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Underrated/Overrated

UNDERRATED

The Stone Roses reunion: Another day, another band from the past taking a late run at a comeback with motivation that sits somewhere between “unfinished business” and “strictly business.” Still, something genuinely special could happen with this Mancunian bunch, whose generation-defining first album helped launch the dance-crazed “Madchester” era. Never given a proper shot at stardom in the States, let’s hope these Roses return in full bloom.

‘50/50': Can a movie about a 27-year-old’s cancer diagnosis be a feel-good picture? As improbable as it sounds, that’s what happened with this comedy, which deserves greater notice this fall for not backing away from the harshness of its plot while side-stepping maudlin sentimentality. The chemistry between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen is part of it, but so are terrific turns from Anjelica Huston, Anna Kendrick and the former “Max Headroom,” Matt Frewer.

OVERRATED

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Actors, apparently: The recent wave of action films carried by relative unknowns (see: “Captain America”) has bled into fall with “The Three Musketeers” and the coming “Immortals.” Given that the latter is directed by the visually minded Tarsem, it’s possible that overly familiar faces would just get in the way, but this low-cost trend also carries a cynical edge. It’s as if Hollywood is saying, “Never mind who’s in it, you’re just here for the software anyway.”

The return of ‘The Walking Dead’: Now a few oddly tepid episodes into its second season, something feels a little rotten in AMC’s much-hyped zombie-pocalypse series. Granted, some kinks are to be expected with a revamped the writing staff and the departure of show-runner Frank Darabont, but the wafer-thin characters, speech-heavy dialogue and aimless storytelling are ominous warning signs. Can someone breathe life into this thing?

—Chris Barton


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