On demand picks

'Whip It' available on HBO on Comcast

July 25, 2011

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WHIP IT (HBO on Comcast) This comedy about a Texas girl (Ellen Page) who discovers roller derby marked the directing debut of Drew Barrymore, who has so thoroughly laced the movie with her own lunatic affections for women and the human race in general that it ought to be sold as an antidepressant. With Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Alia Shawkat, Juliette Lewis, and the director as a stoner derbyist. Shauna Cross adapted the smart script from her novel. (PG-13; runs through Aug. 15) WESLEY MORRIS

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (HBO on Comcast) LA couple Annette Bening and Julianne Moore go a little crazy when their teenage kids (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) track down their biological father (Mark Ruffalo). Beautifully written and impeccably acted, Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy of boho-bourgeois manners is very nearly a masterpiece - a family movie in the truest sense. (R; runs through Aug. 15)


BROWN SUGAR (HBO on Comcast) Sidney (Sanaa Lathan), the editor of XXL magazine, has two loves - hip-hop and Dre (Taye Diggs). The trouble with this romantic comedy, as directed by Rick Famuyiwa, is that she appears to love each one platonically. She suffers from the burden of maintaining fabulousness without all that ghetto getting in the way. But that’s not hip-hop, it’s R&B. With comic relief by the excellent Mos Def. (PG-13; runs through Aug. 30)