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The Boston Globe

Television

  

On Demand movie highlights

Ed Wood ½

(Showtime on Comcast) By all rights, this should be a camp trifle, filled with the cheesy awfulness that marked the output of the legendary shlockmeister (“Plan 9 From Outer Space”) and the bizarre repertory company he gathered around himself. But it turns into a tenderly affecting take not only on Wood’s demented mix of optimism and denial, but on the maniacal hopes and drives and aspirations behind all the movies Hollywood ever made. Johnny Depp’s Ed Wood is the latest in a line of director Tim Burton surrogates that includes “Edward Scissorhands.” Martin Landau is magnificent as a ruined Bela Lugosi. (R; runs through Feb. 25)

The Joy Luck Club ½

(Showtime on Comcast) Here’s “Terms of Endearment” in quadruplicate, aimed at the heart and right on target as it details the turbulent relationships of four mother-daughter combos rooted in China but working out their destinies in San Francisco. Its sensitive writing (by Amy Tan), direction (by Wayne Wang), and acting wipe away years of Asian-American stereotyping with large-spanned (but also delicate and intimate) vividness, as we watch the bonding between mothers taught to hide their emotions and daughters who deny their personalities. (R; runs through Feb. 25)

Stir of Echoes ½

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(Showtime on Comcast) Solidly and even handsomely crafted, but also somewhat square and earthbound, brush with the supernatural. Kevin Bacon’s Chicago telephone lineman and his family find thesmelves being bumped by sinister manifestations and troubling visions in the old house they just bought. (R; runs through Feb. 25)

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