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Films also opening: 'Bride Wars,' 'Not Easily Broken,' After Dark Horrorfest, 'The Unborn'

Just when Anne Hathaway, right, appears poised for an Academy Award nomination for Rachel Getting Married, here comes Bride Wars (PG) to slow her roll. Bride Wars certainly doesn't seem as toxic as Norbit was for Eddie Murphy's Dreamgirls chances, but it can't help when Hathaway is being taken seriously by Oscar voters.

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Hathaway teams with underachieving Kate Hudson (what happened since Almost Famous?), playing best friends who accidentally schedule their weddings for the same date. Since both ceremonies are expected to be major social calendar events, their friendship erodes to dirty tricks and one-upping the other.

What, oh what will they do? And who'll get the most cake frosting smeared on her face?

A review of Bride Wars will be published Friday at entertainment. tampabay.com and on Etc, Page 2B.

Not Easily Broken (PG-13) is based on the Rev. T.D. Jakes' spiritual novel, in which a former basketball star (Morris Chestnut) is tempted to cheat on his wife (Taraji P. Henson) after she's severely injured in a car accident.

Like the earlier adaptation of Jakes' Woman, Thou Art Loosed, viewers can expect everything to work out fine with the right amount of Christian understanding.

Not Easily Broken has the advantage of being directed by Bill Duke, a familiar-face actor (Car Wash, Commando) with a solid resume behind the camera (Hoodlum, A Rage in Harlem, 1980s cop shows). Duke's knack for tough-knuckled drama should lend an edge to any sermonizing.

The movie wasn't previewed by a Times critic.

Horror fans can get their jollies this weekend at the third annual After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For (all rated R). The nationwide one-week showcase of gore flicks is presented at Muvico's Centro Ybor 20 and Starlite 20, both in Tampa.

A separate ticket is required for each of the eight films, with titles like Slaughter and Autopsy signaling their core appeal. Details about the movies can be found at the After Dark Web site (horrorfestonline.com). Check movie time clocks for show times — and don't forget the barf bags.

If Horrorfest sounds too intense, The Unborn (PG-13) debuts wider in theaters this weekend. Odette Yustman, right, stars as a teenager who doesn't know her twin brother died during childbirth. Now his spirit is taking over her body and materializing externally as an 8-year-old, which doesn't make sense but I don't write these things.

The Unborn earned its rating for "intense sequences of violence and terror, disturbing images, thematic material and language including some sexual references." Makes you wonder what's in those After Dark flicks.

Films also opening: 'Bride Wars,' 'Not Easily Broken,' After Dark Horrorfest, 'The Unborn' 01/07/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 3:30am]

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