

Movies

It will be difficult for most folks to come to grips with the clashing images of Angelina Jolie, the celebrity mom walking around pregnant with twins, and Jolie, the actress portraying a trigger-happy action hero. But those who can successfully make the distinction will enjoy “Wanted,” a rip-roarin’ ammo fest from acclaimed Russian director Timur Bekmambetov. Adapted from a series of comic strips, it sports an all-star cast that also includes James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Terence Stamp, and the energy starts high and remains there. Jolie probably got into character by imagining all the paparazzi she would blow away if they took photos of her twins without permission. (Universal Pictures, opens Friday)

Music

When it comes to head-smashing rock ‘n’ roll of the metal variety, a scant few bands approach legend status. Motley Crue is one of them. It’s been a while since Crue ruled the land of black T-shirts, silver jewelry and ear-splitting power chords, but it has a new CD out that assembles the original lineup for the first time in 10 years. “Saints of Los Angeles” is a reference to themselves, and a sarcastic one at that. Motley Crue certainly hasn’t lost its edge. If anything, it’s hammering harder to emphasize its cred. Some of the more memorable cuts include “This Ain’t a Love Song,” “What’s It Gonna Take” and “Down at the Whiskey.” Motley-er than ever. And that’s a good thing. (Eleven Seven Music)

Television

HOLLYWOOD - JUNE 12: Actor Dustin Hoffman walks out to speak during the 36th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Warren Beatty held at the Kodak Theatre on June 12, 2008 in Hollywood, California. The show will air on USA Network at 9PM PST on June 25, 2008. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for AFI)Frazer Harrison / Getty Images North America

My favorite Warren Beatty film is probably “Bonnie and Clyde,” but I also liked him in “Spendor in the Grass.” And then there’s “Reds.” Don’t forget “Heaven Can Wait.” Plus “Shampoo.” Oh, and “McCabe and Mrs. Miller.” Get the point? The guy hasn’t worked as often as most of his peers, but his resume sizzles with iconic Hollywood roles. The American Film Institute obviously feels the same way, and has honored him with a lifetime achievement award in “A Tribute to Warren Beatty.” It’s a two-hour special, but it may go long, because Warren is notorious for not giving up the podium. But in this case, he can be forgiven because he’s earned it. (USA Network, Wednesday, 9 p.m.)

DVD

Anthony Mann was one of Hollywood’s most prolific and respected directors in the golden age. He made some memorable film noirs, but he’s probably best known for Westerns such as “Winchester ‘73” and “Bend of the River.” One of the more underrated and forgotten pictures is “The Furies,” a 1950 melodrama that stars Walter Huston as a controlling patriarch ruling in 1870s New Mexico territory, and Barbara Stanwyck as his highly independent daughter. “The Furies” is out on DVD this week in a smart package that includes extras such as an interview from 1931 with Huston and a 1967 TV interview with Mann. It has such a classic Western feel you may even develop saddle sores watching it. (Criterion Collection)

Books

The story of JonBenet Ramsay has been chronicled extensively, but the mystery lingers, and interest in the case remains. Joyce Carol Oates decided to tell the tale in her own inimitable style by fictionalizing it and turning the little girl beauty queen into Bliss, a promising figure skater. “My Sister, My Love” explores a troubled marriage in which the mother and father victimize the kids through their own inadequacies and compulsions. It’s told through the voice of son Skyler, as a 9-year-old when his sister was killed, and as a teenager looking back. Oates scrutinizes the greed and ambition that often emerges from America’s dark side, but she also does so with enough humor to keep the experience from being morbid. It’s a beauty queen of a book. (Ecco)