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On Demand movie highlights

THE SMURFS

(Starz on Comcast) “Alvin and the Chipmunks” with cute blue trolls instead of obnoxious squeaky rodents. A marginal improvement, in other words. Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays (“Glee”) play the New York couple befriended by the critters; Jonathan Winters, Katy Perry, and George Lopez provide voices. (PG; runs through March 15)

CARS 2

(Encore on Comcast) Pixar doesn’t see the sequel as an opportunity to further pad a bank account. They see it as an opportunity to do even better. The original “Cars’’ was — by the company’s standards — so-so. A race car wandered adrift with his friends. This sequel makes the car’s bucolic tow-truck sidekick the hero and builds a work of accidental espionage around him. It’s not Pixar-great, but it is Pixar-fun. With the voices of: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, and Michael Caine. (G; runs through March 22)

TO ROME WITH LOVE ½

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(Comcast Movie Collections) Two of the stories work and two of them don’t. The best is a fractious romantic comedy in which Jack (Jesse Eisenberg), a young American living in Rome with his pliant girlfriend Sally (Greta Gerwig), gets the hots for her visiting friend Monica (Ellen Page), a would-be actress who’s nothing but trouble. The rest of the film struggles to come up to that level. Some of the funniest moments are silent close-ups of one character or another trying hard to take in the nonsense she or he has just heard. (R; runs through April 15)

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