Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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10,000 B.C. (PG-13, 109 minutes) Roland Emmerich (Stargate, Independence Day) directs this big-budget SPFX extravaganza. It’s, well, 10,000 B.C., and a hairy, mammoth-hunting hero (unknown Steven Strait) is prevailed upon to rescue his tribe from a civilization of pyramid-dwelling slavers. Omar Sharif is in there, doing his best prehistoric work since The 13th Warrior. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Bank Job (R, 110 minutes) Jason Statham (The Italian Job, The Transporter) is in familiar territory, starring in this early-’70s crime caper about a would-be bankrobber targeting a London bank stuffed full of cash and jewelry. Unbenownst to our protagonist and his crew, the bank’s safety deposit boxes are also packed with secrets revealing a web of corruption stretching from London’s criminal underworld to the highest echelons of the British government. The mechanics are awfuly familiar, but director Roger Donaldson (Cocktail, Species) keeps things lively. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Be Kind Rewind (PG-13, 101 minutes) With Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) at the helm, you know you’re in for a weird ride. Jack Black and Mos Def play a couple of video store employees who accidentally erase every videotape in the store. In order to retain the store’s one loyal customer, an elderly lady with a shaky grip on reality, they set out to recreate every film in stock, armed with only a cheap video camera. The result is a two-man tour-de-force, covering The Lion King, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Driving Miss Daisy, Robocop and more. Soon, the whole town is getting in on the filmmaking action. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

City of Men (R, 110 minutes) This loose, not-quite-sequel to Fernando Meirelles’ City of God takes us back to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and introduces us to two new characters (played by the stars of City of God). In this go-around, we’ve got a pair of teenage best friends trying to stay out of Rio’s violent gang life. One locates his long-lost father and attempts to reconnect. One slowly comes to grips with his own premature parenthood. New director Paulo Morelli delivers plenty of high-caliber action (thanks to a fast-spreading gang war), lots of character drama and only slightly more moralizing than Meirelles. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

College Road Trip (G, 83 minutes) Plump ex-“Cosby” kid Raven-Symoné continues to wish upon a star that she’ll morph into Miley Cyrus (Disney Channel show? Check. Recording career? Check. Nintendo DS videogame? Check. Tween-targeted movie? Check.) Here, Raven plays an overachieving high school student who decides to travel the country looking for the perfect college. Naturally, her overprotective dad (Martin Lawrence) insists on going with her. Oh, and there’s also a wacky pet pig in the car. Hijinks—you guessed it—ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (PG-13, 112 minutes) Julian Schnabel (Before Night Falls, Basquiat) delves, once more, into an exploration of the detached, otherworldly vision of artists. This one is another true-life biopic, concentrating on the later days of Elle magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby. Bauby suffered a massive stroke at a young age, paralyzing his entire body except for his left eyelid. Amazingly, he was able to dictate an entire autobiography by blinking. The film is a grim but beautiful visual poem full of half-liquid images. If only Schnabel had spent more time on the story Bauby had to tell and less time on the details of his dictation. In French with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Doomsday (R, 105 minutes) British director Neil Marshall (The Descent, Dog Soldiers), heads back to the ’80s for inspiration, cobbling together as many post-apocalyptic films (The Road Warrior, Escape From New York, 1990: The Bronx Warriors) as he can. After a lethal virus wipes out most of the U.K., a team of crack soldiers is sent into the walled-off quarantine zone to locate a cure. Apparently, evil people with mohawks don’t want them to succeed. Regal Seminole Square 4

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (G, 88 minutes) Reviewed here. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Funny Games (R, 108 minutes) Bavarian agent provacoteur Michael Haneke (Caché, The Piano Teacher) is given the opportunity to remake his scabrous 1997 thriller. To his credit, he pulls no punches, giving us the same brutally manipulative satire of American filmmaking. As before, he invites the audience to become accomplices as two painfully polite psychos (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) tease and torture an upscale suburban family (including Tim Roth and Naomi Watts) over the course of one long weekend. This movie will either blow you away or piss you off. Probably both. Which is exactly what the director wants. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

In Bruges (R, 107 minutes) A pair of mismatched British hitmen (Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson) are sent to cool their heels in the backwater Belgian tourist town of Bruges after a particularly brutal job. At first bored out of their minds amid the Gothic architecture tours and peaceful cobblestone streets, the two eventually adjust to the local groove–at least until their psycho boss (Ralph Fiennes) shows up. The film gets kinda talky and features a lot of European in-jokes, but mostly manages to transcend the blackly comic hitman genre solidified by Guy Ritchie a decade or so ago. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Jumper (PG-13, 90 minutes) The bestselling sci-fi series by Stephen Gould gets the action movie treatment by director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith). Hayden Christensen is a confused young man born with the ability to teleport anywhere in the world. Eventually, he discovers a secret order of people with identical abilities and becomes embroiled in a super-powered war that has been raging for thousands of years. Playing at Regal Seminole Square 4

Juno (PG-13, 91 minutes) A labor of love from stripper-turned-writer Diablo Cody (author of Candy Girl) and director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking), this sweet, smart and very funny flick easily earns a spot as one of the best films of the year. Snarky, cynical 16-year-old Juno (Ellen Page, Hard Candy) gets pregnant after a bout of boredom-induced sex with her best friend Bleeker (Michael Cera from Superbad). Ruling out abortion, Juno decides to have the kid and give it away to “some lady with a bum ovary or a couple nice lesbos.” The pitch-perfect dialogue, the lo-fi soundtrack, the spectacular cast and the perceptive story make this the cult comedy to beat. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (PG-13, 92 minutes) Amy Adams (Enchanted) and Frances McDormand (Fargo) star in this ’30s-set comedy/drama about a middle-aged London governess (McDormand) who finds herself unfairly dismissed and tries to land a job as a “social secretary” for a glamorous American actress (Adams). It’s all a whirl of cocktails parties and witty banter as our mousy heroine gets a rapid-fire makeover while Cole Porter tunes and air raid sirens fill up the soundtrack. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Never Back Down (PG-13, 106 minutes) What if you took the formula for all those endless street dancing movies (Step Up 2 The Streets) and replaced breakdancing with mixed martial arts? Well, you’d get this film, which is basically Bloodsport as recreated by the cast of “The O.C.” Sean Faris (The Brotherhood 2: Young Warlocks) stars as a rebellious new high school student who is lured into an underground fight club, where he must fight for honor and some chick in a spaghetti-strap tanktop. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Other Boleyn Girl (PG-13, 115 minutes) Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson star in this glitzy adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s best-selling novel. The historical storyline finds siblings Anne and Mary competing for the affections of England’s King Henry VIII. As any halfway decent Anglophile knows, neither girl kept her head on her neck for very long—which is part of the film’s problem. It looks good, but it’s notably glum. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Semi-Pro (R, 90 minutes) The star player/owner/coach of a third-rate ’70s basketball team (Will Ferrell) finds out his Michigan Topics have an outside shot at being folded into the NBA—if they can dramatically increase their attendance. With the help of his teammates (Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin), he stops at nothing to attract attention. Typical but likable retro silliness from Mr. Ferrell. Playing at Regal Seminole Square 4

The Spiderwick Chronicles (PG, 97 minutes) The popular young adult fantasy series comes to the big screen with hardly a whiff of Harry Potter about it. Three young children (including Freddie Highmore playing twins) move to a remote country mansion with their recently divorced mother (Mary Louise-Parker). There, they discover their great uncle’s legacy, a book detailing the lives of the fairies, goblins, brownies and other magical creatures that inhabit our world. Unfortunately, an evil goblin wants to get his hands on that book, forcing our young heroes to defend themselves. The cast is quite good (Nick Nolte, Joan Plowright and David Strathairn are among the adults), and the script (partially credited to John Sayles) is surprisingly mature. Way too scary for the little ones, though. Playing at Regal Seminole Square 4

Vantage Point (PG-13, 90 minutes) Taking its inpiration, as so many other films have, from Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, this political thriller presents a crime as seen from five different viewpoints. Seems that some terrorists (or are they?) have tried to assassinate the President of the United States (or have they?). A host of witnesses (or are they?), each present their own perspective on the crime, allowing us to see the damn thing again and again and again (and again and again). Starry cast includes Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Dennis Quaid, William Hurt and Matthew Fox. Playing at Regal Seminole Square 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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27 Dresses (PG-13) Jane (Katherine Heigl) is always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Literally. She’s served as bridesmaid at 27 weddings. Now she’s being forced to do the duty at her own sister’s wedding. The worst part? Sis is marrying the man (James Marsden) that Jane secretly loves. Yes, that is the heavy odor of “chick flick” you smell. Opening Friday; check local listings

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (R, 86 minutes) The cheapjack continuation of two once mighty franchises rolls on thanks to this budget-conscious follow-up to 2005’s AvP. Seems the warring Alien and Predator races have crash-landed in a small Colorado town, forcing the local residents to band together and defend themselves against extraterrestrial bloodshed. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Alvin and the Chipmunks (PG) Mere months after showing up in Underdog, Jason Lee signs on for yet another CGI decimation of a beloved childhood cartoon. Here he plays David Seville, adoptive "father" to three singing chipmunks. This was probably better left to the imagination, but little kids will laugh at the cute animals and occasional bouts of rude humor. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Atonement (R, 130 minutes) Ian McEwan’s novel comes to life in an epic and sweeping romance courtesy of director Joe Wright (2005’s Pride & Prejudice). In 1935 England, 13-year-old Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) spins a lie that breaks up the budding love affair between her older sister (Keira Knightley) and a handsome groundskeeper (James McAvoy). Five years later, the repercussions of that lie are still being felt as war rages in Europe. Will our lovers be reunited? Will Briony find forgiveness? Rich in morality, emotion and metaphysical depth, this weighty drama manages to combine love and war in one gorgeously assembled package. Playing Regal Downtown Mall 6

Charlie Wilson’s War (R, 97 minutes) This fact-based drama details the life of unconventional Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), whose covert dealings with Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan in the ’70s had some major long-term effects. (Cough—Osama bin Laden—cough.) Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Silkwood, The Birdcage) directs. Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Blunt round out the sizable cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Enchanted (PG, 108 minutes) Disney attempts to turn its old image on its ear with this partly animated parody about a fairy tale princess (Amy Adams, Junebug) who is magically exiled to modern-day Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets a handsome lawyer (Patrick Dempsey, trading on his "McDreamy" rep), but is soon pursued by Prince Charming (James Marsden). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

First Sunday (PG-13) Ice Cube, graduating somewhat from his dull string of family films (Are We Done Yet?), teams up with “30 Rock” nutball Tracy Morgan to wreak some comic mayhem. Cube and Morgan are a couple of hapless criminals sentenced to a stint in community service. While working at a local church, they come up with a scheme to rob the joint. Things don’t turn out quite the way they planned, of course, leading to a change of heart. Katt Williams contributes a memorably weird role as the church’s choir director. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Golden Compass (PG-13) The first of Philip Pullman’s epic "His Dark Materials" trilogy comes to life courtesy of writer/director Chris Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy). Set on Earth in an alternate universe, the story concentrate on Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a gifted young gal who goes on a quest to save her best friend who has been kidnapped by a mysterious organization. Lyra’s quest leads her to the frozen North and into a war between her avaricious absentee parents (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig). The CGI-heavy film glosses over much of the book’s (anti-)religious tone, which still isn’t enough to mollify angry Christians. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Great Debaters (PG-13, 123 minutes) Do you love true-life stories about teachers who inspire rag-tag groups of students to form winning cheerleading/football/math/poetry/whatever teams? Well, here’s another one. In this inspirational outing, Denzel Washington (who also directs) sweet talks students at tiny Wiley College in Texas into forming their first debate team all the way back in racially devisive 1935. It’s inspirational-tastic! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

I Am Legend (PG-13, 100 minutes) Will Smith steps out in front of this third attempt to adapt Richard Matheson’s classic sci-fi horror novel. Previous versions included Vincent Price in 1964’s The Last Man on Earth and Charlton Heston in 1971’s The Omega Man. Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville, a scientist trapped in New York City after a virus decimates all of humanity—which wouldn’t be so rough if most people hadn’t been transformed into bloodsucking monsters. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (PG-13, 150 minutes) You’ve got to hand it German director Uwe Boll. He’s got tenacity. After a string of legendarily bad videogame-based movies (House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne, BloodRayne II: Deliverance) comes another soon-to-be legendarily bad videogame-based movie. Thanks to a pointlessly large budget, Boll has hired a nutty cast (Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Matthew Lillard, Leelee Sobieski, Ron Perlman, Burt Reynolds) to fill up this dumb sword-and-sorcery pic complete with evil sorcerers, monstrous Krugs (don’t ask) and a farmer named Farmer. Opening Friday; check local listings

Juno (PG-13, 91 minutes) A labor of love from stripper-turned-writer Diablo Cody (author of Candy Girl) and director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking), this sweet, smart and very funny flick easily earns a spot as one of the best films of the year. Snarky, cynical 16-year-old Juno (Ellen Page, Hard Candy) gets pregnant after a bout of boredom-induced sex with her best friend Bleeker (Michael Cera from Superbad). Ruling out abortion, Juno decides to have the kid and give it away to "some lady with a bum ovary or a couple nice lesbos." The pitch-perfect dialogue, the lo-fi soundtrack, the spectacular cast and the perceptive story make this the cult comedy to beat. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Trailer for Juno.


National Treasure: Book of Secrets (PG) After the first, frantic, largely nonsensical National Treasure raked in a ton of dough at the box office, we were guaranteed a return visit from Nic Cage and his Indiana Jones-ish historian. This time around, he’s trying to discover the truth about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by figuring out the mystery behind the missing pages from John Wilkes Booth’s diary. Naturally, this involves lots of crazy clues, some Tomb Raider-inspired traps and a United States map. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

No Country For Old Men (R, 121 minutes) The Coen brothers bring a touch of Fargo to West Texas with this gripping adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s offbeat crime novel. Josh Brolin (Grindhouse) is a humble welder who stumbles across $2 million from a drug deal gone bad. Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside) is the freaky, emotionless assassin sent to recover the cash. Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) is the small-town sheriff just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This one is darker and more serious than most Coen films, but there’s still plenty of priceless dialogue and sharp black humor on display. One of this year’s best. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

One Missed Call (PG-13, 87 minutes) Back in 2003, mad filmmaker Takashi Miike (Visitor Q, Audition, Ichi the Killer) created arguably the ultimate Japanese ghost story and a perfectly sly parody of the dead-chick-with-long-black-hair genre, putting a final nail in that particular coffin. Naturally, Hollywood has arrived a day late and a dollar short, producing this too literal, too late remake about a group of young friends who start receiving phone calls from the Great Beyond that predict the time and date of their deaths. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie (G) If you fit squarely into the VeggieTales demographic (4 years old, devoutly Christian and frankly a little slow), then this cheapy animated CGI toon will amuse you for a few moments. In it, a bunch of produce that goes back in time to meet a bunch of pirates and to deliver some sort of faintly moral message. Opening Friday; check local listings

P.S. I Love You (PG-13, 126 minutes) Are you a Vermont maple tree farmer? Do you love sap in all its forms? Well then, this high-concept romance-—sentimental enough to be a Mitch Albom novel—should be to your liking. Hilary Swank stars as a young widow who discovers that her late husband has left her a series of 10 messages, each describing inventive new ways to ease her pain. In carrying out these dying requests (with the help of her sitcom-cute friends, like Lisa Kudrow from "Friends"), our heroine learns to live and love again. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Starting Out In the Evening (PG-13, 111 minutes) Frank Langella gives quite the performance in this literate drama about an aging writer who is convinced by an ambitious graduate student (Lauren Ambrose from “Six Feet Under”) that her thesis will revive his career. Based on Brian Morton’s novel. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (R) Talk about your all-star collaborations. Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Stephen Sondheim? Sounds like a match made in heaven. The oft-told tale of a Victorian barber who wreaks gory revenge on the men who wrongly sent him to prison (and pretty much any other warm body that crosses his path) gets an imaginative big screen treatment. The story is bloody good fun and Depp ain’t half bad as a singer. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (R) Comedy magic man Judd Apatow co-wrote and produced this musical mixture of Walk the Line and Forrest Gump. John C. Reilly stars as our man Dewey, a singer who overcomes adversity to become a rock ‘n’ roll legend. Along the way, he meets everyone from Elvis to The Beatles. Be sure and duck or you’ll get hit in the face by the dirty jokes (starting with the title). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (PG, 111 minutes) In the proud tradition of Magic in the Water starring Mark Harmon and Loch Ness starring Ted Danson comes this twee family fantasy about a lonely Scottish boy who discovers a mysterious egg that hatches into the Loch Ness Monster. Kids who dream of raising giant monsters might enjoy this period re-creation of E.T., The Yearling, and Old Yeller—at least until the film’s rather scary final reels. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (R, 86 minutes) The cheapjack continuation of two once mighty franchises rolls on thanks to this budget-conscious follow-up to 2005’s AvP. Seems the warring Alien and Predator races have crash-landed in a small Colorado town, forcing the local residents to band together and defend themselves against extraterrestrial bloodshed. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Alvin and the Chipmunks (PG) Mere months after showing up in Underdog, Jason Lee signs on for yet another CGI decimation of a beloved childhood cartoon. Here he plays David Seville, adoptive "father" to three singing chipmunks. This was probably better left to the imagination, but little kids will laugh at the cute animals and occasional bouts of rude humor. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Atonement (R, 130 minutes) Ian McEwan’s novel comes to life in an epic and sweeping romance courtesy of director Joe Wright (2005’s Pride & Prejudice). In 1935 England, 13-year-old Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) spins a lie that breaks up the budding love affair between her older sister (Keira Knightley) and a handsome groundskeeper (James McAvoy). Five years later, the repercussions of that lie are still being felt as war rages in Europe. Will our lovers be reunited? Will Briony find forgiveness? Rich in morality, emotion and metaphysical depth, this weighty drama manages to combine love and war in one gorgeously assembled package. Playing Regal Downtown Mall 6

Beowulf (PG-13, 113 minutes) From the director who brought you The Polar Express (bad thing) and the writer who gave you The Sandman comic book (good thing), comes this motion-capture CGI update of the quintessential good-versus-evil fable. Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) voices our warrior hero, Crispin Glover (Wild at Heart) does Grendel duty and Angelina Jolie plays our monster’s disturbingly sexy mama. A bit on the rough side for kids. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Charlie Wilson’s War (R, 97 minutes) This fact-based drama details the life of unconventional Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), whose covert dealings with Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan in the ’70s had some major long-term effects. (Cough—Osama bin Laden—cough.) Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Silkwood, The Birdcage) directs. Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Blunt round out the sizable cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Trailer for Charlie Wilson’s War.


