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'Source Code' for sci-fi fans

"Source Code" (PG-13): Teens who like science-fiction and just plain science, as well as cerebral thrillers, will totally get into the ingenious "Source Code."

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Colter Stevens, a recent war vet who wakes up on a train on the outskirts of Chicago. In the restroom, he doesn't recognize the face in the mirror -- then the train blows up. Colter awakens in a kind of capsule. He's told by Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), a military officer talking to him via a computer, that he will be sent "back in" to the train, and will have another eight-minute chance to prevent the explosion and find the would-be bomber.

It takes several such forays before Colter understands that he is part of a scientific experiment. Though his body was injured in previous combat, his mind is being inserted, in eight-minute increments, into someone else's being, so he can prevent the train bombing and stop an even worse event that an as-yet unidentified terrorist intends for Chicago.

The repeated explosions do not involve the depiction of serious injuries. However, fights that Gyllenhaal's character gets into are rough and occasionally lethal. The script includes occasional midrange profanity. The idea of a nuclear terror device possibly going off near a major city is a key plot point and highly unsettling.


"Hop" (PG): Kids 8 and older as well as parents can't help but get a charge out of "Hop." Kids 6 to 8 may also have fun, but miss a lot of the jokes.

This animation/live-action mix has a sharply funny script and droll characterizations. E.B. (voice of Russell Brand, raised to the treble clef) is the wayward son of the reigning Easter Bunny (Hugh Laurie) on Rapa Nui/Easter Island in the South Pacific. But E.B. wants to be a drummer, not take over his dad's position. So E.B. sneaks away to Los Angeles in search of fame. Fred (James Marsden), an unemployed thirtysomething living with his parents, nearly runs E.B. over, and E.B. takes advantage of that guilt to endear himself. Once Fred gets over the fact of a talking bunny, he and E.B. hit it off. But E.B.'s dad sends the Pink Beret bunny squad to bring E.B. home, and Fred falls to their tranquilizer darts.

E.B. proves to Fred that he is who he says he is by pooping jelly beans. A battle between the rebellious marshmallow chicks and the bunnies is mostly funny, but the militaristic minions of chicks and some of the aerial-style fighting could unsettle the youngest kids. The religious aspect of Easter is not dealt with in this film.


"Insidious" (PG-13): From the people who brought us the ultraviolent "Saw" (all R-rated) series comes this attempt at scaring moviegoers in a less gory way acceptable for teen audiences. Alas, teens may find "Insidious" pretty lame, with no cliche left unused. It's as if creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan have gone from "Saw" to "Tweezers." Teens who are disappointed with the laughably cliched "Insidious" and its unsurprising "surprise" ending should check out "Poltergeist" (PG, 1982), which really does the job well.

The movie features rare midrange profanity, a chaste marital bedroom kiss, and near the end, a scene of brief but intense though bloodless violence. The early seancelike encounters with the spirit world are sometimes noisy, but only marginally scary.

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