THE PARENT TRAP(Starz on
AKEELAH AND THE BEE(Comcast Movies and Events) Keke Palmer plays an 11-year-old prodigy who rises from her underperforming South Los Angeles public school all the way to the National Spelling Bee. Written and directed by Doug Atchison, the movie is a triumph of cliché-wrangling, but its power is surprising: It’s the rare Hollywood movie to credibly dramatize the plight of a truly gifted black child. Angela Bassett plays Akeelah’s mother, and the regal Laurence Fishburne plays her coach. (PG; runs through Nov. 12) WESLEY MORRIS
GEORGE A. ROMERO’S DIARY OF THE DEAD(MAX on Comcast) Zombie maestro Romero’s latest piece of schlock subversion wonders what’s worse: becoming a flesh-eating corpse or hiding from the world behind the safety of a camera. A group of film students flee the undead while trying to shape the apocalypse into a suitable webumentary. It’s schlock Brecht, with thin characters and italicized dialogue, but Romero has delivered a merry, blood-soaked kick in the Facebook. (R; runs through Nov. 12) TY BURR
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