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FAMILY FILMS VS. RAUNCHY COMEDIES

For Hicksflicks.com, May 9, 2014

As "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" holds onto the top box-office spot and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" wanes a bit after its fifth week, a few films have arrived for people who've had enough of superhero comic-book movies and would rather take in a PG-rated comedy or take the kids to an animated "Oz" sequel or indulge in the usual raunchy, tasteless buffoonery that, along with superheroes, tends to dominate the 21st century cinema landscape.

"Mom's Night Out" (PG). This ensemble farce has a sitcom-style premise as a harried young mother goes out for an evening with some girlfriends, sans husbands and kids, which leads to something that looks like, from the previews anyway, either "Adventures in Babysitting" or "Date Night." Stars include Sarah Drew, Sean Astin and Patricia Heaton. The biggest surprise is the PG rating, which, hopefully, means it's also sans the usual plethora of sex gags.

"Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return" (PG) appears to be an animated sequel to "The Wizard of Oz," as Dorothy (voiced by Lea Michele) returns to Kansas only to be whisked back to Oz when she finds her friends the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), the Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer) and the Cowardly Lion (Jim Belushi) are in danger. The voices of Martin Short and Bernadette Peters are also on hand.

"Neighbors" (R) is a raunchy comedy with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne as new parents living in suburbia when the home across the street becomes a frat house, led by party-hardy Zac Efron. A war of pranks ensues. Lisa Kudrow is also in the cast.

"Fading Gigolo" (R). Woody Allen co-stars with John Turturro in this light comedy but Allen is purely an actor for hire. Turturro has the lead role, and he also wrote and directed this yarn about a flower-shop clerk coaxed by his friend into becoming a gigolo for rich middle-aged women. Supporting players include Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara and Liev Schreiber.

Over at the art houses, the Broadway Centre Cinemas' new exclusive runs are "Only Lovers Left Alive" (R), an atypical Jim Jarmusch tale of a pair of vampires whose romance has spanned hundreds of years, starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and John Hurt, and "On My Way" (not rated), a French comedy-drama about a woman (Catherine Deneuve) surrounded by family, business and romantic crises who takes an impulsive road trip.

The Tower has exclusive runs with "13 Sins" (R), a remake of a Thai thriller about a down-and-out salesman who receives a call that he's on a hidden-camera show and can win millions if he performs 13 tasks, which become aggressively more sinister, and "Dancing in Jaffa" (not rated), a documentary about famed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine taking his Dancing Classrooms program to Israel for both Jews and Palestinians.