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On Demand movie highlights

THE BATTLE OF SHAKER HEIGHTS

(Encore on Comcast) A very short, very minor “Catcher in the Rye” clone about an alienated lower-class teenager in suburbia. If you’ve seen it all before — and believe me, you have — Erica Beeney’s script still displays a disarming generosity with its characters, and Shia LaBeouf (”Holes”) gives a wry-tough, near-starmaking performance in the lead. (PG-13; runs through Jan. 17)

GHOST TOWN ½

(Comcast Free Movies) The first starring vehicle for British comic star Ricky Gervais is a surprisingly pleasurable trifle about a misanthrope who starts seeing dead people: It’s “Topper” meets “The Sixth Sense” in “Tootsie”’s old neighborhood. Greg Kinnear plays a ghost, and Tea Leoni, delightful as ever, plays his widow. Unfortunately, writer-director David Koepp advances the heretical notion that Gervais might believably play a nice man. (PG-13; runs through Jan. 31)

CONNIE AND CARLA

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(Encore on Comcast) A magnificent absurdity. Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette play middling lounge singers who witness their boss’s rub-out and drive to LA to camouflage themselves as drag queens. Some of it is overcaffeinated, manic, and disarmingly sloppy. Some of it is sentimental and message-y. But the movie surmounts its shabbiness, chiefly because Vardalos and Collette work so naturally together. With David Duchovny. (PG-13; runs through Feb. 14)

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