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Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - BY KAREN MARTIN

The Zookeeper’s Wife, di­rected by Niki Caro (PG-13, 2 hours, 7 min­utes) This is a well-in­ten­tioned Holo­caust drama. It was de­signed to show­case the ta­lents of its star Jes­sica Chas­tain at the ex­pense of a more ad­ven­tur­ous script that con­cerns Chas­tain’s char­ac­ter An­ton­ina Zabin­ska, who with her hus­band Dr. Jan Zabin­ski (Jo­han Helden­bergh), lov­ingly trans­forms the War­saw Zoo circa 1939 into a thriv­ing and well-run at­trac­tion.

When Poland is in­vaded by the Ger­mans, the cou­ple must re­port to newly ap­pointed Re­ich zo­ol­o­gist Lutz Heck (Daniel Bruhl). That’s when they start work­ing with the Re­sis­tance in or­der to save not only the an­i­mals but many of the Pol­ish Jews who are seek­ing sanc­tu­ary from the mur­der­ous in­vaders. Warn­ing: cute an­i­mals are in peril

here. Based on the book by Diane Ack­er­man.

Blood­run­ners (not rated, 1 hour, 35 min­utes) Ap­pro­pri­ate for late-night view­ing in the com­pany of a few beers, snacks, and friends who are eas­ily amused, this low-bud­get hor­ror film is set in 1933, just as pro­hi­bi­tion is about to end and cor­rupt cops get­ting paid off by boot­leg­gers are in the mar­ket for a new way to make big bucks. Then a speakeasy opens in town, run by — sur­prise! — vam­pires. Now the cops are stuck with hav­ing to do their ac­tual jobs and pro­tect the towns­peo­ple from los­ing enor­mous amounts of blood. With Ice-T, Michael McFad­den; di­rected by Dan Lantz.

Alien­ate (not rated, 1 hour, 30 min­utes) When air­planes start fall­ing out of the sky and cell tow­ers fail across the coun­try, David, a guy who al­ready has enough prob­lems, what with his mar­riage end­ing, sus­pects Earth is un­der­go­ing an alien in­va­sion. With Blake Webb, Ja­clyn Hales, Keith Hot­tinger. Ta­tum Langton; di­rected by Michael Shumway.

Awak­en­ing the Zo­diac (R, 1 hour, 40 min­utes) A few taut thrills here and there lead to an ul­ti­mately dis­ap­point­ing hor­ror ef­fort that con­cerns a cou­ple who’ve over­come myr­iad trou­bles in their jour­ney to hap­pi­ness and joy­fully move into a nice house where, while un­pack­ing, they dis­cover a box they don’t rec­og­nize. It’s full of video­tapes. They’re the prop­erty of the house’s for­mer res­i­dent, the Zo­diac killer, and pos­sess an evil power all their own. With Shane West, Les­lie Bibb, Ken­neth Welsh; di­rected by Jonathan Wright.

Song to Song (R, 2 hours, 9 min­utes) An un­struc­tured, nearly in­de­ci­pher­able and marginally plot­ted dra­matic com­edy in which two cou­ples — song­writ­ers Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling) and mu­sic big­wig Cook (Michael Fass­ben­der) and wait­ress Rhonda (Natalie Port­man) em­ploy se­duc­tion and dou­ble-crosses in pur­suit of fame and for­tune. With Holly Hunter, Cate Blanchett; di­rected by Ter­rence Mal­ick.

Drone (not rated, 1 hour, 31 min­utes) A mild-man­nered fam­ily guy whose job in­volves guid­ing drones on deadly covert mis­sions around the world is sud­denly dis­cov­ered and cor­nered by a Pak­istani busi­ness­man in­tent on re­venge. With Pa­trick Sabongui, Sean Bean, Mary McCormack, Joel David Moore; di­rected by Ja­son Bourque.

Straw Dogs (R, 1 hour, 53 min­utes) Cri­te­rion is re­leas­ing a Blu-ray disc of this con­tro­ver­sial, highly re­garded 1971 med­i­ta­tion on what it means to be a man; a mild-man­nered math­e­ma­ti­cian (Dustin Hoff­man) and his Bri­tish wife (Su­san Ge­orge), seek­ing to es­cape the up­roar of Viet­nam-era U.S. chaos, move to the iso­lated Cor­nish town where she grew up. Then they start to have run-ins the an­tag­o­nis­tic lo­cal bul­lies, a sit­u­a­tion that es­ca­lates to the point that ac­tion must be taken. With Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna; di­rected by Sam Peck­in­pah.

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