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On Demand movie highlights

KING OF CALIFORNIA ½

(Showtime on Comcast) Michael Douglas gooses his image as a happy-go-lucky bipolar dad to Evan Rachel Wood, leading her on a chase for Spanish doubloons buried under a Costco. Writer-director Mike Cahill’s comedy is a flaky, tedious, intermittently likable fable about being crazy in a crazy world; the stars bring enough invention to their parts to beat back the whimsy. (PG-13; runs through April 17)

NEW YORK STORIES

(Showtime on Comcast) Three short, unrelated films by Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Francis Ford Coppola. Allen’s is a surrealistic take on a Jewish mother to end all Jewish mothers. Scorsese’s, about an obsessive artist who makes emotional messes as part of his creative process, is filled with edgy energy by Nick Nolte. It’s stylish and nocturnal, but seems to take place in a vacuum, which may be part of the joke. Coppola’s, a cotton-candy fairy tale about a girl who lives in an expensive hotel with her flaky and frequently absent parents, is the light item on the menu. (PG-13; runs through Feb. 19)

THE SCARLET LETTER

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(Showtime on Comcast) Indeed the ending has been changed, but that’s the smallest of reimaginings in Roland Joffé’s reading of Hawthorne. Luckily, it’s also got arresting visuals and a strong performance by Demi Moore, as the woman whose independent ways send the Puritan patriarchy into attack mode in 17th-century Boston. (R; runs through Feb. 19)

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