Enchanted (PG, 108 minutes) Disney attempts to turn its old image on its ear with this partly animated parody about a fairy tale princess (Amy Adams, Junebug) who is magically exiled to modern-day Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets a handsome lawyer (Patrick Dempsey, trading on his "McDreamy" rep), but is soon pursued by Prince Charming (James Marsden). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Golden Compass (PG-13) The first of Philip Pullman’s epic "His Dark Materials" trilogy comes to life courtesy of writer/director Chris Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy). Set on Earth in an alternate universe, the story concentrate on Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a gifted young gal who goes on a quest to save her best friend who has been kidnapped by a mysterious organization. Lyra’s quest leads her to the frozen North and into a war between her avaricious absentee parents (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig). The CGI-heavy film glosses over much of the book’s (anti-)religious tone, which still isn’t enough to mollify angry Christians. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Great Debaters (PG-13, 123 minutes) Do you love true-life stories about teachers who inspire rag-tag groups of students to form winning cheerleading/football/math/poetry/whatever teams? Well, here’s another one. In this inspirational outing, Denzel Washington (who also directs) sweet talks students at tiny Wiley College in Texas into forming their first debate team all the way back in racially devisive 1935. It’s inspirational-tastic! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

I Am Legend (PG-13, 100 minutes) Will Smith steps out in front of this third attempt to adapt Richard Matheson’s classic sci-fi horror novel. Previous versions included Vincent Price in 1964’s The Last Man on Earth and Charlton Heston in 1971’s The Omega Man. Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville, a scientist trapped in New York City after a virus decimates all of humanity—which wouldn’t be so rough if most people hadn’t been transformed into bloodsucking monsters. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Ellen Page (middle) rushes into maturity as a pregnant teen in Juno.

Juno (PG-13, 91 minutes) A labor of love from stripper-turned-writer Diablo Cody (author of Candy Girl) and director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking), this sweet, smart and very funny flick easily earns a spot as one of the best films of the year. Snarky, cynical 16-year-old Juno (Ellen Page, Hard Candy) gets pregnant after a bout of boredom-induced sex with her best friend Bleeker (Michael Cera from Superbad). Ruling out abortion, Juno decides to have the kid and give it away to "some lady with a bum ovary or a couple nice lesbos." The pitch-perfect dialogue, the lo-fi soundtrack, the spectacular cast and the perceptive story make this the cult comedy to beat. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Margot at the Wedding (R, 93 minutes) Writer/director Noah Baumbach follows up his impressive indie The Squid and the Whale with another family-centric comedy-drama. New York writer Margot (Nicole Kidman) and her son decide to visit her estranged sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) after she announces she’s getting married to an unemployed musician (Jack Black). It’s all fun and games until the sisters unsheath their claws and start ripping their troubled past apart. The film is often uncomfortably real, but there’s great humor to be found amid the familial infighting. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (PG) After the first, frantic, largely nonsensical National Treasure raked in a ton of dough at the box office, we were guaranteed a return visit from Nic Cage and his Indiana Jones-ish historian. This time around, he’s trying to discover the truth about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by figuring out the mystery behind the missing pages from John Wilkes Booth’s diary. Naturally, this involves lots of crazy clues, some Tomb Raider-inspired traps and a United States map. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

No Country For Old Men (R, 121 minutes) The Coen brothers bring a touch of Fargo to West Texas with this gripping adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s offbeat crime novel. Josh Brolin (Grindhouse) is a humble welder who stumbles across $2 million from a drug deal gone bad. Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside) is the freaky, emotionless assassin sent to recover the cash. Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) is the small-town sheriff just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This one is darker and more serious than most Coen films, but there’s still plenty of priceless dialogue and sharp black humor on display. One of this year’s best. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

One Missed Call (PG-13, 87 minutes) Back in 2003, mad filmmaker Takashi Miike (Visitor Q, Audition, Ichi the Killer) created arguably the ultimate Japanese ghost story and a perfectly sly parody of the dead-chick-with-long-black-hair genre, putting a final nail in that particular coffin. Naturally, Hollywood has arrived a day late and a dollar short, producing this too literal, too late remake about a group of young friends who start receiving phone calls from the Great Beyond that predict the time and date of their deaths. Opening Friday; check local listings

P.S. I Love You (PG-13, 126 minutes) Are you a Vermont maple tree farmer? Do you love sap in all its forms? Well then, this high-concept romance-—sentimental enough to be a Mitch Albom novel—should be to your liking. Hilary Swank stars as a young widow who discovers that her late husband has left her a series of 10 messages, each describing inventive new ways to ease her pain. In carrying out these dying requests (with the help of her sitcom-cute friends, like Lisa Kudrow from "Friends"), our heroine learns to live and love again. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (R) Talk about your all-star collaborations. Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Stephen Sondheim? Sounds like a match made in heaven. The oft-told tale of a Victorian barber who wreaks gory revenge on the men who wrongly sent him to prison (and pretty much any other warm body that crosses his path) gets an imaginative big screen treatment. The story is bloody good fun and Depp ain’t half bad as a singer. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (R) Comedy magic man Judd Apatow co-wrote and produced this musical mixture of Walk the Line and Forrest Gump. John C. Reilly stars as our man Dewey, a singer who overcomes adversity to become a rock ‘n’ roll legend. Along the way, he meets everyone from Elvis to The Beatles. Be sure and duck or you’ll get hit in the face by the dirty jokes (starting with the title). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (PG, 111 minutes) In the proud tradition of Magic in the Water starring Mark Harmon and Loch Ness starring Ted Danson comes this twee family fantasy about a lonely Scottish boy who discovers a mysterious egg that hatches into the Loch Ness Monster. Kids who dream of raising giant monsters might enjoy this period re-creation of E.T., The Yearling, and Old Yeller—at least until the film’s rather scary final reels. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (R, 86 minutes) The cheapjack continuation of two once mighty franchises rolls on thanks to this budget-conscious follow-up to 2005’s AvP. Seems the warring Alien and Predator races have crash-landed in a small Colorado town, forcing the local residents to band together and defend themselves against extraterrestrial bloodshed. Opening Christmas Day; check local listings

Alvin and the Chipmunks (PG) Mere months after showing up in Underdog, Jason Lee signs on for yet another CGI decimation of a beloved childhood cartoon. Here he plays David Seville, adoptive "father" to three singing chipmunks. This was probably better left to the imagination, but little kids will laugh at the cute animals and occasional bouts of rude humor. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Atonement (R, 130 minutes) Ian McEwan’s novel comes to life in an epic and sweeping romance courtesy of director Joe Wright (2005’s Pride & Prejudice). In 1935 England, 13-year-old Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) spins a lie that breaks up the budding love affair between her older sister (Keira Knightley) and a handsome groundskeeper (James McAvoy). Five years later, the repercussions of that lie are still being felt as war rages in Europe. Will our lovers be reunited? Will Briony find forgiveness? Rich in morality, emotion and metaphysical depth, this weighty drama manages to combine love and war in one gorgeously assembled package. Playing Regal Downtown Mall 6

Beowulf (PG-13, 113 minutes) From the director who brought you The Polar Express (bad thing) and the writer who gave you The Sandman comic book (good thing), comes this motion-capture CGI update of the quintessential good-versus-evil fable. Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) voices our warrior hero, Crispin Glover (Wild at Heart) does Grendel duty and Angelina Jolie plays our monster’s disturbingly sexy mama. A bit on the rough side for kids. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Charlie Wilson’s War (R, 97 minutes) This fact-based drama details the life of unconventional Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), whose covert dealings with Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan in the ’70s had some major long-term effects. (Cough—Osama bin Laden—cough.) Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Silkwood, The Birdcage) directs. Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Blunt round out the sizable cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Enchanted (PG, 108 minutes) Disney attempts to turn its old image on its ear with this partly animated parody about a fairy tale princess (Amy Adams, Junebug) who is magically exiled to modern-day Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets a handsome lawyer (Patrick Dempsey, trading on his "McDreamy" rep), but is soon pursued by Prince Charming (James Marsden). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Golden Compass (PG-13) The first of Philip Pullman’s epic "His Dark Materials" trilogy comes to life courtesy of writer/director Chris Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy). Set on Earth in an alternate universe, the story concentrate on Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a gifted young gal who goes on a quest to save her best friend who has been kidnapped by a mysterious organization. Lyra’s quest leads her to the frozen North and into a war between her avaricious absentee parents (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig). The CGI-heavy film glosses over much of the book’s (anti-)religious tone, which still isn’t enough to mollify angry Christians. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Great Debaters (PG-13, 123 minutes) Do you love true-life stories about teachers who inspire rag-tag groups of students to form winning cheerleading/football/math/poetry/whatever teams? Well, here’s another one. In this inspirational outing, Denzel Washington (who also directs) sweet talks students at tiny Wiley College in Texas into forming their first debate team all the way back in racially devisive 1935. It’s inspirational-tastic! Opening Christmas Day; check local listings

I Am Legend (PG-13, 100 minutes) Will Smith steps out in front of this third attempt to adapt Richard Matheson’s classic sci-fi horror novel. Previous versions included Vincent Price in 1964’s The Last Man on Earth and Charlton Heston in 1971’s The Omega Man. Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville, a scientist trapped in New York City after a virus decimates all of humanity—which wouldn’t be so rough if most people hadn’t been transformed into bloodsucking monsters. Playing Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

I’m Not There (R, 135 minutes) Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven) directs this radical "biopic" about musician Bob Dylan. For starters, he recruits eight different actors (from Cate Blanchett to Richard Gere to Heath Ledger) to play the star at various stages of his life. As the narrative leaps helter skelter in time and space, Haynes takes every myth Dylan ever created at face value, crafting a bizarre kaleidoscope of beautiful lies. Only hardcore fans will get all the inside jokes, but it’s an intriguing film no matter what your musical taste. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Margot at the Wedding (R, 93 minutes) Writer/director Noah Baumbach follows up his impressive indie The Squid and the Whale with another family-centric comedy-drama. New York writer Margot (Nicole Kidman) and her son decide to visit her estranged sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) after she announces she’s getting married to an unemployed musician (Jack Black). It’s all fun and games until the sisters unsheath their claws and start ripping their troubled past apart. The film is often uncomfortably real, but there’s great humor to be found amid the familial infighting. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Michael Clayton (R, 119 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (PG) After the first, frantic, largely nonsensical National Treasure raked in a ton of dough at the box office, we were guaranteed a return visit from Nic Cage and his Indiana Jones-ish historian. This time around, he’s trying to discover the truth about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by figuring out the mystery behind the missing pages from John Wilkes Booth’s diary. Naturally, this involves lots of crazy clues, some Tomb Raider-inspired traps and a United States map. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

No Country For Old Men (R, 121 minutes) The Coen brothers bring a touch of Fargo to West Texas with this gripping adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s offbeat crime novel. Josh Brolin (Grindhouse) is a humble welder who stumbles across $2 million from a drug deal gone bad. Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside) is the freaky, emotionless assassin sent to recover the cash. Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) is the small-town sheriff just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This one is darker and more serious than most Coen films, but there’s still plenty of priceless dialogue and sharp black humor on display. One of this year’s best. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

P.S. I Love You (PG-13, 126 minutes) Are you a Vermont maple tree farmer? Do you love sap in all its forms? Well then, this high-concept romance-—sentimental enough to be a Mitch Albom novel—should be to your liking. Hilary Swank stars as a young widow who discovers that her late husband has left her a series of 10 messages, each describing inventive new ways to ease her pain. In carrying out these dying requests (with the help of her sitcom-cute friends, like Lisa Kudrow from "Friends"), our heroine learns to live and love again. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Johnny Depp prays that his legion of fans will accept him as a singer in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (R) Talk about your all-star collaborations. Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Stephen Sondheim? Sounds like a match made in heaven. The oft-told tale of a Victorian barber who wreaks gory revenge on the men who wrongly sent him to prison (and pretty much any other warm body that crosses his path) gets an imaginative big screen treatment. The story is bloody good fun and Depp ain’t half bad as a singer. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (R) Comedy magic man Judd Apatow co-wrote and produced this musical mixture of Walk the Line and Forrest Gump. John C. Reilly stars as our man Dewey, a singer who overcomes adversity to become a rock ‘n’ roll legend. Along the way, he meets everyone from Elvis to The Beatles. Be sure and duck or you’ll get hit in the face by the dirty jokes (starting with the title). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Trailer for Walk Hard.


The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (PG, 111 minutes) In the proud tradition of Magic in the Water starring Mark Harmon and Loch Ness starring Ted Danson comes this twee family fantasy about a lonely Scottish boy who discovers a mysterious egg that hatches into the Loch Ness Monster. Kids who dream of raising giant monsters might enjoy this period re-creation of E.T., The Yearling, and Old Yeller—at least until the film’s rather scary final reels. Opening Christmas Day; check local listings

What Would Jesus Buy? (PG) Morgan Spurlock, he of Super Size Me fame, produces this campy documentary about Reverend Billy, a performance artist-cum-consumer activist who preaches the true meaning of Christmas—which oddly enough does not include the mass purchase of material goods. The film highlights America’s growing culture of credit card debt and confronts mega-corps like Disney and Wal-Mart head on. Billy’s a bit of a freak, quite honestly, but he’s got a point. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Alvin and the Chipmunks (PG) Mere months after showing up in Underdog, Jason Lee signs on for yet another CGI decimation of a beloved childhood cartoon. Here he plays David Seville, adoptive "father" to three singing chipmunks. This was probably better left to the imagination, but little kids will laugh at the cute animals and occasional bouts of rude humor.  Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

American Gangster (R, 157 minutes) Based on an article by Marc Jacobson (who also inspired 2001’s The Believer), this crime saga dramatizes the life of Manhattan drug kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington stars as the slick thug who builds an empire during the ’70s while battling a determined police detective (played by Russell Crowe). Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) does camera duty. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes) Jerry Seinfeld not only voices the main character in this computer-animated fable, but penned the script about a disillusioned bee who doesn’t want to spend his life making honey. On a trip outside the hive, he meets and falls in love with (sort of) a New York florist (Renée Zellweger). Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Sting (of course) are among the stars crowding up the credits block. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (R, 117 minutes) Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon) directs this bleak thriller about two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke) who organize an ill-conceived robbery of their parents’ jewelry store. As expected, things go horribly wrong. It’s your typical caper flick, but with a master director, a very smart script and a hell of a cast (including Albert Finney and Marisa Tomei). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Bella (PG-13, 100 minutes) Heavily hyped for its People’s Choice Award win at the Toronto Film Festival, this modest Hispanic romance introduces us to a failed soccer star (Eduardo Verastegui) working at his brother’s upscale Mexican restaurant in Manhattan. There, he meet a young waitress (Tammy Blanchard) who gets fired. The two becomes friends (and more), and she eventually reveals that she’s pregnant—at which point the film rams home its maudlin pro-life message. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. Opening Friday at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Beowulf (PG-13, 113 minutes) From the director who brought you The Polar Express (bad thing) and the writer who gave you The Sandman comic book (good thing), comes this motion-capture CGI update of the quintessential good-versus-evil fable. Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) voices our warrior hero, Crispin Glover (Wild at Heart) does Grendel duty and Angelina Jolie plays our monster’s disturbingly sexy mama. A bit on the rough side for kids. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Charlie Wilson’s War (R, 97 minutes) This fact-based drama details the life of unconventional Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), whose covert dealings with Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan in the ’70s had some major long-term effects. (Cough—Osama bin Laden—cough.) Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Silkwood, The Birdcage) directs. Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Emily Blunt round out the sizable cast. Opening Friday; check local listings

Enchanted (PG, 108 minutes) Disney attempts to turn its old image on its ear with this partly animated parody about a fairy tale princess (Amy Adams, Junebug) who is magically exiled to modern-day Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets a handsome lawyer (Patrick Dempsey, trading on his "McDreamy" rep), but is soon pursued by Prince Charming (James Marsden). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fred Claus (PG, 114 minutes) Tim Allen seems to be taking this holiday season off, so it’s up to Vince Vaughn to fill in the slot. Vaughn plays the bitter, black sheep brother of Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti), who is forced to move to the North Pole after his girlfriend kicks him out. Hijinks ensue as Fred parties with the elves, incites sibling rivalry and generally creates some North Pole anarchy. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Golden Compass (PG-13) The first of Philip Pullman’s epic "His Dark Materials" trilogy comes to life courtesy of writer/director Chris Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy). Set on Earth in an alternate universe, the story concentrate on Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a gifted young gal who goes on a quest to save her best friend who has been kidnapped by a mysterious organization. Lyra’s quest leads her to the frozen North and into a war between her avaricious absentee parents (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig). The CGI-heavy film glosses over much of the book’s (anti-)religious tone, which still isn’t enough to mollify angry Christians. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

I Am Legend (PG-13, 100 minutes) Will Smith steps out in front of this third attempt to adapt Richard Matheson’s classic sci-fi horror novel. Previous versions included Vincent Price in 1964’s The Last Man on Earth and Charlton Heston in 1971’s The Omega Man. Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville, a scientist trapped in New York City after a virus decimates all of humanity—which wouldn’t be so rough if most people hadn’t been transformed into bloodsucking monsters. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6



Trailer for I am Legend.

