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THE LIBERTINE (PG) 

OK, first off, full disclosure: We here at Hip Central already can tell the buzz surrounding Johnny Depp's latest little dip into period costuming, The Libertine, is not so much. (For those truly in the know, it's clocking in at a limp 41 percent on RottenTomatoes.com. Eek.) It should be noted, however, that New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis, who hates pretty much everything -- or, rather, is simply hard to please -- fancies first-time director Laurence Dunmore's fictionalized account of that wascally 1600-era British fop, John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester. Depp's gearing up for his next Pirates of the Carribean farce, but we're intrigued by what he'll bring to this story of a man who by all accounts was amoral: a pornographer, an anti-monarchist, an atheist ... heck, he was even a poet! Until, apparently, he is humbled by the love of a young actress (Samantha Morton, who could narrate Our Town in Dubuque and still rock.) John Malcovich playes the evil King Charles II, who commissioned the work that Wilmot turned into a travesty. As Paris would say, that's hot! -- David Lee Simmons
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