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SMALL­FOOT

The Big­foot leg­end is turned on its head in this an­i­mated story about a Yeti (voiced by Chan­ning Tatum) con­vinced that hu­mans, known as the myth­i­cal “Small­foot,” are real. His sus­pi­cions are con­firmed when he en­coun­ters a Small­foot, a for­mer TV per­son­al­ity (James Cor­den), and at­tempts to present ev­i­dence of his dis­cov­ery to the Small­foot Ev­i­den­tiary So­ci­ety (led by a sci­en­tist voiced by Zen­daya). Danny DeVito, Com­mon, and LeBron James also pro­vide voice­work. Rated PG. 96 min­utes. Screens in 2D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

A STAR IS BORN

Big, gor­geous, and packed with ter­rific mu­sic and charis­matic star power, this fourth edi­tion of one of Hol­ly­wood’s most en­dur­ing ori­gin sto­ries starts off so well that its mo­men­tum al­most car­ries it through a some­what more la­bored fin­ish. Lady Gaga re­dis­cov­ers her in­ner Ste­fani Joanne An­gelina Ger­man­otta in cre­at­ing the ti­tle char­ac­ter, Ally, a big-hearted as­pir­ing singer who cap­tures the heart of Jack­son Maine, a coun­try-rock su­per­star played soul­fully by Bradley Cooper (who also co-wrote and di­rected). The tale, best re­mem­bered in the clas­sic 1950 Judy Gar­land ver­sion, is fa­mil­iar, track­ing the op­po­site tra­jec­to­ries of the two stars — one blaz­ing up­ward, one blaz­ing out. Cooper’s pac­ing gets a lit­tle choppy, as if he’s afraid of be­ing caught in a lin­ear nar­ra­tive, but for the most part the film is as­sured and ef­fec­tive. The sup­port­ing cast is stocked with some­times-sur­pris­ing choices, like An­drew Dice Clay as Ally’s dad and Dave Chap­pelle as Jack­son’s friend. Sam El­liott is reli­ably grav­elly as Jack­son’s much older brother. But the rev­e­la­tion is Lady Gaga, who nails the wide-eyed kid drawn into the world of su­per­star­dom, find­ing love and tragedy along the way. Rated PG. 96 min­utes. Screens in 2D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards)

TEA WITH THE DAMES

This doc­u­men­tary in­vites view­ers to en­joy a spot of tea with four of the United King­dom’s most es­teemed ac­tresses: Dames Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Mag­gie Smith. The four long­time friends sit to­gether and ca­su­ally shoot the breeze and share in­sights into their crafts and ca­reers. Au­di­ences can en­joy an in­ti­mate glimpse of this con­ver­sa­tion cour­tesy of direc­tor Roger Michell (Not­ting Hill). Not rated. 84 min­utes. The Screen. (Not re­viewed)

VENOM

Spi­der-Man’s neme­sis Venom is a bul­let­proof ver­sion of Spidey with a long tongue and an ap­petite for live flesh. But direc­tor Ruben Fleis­cher of­fers a sur­pris­ingly well-crafted B-movie, and ac­tors Tom Hardy and Michelle Wil­liams class the joint up. Hardy plays Ed­die Brock, a jour­nal­ist who in­ves­ti­gates the re­search go­ing on at the Life Foun­da­tion. When the com­pany’s founder (Riz Ahmed) strikes back, Brock loses his job and girl­friend (Wil­liams). He learns that the foun­da­tion is ex­per­i­ment­ing on an alien, which grafts it­self to his body, grant­ing him su­per­pow­ers and a nasty dis­po­si­tion. From there, he must sa­ti­ate the alien’s ap­petite, get re­venge, and some­how also save the world. The ac­tion and ef­fects are well done, but the movie works best when it leans into ab­sur­dist hu­mor rem­i­nis­cent of the 1980s work of John Car­pen­ter and Sam Raimi. Rated PG-13. 112 min­utes. Screens in 2D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Robert Ker)

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