I’m Not There (R, 135 minutes) Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven) directs this radical "biopic" about musician Bob Dylan. For starters, he recruits eight different actors (from Cate Blanchett to Richard Gere to Heath Ledger) to play the star at various stages of his life. As the narrative leaps helter skelter in time and space, Haynes takes every myth Dylan ever created at face value, crafting a bizarre kaleidoscope of beautiful lies. Only hardcore fans will get all the inside jokes, but it’s an intriguing film no matter what your musical taste. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Lust, Caution (NC-17, 148 minutes) Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) returns to China for this lugubrious 1942-set spy drama. Tony Leung (Hard-Boiled) is a Shanghai official working with the occupying Japanese. Pretty newcomer Tang Wei is a resistance agent who gets close to him by acting the seductress. There’s a whole heck of a lot of explicit sex going on (hence the rating), but the drama never pushes past melo. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Michael Clayton (R, 119 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (PG) After the first, frantic, largely nonsensical National Treasure raked in a ton of dough at the box office, we were guaranteed a return visit from Nic Cage and his Indiana Jones-ish historian. This time around, he’s trying to discover the truth about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by figuring out the mystery behind the missing pages from John Wilkes Booth’s diary. Naturally, this involves lots of crazy clues, some Tomb Raider-inspired traps and a United States map. Opening Friday; check local listings

No Country For Old Men (R, 121 minutes) The Coen brothers bring a touch of Fargo to West Texas with this gripping adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s offbeat crime novel. Josh Brolin (Grindhouse) is a humble welder who stumbles across $2 million from a drug deal gone bad. Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside) is the freaky, emotionless assassin sent to recover the cash. Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) is the small-town sheriff just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This one is darker and more serious than most Coen films, but there’s still plenty of priceless dialogue and sharp black humor on display. One of this year’s best. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Perfect Holiday (PG) A little girl turns to a department store Santa (hunky Morris Chestnut) in hopes of finding a husband for her divorced mother (sexy Gabriel Union). Where, oh where, will this pint-sized matchmaker ever find a good man? Perhaps under that white beard? This extremely mild romantic comedy is almost exactly the sort of holiday stocking stuffer you’d find on Lifetime Network or Hallmark Channel this time of year. In fact, you can probably find two or three this week with the exact same plot. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

P.S. I Love You (PG-13, 126 minutes) Are you a Vermont maple tree farmer? Do you love sap in all its forms? Well then, this high-concept romance-—sentimental enough to be a Mitch Albom novel—should be to your liking. Hilary Swank stars as a young widow who discovers that her late husband has left her a series of 10 messages, each describing inventive new ways to ease her pain. In carrying out these dying requests (with the help of her sitcom-cute friends, like Lisa Kudrow from "Friends"), our heroine learns to live and love again. Opening Friday; check local listings

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (R) Talk about your all-star collaborations. Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Stephen Sondheim? Sounds like a match made in heaven. The oft-told tale of a Victorian barber who wreaks gory revenge on the men who wrongly sent him to prison (and pretty much any other warm body that crosses his path) gets an imaginative big screen treatment. The story is bloody good fun and Depp ain’t half bad as a singer. Opening Friday; check local listings

This Christmas (NR, 118 minutes) A who’s who of African-American actors (Regina King, Loretta Devine, Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba) crowds this ensemble cast dramedy centering around the Whitfield clan’s first holiday gathering in four years. Expect secret divorces, marriages, pregnancies, fights, a song or two and a badly cooked dinner—the usual. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (R) Comedy magic man Judd Apatow co-wrote and produced this musical mixture of Walk the Line and Forrest Gump. John C. Reilly stars as our man Dewey, a singer who overcomes adversity to become a rock ‘n’ roll legend. Along the way, he meets everyone from Elvis to The Beatles. Be sure and duck or you’ll get hit in the face by the dirty jokes (starting with the title). Opening Friday; check local listings

What Would Jesus Buy? (PG) Morgan Spurlock, he of Super Size Me fame, produces this campy documentary about Reverend Billy, a performance artist-cum-consumer activist who preaches the true meaning of Christmas—which oddly enough does not include the mass purchase of material goods. The film highlights America’s growing culture of credit card debt and confronts mega-corps like Disney and Wal-Mart head on. Billy’s a bit of a freak, quite honestly, but he’s got a point. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

Alvin and the Chipmunks (PG) Mere months after showing up in Underdog, Jason Lee signs on for yet another CGI decimation of a beloved childhood cartoon. Here he plays David Seville, adoptive "father" to three singing chipmunks. This was probably better left to the imagination, but little kids will laugh at the cute animals and occasional bouts of rude humor. Opening Friday; check local listings

American Gangster (R, 157 minutes) Based on an article by Marc Jacobson (who also inspired 2001’s The Believer), this crime saga dramatizes the life of Manhattan drug kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington stars as the slick thug who builds an empire during the ’70s while battling a determined police detective (played by Russell Crowe). Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) does camera duty. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4
 
August Rush (PG, 100 minutes) This musical drama comes premixed with elements of magical realism and chunks of Oliver Twist. Little Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) stars as an orphaned musical prodigy who believes music will lead him to his long-lost birth parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers). It’s all well and good and precious, at least until always-unwelcome Robin Williams shows up as a Fagin-like street musician. Not for cynics or those who shun corny, feel-good predictability. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Awake (R) Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba star in this medical thriller about a young man who suffers from "anesthetic awareness" while undergoing heart surgery. Conscious but paralyzed, he overhears two evil surgeons plotting to murder him. Not only is it far-fetched, but the main character can’t actually move or talk. On the plus side, Christensen isn’t required to "act" either. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes) Jerry Seinfeld not only voices the main character in this computer-animated fable, but penned the script about a disillusioned bee who doesn’t want to spend his life making honey. On a trip outside the hive, he meets and falls in love with (sort of) a New York florist (Renée Zellweger). Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Sting (of course) are among the stars crowding up the credits block. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (R, 117 minutes) Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon) directs this bleak thriller about two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke) who organize an ill-conceived robbery of their parents’ jewelry store. As expected, things go horribly wrong. It’s your typical caper flick, but with a master director, a very smart script and a hell of a cast (including Albert Finney and Marisa Tomei). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Beowulf (PG-13, 113 minutes) From the director who brought you The Polar Express (bad thing) and the writer who gave you The Sandman comic book (good thing), comes this motion-capture CGI update of the quintessential good-versus-evil fable. Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) voices our warrior hero, Crispin Glover (Wild at Heart) does Grendel duty and Angelina Jolie plays our monster’s disturbingly sexy mama. A bit on the rough side for kids. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Dan in Real Life (PG-13, 95 minutes) Steve Carell almost entirely makes up for Evan Almighty with this sweet, entirely authentic romantic comedy. Carell plays the widowed father of three young girls who makes a living as an advice columnist—a job for which the permanently depressive Dan seems singularly unqualified. While on a family vacation/reunion in Rhode Island, Dan meets a lovely, smart, down-to-earth woman (Juliette Binochet). Unfortunately, she turns out to be the new girlfriend of Dan’s brother. A weekend of severe discomfort ensues. Not even the presence of Dane Cook can spoil this near-perfect blend of humor and emotion from writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Enchanted (PG, 108 minutes) Disney attempts to turn its old image on its ear with this partly animated parody about a fairy tale princess (Amy Adams, Junebug) who is magically exiled to modern-day Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets a handsome lawyer (Patrick Dempsey, trading on his "McDreamy" rep), but is soon pursued by Prince Charming (James Marsden). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fred Claus (PG, 114 minutes) Tim Allen seems to be taking this holiday season off, so it’s up to Vince Vaughn to fill in the slot. Vaughn plays the bitter, black sheep brother of Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti), who is forced to move to the North Pole after his girlfriend kicks him out. Hijinks ensue as Fred parties with the elves, incites sibling rivalry and generally creates some North Pole anarchy. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Golden Compass (PG-13) The first of Philip Pullman’s epic "His Dark Materials" trilogy comes to life courtesy of writer/director Chris Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy). Set on Earth in an alternate universe, the story concentrate on Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a gifted young gal who goes on a quest to save her best friend who has been kidnapped by a mysterious organization. Lyra’s quest leads her to the frozen North and into a war between her avaricious absentee parents (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig). The CGI-heavy film glosses over much of the book’s (anti-)religious tone, which still isn’t enough to mollify angry Christians. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Hitman (R, 100 minutes) Filling this holiday’s lack of violent, videogame-inspired action flicks is this thriller about an unnamed assassin (Timothy Olyphant from "Deadwood") who finds himself ensnared in a political conspiracy and stuck between Interpol and the Russian military. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

I Am Legend (NR) Will Smith steps out in front of this third attempt to adapt Richard Matheson’s classic sci-fi horror novel. Previous versions included Vincent Price in 1964’s The Last Man on Earth and Charlton Heston in 1971’s The Omega Man. Smith plays Dr. Robert Neville, a scientist trapped in New York City after a virus decimates all of humanity—which wouldn’t be so rough if most people hadn’t been transformed into bloodsucking monsters. Opening Friday; check local listings

Lust, Caution (NC-17, 148 minutes) Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) returns to China for this lugubrious 1942-set spy drama. Tony Leung (Hard-Boiled) is a Shanghai official working with the occupying Japanese. Pretty newcomer Tang Wei is a resistance agent who gets close to him by acting the seductress. There’s a whole heck of a lot of explicit sex going on (hence the rating), but the drama never pushes past melo. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre


Trailer for Lust, Caution.

Michael Clayton (R, 119 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Mist (R, 125 minutes) Writer/director Frank Darabont, who had pretty good luck adapting the Stephen King tales The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption finally tries his hand at a little of King’s horror catalogue. In this Lovecraftian tale of terror, a small band of citizens are holed up in a supermarket fighting for their lives while a freak storm unleashes a horde of bloodthirsty creatures in the parking lot outside. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Javier Bardem is a young man who belongs in the Coen brothers’ new film, No Country For Old Men.

No Country For Old Men (R, 121 minutes) The Coen brothers bring a touch of Fargo to West Texas with this gripping adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s offbeat crime novel. Josh Brolin (Grindhouse) is a humble welder who stumbles across $2 million from a drug deal gone bad. Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside) is the freaky, emotionless assassin sent to recover the cash. Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) is the small-town sheriff just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This one is darker and more serious than most Coen films, but there’s still plenty of priceless dialogue and sharp black humor on display. One of this year’s best. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Perfect Holiday (PG) A little girl turns to a department store Santa (hunky Morris Chestnut) in hopes of finding a husband for her divorced mother (sexy Gabriel Union). Where, oh where, will this pint-sized matchmaker ever find a good man? Perhaps under that white beard? This extremely mild romantic comedy is almost exactly the sort of holiday stocking stuffer you’d find on Lifetime Network or Hallmark Channel this time of year. In fact, you can probably find two or three this week with the exact same plot. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

This Christmas (NR, 118 minutes) A who’s who of African-American actors (Regina King, Loretta Devine, Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba) crowds this ensemble cast dramedy centering around the Whitfield clan’s first holiday gathering in four years. Expect secret divorces, marriages, pregnancies, fights, a song or two and a badly cooked dinner—the usual. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

American Gangster (R, 157 minutes) Based on an article by Marc Jacobson (who also inspired 2001’s The Believer), this crime saga dramatizes the life of Manhattan drug kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington stars as the slick thug who builds an empire during the ’70s while battling a determined police detective (played by Russell Crowe). Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) does camera duty. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4
 
August Rush (PG, 100 minutes) This musical drama comes premixed with elements of magical realism and chunks of Oliver Twist. Little Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) stars as an orphaned musical prodigy who believes music will lead him to his long-lost birth parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers). It’s all well and good and precious, at least until always-unwelcome Robin Williams shows up as a Fagin-like street musician. Not for cynics or those who shun corny, feel-good predictability. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Awake (R) Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba star in this medical thriller about a young man who suffers from "anesthetic awareness" while undergoing heart surgery. Conscious but paralyzed, he overhears two evil surgeons plotting to murder him. Not only is it far-fetched, but the main character can’t actually move or talk. On the plus side, Christensen isn’t required to "act" either. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Trailer for Awake.

Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes) Jerry Seinfeld not only voices the main character in this computer-animated fable, but penned the script about a disillusioned bee who doesn’t want to spend his life making honey. On a trip outside the hive, he meets and falls in love with (sort of) a New York florist (Renée Zellweger). Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Sting (of course) are among the stars crowding up the credits block. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Beowulf (PG-13, 113 minutes) From the director who brought you The Polar Express (bad thing) and the writer who gave you The Sandman comic book (good thing), comes this motion-capture CGI update of the quintessential good-versus-evil fable. Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) voices our warrior hero, Crispin Glover (Wild at Heart) does Grendel duty and Angelina Jolie plays our monster’s disturbingly sexy mama. A bit on the rough side for kids. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Dan in Real Life (PG-13, 95 minutes) Steve Carell almost entirely makes up for Evan Almighty with this sweet, entirely authentic romantic comedy. Carell plays the widowed father of three young girls who makes a living as an advice columnist—a job for which the permanently depressive Dan seems singularly unqualified. While on a family vacation/reunion in Rhode Island, Dan meets a lovely, smart, down-to-earth woman (Juliette Binochet). Unfortunately, she turns out to be the new girlfriend of Dan’s brother. A weekend of severe discomfort ensues. Not even the presence of Dane Cook can spoil this near-perfect blend of humor and emotion from writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Darjeeling Limited (R, 91 minutes) Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) reunites with a few old pals to write and direct this comedy about three estranged American brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) who reunite for a "spiritual quest" across India. Like all of Anderson’s film, this one is slow, stylized and painfully clever. An absolute must for fans. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Enchanted (PG, 108 minutes) Disney attempts to turn its old image on its ear with this partly animated parody about a fairy tale princess (Amy Adams, Junebug) who is magically exiled to modern-day Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets a handsome lawyer (Patrick Dempsey, trading on his "McDreamy" rep), but is soon pursued by Prince Charming (James Marsden). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fred Claus (PG, 114 minutes) Tim Allen seems to be taking this holiday season off, so it’s up to Vince Vaughn to fill in the slot. Vaughn plays the bitter, black sheep brother of Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti), who is forced to move to the North Pole after his girlfriend kicks him out. Hijinks ensue as Fred parties with the elves, incites sibling rivalry and generally creates some North Pole anarchy. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4


Pay for a ticket to The Golden Compass and you’ll find yourself in a CGI-heavy alternate universe.

The Golden Compass (PG-13) The first of Philip Pullman’s epic "His Dark Materials" trilogy comes to life courtesy of writer/director Chris Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy). Set on Earth in an alternate universe, the story concentrate on Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a gifted young gal who goes on a quest to save her best friend who has been kidnapped by a mysterious organization. Lyra’s quest leads her to the frozen North and into a war between her avaricious absentee parents (Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig). The CGI-heavy film glosses over much of the book’s (anti-)religious tone, which still isn’t enough to mollify angry Christians. Opening Friday; check local listings

Hitman (R, 100 minutes) Filling this holiday’s lack of violent, videogame-inspired action flicks is this thriller about an unnamed assassin (Timothy Olyphant from "Deadwood") who finds himself ensnared in a political conspiracy and stuck between Interpol and the Russian military. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Whatever works: Ryan Gosling has a relationship with a life-sized plastic love doll in Lars and the Real Girl.


Lars and the Real Girl (PG-13, 106 minutes) A lonely, delusional young dude (the suddenly really good Ryan Gosling) surprises his family when he brings home a gal he met on the Internet. Turns out she’s actually a life-sized plastic love doll. But since his "relationship" with her seems rather chaste, the family decides to indulge the illusion at the urging of a psychiatrist (Patricia Clarkson). Despite the seemingly outrageous premise, this one’s suprisingly funny and sweet—if a little self-consciously off-kilter. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Lions for Lambs (R, 88 minutes) Audiences don’t seem very interested in dramas that touch on America’s current War on Terror. But this one is directed by Robert Redford. In it, two young college students fighting in Afghanistan create a tie that binds an idealistic college professor (Redford), a charismatic NeoCon senator (Tom Cruise) and a probing TV journalist (Meryl Streep). The whole thing is meant as a criticism of failed government policies, but good writing and solid acting aside, it’s a bit hard to connect the dots. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Michael Clayton (R, 119 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Mist (R, 125 minutes) Writer/director Frank Darabont, who had pretty good luck adapting the Stephen King tales The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption finally tries his hand at a little of King’s horror catalogue. In this Lovecraftian tale of terror, a small band of citizens are holed up in a supermarket fighting for their lives while a freak storm unleashes a horde of bloodthirsty creatures in the parking lot outside. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (G, 93 minutes) Giving off a faint but forgivable whiff of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, this family fantasy proposes a fantastical toy store whose magical 243-year-old operator (Dustin Hoffman) is looking for a replacement. He finds it in the form of efficient, responsible Natalie Portman. Unfortunately, the store seems to have a mind of its own, and the new owner isn’t proving all that adept at keeping things in line. The directing debut of writer Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

No Country For Old Men (R, 121 minutes) The Coen brothers bring a touch of Fargo to West Texas with this gripping adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s offbeat crime novel. Josh Brolin (Grindhouse) is a humble welder who stumbles across $2 million from a drug deal gone bad. Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside) is the freaky, emotionless assassin sent to recover the cash. Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) is the small-town sheriff just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This one is darker and more serious than most Coen films, but there’s still plenty of priceless dialogue and sharp black humor on display. One of this year’s best. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

This Christmas (NR, 118 minutes) A who’s who of African-American actors (Regina King, Loretta Devine, Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba) crowds this ensemble cast dramedy centering around the Whitfield clan’s first holiday gathering in four years. Expect secret divorces, marriages, pregnancies, fights, a song or two and a badly cooked dinner—the usual. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

American Gangster (R, 157 minutes) Based on an article by Marc Jacobson (who also inspired 2001’s The Believer), this crime saga dramatizes the life of Manhattan drug kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington stars as the slick thug who builds an empire during the ’70s while battling a determined police detective (played by Russell Crowe). Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) does camera duty. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

August Rush (PG, 100 minutes) This musical drama comes premixed with elements of magical realism and chunks of Oliver Twist. Little Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) stars as an orphaned musical prodigy who believes music will lead him to his long-lost birth parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers). It’s all well and good and precious, at least until always-unwelcome Robin Williams shows up as a Fagin-like street musician. Not for cynics or those who shun corny, feel-good predictability. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Shouldn’t you be lying down? Hayden Christensen hears two evil doctors plotting to murder him while undergoing heart surgery in Awake.

Awake (R) Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba star in this medical thriller about a young man who suffers from "anesthetic awareness" while undergoing heart surgery. Conscious but paralyzed, he overhears two evil surgeons plotting to murder him. Not only is it far-fetched, but the main character can’t actually move or talk. On the plus side, Christensen isn’t required to "act" either. Opening Friday; check local listings

Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes) Jerry Seinfeld not only voices the main character in this computer-animated fable, but penned the script about a disillusioned bee who doesn’t want to spend his life making honey. On a trip outside the hive, he meets and falls in love with (sort of) a New York florist (Renée Zellweger). Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Sting (of course) are among the stars crowding up the credits block. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4
 
Beowulf (PG-13, 113 minutes) From the director who brought you The Polar Express (bad thing) and the writer who gave you The Sandman comic book (good thing), comes this motion-capture CGI update of the quintessential good-versus-evil fable. Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) voices our warrior hero, Crispin Glover (Wild at Heart) does Grendel duty and Angelina Jolie plays our monster’s disturbingly sexy mama. A bit on the rough side for kids. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Dan in Real Life (PG-13, 95 minutes) Steve Carell almost entirely makes up for Evan Almighty with this sweet, entirely authentic romantic comedy. Carell plays the widowed father of three young girls who makes a living as an advice columnist—a job for which the permanently depressive Dan seems singularly unqualified. While on a family vacation/reunion in Rhode Island, Dan meets a lovely, smart, down-to-earth woman (Juliette Binochet). Unfortunately, she turns out to be the new girlfriend of Dan’s brother. A weekend of severe discomfort ensues. Not even the presence of Dane Cook can spoil this near-perfect blend of humor and emotion from writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Darjeeling Limited (R, 91 minutes) Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) reunites with a few old pals to write and direct this comedy about three estranged American brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) who reunite for a "spiritual quest" across India. Like all of Anderson’s film, this one is slow, stylized and painfully clever. An absolute must for fans. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Enchanted (PG, 108 minutes) Disney attempts to turn its old image on its ear with this partly animated parody about a fairy tale princess (Amy Adams, Junebug) who is magically exiled to modern-day Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets a handsome lawyer (Patrick Dempsey, trading on his "McDreamy" rep), but is soon pursued by Prince Charming (James Marsden). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fred Claus (PG, 114 minutes) Tim Allen seems to be taking this holiday season off, so it’s up to Vince Vaughn to fill in the slot. Vaughn plays the bitter, black sheep brother of Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti), who is forced to move to the North Pole after his girlfriend kicks him out. Hijinks ensue as Fred parties with the elves, incites sibling rivalry and generally creates some North Pole anarchy. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Hitman (NR) Filling this holiday’s lack of violent, videogame-inspired action flicks is this thriller about an unnamed assassin (Timothy Olyphant from "Deadwood") who finds himself ensnared in a political conspiracy and stuck between Interpol and the Russian military. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Into the Wild (R, 140 minutes) Sean Penn directs this poetic, true-life biopic about Chris McCandless, a middle-class college grad who abandoned his possessions, renamed himself "Alexander Supertramp" and hitchhiked to Alaska to live a Thoreau-like existence in the wilderness. He starved to death after a few months. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door) gives a strong performance and Penn avoids romanticizing the misguided rebel too awfully much. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Lions for Lambs (R, 88 minutes) Audiences don’t seem very interested in dramas that touch on America’s current War on Terror. But this one is directed by Robert Redford. In it, two young college students fighting in Afghanistan create a tie that binds an idealistic college professor (Redford), a charismatic NeoCon senator (Tom Cruise) and a probing TV journalist (Meryl Streep). The whole thing is meant as a criticism of failed government policies, but good writing and solid acting aside, it’s a bit hard to connect the dots. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Love in the Time of Cholera (R, 140 minutes) After much struggle and strife, Gabriel García Márquez’s much-celebrated novel comes to life in movie theaters. Javier Bardem stars as the Argentinian man who stalks his lady love (distinctly non-Argentine Giovanna Mezzogiorno) for 50 years after being rejected by her as a boy. Hector Elizondo, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Benjamin Bratt and John Leguizamo fill out the somewhat odd cast. Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) keeps things mostly on the melodramatic tip. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Mist (R, 125 minutes) Writer/director Frank Darabont, who had pretty good luck adapting the Stephen King tales The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption finally tries his hand at a little of King’s horror catalogue. In this Lovecraftian tale of terror, a small band of citizens are holed up in a supermarket fighting for their lives while a freak storm unleashes a horde of bloodthirsty creatures in the parking lot outside. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Trailer for The Mist.


Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (G, 93 minutes) Giving off a faint but forgivable whiff of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, this family fantasy proposes a fantastical toy store whose magical 243-year-old operator (Dustin Hoffman) is looking for a replacement. He finds it in the form of efficient, responsible Natalie Portman. Unfortunately, the store seems to have a mind of its own, and the new owner isn’t proving all that adept at keeping things in line. The directing debut of writer Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

No Country For Old Men (R, 121 minutes) The Coen brothers bring a touch of Fargo to West Texas with this gripping adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s offbeat crime novel. Josh Brolin (Grindhouse) is a humble welder who stumbles across $2 million from a drug deal gone bad. Javier Bardem (The Sea Inside) is the freaky, emotionless assassin sent to recover the cash. Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive) is the small-town sheriff just trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This one is darker and more serious than most Coen films, but there’s still plenty of priceless dialogue and sharp black humor on display. One of this year’s best. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

This Christmas (NR, 118 minutes) A who’s who of African-American actors (Regina King, Loretta Devine, Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba) crowds this ensemble cast dramedy centering around the Whitfield clan’s first holiday gathering in four years. Expect secret divorces, marriages, pregnancies, fights, a song or two and a badly cooked dinner—the usual. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

American Gangster (R, 157 minutes) Based on an article by Marc Jacobson (who also inspired 2001’s The Believer), this crime saga dramatizes the life of Manhattan drug kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington stars as the slick thug who builds an empire during the ’70s while battling a determined police detective (played by Russell Crowe). Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) does camera duty. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4
 
August Rush (PG, 100 minutes) This musical drama comes premixed with elements of magical realism and chunks of Oliver Twist. Little Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) stars as an orphaned musical prodigy who believes music will lead him to his long-lost birth parents (Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers). It’s all well and good and precious, at least until always-unwelcome Robin Williams shows up as a Fagin-like street musician. Not for cynics or those who shun corny, feel-good predictability. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes) Jerry Seinfeld not only voices the main character in this computer-animated fable, but penned the script about a disillusioned bee who doesn’t want to spend his life making honey. On a trip outside the hive, he meets and falls in love with (sort of) a New York florist (Renée Zellweger). Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Sting (of course) are among the stars crowding up the credits block. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Beowulf (PG-13, 113 minutes) From the director who brought you The Polar Express (bad thing) and the writer who gave you The Sandman comic book (good thing), comes this motion-capture CGI update of the quintessential good-versus-evil fable. Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) voices our warrior hero, Crispin Glover (Wild at Heart) does Grendel duty and Angelina Jolie plays our monster’s disturbingly sexy mama. A bit on the rough side for kids. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Trailer for Beowulf.

Dan in Real Life (PG-13, 95 minutes) Steve Carell almost entirely makes up for Evan Almighty with this sweet, entirely authentic romantic comedy. Carell plays the widowed father of three young girls who makes a living as an advice columnist—a job for which the permanently depressive Dan seems singularly unqualified. While on a family vacation/reunion in Rhode Island, Dan meets a lovely, smart, down-to-earth woman (Juliette Binochet). Unfortunately, she turns out to be the new girlfriend of Dan’s brother. A weekend of severe discomfort ensues. Not even the presence of Dane Cook can spoil this near-perfect blend of humor and emotion from writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Darjeeling Limited (R, 91 minutes) Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) reunites with a few old pals to write and direct this comedy about three estranged American brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) who reunite for a "spiritual quest" across India. Like all of Anderson’s film, this one is slow, stylized and painfully clever. An absolute must for fans. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Enchanted (PG, 108 minutes) Disney attempts to turn its old image on its ear with this partly animated parody about a fairy tale princess (Amy Adams, Junebug) who is magically exiled to modern-day Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). She meets a handsome lawyer (Patrick Dempsey, trading on his "McDreamy" rep), but is soon pursued by Prince Charming (James Marsden). Opening Wednesday; check local listings

Fred Claus (PG, 114 minutes) Tim Allen seems to be taking this holiday season off, so it’s up to Vince Vaughn to fill in the slot. Vaughn plays the bitter, black sheep brother of Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti), who is forced to move to the North Pole after his girlfriend kicks him out. Hijinks ensue as Fred parties with the elves, incites sibling rivalry and generally creates some North Pole anarchy. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Timothy Olyphant clearly has the upper hand in Hitman.

Hitman (NR) Filling this holiday’s lack of violent, videogame-inspired action flicks is this thriller about an unnamed assassin (Timothy Olyphant from "Deadwood") who finds himself ensnared in a political conspiracy and stuck between Interpol and the Russian military. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

Into the Wild (R, 140 minutes) Sean Penn directs this poetic, true-life biopic about Chris McCandless, a middle-class college grad who abandoned his possessions, renamed himself "Alexander Supertramp" and hitchhiked to Alaska to live a Thoreau-like existence in the wilderness. He starved to death after a few months. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door) gives a strong performance and Penn avoids romanticizing the misguided rebel too awfully much. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Lions for Lambs (R, 88 minutes) Audiences don’t seem very interested in dramas that touch on America’s current War on Terror. But this one is directed by Robert Redford. In it, two young college students fighting in Afghanistan create a tie that binds an idealistic college professor (Redford), a charismatic NeoCon senator (Tom Cruise) and a probing TV journalist (Meryl Streep). The whole thing is meant as a criticism of failed government policies, but good writing and solid acting aside, it’s a bit hard to connect the dots. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Love in the Time of Cholera (R, 140 minutes) After much struggle and strife, Gabriel García Márquez’s much-celebrated novel comes to life in movie theaters. Javier Bardem stars as the Argentinian man who stalks his lady love (distinctly non-Argentine Giovanna Mezzogiorno) for 50 years after being rejected by her as a boy. Hector Elizondo, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Benjamin Bratt and John Leguizamo fill out the somewhat odd cast. Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) keeps things mostly on the melodramatic tip. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Mist (R, 125 minutes) Writer/director Frank Darabont, who had pretty good luck adapting the Stephen King tales The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption finally tries his hand at a little of King’s horror catalogue. In this Lovecraftian tale of terror, a small band of citizens are holed up in a supermarket fighting for their lives while a freak storm unleashes a horde of bloodthirsty creatures in the parking lot outside. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (G, 93 minutes) Giving off a faint but forgivable whiff of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, this family fantasy proposes a fantastical toy store whose magical 243-year-old operator (Dustin Hoffman) is looking for a replacement. He finds it in the form of efficient, responsible Natalie Portman. Unfortunately, the store seems to have a mind of its own, and the new owner isn’t proving all that adept at keeping things in line. The directing debut of writer Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Michael Clayton (R, 119 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Romance & Cigarettes (R, 105 minutes) After three years of delays, actor John Turturro is finally self-distributing his third outing as writer/director. Unfortunately, this experimental musical comedy-cum-raunchy romance about infidelity starring the likes of James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet runs off the rails fairly quickly. Performing karaoke style, the actors give it a go; but the salty dialogue and retro song-and-dance numbers make for an odd combo. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Saw IV (R, 108 minutes) Not even death can keep a good killer down. Despite having passed away in the last Saw film, our conscientious serial killer Jigsaw is back from beyond the grave. While trying to sort out the remains of the last deadly game, two FBI agents fight to save a SWAT team commander stuck in a series of ingenious traps left behind by Jigsaw. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

This Christmas (NR, 118 minutes) A who’s who of African-American actors (Regina King, Loretta Devine, Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba) crowds this ensemble cast dramedy centering around the Whitfield clan’s first holiday gathering in four years. Expect secret divorces, marriages, pregnancies, fights, a song or two and a badly cooked dinner—the usual. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

30 Days of Night (R, 113 minutes) The hit graphic novel about a savage (but clever) band of vampires who emigrate to Alaska to bask in the extended darkness of the Arctic Circle’s sunless winter hits the big screen. Josh Hartnett (40 Days and 40 Nights) headlines as the small-town sheriff who tries to fend off the bloodthirsty gang until the sun returns. An energetic, scary and tense addition to the well-worn vampire mythos. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

American Gangster (R, 157 minutes) Based on an article by Marc Jacobson (who also inspired 2001’s The Believer), this crime saga dramatizes the life of Manhattan drug kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington stars as the slick thug who builds an empire during the ’70s while battling a determined police detective (played by Russell Crowe). Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) does camera duty. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes) Jerry Seinfeld not only voices the main character in this computer-animated fable, but penned the script about a disillusioned bee who doesn’t want to spend his life making honey. On a trip outside the hive, he meets and falls in love with (sort of) a New York florist (Renée Zellweger). Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Sting (of course) are among the stars crowding up the credits block. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Beowulf (PG-13, 113 minutes) From the director who brought you The Polar Express (bad thing) and the writer who gave you The Sandman comic book (good thing), comes this motion-capture CGI update of the quintessential good-versus-evil fable. Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast) voices our warrior hero, Crispin Glover (Wild at Heart) does Grendel duty and Angelina Jolie plays our monster’s disturbingly sexy mama. A bit on the rough side for kids. Opening Friday; check local listings

Dan in Real Life (PG-13, 95 minutes) Steve Carell almost entirely makes up for Evan Almighty with this sweet, entirely authentic romantic comedy. Carell plays the widowed father of three young girls who makes a living as an advice columnist—a job for which the permanently depressive Dan seems singularly unqualified. While on a family vacation/reunion in Rhode Island, Dan meets a lovely, smart, down-to-earth woman (Juliette Binochet). Unfortunately, she turns out to be the new girlfriend of Dan’s brother. A weekend of severe discomfort ensues. Not even the presence of Dane Cook can spoil this near-perfect blend of humor and emotion from writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Darjeeling Limited (R, 91 minutes) Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) reunites with a few old pals to write and direct this comedy about three estranged American brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) who reunite for a "spiritual quest" across India. Like all of Anderson’s film, this one is slow, stylized and painfully clever. An absolute must for fans.Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Fred Claus (PG, 114 minutes) Tim Allen seems to be taking this holiday season off, so it’s up to Vince Vaughn to fill in the slot. Vaughn plays the bitter, black sheep brother of Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti), who is forced to move to the North Pole after his girlfriend kicks him out. Hijinks ensue as Fred parties with the elves, incites sibling rivalry and generally creates some North Pole anarchy. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Trailer for Fred Claus.

The Game Plan (PG, 110 minutes) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a cocky professional quarterback who, out of the blue, finds the 8-year-old daughter he never knew dumped on his doorstep. This lazy family comedy recycles the most clichéd elements available from the sports movie genre and the “selfish adult learns a lesson from the impossibly cute little kid” genre. Suitable only for those mourning the loss of very special episodes of “Full House.” Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Into the Wild (R, 140 minutes) Sean Penn directs this poetic, true-life biopic about Chris McCandless, a middle-class college grad who abandoned his possessions, renamed himself "Alexander Supertramp" and hitchhiked to Alaska to live a Thoreau-like existence in the wilderness. He starved to death after a few months. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door) gives a strong performance and Penn avoids romanticizing the misguided rebel too awfully much. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Lars and the Real Girl (PG-13, 106 minutes) A lonely, delusional young dude (the suddenly really good Ryan Gosling) surprises his family when he brings home a gal he met on the Internet. Turns out she’s actually a life-sized plastic love doll. But since his "relationship" with her seems rather chaste, the family decides to indulge the illusion at the urging of a psychiatrist (Patricia Clarkson). Despite the seemingly outrageous premise, this one’s surprisingly funny and sweet—if a little self-consciously off-kilter. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Lions for Lambs (R, 88 minutes) Audiences don’t seem very interested in dramas that touch on America’s current War on Terror. But this one is directed by Robert Redford. In it, two young college students fighting in Afghanistan create a tie that binds an idealistic college professor (Redford), a charismatic NeoCon senator (Tom Cruise) and a probing TV journalist (Meryl Streep). The whole thing is meant as a criticism of failed government policies, but good writing and solid acting aside, it’s a bit hard to connect the dots. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Giovanna Mezzogiorno and Benjamin Bratt grasp each other’s hopefully clean hands in Love in the Time of Cholera.  

Love in the Time of Cholera (R, 140 minutes) After much struggle and strife, Gabriel García Márquez’s much-celebrated novel comes to life in movie theaters. Javier Bardem stars as the Argentinian man who stalks his lady love (distinctly non-Argentine Giovanna Mezzogiorno) for 50 years after being rejected by her as a boy. Hector Elizondo, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Benjamin Bratt and John Leguizamo fill out the somewhat odd cast. Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) keeps things mostly on the melodramatic tip. Opening Friday; check local listings

Martian Child (PG) John Cusack headlines this feel-good drama/comedy about a brokenhearted writer who adopts a troubled 6-year-old boy who believes that he is from Mars. But what if, like, magically, this kid really is from Mars? This well-meaning family-ish film feels a bit like About a Boy, but has an uncomfortable whiff of K-PAX about it. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (G, 93 minutes) Giving off a faint but forgivable whiff of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, this family fantasy proposes a fantastical toy store whose magical 243-year-old operator (Dustin Hoffman) is looking for a replacement. He finds it in the form of efficient, responsible Natalie Portman. Unfortunately, the store seems to have a mind of its own, and the new owner isn’t proving all that adept at keeping things in line. The directing debut of writer Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction). Opening Friday; check local listings

Michael Clayton (R, 119 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D (PG, 76 minutes) Yup, 3D. Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated horror musical is a certified cult classic, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth paying 12 bucks to see again in 3D. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

P2 (R, 98 minutes) That mysteriously banal title refers to the second level of a parking garage, which is where a young businesswoman (Rachel Nichols, "Alias") is trapped on Christmas Eve by an obsessive, psychopathic security guard (Wes Bentley, Ghost Rider). The director’s a first-timer, but it’s produced by the same guys who gave us the stylish, edgy horror thriller, Haute Tension. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Saw IV (R, 108 minutes) Not even death can keep a good killer down. Despite having passed away in the last Saw film, our conscientious serial killer Jigsaw is back from beyond the grave. While trying to sort out the remains of the last deadly game, two FBI agents fight to save a SWAT team commander stuck in a series of ingenious traps left behind by Jigsaw. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

30 Days of Night (R, 113 minutes) The hit graphic novel about a savage (but clever) band of vampires who emigrate to Alaska to bask in the extended darkness of the Arctic Circle’s sunless winter hits the big screen. Josh Hartnett (40 Days and 40 Nights) headlines as the small-town sheriff who tries to fend off the bloodthirsty gang until the sun returns. An energetic, scary and tense addition to the well-worn vampire mythos. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

American Gangster (R, 157 minutes) Based on an article by Marc Jacobson (who also inspired 2001’s The Believer), this crime saga dramatizes the life of Manhattan drug kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington stars as the slick thug who builds an empire during the ’70s while battling a determined police detective (played by Russell Crowe). Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) does camera duty. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4
 
Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes) Jerry Seinfeld not only voices the main character in this computer-animated fable, but penned the script about a disillusioned bee who doesn’t want to spend his life making honey. On a trip outside the hive, he meets and falls in love with (sort of) a New York florist (Renée Zellweger). Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Sting (of course) are among the stars crowding up the credits block. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Dan in Real Life (PG-13, 95 minutes) Steve Carell almost entirely makes up for Evan Almighty with this sweet, entirely authentic romantic comedy. Carell plays the widowed father of three young girls who makes a living as an advice columnist—a job for which the permanently depressive Dan seems singularly unqualified. While on a family vacation/reunion in Rhode Island, Dan meets a lovely, smart, down-to-earth woman (Juliette Binochet). Unfortunately, she turns out to be the new girlfriend of Dan’s brother. A weekend of severe discomfort ensues. Not even the presence of Dane Cook can spoil this near-perfect blend of humor and emotion from writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Darjeeling Limited (R, 91 minutes) Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) reunites with a few old pals to write and direct this comedy about three estranged American brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) who reunite for a "spiritual quest" across India. Like all of Anderson’s film, this one is slow, stylized and painfully clever. An absolute must for fans. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Fred Claus (PG, 114 minutes) Tim Allen seems to be taking this holiday season off, so it’s up to Vince Vaughn to fill in the slot. Vaughn plays the bitter, black sheep brother of Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti), who is forced to move to the North Pole after his girlfriend kicks him out. Hijinks ensue as Fred parties with the elves, incites sibling rivalry and generally creates some North Pole anarchy. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Game Plan (PG, 110 minutes) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a cocky professional quarterback who, out of the blue, finds the 8-year-old daughter he never knew dumped on his doorstep. This lazy family comedy recycles the most clichéd elements available from the sports movie genre and the “selfish adult learns a lesson from the impossibly cute little kid” genre. Suitable only for those mourning the loss of very special episodes of “Full House.” Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Gone Baby Gone (R, 115 minutes) Ben Affleck turns director to helm this gripping adaptation of a mystery novel by Dennis Lehane (the guy who also provided Sean Penn with Mystic River). Casey Affleck delivers an understated star turn as a youthful, but charismatic Boston P.I. who—along with his attractive g.f. Michelle Monaghan (The Heartbreak Kid)—is hired to help out in a child-abduction case. A little snooping through Beantown’s seedier neighborhoods roots out a mother with some very ugly underworld connections and a growing conspiracy. Some of the plot mechanics might not be entirely realistic, but Affleck has created a gritty and quite realistic portrait of low-rent Boston. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Into the Wild (R, 140 minutes) Sean Penn directs this poetic, true-life biopic about Chris McCandless, a middle-class college grad who abandoned his possessions, renamed himself "Alexander Supertramp" and hitchhiked to Alaska to live a Thoreau-like existence in the wilderness. He starved to death after a few months. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door) gives a strong performance and Penn avoids romanticizing the misguided rebel too awfully much. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre


Meryl Streep adds TV journalist to her seemingly endless list of personas in Lions for Lambs, directed by Robert Redford.

