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WAIST DEEP (R) Set in the tough streets of southern Los Angeles, Waist Deep attempts to create a modern-day spin on the story of Bonnie and Clyde and fails miserably. Tyrese stars as Otis, or O2, an ex-convict whose son is kidnapped during an ill-fated carjacking. O2 teams up with a street hustler named Coco (Meagan Good) and discovers that the only way to get Junior back is pay $100,000 to Meat (hip-hop superstar The Game), O2's former partner-in-crime. This prompts the newly-formed duo to stage a series of bank robberies to obtain the money. If the horrendous plotline isn't enough to ruin the film, the substandard acting and blatantly fake emotion make it tough to watch without plenty of eye rolling. Also stars Larenz Tate and Kimora Lee Simmons. 1/2 star —Amy Moczynski

WORDPLAY (PG) After Spellbound's success at transforming the nerdy arena of spelling bees into riveting spectacle, anything seemed possible. Hence Wordplay, a smart and lively documentary on the world of crossword puzzles, and the next leap forward for geek chic. With considerable style, wit and warmth, director Patrick Creadon draws us into the lives and mindsets of the individuals who make up crossword culture, focusing on the New York Times' influential puzzle editor Will Shortz and syndicated puzzle constructor par excellence, Weekly Planet contributor Merl Reagle. Adding an even more interesting texture to the proceedings are the talking heads sprinkled along the way, a curious group that includes such noteworthy puzzle-heads as Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, the Indigo Girls and Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina. The movie is mostly just good-natured fun, but its affection for its subject is infectious, and the most basic reading between the lines reveals something significant about humankind's love of language, codes, and our urge to solve (and create) puzzles. The last act takes us to the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament held in Stamford, Conn., an event that, regardless of how trivial it might sound to the uninitiated, is made positively gripping by a winning combination of precise shooting, editing and visual technique. 3.5 stars

X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (PG-13) There's lots to gawk at in this supposedly final installment of the X-Men franchise, including super-powered mutants who can fly, walk through walls, create massive walls of fire and ice, conjure storms, read minds, transform into metal, duplicate themselves and, in one spectacular sequence, redirect the path of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Last Stand would almost certainly have benefited from a narrowed focus on just a handful of characters, but the script and performances are a half-notch above what we expect in our comic-book extravaganzas, making this a solid if somewhat workmanlike conclusion to the X trilogy. The story this time out revolves around a newly discovered "cure" that turns mutants into ordinary humans — a discovery that forces the international mutant community to make some hard choices about who they are and who they want to be. This gives the movie plenty of room for not-so-thinly disguised messages about accepting one's self and others, but the whole mutant "cure" thingie is really just a Maguffin, a holy grail to be drooled over and chased after, not unlike the one currently on display in The Da Vinci Code. Fortunately, The Last Stand does a considerably better job with this material, and by the time the film moves in for the kill with its final assault of battles, disasters, illusions and revelations, we're exhausted and overwhelmed in that blissful way that only the best popcorn movies can supply. Stars Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Kelsey Grammar.3.5 stars

YOU, ME AND DUPREE (PG-13) Fans of Owen Wilson films will be disappointed to know that his latest picture falls short of the comedy bar he's so firmly established. When the loveable yet immature Dupree (Wilson) gets fired from his job and kicked out of his apartment, he's forced to move in with his newlywed friends, Carl and Molly (played by Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson). Of course, he quickly manages to turn their world upside down — which includes accidentally setting fire to the couple's living room — but while the are a few humorous scenes scattered throughout the movie, and, despite the star power of Michael Douglas as Molly's father and Carl's manipulative boss, You, Me and Dupree's overall plot lacks true comedic substance and it comes to a rather predictable conclusion. Also stars Amanda Detmer and Seth Rogan. 2 stars —Amy Moczynski

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