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Film Clips: March 23, 2017

Mar. 21, 2017
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Chips (Rated R)

Comedian Dax Shepard wrote and costars in this reboot of the 1970s TV series. He and Michael Peña portray John and Ponch, a pair of motorcycle-riding California Highway Patrol officers (CHPs). Where the TV series mixed family friendly comedy with action, this reboot takes an R-rated detour into homophobic bromance that repeatedly finds the guys getting naked and accidentally touching one another’s uh-ohs! Meanwhile, Shepard casts his ever-reliable wife, Kristen Bell, as his character’s wife, so at least there’s that. (Lisa Miller)

The Cosmic Recipe (Not Rated)

The late, great astronomer Carl Sagan, while slicing through a freshly baked pie in an episode of his landmark TV series, “Cosmos,” proclaimed: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe.” Huh? This 22-minute documentary from the UW-Milwaukee Science Department explains how all the elements—nitrogen, oxygen, helium, tin and so forth—came into being. The graphics are not quite Hollywood-ready, and the science is pretty much high school-level, but for many people, The Cosmic Recipe will still prove revelatory about such as the origins of the natural elements and organic chemistry. Exclusively at the Milwaukee Public Museum’s IMAX Theater through July 9. (John Jahn)

Life (Rated R)

The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) collects a space probe returning from Mars. The probe contains a single-celled sample that turns out to be a rapidly growing, beautiful life form after one scientist feeds it glycerin. Before long, the entity evolves into a ruthless predator that attacks the crew members. Can the crew save their own lives, and more importantly, can they ensure that the creature never reaches Earth? Filled with jolts, suspense and scares, it’s enough to make you hope that we are alone in the Universe. (L.M.)


Power Rangers (Rated PG-13)

This film adapts the 1990s “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” TV series. In order to save the world from evil extraterrestrials, good-guy alien Zordon (Bryan Cranston) uses his psychic powers to draw five high school students “with attitude” to a remote location. Here, Zordon infuses the teens with special powers, outfits them with colorful metal suits and mentors them in techniques to battle Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) and her evil minions. Though as hokey now as it was when the Japanese source material was dubbed for American TV, Power Rangers has a moneymaking history, and, perhaps, a future—provided this reboot wins over a new generation. (L.M.)


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