Lions for Lambs (R, 88 minutes) Audiences don’t seem very interested in dramas that touch on America’s current War on Terror. But this one is directed by Robert Redford. In it, two young college students fighting in Afghanistan create a tie that binds an idealistic college professor (Redford), a charismatic NeoCon senator (Tom Cruise) and a probing TV journalist (Meryl Streep). The whole thing is meant as a criticism of failed government policies, but good writing and solid acting aside, it’s a bit hard to connect the dots. Opening Friday; check local listings

Martian Child (PG) John Cusack headlines this feel-good drama/comedy about a brokenhearted writer who adopts a troubled 6-year-old boy who believes that he is from Mars. But what if, like, magically, this kid really is from Mars? This well-meaning family-ish film feels a bit like About a Boy, but has an uncomfortable whiff of K-PAX about it. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Trailer for Martian Child.


The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D (PG, 76 minutes) Yup, 3D. Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated horror musical is a certified cult classic cult, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth paying 12 bucks to see again in 3D. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

P2 (R, 98 minutes) That mysteriously banal title refers to the second level of a parking garage, which is where a young businesswoman (Rachel Nichols, "Alias") is trapped on Christmas Eve by an obsessive, psychopathic security guard (Wes Bentley, Ghost Rider). The director’s a first-timer, but it’s produced by the same guys who gave us the stylish, edgy horror thriller, Haute Tension. Opening Friday; check local listings

Saw IV (R, 108 minutes) Not even death can keep a good killer down. Despite having passed away in the last Saw film, our conscientious serial killer Jigsaw is back from beyond the grave. While trying to sort out the remains of the last deadly game, two FBI agents fight to save a SWAT team commander stuck in a series of ingenious traps left behind by Jigsaw. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (PG-13, 118 minutes) Tyler Perry directs another big screen adaptation of one of his shot-to-video stageplays (this one barely a year old). For better or worse (much better as far as I’m concerned), Perry’s drag character Madea does not appear in this comedy/drama about a sexy young temptress who shows up at a marriage retreat for couples only. Perfectly acceptable if you like your comedy, your drama and your Christian dogma extremely light. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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30 Days of Night (R, 113 minutes) The hit graphic novel about a savage (but clever) band of vampires who emigrate to Alaska to bask in the extended darkness of the Arctic Circle’s sunless winter hits the big screen. Josh Hartnett (40 Days and 40 Nights) headlines as the small-town sheriff who tries to fend off the bloodthirsty gang until the sun returns. An energetic, scary and tense addition to the well-worn vampire mythos. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Across the Universe (PG-13, 131 minutes) Arty director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus and that damn Lion King on Broadway) turns a bunch of Beatles songs into a long-form music video with a sappy story. Didn’t The Beatles already receive this treatment with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Well, at least this one doesn’t star The Bee Gees. There are lots and lots of surreal images (all of which were more interesting when they appeared in Pink Floyd The Wall) and a naive story about star-crossed hippie lovers Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) and Jude (Jim Sturgess). No points are awarded for guessing which songs they get to sing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

American Gangster (R, 157 minutes) Based on an article by Marc Jacobson (who also inspired 2001’s The Believer), this crime saga dramatizes the life of Manhattan drug kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington stars as the slick thug who builds an empire during the ’70s while battling a determined police detective (played by Russell Crowe). Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down) does camera duty. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (R, 160 minutes) There’s not a lot of rootin’, tootin’ action in this lengthy, late-period Western, but the relationship between slightly over-the-hill trainrobber Jesse James (Brad Pitt) and his sycophantic, idol-worshipping would-be killer (Casey Affleck) is mesmerizing. Affleck creates a particularly memorable character in real-life assassin Robert Ford—he’s sort of the Old West version of Mark David Chapman. The film takes its sweet time getting to the titular action, but it’s a gorgeously shot, thought-provoking ride. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes) Jerry Seinfeld not only voices the main character in this computer-animated fable, but penned the script about a disillusioned bee who doesn’t want to spend his life making honey. On a trip outside the hive, he meets and falls in love with (sort of) a New York florist (Renée Zellweger). Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Larry King, Ray Liotta, Oprah Winfrey and Sting (of course) are among the stars crowding up the credits block. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Comebacks (PG-13, 104 minutes) Inspirational sports movies get the Scary Movie Treatment (formerly known as the Airplane Treatment). An out-of-luck coach (comedian David Koechner) leads a rag-tag band of misfits to the football championships in this spoof of everything from Rocky to Remember the Titans to Blue Crush to Field of Dreams. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6     

Dan in Real Life (PG-13, 95 minutes) Steve Carell almost entirely makes up for Evan Almighty with this sweet, entirely authentic romantic comedy. Carell plays the widowed father of three young girls who makes a living as an advice columnist—a job for which the permanently depressive Dan seems singularly unqualified. While on a family vacation/reunion in Rhode Island, Dan meets a lovely, smart, down-to-earth woman (Juliette Binochet). Unfortunately, she turns out to be the new girlfriend of Dan’s brother. A weekend of severe discomfort ensues. Not even the presence of Dane Cook can spoil this near-perfect blend of humor and emotion from writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April).  Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Darjeeling Limited (R, 91 minutes) Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) reunites with a few old pals to write and direct this comedy about three estranged American brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) who reunite for a "spiritual quest" across India. Like all of Anderson’s film, this one is slow, stylized and painfully clever. An absolute must for fans. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Eastern Promises (R, 100 minutes) Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Naked Lunch) contributes another sober rumination on violence. This one stars Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) as a mysterious tattooed driver tied to a family of Russian mobsters from London. Our taciturn criminal’s world view goes through some serious changes when he crosses paths with an innocent midwife (Naomi Watts, King Kong) caught up in the death of a pregnant teen. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (PG-13, 114 minutes) Director Shekhar Kapur and star Cate Blanchett try to repeat history with this sequel to 1998’s award-winning Elizabeth. Here, the British monarch is distracted from running her empire by an affair with adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). The cast is packed (Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton and Rhys Ifans are also in there) and the computer-generated maritime battles are impressive, but the history lesson feels simplified and melodramatic this time around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Game Plan (PG, 110 minutes) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a cocky professional quarterback who, out of the blue, finds the 8-year-old daughter he never knew dumped on his doorstep. This lazy family comedy recycles the most clichéd elements available from the sports movie genre and the “selfish adult learns a lesson from the impossibly cute little kid” genre. Suitable only for those mourning the loss of very special episodes of “Full House.” Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Gone Baby Gone (R, 115 minutes) Ben Affleck turns director to helm this gripping adaptation of a mystery novel by Dennis Lehane (the guy who also provided Sean Penn with Mystic River). Casey Affleck delivers an understated star turn as a youthful, but charismatic Boston P.I. who—along with his attractive g.f. Michelle Monaghan (The Heartbreak Kid)—is hired to help out in a child-abduction case. A little snooping through Beantown’s seedier neighborhoods roots out a mother with some very ugly underworld connections and a growing conspiracy. Some of the plot mechanics might not be entirely realistic, but Affleck has created a gritty and quite realistic portrait of low-rent Boston.Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Halloween (R, 109 minutes) Rocker Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses) tries his hand at remaking (or "reimagining" or whatever) John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic. Zombie crams the cast with great cameos (Malcolm McDowell, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Dee Wallace, Brad Dourif, Ken Foree, Sid Haig, Adrienne Barbeau, Sybil Danning, Richard Lynch). The story remains largely unchanged, with disturbed, knife-wielding Michael Meyers returning to his hometown of Haddonfield after spending 17 years in a mental institution. Zombie obviously loves the material and adds a bit more backstory (probably too much) to chew over in this not entirely unwelcome go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Into the Wild (R, 140 minutes) Sean Penn directs this poetic, true-life biopic about Chris McCandless, a middle-class college grad who abandoned his possessions, renamed himself "Alexander Supertramp" and hitchhiked to Alaska to live a Thoreau-like existence in the wilderness. He starved to death after a few months. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door) gives a strong performance and Penn avoids romanticizing the misguided rebel too awfully much. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Lust, Caution (NC-17, 148 minutes) Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) returns to China for this lugubrious 1942-set spy drama. Tony Leung (Hard-Boiled) is a Shanghai official working with the occupying Japanese. Pretty newcomer Tang Wei is a resistance agent who gets close to him by acting the seductress. There’s a whole heck of a lot of quite explicit sex going on (hence the rating), but the drama never pushes past melo. In Madarin with English subtitles. Coming to Vinegar Hill Theatre; check listings

Martian Child (PG) John Cusack headlines this feel-good drama/comedy about a brokenhearted writer who adopts a troubled 6-year-old boy who believes that he is from Mars. But what if, like, magically, this kid really is from Mars? This well-meaning family-ish film feels a bit like About a Boy, but has an uncomfortable whiff of K-PAX about it. Opening Friday; check local listings

Michael Clayton (R, 120 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York Law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriterwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Rendition (R, 120 minutes) Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are the sexy young stars of this drama about government kidnapping and torture. Witherspoon is the Chicago soccer mom whose hunky Egyptian hubby gets nabbed by the CIA and electrocuted (among other things) to find out his (possibly nonexistant) ties to a terrorist bombing in North Africa. Gyllenhaal is the sypathetic CIA analyst who tries to help Witherspoon get her husband back. The cast (including Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin and Peter Sarsgaard) try their best, but the direction is dull and the script badly melodramatic. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Saw IV (R, 108 minutes) Not even death can keep a good killer down. Despite having passed away in the last Saw film, our conscientious serial killer Jigsaw is back from beyond the grave. While trying to sort out the remains of the last deadly game, two FBI agents fight to save a SWAT team commander stuck in a series of ingenious traps left behind by Jigsaw. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Things We Lost in the Fire (R, 129 minutes) Audrey Burke (Halle Berry) is reeling from the shock of losing her husband, the father of her two children, to a random act of violence. Emotionally adrift, she invites a down-and-out heroin addict (Benicio Del Toro) to live with her. Yeah, that seems like a good idea. Catharsis, recovery and friendship are the watchwords of this subdued drama by Susan Bier (After the Wedding). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (PG-13) Tyler Perry directs another big screen adaptation of one of his shot-to-video stageplays (this one barely a year old). For better or worse (much better as far as I’m concerned), Perry’s drag character Madea does not appear in this comedy/drama about a sexy young temptress who shows up at a marriage retreat for couples only. Perfectly acceptable if you like your comedy, your drama and your Christian dogma extremely light. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

We Own the Night (R, 117 minutes) Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall star in this muscular but conventional crime drama about a coke-dealing Brooklyn nightclub manager who tries to save his straight-arrow brother and father (both cops) from evil Russian hitmen. Writer/director James Gray (maker of the nearly identical flicks Little Odessa and The Yards) would helm a fine episode of “The Shield,” but he’s no Martin Scorsese. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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30 Days of Night (R) The hit graphic novel about a savage (but clever) band of vampires who emigrate to Alaska to bask in the extended darkness of the Arctic Circle’s sunless winter hits the big screen. Josh Hartnett (40 Days and 40 Nights) headlines as the small-town sheriff who tries to fend off the bloodthirsty gang until the sun returns. An energetic, scary and tense addition to the well-worn vampire mythos. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Across the Universe (PG-13, 131 minutes) Arty director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus and that damn Lion King on Broadway) turns a bunch of Beatles songs into a long-form music video with a sappy story. Didn’t The Beatles already receive this treatment with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Well, at least this one doesn’t star The Bee Gees. There are lots and lots of surreal images (all of which were more interesting when they appeared in Pink Floyd The Wall) and a naive story about star-crossed hippie lovers Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) and Jude (Jim Sturgess). No points are awarded for guessing which songs they get to sing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Comebacks (PG-13, 104 minutes) Inspirational sports movies get the Scary Movie Treatment (formerly known as the Airplane Treatment). An out-of-luck coach (comedian David Koechner) leads a rag-tag band of misfits to the football championships in this spoof of everything from Rocky to Remember the Titans to Blue Crush to Field of Dreams. Opening Friday; check local listings   

Dan in Real Life (PG-13, 95 minutes) Steve Carell almost entirely makes up for Evan Almighty with this sweet, entirely authentic romantic comedy. Carell plays the widowed father of three young girls who makes a living as an advice columnist—a job for which the permanently depressive Dan seems singularly unqualified. While on a family vacation/reunion in Rhode Island, Dan meets a lovely, smart, down-to-earth woman (Juliette Binochet). Unfortunately, she turns out to be the new girlfriend of Dan’s brother. A weekend of severe discomfort ensues. Not even the presence of Dane Cook can spoil this near-perfect blend of humor and emotion from writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April). Opening Friday; check local listings

Eastern Promises (R, 100 minutes) Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Naked Lunch) contributes another sober rumination on violence. This one stars Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) as a mysterious tattooed driver tied to a family of Russian mobsters from London. Our taciturn criminal’s world view goes through some serious changes when he crosses paths with an innocent midwife (Naomi Watts, King Kong) caught up in the death of a pregnant teen. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (PG-13, 114 minutes) Director Shekhar Kapur and star Cate Blanchett try to repeat history with this sequel to 1998’s award-winning Elizabeth. Here, the British monarch is distracted from running her empire by an affair with adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). The cast is packed (Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton and Rhys Ifans are also in there) and the computer-generated maritime battles are impressive, but the history lesson feels simplified and melodramatic this time around. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Game Plan (PG, 110 minutes) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a cocky professional quarterback who, out of the blue, finds the 8-year-old daughter he never knew dumped on his doorstep. This lazy family comedy recycles the most clichéd elements available from the sports movie genre and the “selfish adult learns a lesson from the impossibly cute little kid” genre. Suitable only for those mourning the loss of very special episodes of “Full House.” Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Gone Baby Gone (R, 115 minutes) Ben Affleck turns director to helm this gripping adaptation of a mystery novel by Dennis Lehane (the guy who also provided Sean Penn with Mystic River). Casey Affleck delivers an understated star turn as a youthful, but charismatic Boston P.I. who—along with his attractive g.f. Michelle Monaghan (The Heartbreak Kid)—is hired to help out in a child-abduction case. A little snooping through Beantown’s seedier neighborhoods roots out a mother with some very ugly underworld connections and a growing conspiracy. Some of the plot mechanics might not be entirely realistic, but Affleck has created a gritty and quite realistic portrait of low-rent Boston. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Trailer for Gone Baby Gone.


Into the Wild (R, 140 minutes) Sean Penn directs this poetic, true-life biopic about Chris McCandless, a middle-class college grad who abandoned his possessions, renamed himself "Alexander Supertramp" and hitchhiked to Alaska to live a Thoreau-like existence in the wilderness. He starved to death after a few months. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door) gives a strong performance and Penn avoids romanticizing the misguided rebel too awfully much. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

The Kingdom (R, 110 minutes) The Iraq War dramas continue with this thriller about an FBI counter-terrorism team sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate the bombing of an American facility. Of course, both the Saudi government and the American military stymie the investigation at every turn. Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and Chris Cooper fill out the cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Michael Clayton (R, 120 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York Law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriterwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Rendition (R, 120 minutes) Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are the sexy young stars of this drama about government kidnapping and torture. Witherspoon is the Chicago soccer mom whose hunky Egyptian hubby gets nabbed by the CIA and electrocuted (among other things) to find out his (possibly nonexistant) ties to a terrorist bombing in North Africa. Gyllenhaal is the sypathetic CIA analyst who tries to help Witherspoon get her husband back. The cast (including Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin and Peter Sarsgaard) try their best, but the direction is dull and the script badly melodramatic. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Saw IV (R, 108 minutes) Not even death can keep a good killer down. Despite having passed away in the last Saw film, our conscientious serial killer Jigsaw is back from beyond the grave. While trying to sort out the remains of the last deadly game, two FBI agents fight to save a SWAT team commander stuck in a series of ingenious traps left behind by Jigsaw. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (PG, 94 minutes) As expected, Susan Cooper’s Harry Potter-ish book series (written before Harry Potter, it should be noted) goes Hollywood. In it, an ordinary boy learns that he is the last of a group of warriors bestowed with secret magical powers in order to defeat the forces of darkness. If you loved EragonPlaying at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera (“Arrested Development”) as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Things We Lost in the Fire (R, 129 minutes) Audrey Burke (Halle Berry) is reeling from the shock of losing her husband, the father of her two children, to a random act of violence. Emotionally adrift, she invites a down-and-out heroin addict (Benicio Del Toro) to live with her. Yeah, that seems like a good idea. Catharsis, recovery and friendship are the watchwords of this subdued drama by Susan Bier (After the Wedding). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (PG-13) Tyler Perry directs another big screen adaptation of one of his shot-to-video stageplays (this one barely a year old). For better or worse (much better as far as I’m concerned), Perry’s drag character Madea does not appear in this comedy/drama about a sexy young temptress who shows up at a marriage retreat for couples only. Perfectly acceptable if you like your comedy, your drama and your Christian dogma extremely light. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

We Own the Night (R, 117 minutes) Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall star in this muscular but conventional crime drama about a coke-dealing Brooklyn nightclub manager who tries to save his straight-arrow brother and father (both cops) from evil Russian hitmen. Writer/director James Gray (maker of the nearly identical flicks Little Odessa and The Yards) would helm a fine episode of “The Shield,” but he’s no Martin Scorsese. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

3:10 to Yuma (R, 117 minutes) Russell Crowe and Christian Bale replace Glenn Ford and Van Heflin in this remake of the highly regarded 1957 western. Crowe is the outlaw leader on his way to court via the titular conveyance. Bale is the small-time rancher charged with escorting him there alive—no small task when droves of gun-toting bad guys show up. The film’s tense, ticking clock narrative plays out quite a bit like High Noon, with Bale and especially Crowe turning in compelling performances. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

28 Weeks Later (R, 91 minutes) 2002’s apocalyptic zombie flick, 28 Days Later, was a shot in the arm to a stagnant horror film industry. Unfortunately, director Danny Boyle isn’t back for this follow-up. Substitute Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) can’t quite replicate Boyle’s kinetic camerawork; but he does O.K., adding a few honest jump scares to a fairly standard script. It’s six months after the initial outbreak of the Rage Virus, and the U.S. Army has arrived in England, helping to secure a small section of London for repopulation. Naturally, everything goes wrong and those American boys start getting a tad trigger-happy. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

30 Days of Night (R) The hit graphic novel about a savage (but clever) band of vampires who emigrate to Alaska to bask in the extended darkness of the Arctic Circle’s sunless winter hits the big screen. Josh Hartnett (40 Days and 40 Nights) headlines as the small-town sheriff who tries to fend off the bloodthirsty gang until the sun returns. An energetic, scary and tense addition to the well-worn vampire mythos. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Comebacks (PG-13, 104 minutes) Inspirational sports movies get the Scary Movie Treatment (formerly known as the Airplane Treatment). An out-of-luck coach (comedian David Koechner) leads a rag-tag band of misfits to the football championships in this spoof of everything from Rocky to Remember the Titans to Blue Crush to Field of Dreams. Opening Friday; check local listings     

