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Lisa Pictures

Spice It Up

  • Written and directed by Calvin Thomas, Lev Lewis and Yonah Lewis
  • Starring Jennifer Hardy, Adam Nayman and Albert Shin
  • Classification PG; 82 minutes

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Spice It Up stands as a delightfully unusual act of cinematic recycling, with the directors turning their original schoolgirl production into the fictional thesis film of a Toronto student named Rene (Opens Aug. 16 at the TIFF Lightbox)

Emphatic Films

Mine 9

  • Directed by Eddie Mensore
  • Written by Eddie Mensore
  • Starring Terry Serpico, Mark Ashworth, Kevin Sizemore, Clint James, Drew Starkey and Erin Elizabeth Burns
  • Classification PG; 83 minutes

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Mine 9, from Eddie Mensore, is about desperation and survival. On one level, the survival of miners trapped by a cave-in; on an allegorical level, the survival of a gasping coal industry and a dying Appalachian way of life. Mensore has not made a masterpiece of the genre, but there’s a poignancy to his gritty calamity tale that makes the movie worth watching. (Opens Aug. 16)

Tore Vollan/Courtesy of Mongrel Media

Cold Case Hammarskjold

  • Directed by Mads Brugger
  • Starring Mads Brugger and Goran Bjorkdahl
  • Classification PG; 127 minutes

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Danish filmmaker, journalist and provocateur Mads Brugger’s Cold Case Hammarskjold is a documentative inquiry into the mysterious 1961 plane crash in Africa that killed United Nations secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold. Maybe it’s real or maybe it’s wackadoodle, but a cold-case investigation is heated up considerably and imaginatively by Brugger’s charismatic film. (Opens Aug. 16)

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Kevin Nunes/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics / Mongrel Media

After the Wedding

  • Directed by Bart Freundlich
  • Written by Bart Freundlich, based on the original screenplay by Susanne Bier and Anders Thomas Jensen
  • Starring Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup
  • Classification 14A; 110 minutes

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If someone, somewhere decided it was necessary to remake Susanne Bier’s excellent 2006 Danish family-secrets drama After the Wedding, the least they could do is add something new to the proceedings. American writer-director Bart Freundlich does about half the work necessary to make a remake feel vital with After the Wedding, but is half better than none? (Opens Aug. 16 in Toronto and Vancouver, and Aug. 23 in Montreal)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures/The Associated Press

The Angry Birds Movie 2

  • Directed by Thurop Van Orman
  • Written by Peter Ackerman
  • Featuring the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Leslie Jones
  • Classification PG; 96 minutes

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The Angry Birds Movie 2 is definitely a quicker, more entertaining upgrade but remains formless as an actual motion picture. Just like its mobile incarnation, the movie simply pelts you with loud, shrieking diversions. The filmmaking has levelled up, but you’re still wasting your time. (Opens Aug. 16)

Ed Araquel/Universal Pictures

Good Boys

  • Directed by Gene Stupnitsky
  • Written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg
  • Starring Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon
  • Classification 18A; 89 minutes

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If you’ve watched 2007′s Superbad, then you’ve already seen much of the same friends-forever themes and ultra-horny comedy that Good Boys mines, albeit aged down about five years here to Grade 6. And if you’ve seen any of the many trailers that have been sprinkling the internet since March, then you’ve already seen most of the film’s best jokes. (Opens Aug. 16)

The Canadian Press

Blinded by the Light

  • Directed by Gurinder Chadha
  • Written by Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges and Sarfraz Manzoor
  • Starring Viveik Kalra, Rob Brydon and Hayley Atwell
  • Classification PG; 117 minutes

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Blinded by the Light is a feel-good coming-of-age movie that often feels way too good about itself. Based on the memoir Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion, Rock 'n' Roll by British-Pakistani writer Sarfraz Manzoor, the film follows the difficult teenage years of a young Springsteen-obsessive named Javed. (Opens Aug. 16)

Gareth Gatrell/Courtesy of VVS

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

  • Directed by Johannes Roberts
  • Written by Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera
  • Starring Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx and John Corbett
  • Classification PG; 89 minutes

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It is not often that you watch a killer-shark movie and start feeling sympathy for the shark. But 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is no ordinary killer-shark movie – it is much, much worse. Director Johannes Roberts’s quickie sorta-sequel to his sorta-remembered 2017 film 47 Meters Down, this new film borrows from the best entries in the genre (Jaws, sure, but also The Shallows and Deep Blue Sea) and mangles them into something unworthy of chum. (Opens Aug. 16)

The Associated Press

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

  • Directed by Richard Linklater
  • Written by Richard Linklater, Holly Gent and Vince Palmo
  • Starring Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup and Kristen Wiig
  • Classification PG; 100 minutes

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Uncertainty is the key word to understanding, or surviving, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Adapted from the bestselling, highly acclaimed 2012 novel by Maria Semple, the narrative bops up and down in such an agitated, sloppy manner that it seems bored with or alternately disgusted with itself. (Opens Aug. 16)

This weekly guide was complied by Samantha McCabe, with reviews by Barry Hertz, Chandler Levack and Brad Wheeler.

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