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Opening in Orlando: How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Action Point and more




Action Point Did you ever see the movie Used Cars? It's a great 1980 Robert Zemeckis comedy about the war between a ramshackle auto dealership and its state-of-the-art rival – a war that heats up just as the estranged daughter of the rinky-dink establishment's owner shows up for a visit. I don't know why I mention this, because I'm sure that movie had no influence on Action Point, which depicts the war between a ramshackle amusement park and its state-of-the-art rival – a war that heats up just as the estranged daughter of the rinky-dink establishment's owner shows up for a visit. At least star Johnny Knoxville and the rest of the Action Point team can claim real life as an equal inspiration, since the movie is ostensibly based on Action Park, a New Jersey attraction that was infamous for causing guest injuries in the 1980s. (It was known colloquially as "Traction Park" and "Class-Action Park.") But it took years for the place to be shut down – because hey, New Jersey! Expect lots of Jackass-style physical tomfoolery. (When you see the movie, that is.) (But also if you go to New Jersey.) (R)

Adrift Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin star in the true story of a couple of amateur boaters who sailed into a hurricane and then had to guide their battered craft to Hawaii through pure guesstimation and eyeballing. As in real life, it's the wife who had to do most of the work. But hey, at least they didn't end up in New Jersey! (PG-13)

How to Talk to Girls at Parties Ordinarily, a story about a young punk who falls for an extraterrestrial ingénue would be headed straight for the CW, or whatever Redbox hellmouth customarily opens up between Maze Runner movies. But when it's an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman story we're talking about, and it was directed and co-written by John Cameron Mitchell of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame, the trajectory is first Cannes, then a domestic arthouse release. Alex Sharp plays a clubgoer in the U.K. of 1977 who becomes fascinated with an enigmatic representative of an alien race (Elle Fanning). The Hollywood Reporter says co-star Nicole Kidman "appears to be having a blast" as an embittered music manager, which I assume means her face moves. Take me to your leader, as long as he isn't David Miscavige. (R; opens Friday at Enzian Theater, Maitland)

The Rider This 2017 Cannes award-winner from Chinese director Chloe Zhao uses non-professional actors to tell the story of an injured rodeo star who's searching for a new life. Hey, you know what I'd like to see? A rodeo that uses non-professional riders to tell the story of a member of the New Life church who's searching for good Chinese. (R)

Upgrade The latest from Blumhouse reads like a mash-up of Death Wish, The Six Million Dollar Man and that Twilight Zone episode about the guy who was afraid of his electric razor. A hardened Luddite is able to take revenge on the crooks who crippled him and killed his wife thanks to a chip implant that makes him a superior fighter – and also, conveniently, impervious to pain. If there's a sequel, I want to see him brave a trip to an amusement park in New Jersey. (R)

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