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On Demand movie highlights

Sense and Sensibility

(Encore on Comcast) A near-perfect adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel that begins with money and ends with love. Director Ang Lee catches Austen’s tangy social satire and never sugarcoats the brutal economics looming over a widow and her three suddenly destitute daughters. But mostly this is Emma Thompson’s show, as scriptwriter and star. She plays the oldest sister, who may be too quick to veil her feelings and cope, while Kate Winslet is a wonderful counterweight as her impulsive sibling. Nothing but felicities here. (PG; runs through Dec. 24)

Air Force One½

(Comcast Free Movies) Think of it as “Fly Hard” and you’ll be in the right ballpark. Hard-hitting chief executive and Vietnam combat veteran Harrison Ford takes on Gary Oldman’s gang of Russian terrorists when they hijack the presidential plane. Preposterous, but lively and skillfully made. (R; runs through Dec. 26)

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Stepmom (Encore on Comcast) This starry workout for Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts, as discarded mom and stepmom to be, respectively, is fun when it sticks with the comedy of antagonism. To start, anger rules, especially with the resentful kids, caught in the middle of their father’s decision to leave their mom and live with a younger babe. The string-pulling doesn’t become a liability until it introduces a dark plot strand that asks us to let the women come full circle and start bonding. It becomes too pat and predictable and prefab to not get in the way. (PG-13; runs through Dec. 29)

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