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On Demand movie highlights

RESCUE DAWN ½

(Comcast Free Movies) The latest mesmerizing Christian Bale performance anchors a harrowing reenactment of US Navy pilot Dieter Dengler’s survival in the jungles of Laos during the Vietnam War. What appears to be a straightforward, even predictable drama of POW suffering is actually an emotionally overpowering career summary for director Werner Herzog: a man-vs.-nature tale where both sides fight each other to a standstill. Costarring Steve Zahn. (PG-13; runs through Feb. 19)

THE SIMPSONS MOVIE ½

(Comcast Free Movies) For the almost 20-year-old show’s first movie, Homer brings catastrophe to Springfield. It would be a stretch to call the movie more than a crisper, livelier episode of the series. The change in mediums changes nothing, which suits the filmmakers fine. But while many of the laughs in this movie come easily, some don’t come at all. The show’s weekly rebooting is exciting on TV. It’s less magical in a movie. Do we want a film that seems basically to erase itself? (PG-13; runs through April 1)

SCENT OF A WOMAN

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(Comcast Free Movies) It goes on too long and turns overly sentimental at the end, but for most of its length Al Pacino is hugely entertaining, in a tour-de-force performance as an embittered ex-US Army officer who drags his prep-school attendant to Manhattan for a fling. (R; runs through May 10)

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