Death at a Funeral (R, 90 minutes) Former Muppet man Frank Oz directs this very British farce about a funeral gone very wrong. A large, dysfunctional family (all mostly unknown actors on this side of the pond) gathers at a lovely house in the English countryside to mourn the passing of its patriarch. Over the course of the chaotic funeral, various wacky situations (homosexual dwarves, hallucinogenic drugs, diarrhea) rear their ugly head. Farce should appear effortless, and Death at a Funeral strains so hard to be funny that it nearly busts a blood vessel. Unfortunately, it aims for the drawing room wit of Oscar Wilde and lands somewhere near the sitcom zaniness of Benny Hill. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Eastern Promises (R, 100 minutes) Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Naked Lunch) contributes another sober rumination on violence. This one stars Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) as a mysterious tattooed driver tied to a family of Russian mobsters from London. Our taciturn criminal’s world view goes through some serious changes when he crosses paths with an innocent midwife (Naomi Watts, King Kong) caught up in the death of a pregnant teen. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (PG-13, 114 minutes) Director Shekhar Kapur and star Cate Blanchett try to repeat history with this sequel to 1998’s award-winning Elizabeth. Here, the British monarch is distracted from running her empire by an affair with adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). The cast is packed (Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton and Rhys Ifans are also in there) and the computer-generated maritime battles are impressive, but the history lesson feels simplified and melodramatic this time around. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Feel the Noise (PG-13, 86 minutes) Jennifer Lopez produced this song-and-dance-filled musical about an aspiring Harlem rapper (Omarion Grandberry, You Got Served) who flees to Puerto Rico to reunite with the father he never knew after a run-in with some local thugs. On the colorful island nation, he hooks up with a hottie dancer and finds “salvation” in the spicy music style of Reggaeton. For major fans of Reggaeton, I guess. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Game Plan (PG, 110 minutes) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a cocky professional quarterback who, out of the blue, finds the 8-year-old daughter he never knew dumped on his doorstep. This lazy family comedy recycles the most clichéd elements available from the sports movie genre and the “selfish adult learns a lesson from the impossibly cute little kid” genre. Suitable only for those mourning the loss of very special episodes of “Full House.” Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Gone Baby Gone (R, 115 minutes) Ben Affleck turns director to helm this gripping adaptation of a mystery novel by Dennis Lehane (the guy who also provided Sean Penn with Mystic River). Casey Affleck delivers an understated star turn as a youthful, but charismatic Boston P.I. who—along with his attractive g.f., Michelle Monaghan (The Heartbreak Kid)—is hired to help out in a child-abduction case. A little snooping through Beantown’s seedier neighborhoods roots out a mother with some very ugly underworld connections and a growing conspiracy. Some of the plot mechanics might not be entirely realistic, but Affleck has created a gritty and quite realistic portrait of low-rent Boston. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Heartbreak Kid (R, 116 minutes) What would happen if you combined Neil Simon and The Farrelly Brothers? The makers of There’s Something About Mary try remaking a 1972 Neil Simon comedy with decidedly mixed results. Ben Stiller plays a loveless 40-year-old who marries an attractive gal (Malin Ackerman, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) on a whim. While on their honeymoon in Mexico, our boy discovers his wife is nuts and manages to fall in love with an even more attractive gal (Michelle Monaghan, Mission: Impossible III). There are a few stabs at the Farrelly’s tradmark rude humor, but most of it is awfully uncomfortable and unsympathetic. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

In the Shadow of the Moon (PG, 100 minutes) This meticulous documentary allows the surviving crew members of NASA’s history-making Apollo missions to tell their stories in their own words. The excitement and majesty of these pioneering days is fully captured thanks a treasure trove of archival footage (who doesn’t love rocket ships?) and some colorful commentary by the astronauts themselves (Buzz Aldrin, Mike Collins, Alan Bean, Jim Lovell and Harrison Schmitt among them). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Into the Wild (R, 140 minutes) Sean Penn directs this poetic, true-life biopic about Chris McCandless, a middle-class college grad who abandoned his possessions, renamed himself "Alexander Supertramp" and hitchhiked to Alaska to live a Thoreau-like existence in the wilderness. He starved to death after a few months. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door) gives a strong performance and Penn avoids romanticizing the misguided rebel too awfully much. Opening Friday at Vinegar Hill Theatre

The Jane Austen Book Club (PG-13, 105 minutes) Once again, the name Jane Austen is employed as a carefully calculated beacon to attract loyal chick flick viewers. In this ensemble romance (based on Karen Joy Fowler’s book), six Californians start the titular organization, only to find that their tangled relationships start to resemble the plots of Ms. Austen’s novels. The cast (Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Jimmy Smits, Hugh Dancy) is up to the task, but the script is laid out purely by the numbers. From the director of such other femme-friendly literary adaptations as Little Women, Practical Magic and Memoirs of a Geisha. Playing through Thursday at Vinegar Hill Theatre

The Kingdom (R, 110 minutes) The Iraq War dramas continue with this thriller about an FBI counter-terrorism team sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate the bombing of an American facility. Of course, both the Saudi government and the American military stymie the investigation at every turn. Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and Chris Cooper fill out the cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Michael Clayton (R, 120 minutes) George Clooney toplines this hard-hitting legal drama about an in-house "fixer" at a top New York Law firm. When one of the firm’s defense attorneys goes bonkers working on a questionable class action lawsuit, our titular character is called in to clean house. Naturally, our protagonist starts to uncover all sorts of dirty truths that could potentially sabotage the case. Will he do his job or do the right thing? Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack round out a topflight cast for screenwriterwriter-turned-director Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Preview for Michael Clayton.


Rendition (R, 120 minutes) Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal are the sexy young stars of this drama about government kidnapping and torture. Witherspoon is the Chicago soccer mom whose hunky Egyptian hubby gets nabbed by the CIA and electrocuted (among other things) to find out his (possibly nonexistant) ties to a terrorist bombing in North Africa. Gyllenhaal is the sypathetic CIA analyst who tries to help Witherspoon get her husband back. The cast (including Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin and Peter Sarsgaard) try their best, but the direction is dull and the script badly melodramatic. Opening Friday; check local listings

Meryl Streep takes a back seat to some young stars in the kidnapping flick, Rendition. But she’s still the coolest.

Resident Evil: Extinction (R, 95 minutes) The Resident Evil franchise ups the ante (so to speak) with this postapocalyptic outing. Apparently things have gone very wrong since the last couple of movies, as Alice (Milla Jovovich) is now leading a small band of survivors across the Nevada desert. While passing through the ruins of Las Vegas, the group must battle hordes of undead monsters created by the Umbrella Corporation’s now rampant T-Virus. Speaking of coming back from the dead, Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) directs. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour (PG, 81 minutes) This family affair written by unknown John Comrie, directed by unknown Lisa Comrie and starring unknowns Brian Comrie, Dan Comrie and Rick Comrie plays like an extended episode of "Goosebumps." Newcomer Rissa Walters headlines as a spunky teen investigating supernatural happenings in her small hometown of Pine Valley. Posters promise this is "the first in a series of Sarah Landon mysteries." I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (PG, 94 minutes) As expected, Susan Cooper’s Harry Potter-ish book series (written before Harry Potter, it should be noted) goes Hollywood. In it, an ordinary boy learns that he is the last of a group of warriors bestowed with secret magical powers in order to defeat the forces of darkness. If you loved EragonPlaying at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera (“Arrested Development”) as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (PG-13) Tyler Perry directs another big screen adaptation of one of his shot-to-video stageplays (this one barely a year old). For better or worse (much better as far as I’m concerned), Perry’s drag character Madea does not appear in this comedy/drama about a sexy young temptress who shows up at a marriage retreat for couples only. Perfectly acceptable if you like your comedy, your drama and your Christian dogma extremely light. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

We Own the Night (R, 117 minutes) Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall star in this muscular but conventional crime drama about a coke-dealing Brooklyn nightclub manager who tries to save his straight-arrow brother and father (both cops) from evil Russian hitmen. Writer/director James Gray (maker of the nearly identical flicks Little Odessa and The Yards) would helm a fine episode of “The Shield,” but he’s no Martin Scorsese. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

3:10 to Yuma (R, 117 minutes) Russell Crowe and Christian Bale replace Glenn Ford and Van Heflin in this remake of the highly regarded 1957 western. Crowe is the outlaw leader on his way to court via the titular conveyance. Bale is the small-time rancher charged with escorting him there alive—no small task when droves of gun-toting bad guys show up. The film’s tense, ticking clock narrative plays out quite a bit like High Noon, with Bale and especially Crowe turning in compelling performances. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Across the Universe (PG-13, 131 minutes) Arty director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus and that damn Lion King on Broadway) turns a bunch of Beatles songs into a long-form music video with a sappy story. Didn’t The Beatles already receive this treatment with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Well, at least this one doesn’t star The Bee Gees. There are lots and lots of surreal images (all of which were more interesting when they appeared in Pink Floyd The Wall) and a naive story about star-crossed hippie lovers Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) and Jude (Jim Sturgess). No points are awarded for guessing which songs they get to sing. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Brave One (R, 122 minutes) A mere two weeks after Kevin Bacon tried his hand at starring in a remake of Death Wish comes Jodie Foster doing largely the same thing. Foster takes on the role of Erica, a New Yorker who struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission of bloody vigilante revenge. The script feels awfully knee-jerk stereotypical at times, but some tight direction from Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) and a typically gritty performance by Foster keep things from becoming too trite. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Death at a Funeral (R, 90 minutes) Former Muppet man Frank Oz directs this very British farce about a funeral gone very wrong. A large, dysfunctional family (all mostly unknown actors on this side of the pond) gathers at a lovely house in the English countryside to mourn the passing of its patriarch. Over the course of the chaotic funeral, various wacky situations (homosexual dwarves, hallucinogenic drugs, diarrhea) rear their ugly head. Farce should appear effortless, and Death at a Funeral strains so hard to be funny that it nearly busts a blood vessel. Unfortunately, it aims for the drawing room wit of Oscar Wilde and lands somewhere near the sitcom zaniness of Benny Hill. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Eastern Promises (R, 100 minutes) Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Naked Lunch) contributes another sober rumination on violence. This one stars Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) as a mysterious tattooed driver tied to a family of Russian mobsters from London. Our taciturn criminal’s world view goes through some serious changes when he crosses paths with an innocent midwife (Naomi Watts, King Kong) caught up in the death of a pregnant teen. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Will history repeat itself? Catch Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, a sequel to 1998’s critical darling, Elizabeth.


Elizabeth: The Golden Age
(PG-13, 114 minutes) Director Shekhar Kapur and star Cate Blanchett try to repeat history with this sequel to 1998’s award-winning Elizabeth. Here, the British monarch is distracted from running her empire by an affair with adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen). The cast is packed (Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton and Rhys Ifans are also in there) and the computer-generated maritime battles are impressive, but the history lesson feels simplified and melodramatic this time around. Opening Friday; check local listings

Feast of Love (R, 102 minutes) Morgan Freeman, Selma Blair, Greg Kinnear, Radha Mitchell, Jane Alexander, Fred Ward and Billy Burke star in this ensemble meditation on love and its various incarnations set within a community of friends in Oregon. Naturally, Morgan plays the village wise man who also narrates. Based on the book by Charles Baxter and directed by Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Feel the Noise (PG-13, 86 minutes) Jennifer Lopez produced this song-and-dance-filled musical about an aspiring Harlem rapper (Omarion Grandberry, You Got Served) who flees to Puerto Rico to reunite with the father he never knew after a run-in with some local thugs. On the colorful island nation, he hooks up with a hottie dancer and finds “salvation” in the spicy music style of Reggaeton. For major fans of Reggaeton, I guess. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Game Plan (PG, 110 minutes) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a cocky professional quarterback who, out of the blue, finds the 8-year-old daughter he never knew dumped on his doorstep. This lazy family comedy recycles the most clichéd elements available from the sports movie genre and the “selfish adult learns a lesson from the impossibly cute little kid” genre. Suitable only for those mourning the loss of very special episodes of “Full House.” Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Good Luck Chuck (R, 96 minutes) Dane Cook (still swimming in the crude romantic comedy pool after Employee of the Month) stars as a love-’em-and-leave-’em stud whose one-night stands immediately go on to meet the true love of their life. When our boy Chuck meets “the one” (embodied by Jessica Alba), he hopes to break his lifelong curse and form a lasting relationship. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Heartbreak Kid (R, 116 minutes) What would happen if you combined Neil Simon and The Farrelly Brothers? The makers of There’s Something About Mary try remaking a 1972 Neil Simon comedy with decidedly mixed results. Ben Stiller plays a loveless 40-year-old who marries an attractive gal (Malin Ackerman, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) on a whim. While on their honeymoon in Mexico, our boy discovers his wife is nuts and manages to fall in love with an even more attractive gal (Michelle Monaghan, Mission: Impossible III). There are a few stabs at the Farrelly’s tradmark rude humor, but most of it is awfully uncomfortable and unsympathetic. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Trailer for The Heartbreak Kid.

In the Valley of Elah (R, 114 minutes) Writer/director Paul Haggis follows up his string of Oscar-winning efforts (Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima) with this slow, somber, war-weary murder mystery. Tommy Lee Jones gives a brilliant, understated performance as a patriotic, long-retired MP who goes looking for his AWOL Army son. Contrary to expectation, the film doesn’t preach against the Iraq war. Instead, it’s a thoughtful rumination on sending young men off to war—any war—and the effect that has on them when they return. The film isn’t a thriller by any stretch of the imagination, but it boasts some fine, sympathetic performances. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Jane Austen Book Club (PG-13, 105 minutes) Once again, the name Jane Austen is employed as a carefully calculated beacon to attract loyal chick flick viewers. In this ensemble romance (based on Karen Joy Fowler’s book), six Californians start the titular organization, only to find that their tangled relationships start to resemble the plots of Ms. Austen’s novels. The cast (Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Jimmy Smits, Hugh Dancy) is up to the task, but the script is laid out purely by the numbers. From the director of such other femme-friendly literary adaptations as Little Women, Practical Magic and Memoirs of a Geisha. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

The Kingdom (R, 110 minutes) The Iraq War dramas continue with this thriller about an FBI counter-terrorism team sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate the bombing of an American facility. Of course, both the Saudi government and the American military stymie the investigation at every turn. Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and Chris Cooper fill out the cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Mr. Woodcock (PG-13, 87 minutes) Seann William Scott (American Pie) stars as a young man who returns to his hometown only to find that his mom (Susan Sarandon) is marrying his arch-nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton), the high school gym coach who made his life a living hell. And, yes, you can expect more balls in the crotch jokes. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Resident Evil: Extinction (R, 95 minutes) The Resident Evil franchise ups the ante (so to speak) with this postapocalyptic outing. Apparently things have gone very wrong since the last couple of movies, as Alice (Milla Jovovich) is now leading a small band of survivors across the Nevada desert. While passing through the ruins of Las Vegas, the group must battle hordes of undead monsters created by the Umbrella Corporation’s now rampant T-Virus. Speaking of coming back from the dead, Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) directs. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (PG, 94 minutes) As expected, Susan Cooper’s Harry Potter-ish book series (written before Harry Potter, it should be noted) goes Hollywood. In it, an ordinary boy learns that he is the last of a group of warriors bestowed with secret magical powers in order to defeat the forces of darkness. If you loved EragonPlaying at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera (“Arrested Development”) as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Sydney White (PG-13, 90 minutes) Credit where credit is due: Sydney White is certainly the first film to combine Show White and the Seven Dwarves and Revenge of the Nerds. Amanda Bynes, arguably the most talented of the Disney Channel’s tween queens, stars as the titular college freshman who tries to pledge her long-dead mother’s sorority, only to run up against a shallow and vindictive beauty queen (Sara Paxton). Booted from the paradise of sorority row, she shacks up with a septet of super dorks, who help her get revenge against the evil Greeks. It’s awfully silly stuff (the poisoned apple is now an iMac), but young gals will like it just fine. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (PG-13) Tyler Perry directs another big screen adaptation of one of his shot-to-video stageplays (this one barely a year old). For better or worse (much better as far as I’m concerned), Perry’s drag character Madea does not appear in this comedy/drama about a sexy young temptress who shows up at a marriage retreat for couples only. Perfectly acceptable if you like your comedy, your drama and your Christian dogma extremely light. Opening Friday; check local listings

We Own the Night (R, 117 minutes) Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall star in this muscular but conventional crime drama about a coke-dealing Brooklyn nightclub manager who tries to save his straight-arrow brother and father (both cops) from evil Russian hitmen. Writer/director James Gray (maker of the nearly identical flicks Little Odessa, The Yards) would helm a fine episode of “The Shield,” but he’s no Martin Scorsese. Opening Friday; check local listings

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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2 Days in Paris (R, 96 minutes) Julie Delpy, unwilling to leave Paris in the wake of Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, sticks around the City of Lights for this romantic comedy/drama about a squabbling couple (Delpy and Adam Goldberg) who go to France to rekindle their relationship. Delpy writes and directs as well, channeling a bit of Woody Allen—with an extra dose of discomfort thrown in for good measure. Playing through Thursday at Vinegar Hill Theatre

3:10 to Yuma (R, 117 minutes) Russell Crowe and Christian Bale replace Glenn Ford and Van Heflin in this remake of the highly regarded 1957 western. Crowe is the outlaw leader on his way to court via the titular conveyance. Bale is the small-time rancher charged with escorting him there alive—no small task when droves of gun-toting bad guys show up. The film’s tense, ticking clock narrative plays out quite a bit like High Noon, with Bale and especially Crowe turning in compelling performances. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Brave One (R, 119 minutes) A mere two weeks after Kevin Bacon tried his hand at starring in a remake of Death Wish comes Jodie Foster doing largely the same thing. Foster takes on the role of Erica, a New Yorker who struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission of bloody vigilante revenge. The script feels awfully knee-jerk stereotypical at times, but some tight direction from Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) and a typically gritty performace by Foster keep things from becoming too trite. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Death at a Funeral (R, 90 minutes) Former Muppet man Frank Oz directs this very British farce about a funeral gone very wrong. A large, dysfunctional family (all mostly unknown actors on this side of the pond) gathers at a lovely house in the English countryside to mourn the passing of its patriarch. Over the course of the chaotic funeral, various wacky situations (homosexual dwarves, hallucinogenic drugs, diarrhea) rear their ugly head. Farce should appear effortless, and Death at a Funeral strains so hard to be funny that it nearly busts a blood vessel. Unfortunately, it aims for the drawing room wit of Oscar Wilde and lands somewhere near the sitcom zaniness of Benny Hill. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Eastern Promises (R, 96 minutes) Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Naked Lunch) contributes another sober rumination on violence. This one stars Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) as a mysterious tattooed driver tied to a family of Russian mobsters from London. Our taciturn criminal’s worldview goes through some serious changes when he crosses paths with an innocent midwife (Naomi Watts, King Kong) caught up in the death of a pregnant teen. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Feast of Love (R, 102 minutes) Morgan Freeman, Selma Blair, Greg Kinnear, Radha Mitchell, Jane Alexander, Fred Ward and Billy Burke star in this ensemble meditation on love and its various incarnations set within a community of friends in Oregon. Naturally, Morgan plays the village wise man who also narrates. Based on the book by Charles Baxter and directed by Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Feel the Noise (PG-13, 86 minutes) Jennifer Lopez produced this song-and-dance-filled musical about an aspiring Harlem rapper (Omarion Grandberry, You Got Served) who flees to Puerto Rico to reunite with the father he never knew after a run-in with some local thugs. On the colorful island nation, he hooks up with a hottie dancer and finds “salvation” in the spicy music style of Reggaeton. For major fans of Reggaeton, I guess. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Game Plan (PG, 110 minutes) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a cocky professional quarterback who, out of the blue, finds the 8-year-old daughter he never knew dumped on his doorstep. This lazy family comedy recycles the most clichéd elements available from the sports movie genre and the “selfish adult learns a lesson form the impossibly cute little kid” genre. Suitable only for those mourning the loss of very special episodes of “Full House.” Playing at Carmike Cinema 6



Trailer for The Game Plan.


