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Week of January 19, 2006

Transamerica. (R) First-time director Duncan Tucker's fetching variation on the road movie puts into a battered, puke-green station wagon an uncertain Angelino on the verge of "sexual reassignment surgery" (splendid Felicity Huffman, of Desperate Housewives) and the brooding 17-year-old gay prostitute (versatile Kevin Zegers) who is her long-lost son. Fueled by the most unlikely traveling companions since Charlie Babbitt and Rain Man made their way from New York to Phoenix, the movie becomes a frequently ungainly collision of true feeling and farce. But in the end, only an ogre could resist its two imperfect strivers — the former "dad" in midlife transition and the boy just now finding himself. With her angular horse face, androgynous contralto, and high-toned schoolmarm manners, Huffman wins the day. (Gallo) MOO

Underworld: Evolution. Sometimes people or entities hate each other for centuries and no one's entirely sure why: Israel and Palestine; North and South Dakota; you and your dry cleaner. Underworld: Evolution traces the lineage of the centuries-old feud between vampires and werewolves. We can only hope that they figure it out and become drinking buddies. Now about those Dakotas... (not reviewed) ARN, CGX, CW10, CC12, DP, EG, EQ, J14, MR, OF, RON, SP, STCH, STCL, WO

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