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On Demand movie highlights

MEET THE FOCKERS

(HBO on Comcast) What a waste. Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, and the writers and director of “Meet the Parents” have added Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand into the mix, and the result is a resolutely average sequel, well below the first film in comic inspiration and energy. There are laughs but they’re of the toddlers-saying-dirty-words variety (funny once but not five times), and, criminally, Babs is given nothing to do. (PG-13; runs through May 6)

ANONYMOUS

(STARZ on Comcast) Roland Emmerich’s soap-opera thriller contends that the actual author of William Shakespeare’s plays was one Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans), the Earl of Oxford. Emmerich is so delighted to expose Shakespeare as a hack and a fraud that it feels like the work of a sleazy lawyer throwing the book at a corpse. Some of the acting is fun. Rafe Spall plays Shakespeare with exuberant dashes of paprika and Vanessa Redgrave plays dotty Queen Elizabeth I as a Golden Age Golden Girl. (PG-13; runs through May 17)

PROMETHEUS

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(HBO on Comcast) Like opening a gift box from Tiffany’s to find a mug from the dollar store. Ridley Scott’s return to the “Alien” franchise is impeccably produced but increasingly scattered. It’s officially a prequel but it feels like a remake: We’ve been here before, with lesser technology but more purpose. Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, and Charlize Theron, all quite good. (R; runs through June 24)

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