Good Luck Chuck (R, 96 minutes) Dane Cook (still swimming in the crude romantic comedy pool after Employee of the Month) stars as a love-’em-and-leave-’em stud whose one-night stands immediately go on to meet the true love of their life. When our boy Chuck meets “the one” (embodied by Jessica Alba), he hopes to break his lifelong curse and form a lasting relationship. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Heartbreak Kid (R) What would happen if you combined Neil Simon and The Farrelly Brothers? The makers of There’s Something About Mary try remaking a 1972 Neil Simon comedy with decidedly mixed results. Ben Stiller plays a loveless 40-year-old who marries an attractive gal (Malin Ackerman, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) on a whim. While on their honeymoon in Mexico, our boy discovers his wife is nuts and manages to fall in love with an even more attractive gal (Michelle Monaghan, Mission: Impossible III). There are a few stabs at the Farrelly’s tradmark rude humor, but most of it is awfully uncomfortable and unsympathetic. Opening Friday; check local listings

In the Valley of Elah (R, 121 minutes) Writer/director Paul Haggis follows up his string of Oscar-winning efforts (Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima) with this slow, somber, war-weary murder mystery. Tommy Lee Jones gives a brilliant, understated performance as a patriotic, long-retired MP who goes looking for his AWOL Army son. Contrary to expectation, the film doesn’t preach against the Iraq war. Instead, it’s a thoughtful rumination on sending young men off to war—any war—and the effect that has on them when they return. The film isn’t a thriller by any stretch of the imagination, but it boasts some fine, sympathetic performances. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Jane Austen Book Club (PG-13, 105 minutes) It’s Jane Austen-meets-the-movies time again in this romantic comedy set in modern-day California. Virginia Film Festival board member Julie Lynn produced the film, and Robin Swicord directed as well as adapted the novel by Karen Joy Fowler. Opening Friday at Vinegar Hill Theatre

The Kingdom (R, 110 minutes) The Iraq War dramas continue with this thriller about an FBI counter-terrorism team sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate the bombing of an American facility. Of course, both the Saudi government and the American military stymie the investigation at every turn. Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and Chris Cooper fill out the cast. Opening Friday; check local listings

Mr. Woodcock (PG-13, 87 minutes) Seann William Scott (American Pie) stars as a young man who returns to his hometown only to find that his mom (Susan Sarandon) is marrying his arch-nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton), the high school gym coach who made his life a living hell. And, yes, you can expect more balls in the crotch jokes. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6
Once (R, 85 minutes) This alt-rock musical that some called the sleeper hit of the summer stars Glen Hansard of the Irish pop group The Frames as a busker who’s befriended by a lonely single mother/Czech immigrant/singer-songwriter. Playing through Thursday at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Resident Evil: Extinction (R, 95 minutes) The Resident Evil franchise ups the ante (so to speak) with this postapocalyptic outing. Apparently things have gone very wrong since the last couple of movies, as Alice (Milla Jovovich) is now leading a small band of survivors across the Nevada desert. While passing through the ruins of Las Vegas, the group must battle hordes of undead monsters created by the Umbrella Corporation’s now rampant T-Virus. Speaking of coming back from the dead, Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) directs. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Seeker: The Dark is Rising (PG) As expected, Susan Cooper’s Harry Potter-ish book series (written before Harry Potter, it should be noted) goes Hollywood. In it, an ordinary boy learns that he is the last of a group of warriors bestowed with secret magical powers in order to defeat the forces of darkness. If you loved Eragon… Opening Friday; check local listings

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera (“Arrested Development”) as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Sydney White (PG-13, 90 minutes) Credit where credit is due: Sydney White is certainly the first film to combine Show White and the Seven Dwarves and Revenge of the Nerds. Amanda Bynes, arguably the most talented of the Disney Channel’s tween queens, stars as the titular college freshman who tries to pledge her long-dead mother’s sorority, only to run up against a shallow and vindictive beauty queen (Sara Paxton). Booted from the paradise of sorority row, she shacks up with a septet of super dorks, who help her get revenge against the evil Greeks. It’s awfully silly stuff (the poisoned apple is now an iMac), but young gals will like it just fine. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

2 Days in Paris (R, 96 minutes) Julie Delpy, unwilling to leave Paris in the wake of Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, sticks around the City of Lights for this romantic comedy/drama about a squabbling couple (Delpy and Adam Goldberg) who go to France to rekindle their relationship. Delpy writes and directs as well, channeling a bit of Woody Allen—with an extra dose of discomfort thrown in for good measure. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

3:10 to Yuma (R, 117 minutes) Russell Crowe and Christian Bale replace Glenn Ford and Van Heflin in this remake of the highly regarded 1957 western. Crowe is the outlaw leader on his way to court via the titular conveyance. Bale is the small-time rancher charged with escorting him there alive—no small task when droves of gun-toting bad guys show up. The film’s tense, ticking clock narrative plays out quite a bit like High Noon, with Bale and especially Crowe turning in compelling performances. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Balls of Fury (PG-13, 90 minutes) What could be better than the folks behind "Reno: 911" taking Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon and re-writing it as a rude comedy about an illegal underground ping-pong tournament lorded over by evil Christopher Walken? Completely absurd, but I dare you not to giggle on multiple occasions. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Becoming Jane (PG, 113 minutes) Winsome Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this speculative biopic about young Jane Austen. Prior to becoming a famous author, Austen was just another romantic chick being wooed a young Irish hunk (James McAvoy from The Last King of Scotland). Brits James Cromwell, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith class up the joint in supporting roles. Perhaps the biggest blow to this romantic drama is the fact that it wasn’t actually penned by Austen. As a result, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Brave One (R, 119 minutes) A mere two weeks after Kevin Bacon tried his hand at starring in a remake of Death Wish comes Jodie Foster doing largely the same thing. Foster takes on the role of Erica, a New Yorker who struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission of bloody vigilante revenge. The script feels awfully knee-jerk stereotypical at times, but some tight direction from Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) and a typically gritty performance by Foster keep things from becoming too trite. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Death at a Funeral (R, 90 minutes) Former Muppet man Frank Oz directs this very British farce about a funeral gone very wrong. A large, dysfunctional family (all mostly unknown actors on this side of the pond) gathers at a lovely house in the English countryside to mourn the passing of its patriarch. Over the course of the chaotic funeral, various wacky situations (homosexual dwarves, hallucinogenic drugs, diarrhea) rear their ugly head. Farce should appear effortless, and Death at a Funeral strains so hard to be funny that it nearly busts a blood vessel. Unfortunately, it aims for the drawing room wit of Oscar Wilde and lands somewhere near the sitcom zaniness of Benny Hill. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Dragon Wars (PG-13, 100 minutes) A Korean film with an American cast, this old-fashioned monster movie finds two mythical serpents (one good, one bad) battling for supremacy in modern-day Los Angeles. Lots of tiny humans are caught in the crossfire. The story has been pared to its bare minimum (probably for the best), but the special effects are plenty of fun. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Eastern Promises (R, 96 minutes) Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Naked Lunch) contributes another sober rumination on violence. This one stars Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) as a mysterious tattooed driver tied to a family of Russian mobsters om London. Our taciturn criminals worldview goes through some serious changes when he crosses paths with an innocent midwife (Naomi Watts, King Kong) caught up in the death of a pregnant teen. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Feast of Love (R, 102 minutes) Morgan Freeman, Selma Blair, Greg Kinnear, Radha Mitchell, Jane Alexander, Fred Ward and Billy Burke star in this ensemble meditation on love and its various incarnations set within a community of friends in Oregon. Naturally, Morgan plays the village wise man who also narrates. Based on the book by Charles Baxter and directed by Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer). Opening Friday; check local listings

The Game Plan (PG, 110 minutes) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars as a cocky professional quarterback who, out of the blue, finds the 8-year-old daughter he never knew dumped on his doorstep. This lazy family comedy recycles the most clichéd elements available from the sports movie genre and the “selfish adult learns a lesson form the impossibly cute little kid” genre. Suitable only for those mourning the loss of very special episodes of “Full House.” Opening Friday; check local listings

Good Luck Chuck (R, 96 minutes) Dane Cook (still swimming in the crude romantic comedy pool after Employee of the Month) stars as a love-‘em-and-leave-‘em stud whose one-night stands immediately go on to meet the true love of their life. When our boy Chuck meets "the one" (embodied by Jessica Alba), he hopes to break his lifelong curse and form a lasting relationship. Opening Friday; check local listings

Halloween (R, 110 minutes) Rocker Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses) tries his hand at remaking (or “reimagining” or whatever) John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic. Zombie crams the cast with great cameos (Malcolm McDowell, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Dee Wallace, Brad Dourif, Ken Foree, Sid Haig, Adrienne Barbeau, Sybil Danning, Richard Lynch). The story remains largely unchanged, with disturbed, knife-wielding Michael Meyers returning to his hometown of Haddonfield after spending 17 years in a mental institution. Zombie obviously loves the material and adds a bit more backstory (probably too much) to chew over in this not entirely unwelcome go-around. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

In the Valley of Elah (R, 121 minutes) Writer/director Paul Haggis follows up his string of Oscar-winning efforts (Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Letters from Iwo Jima) with this slow, somber, war-weary murder mystery. Tommy Lee Jones gives a brilliant, understated performance as a patriotic, long-retired MP who goes looking for his AWOL Army son. Contrary to expectation, the film doesn’t preach against the Iraq war. Instead, it’s a thoughtful rumination on sending young men off to war—any war—and the effect that has on them when they return. The film isn’t a thriller by any stretch of the imagination, but it boasts some fine, sympathetic performances. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Trailer for In the Valley of Elah.

The Kingdom (R, 110 minutes) The Iraq War dramas continue with this thriller about an FBI counter-terrorism team sent to Saudi Arabia to investigate the bombing of an American facility. Of course, both the Saudi government and the American military stymie the investigation at every turn. Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and Chris Cooper fill out the cast. Opening Friday; check local listings


Jamie Foxx puts some star power into counter-terrorism in the thriller The Kingdom.

Mr. Woodcock (PG-13) Seann William Scott (American Pie) stars as a young man who returns to his hometown only to find that his mom (Susan Sarandon) is marrying his arch-nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton), the high school gym coach who made his life a living hell. And, yes, you can expect more balls in the crotch jokes. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Resident Evil: Extinction (R, 95 minutes) The Resident Evil franchise ups the ante (so to speak) with this postapocalyptic outing. Apparently things have gone very wrong since the last couple of movies, as Alice (Milla Jovovich) is now leading a small band of survivors across the Nevada desert. While passing through the ruins of Las Vegas, the group must battle hordes of undead monsters created by the Umbrella Corporation’s now rampant T-Virus. Speaking of coming back from the dead, Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) directs. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Rush Hour 3 (PG-13, 90 minutes) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and director Brett Ratner are back for another exciting, occasionally obnoxious go-around in the Rush Hour franchise. This time, mismatched buddy cop duo of Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter are in Paris and have indavertantly gotten themelves mixed up with a murderous Chinese Triad. This calls for some kung fu and some wacky "yo mama" jokes! Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Sydney White (PG-13) Credit where credit is due: Sydney White is certainly the first film to combine Show White and the Seven Dwarves and Revenge of the Nerds. Amanda Bynes, arguably the most talented of the Disney Channel’s tween queens, stars as the titular college freshman who tries to pledge her long-dead mother’s sorority, only to run up against a shallow and vindictive beauty queen (Sara Paxton). Booted from the paradise of sorority row, she shacks up with a septet of super dorks, who help her get revenge against the evil Greeks. It’s awfully silly stuff (the poisoned apple is now an iMac), but young gals will like it just fine. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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2 Days in Paris (R, 96 minutes) Julie Delpy, unwilling to leave Paris in the wake of Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, sticks around the City of Lights for this romantic comedy/drama about a squabbling couple (Delpy and Adam Goldberg) who go to France to rekindle their relationship. Delpy writes and directs as well, channeling a bit of Woody Allen—with an extra dose of discomfort thrown in for good measure. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

3:10 to Yuma (R, 117 minutes) Russell Crowe and Christian Bale replace Glenn Ford and Van Heflin in this remake of the highly regarded 1957 western. Crowe is the outlaw leader on his way to court via the titular conveyance. Bale is the small-time rancher charged with escorting him there alive—no small task when droves of gun-toting bad guys show up. The film’s tense, ticking clock narrative plays out quite a bit like High Noon, with Bale and especially Crowe turning in compelling performances. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Balls of Fury (PG-13, 90 minutes) What could be better than the folks behind "Reno: 911" taking Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon and re-writing it as a rude comedy about an illegal underground ping-pong tournament lorded over by evil Christopher Walken? Completely absurd, but I dare you not to giggle on multiple occasions. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Becoming Jane (PG, 113 minutes) Winsome Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this speculative biopic about young Jane Austen. Prior to becoming a famous author, Austen was just another romantic chick being wooed a young Irish hunk (James McAvoy from The Last King of Scotland). Brits James Cromwell, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith class up the joint in supporting roles. Perhaps the biggest blow to this romantic drama is the fact that it wasn’t actually penned by Austen. As a result, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Brave One (R, 119 minutes) A mere two weeks after Kevin Bacon tried his hand at starring in a remake of Death Wish comes Jodie Foster doing largely the same thing. Foster takes on the role of Erica, a New Yorker who struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission of bloody vigilante revenge. The script feels awfully knee-jerk stereotypical at times, but some tight direction from Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) and a typically gritty performance by Foster keep things from becoming too trite. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4


Trailer for The Brave One.


The Brothers Solomon (R, 91 minutes) Will Arnett ("Arrested Development") and Will Forte ("Saturday Night Live") team up with director Bob Odenkirk (one half of "Mr. Show") for this comedy about two socially inept brothers desperate to find perfect mates in order to provide an heir for their dying grandfather. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Death at a Funeral (R, 90 minutes) Former Muppet man Frank Oz directs this very British farce about a funeral gone very wrong. A large, dysfunctional family (all mostly unknown actors on this side of the pond) gathers at a lovely house in the English countryside to mourn the passing of its patriarch. Over the course of the chaotic funeral, various wacky situations (homosexual dwarves, hallucinogenic drugs, diarrhea) rear their ugly head. Farce should appear effortless, and Death at a Funeral strains so hard to be funny that it nearly busts a blood vessel. Unfortunately, it aims for the drawing room wit of Oscar Wilde and lands somewhere near the sitcom zaniness of Benny Hill. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6
 
Death Sentence (R, 110 minutes) Kevin Bacon plays a mild-mannered executive who has the perfect family life—that is, until he witnesses the brutal murder of his son by evil street punks and transforms into a blood-soaked vigilante killer. If this sounds a little like Death Wish, it should. It’s based on the book Death Sentence, author Brian Garfield’s sequel to his 1972 novel, Death Wish (which inspired the five Death Wish films starring Charles Bronson). James Wan (the dude behind the Saw films) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Dragon Wars (PG-13, 100 minutes) A Korean film with an American cast, this old-fashioned monster movie finds two mythical serpents (one good, one bad) battling for supremacy in modern-day Los Angeles. Lots of tiny humans are caught in the crossfire. The story has been pared to its bare minimum (probably for the best), but the special effects are plenty of fun. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Good Luck Chuck (R, 96 minutes) Dane Cook (still swimming in the crude romantic comedy pool after Employee of the Month) stars as a love-‘em-and-leave-‘em stud whose one-night stands immediately go on to meet the true love of their life. When our boy Chuck meets "the one" (embodied by Jessica Alba), he hopes to break his lifelong curse and form a lasting relationship. Opening Friday; check local listings

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin your way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Bean’s Holiday (G, 90 minutes) Though most Americans don’t realize it, the first Mr. Bean movie was one of the most successful comedies in history—mostly because its wordless slapstick made it suitable for release in countries as far flung as Argentina, Iceland and Estonia. Honestly, Bean was not star Rowan Atkinson’s finest hour. But it made $200 million, guaranteeing some sort of sequel. Ten years later, we get this collection of vignettes in which the hapless Mr. Bean travels to France, learns to bicycle, fights with seafood and helps reunite a young tyke with his father. Atkinson is no Harold Lloyd, but the film is worthy of a few decent chuckles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Woodcock (PG-13) Seann William Scott (American Pie) stars as a young man who returns to his hometown only to find that his mom (Susan Sarandon) is marrying his arch-nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton), the high school gym coach who made his life a living hell. And, yes, you can expect more balls in the crotch jokes. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Nanny Diaries (PG-13, 107 minutes) Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ popular tell-all novel comes to the big screen with Scarlett Johansson as a college student who goes to work as a nanny for a rich New York couple. Suddenly, she’s tasked with caring for a bratty kid, dealing with the dysfuctional parents (Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti) and juggling a possible new romance (Chris Evans from Fantastic Four). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Resident Evil: Extinction (R, 95 minutes) The Resident Evil franchise ups the ante (so to speak) with this postapocalyptic outing. Apparently things have gone very wrong since the last couple of movies, as Alice (Milla Jovovich) is now leading a small band of survivors across the Nevada desert. While passing through the ruins of Las Vegas, the group must battle hordes of undead monsters created by the Umbrella Corporation’s now rampant T-Virus. Speaking of coming back from the dead, Russell Mulcahy (Highlander) directs. Opening Friday; check local listings

Rush Hour 3 (PG-13, 90 minutes) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and director Brett Ratner are back for another exciting, occasionally obnoxious go-around in the Rush Hour franchise. This time, mismatched buddy cop duo of Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter are in Paris and have indavertantly gotten themelves mixed up with a murderous Chinese Triad. This calls for some kung fu and some wacky "yo mama" jokes! Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shoot ‘Em Up (NR, 93 minutes) Clive Owen (Sin City) stars in this stripped-to-its-bare-bones action flick as a mysterious dude in the wrong place at the wrong time who delivers a woman’s baby during a shootout and is then called upon to protect the infant from an army of gunmen. Among the bad guys: Paul Giamatti (Sideways), who can be surprisingly sadistic when he wants to. Writer/director Michael Davis (the direct-to-video Monster Man) tries his best to one-up John Woo in the over-the-top action department. The thin plot is liberally lifted from the climax of Woo’s Hard-Boiled, but the gunfights never let up. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love "The Simpsons"? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Stardust (PG-13, 130 minutes) The popular fantasy novel by comic book icon Neil Gaiman gets turned into a live-action film about a young man who promises to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved. His quest takes him into a magical realm where stars are alive, witches prey on humans and pirates sail through the skies. Claire Danes is the star (literally), Michelle Pfeiffer is the witch and Robert De Niro is the pirate. Fans of romantic adventure stories along the lines of The Princess Bride will welcome this one with open arms. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Sydney White (PG-13) Credit where credit is due: Sydney White is certainly the first film to combine Show White and the Seven Dwarves and Revenge of the Nerds. Amanda Bynes, arguably the most talented of the Disney Channel’s tween queens, stars as the titular college freshman who tries to pledge her long-dead mother’s sorority, only to run up against a shallow and vindictive beauty queen (Sara Paxton). Booted from the paradise of sorority row, she shacks up with a septet of super dorks, who help her get revenge against the evil Greeks. It’s awfully silly stuff (the poisoned apple is now an iMac), but young gals will like it just fine. Opening Friday; check local listings

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2 Days in Paris (R, 96 minutes) Julie Delpy, unwilling to leave Paris in the wake of Before Sunrise/Before Sunset, sticks around the City of Lights for this romantic comedy/drama about a squabbling couple (Delpy and Adam Goldberg) who go to France to rekindle their relationship. Delpy writes and directs as well, channeling a bit of Woody Allen—with an extra dose of discomfort thrown in for good measure. Coming Friday to Vinegar Hill Theatre

3:10 to Yuma (R, 117 minutes) Russell Crowe and Christian Bale replace Glenn Ford and Van Heflin in this remake of the highly regarded 1957 western. Crowe is the outlaw leader on his way to court via the titular conveyance. Bale is the small-time rancher charged with escorting him there alive—no small task when droves of gun-toting bad guys show up. The film’s tense, ticking clock narrative plays out quite a bit like High Noon, with Bale and especially Crowe turning in compelling performances. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Trailer for 3:10 to Yuma.


Balls of Fury (PG-13, 90 minutes) What could be better than the folks behind “Reno: 911” taking Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon and re-writing it as a rude comedy about an illegal underground ping-pong tournament lorded over by evil Christopher Walken? Completely absurd, but I dare you not to giggle on multiple occasions. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Becoming Jane (PG, 113 minutes) Winsome Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this speculative biopic about young Jane Austen. Prior to becoming a famous author, Austen was just another romantic chick being wooed a young Irish hunk (James McAvoy from The Last King of Scotland). Brits James Cromwell, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith class up the joint in supporting roles. Perhaps the biggest blow to this romantic drama is the fact that it wasn’t actually penned by Austen. As a result, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. Playing through Thursday at Vinegar Hill Theatre

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Brave One (R, 119 minutes) A mere two weeks after Kevin Bacon tried his hand at starring in a remake of Death Wish comes Jodie Foster doing largely the same thing. Foster takes on the role of Erica, a New Yorker who struggles to recover from a brutal attack by setting out on a mission of bloody vigilante revenge. The script feels awfully knee-jerk stereotypical at times, but some tight direction from Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) and a typically gritty performace by Foster keep things from becoming too trite. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Brothers Solomon (R) Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”) and Will Forte (“Saturday Night Live”) team up with director Bob Odenkirk (one half of “Mr. Show”) for this comedy about two socially inept brothers desperate to find perfect mates in order to provide an heir for their dying grandfather. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Death Sentence (R, 110 minutes) Kevin Bacon plays a mild-mannered executive who has the perfect family life—that is, until he witnesses the brutal murder of his son by evil street punks and transforms into a blood-soaked vigilante killer. If this sounds a little like Death Wish, it should. It’s based on the book Death Sentence, author Brian Garfield’s sequel to his 1972 novel, Death Wish (which inspired the five Death Wish films starring Charles Bronson). James Wan (the dude behind the Saw films) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Dragon Wars (PG-13, 100 minutes) A Korean film with an American cast, this old-fashioned monster movie finds two mythical serpents (one good, one bad) battling for supremacy in modern-day Los Angeles. Lots of tiny humans are caught in the crossfire. The story has been pared to its bare minimum (probably for the best), but the special effects are plenty of fun. Opening Friday; check local listings

Eastern Promises (R, 96 minutes) Director David Cronenberg (A History of Violence, Naked Lunch) contributes another sober rumination on violence. This one stars Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) as a mysterious tattooed driver tied to a family of Russian mobsters from London. Our taciturn criminals’ worldview goes through some serious changes when he crosses paths with an innocent midwife (Naomi Watts, King Kong) caught up in the death of a pregnant teen. Opening Friday; check local listings

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin your way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Halloween (R, 109 minutes) Rocker Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses) tries his hand at remaking (or “reimagining” or whatever) John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic. Zombie crams the cast with great cameos (Malcolm McDowell, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Dee Wallace, Brad Dourif, Ken Foree, Sid Haig, Adrienne Barbeau, Sybil Danning, Richard Lynch). The story remains largely unchanged, with disturbed, knife-wielding Michael Meyers returning to his hometown of Haddonfield after spending 17 years in a mental institution. Zombie (who also scripted) obviously loves the material, and adds a bit more backstory to chew over in this not-unwelcome go-around. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Bean’s Holiday (G, 90 minutes) Though most Americans don’t realize it, the first Mr. Bean movie was one of the most successful comedies in history—mostly because its wordless slapstick made it suitable for release in countries as far flung as Argentina, Iceland and Estonia. Honestly, Bean was not star Rowan Atkinson’s finest hour. But it made $200 million, guaranteeing some sort of sequel. Ten years later, we get this collection of vignettes in which the hapless Mr. Bean travels to France, learns to bicycle, fights with seafood and helps reunite a young tyke with his father. Atkinson is no Harold Lloyd, but the film is worthy of a few decent chuckles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Woodcock (PG-13) Seann William Scott (American Pie) stars as a young man who returns to his hometown only to find that his mom (Susan Sarandon) is marrying his arch-nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton), the high school gym coach who made his life a living hell. And, yes, you can expect more balls in the crotch jokes. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Nanny Diaries (PG-13, 107 minutes) Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ popular tell-all novel comes to the big screen with Scarlett Johansson as a college student who goes to work as a nanny for a rich New York couple. Suddenly, she’s tasked with caring for a bratty kid, dealing with the dysfuctional parents (Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti) and juggling a possible new romance (Chris Evans from Fantastic Four). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Rush Hour 3 (PG-13, 90 minutes) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and director Brett Ratner are back for another exciting, occasionally obnoxious go-around in the Rush Hour franchise. This time, mismatched buddy cop duo of Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter are in Paris and have indavertantly gotten themelves mixed up with a murderous Chinese Triad. This calls for some kung fu and some wacky “yo mama” jokes! Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shoot ‘Em Up (NR, 93 minutes) Clive Owen (Sin City) stars in this stripped-to-its bare bones action flick as a mysterious dude in the wrong place at the wrong time who delivers a woman’s baby during a shootout and is then called upon to protect the infant from an army of gunmen. Among the bad guys: Paul Giamatti (Sideways), who can be surprisingly sadistic when he wants to. Writer/director Michael Davis (the direct-to-video Monster Man) tries his best to one-up John Woo in the over-the-top action department. The thin plot is liberally lifted from the climax of Woo’s Hard-Boiled, but the gunfights never let up. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love “The Simpsons”? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Stardust (PG-13, 130 minutes) The popular fantasy novel by comic book icon Neil Gaiman gets turned into a live-action film about a young man who promises to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved. His quest takes him into a magical realm where stars are alive, witches prey on humans and pirates sail through the skies. Claire Danes is the star (literally), Michelle Pfeiffer is the witch and Robert De Niro is the pirate. Fans of romantic adventure stories along the lines of The Princess Bride will welcome this one with open arms. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Ten (R, 93 minutes) Writer/director David Wain (of The State comedy troupe) explores the Ten Commandments in 10 contemporary comic shorts starring the likes of Jessica Alba, Adam Brody, Rob Corddry, Famke Janssen, Gretchen Mol, Oliver Platt, Paul Rudd, Winona Ryder, Liev Schreiber, Ron Silver and more. It’s an uneven, nearly surreal experiment, but often outrageously funny. There’s no shortage of truly vulgar taste on display either, and you probably shouldn’t go expecting any tidy moral messages. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

War (R, 103 minutes) Jet Li (Unleashed) and Jason Statham (The Transporter) continue the dumb-but-violent route with this action thriller about an FBI agent (Statham) who battles the mysterious assassin (Li) responsible for his partner’s murder. The word "bang" appears a lot in the screenplay. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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3:10 to Yuma (R, 117 minutes) Russell Crowe and Christian Bale replace Glenn Ford and Van Heflin in this remake of the highly regarded 1957 western. Crowe is the outlaw leader on his way to court via the titular conveyance. Bale is the small-time rancher charged with escorting him there alive—no small task when droves of gun-toting bad guys show up. The film’s tense, ticking clock narrative plays out quite a bit like High Noon, with Bale and especially Crowe turning in compelling performances. James Mangold (Walk the Line) directs. Opening Friday; check local listings

Balls of Fury (PG-13, 90 minutes) What could be better than the folks behind "Reno: 911" taking Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon and rewriting it as a rude comedy about an illegal underground ping-pong tournament lorded over by evil Christopher Walken? Completely absurd, but I dare you not to giggle on multiple occasions. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6 


Trailer for Balls of Fury.

Becoming Jane (PG, 113 minutes) Winsome Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this speculative biopic about young Jane Austen. Prior to becoming a famous author, Austen was just another romantic chick being wooed a young Irish hunk (James McAvoy from The Last King of Scotland). Brits James Cromwell, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith class up the joint in supporting roles. Perhaps the biggest blow to this romantic drama is the fact that it wasn’t actually penned by Austen. As a result, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre.

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Brothers Solomon (R) Will Arnett ("Arrested Development") and Will Forte ("Saturday Night Live") team up with director Bob Odenkirk (one half of "Mr. Show") for this comedy about two socially inept brothers desperate to find perfect mates in order to provide an heir for their dying grandfather. Opening Friday; check local listings

Death Sentence (R, 110 minutes) Kevin Bacon plays a mild-mannered executive who has the perfect family life—that is, until he witnesses the brutal murder of his son by evil street punks and transforms into a blood-soaked vigilante killer. If this sounds a little like Death Wish, it should. It’s based on the book Death Sentence, author Brian Garfield’s sequel to his 1972 novel, Death Wish (which inspired the five Death Wish films starring Charles Bronson). James Wan (the dude behind the Saw films) directs. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin your way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Halloween (NR) Rocker Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses) tries his hand at remaking (or "reimagining" or whatever) John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic. Zombie crams the cast with great cameos (Malcolm McDowell, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Dee Wallace, Brad Dourif, Ken Foree, Sid Haig, Adrienn Barbeau, Sybil Danning, Richard Lynch). The story remains largely unchanged, with disturbed, knife-wielding Michael Meyers returning to his hometown of Haddonfield after spending 17 years in a mental institution. Zombie (who also scripted) obviously loves the material, and adds a bit more backstory to chew over in this not-unwelcome go-around. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Illegal Tender (R, 108 minutes) John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood, 2 Fast 2 Furious) has his name all over the poster, but he’s only the producer on this urban gangsta flick. It’s directed by Franc. (with a period) Reyes, who gave us the largely unsuccessful urban gangsta flick, Empire. Wanda de Jesús (Blood Work) stars as an upper-class widow who teams up with her college-age son (Rick Gonzalez, Biker Boyz) to battle a team of relentless assassins bent on wiping out their family line. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Invasion (PG-13, 93 minutes) Do we really need another remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Probably not. Actually, this one’s two remakes in one. The studio didn’t like German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s first version, so they brought in the Wachowski brothers (The Matrix) to rewrite it and James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) to redirect it. Oh well. At least this one amps up the star power with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig on the poster. No alien pods this time around, just an epidemic that turns people against one another. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Mr. Bean’s Holiday (G, 90 minutes) Though most Americans don’t realize it, the first Mr. Bean movie was one of the most successful comedies in history—mostly because its wordless slapstick made it suitable for release in countries as far flung as Argentina, Iceland and Estonia. Honestly, Bean was not star Rowan Atkinson’s finest hour. But it made $200 million, guaranteeing some sort of sequel. Ten years later, we get this collection of vignettes in which the hapless Mr. Bean travels to France, learns to bicycle, fights with seafood and helps reunite a young tyke with his father. Atkinson is no Harold Lloyd, but the film is worthy of a few decent chuckles. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Nanny Diaries (PG-13, 107 minutes) Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ popular tell-all novel comes to the big screen with Scarlett Johansson as a college student who goes to work as a nanny for a rich New York couple. Suddenly, she’s tasked with caring for a bratty kid, dealing with the dysfunctional parents (Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti) and juggling a possible new romance (Chris Evans from Fantastic Four). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

No Reservations (PG, 105 minutes) Liberally stealing its title from Anthony Bourdain’s TV series, this standard-issue romantic comedy finds Catherine Zeta-Jones cast as a stuck-up, self-centered chef who learns to live and love when she suddenly becomes the guardian of her young niece (Abigail Breslin). Yes, the plot has been recycled endlessly (this one’s actually a remake of the German film, Mostly Martha), but the cast (including Aaron Eckhart as the would-be love interest) is at least pleasant to look at. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Rush Hour 3 (PG-13, 90 minutes) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and director Brett Ratner are back for another exciting, occasionally obnoxious go-around in the Rush Hour franchise. This time, mismatched buddy cop duo of Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter are in Paris and have inadvertently gotten themselves mixed up with a murderous Chinese Triad. This calls for some kung fu and some wacky "yo mama" jokes! Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shoot ‘Em Up (NR, 93 minutes) Clive Owen (Sin City) stars in this stripped-to-its bare bones action flick as a mysterious dude in the wrong place at the wrong time who delivers a woman’s baby during a shootout and is then called upon to protect the infant from an army of gunmen. Among the bad guys: Paul Giamatti (Sideways), who can be surprisingly sadistic when he wants to. Writer/director Michael Davis (the direct-to-video Monster Man) tries his best to one-up John Woo in the over-the-top action department. The thin plot is liberally lifted from the climax of Woo’s Hard-Boiled, but the gunfights never let up. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love "The Simpsons"? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Stardust (PG-13, 130 minutes) The popular fantasy novel by comic book icon Neil Gaiman gets turned into a live-action film about a young man who promises to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved. His quest takes him into a magical realm where stars are alive, witches prey on humans and pirates sail through the skies. Claire Danes is the star (literally), Michelle Pfeiffer is the witch and Robert De Niro is the pirate. Fans of romantic adventure stories along the lines of The Princess Bride will welcome this one with open arms. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Underdog (PG, 84 minutes) For rabid fans of the Garfield movies comes this creepy-looking live-action/CGI adaptation of the classic 1964 cartoon. Jason Lee ("My Name is Earl") provides the voice for our canine superhero. This juvenile offering plays mighty fast and loose with the original, setting it all in the "real" world and throwing in some rude humor for good measure. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

War (R, 103 minutes) Jet Li (Unleashed) and Jason Statham (The Transporter) continue the dumb-but-violent route with this action thriller about an FBI agent (Statham) who battles the mysterious assassin (Li) responsible for his partner’s murder. The word "bang" appears a lot in the screenplay. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

Balls of Fury (PG-13) What could be better than the folks behind "Reno: 911" taking Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon and re-writing it as a rude comedy about an illegal underground ping-pong tournament lorded over by evil Christopher Walken? Completely absurd, but I dare you not to giggle on multiple occasions. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

Becoming Jane (PG, 113 minutes) Winsome Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this speculative biopic about young Jane Austen. Prior to becoming a famous author, Austen was just another romantic chick being wooed a young Irish hunk (James McAvoy from The Last King of Scotland). Brits James Cromwell, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith class up the joint in supporting roles. Perhaps the biggest blow to this romantic drama is the fact that it wasn’t actually penned by Austen. As a result, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre.

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4


Kevin Bacon loads his grief over his son’s murder into a gun in Death Sentence.

Death Sentence (R) Kevin Bacon plays a mild-mannered executive who has the perfect family life—that is, until he witnesses the brutal murder of his son by evil street punks and transforms into a blood-soaked vigilante killer. If this sounds a little like Death Wish, it should. It’s based on the book Death Sentence, author Brian Garfield’s sequel to his 1972 novel, Death Wish (which inspired the five Death Wish films starring Charles Bronson). James Wan (the dude behind the Saw films) directs. Opening Friday; check local listings

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin your way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Halloween (NR) Rocker Rob Zombie (House of 1,000 Corpses) tries his hand at remaking (or "reimagining" or whatever) John Carpenter’s 1978 slasher classic. Zombie crams the cast with great cameos (Malcolm McDowell, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, Dee Wallace, Brad Dourif, Ken Foree, Sid Haig, Adrienn Barbeau, Sybil Danning, Richard Lynch). The story remains largely unchanged, with disturbed, knife-wielding Michael Meyers returning to his hometown of Haddonfield after spending 17 years in a mental institution. Zombie (who also scripted) obviously loves the material, and adds a bit more backstory to chew over in this not-unwelcome go-around. Opening Friday; check local listings

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Illegal Tender (R, 108 minutes) John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood, 2 Fast 2 Furious) has his name all over the poster, but he’s only the producer on this urban gangsta flick. It’s directed by Franc. (with a period) Reyes, who gave us the largely unsuccessful urban gangsta flick, Empire. Wanda de Jesús (Blood Work) stars as an upper-class widow who teams up with her college-age son (Rick Gonzalez, Biker Boyz) to battle a team of relentless assassins bent on wiping out their family line. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Invasion (PG-13, 93 minutes) Do we really need another remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Probably not. Actually, this one’s two remakes in one. The studio didn’t like German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s first version, so they brought in the Wachowski brothers (The Matrix) to rewrite it and James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) to redirect it. Oh well. At least this one amps up the star power with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig on the poster. No alien pods this time around, just an epidemic that turns people against one another. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Last Legion (PG-13, 110 minutes) This cheap, poorly cast historical fantasy hopes to cash in on a little bit of that leftover 300 money. Good luck. It’s directed by a guy who helmed a couple of episodes of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and purports to tell the story of ousted young Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus (Thomas Sangster, Nanny McPhee) who flees to England looking for supporters (and a magical sword named Excalibur). The "international" cast includes Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’s Diary), Ben Kingsley (Gandhi) and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Mr. Bean’s Holiday (G, 90 minutes) Though most Americans don’t realize it, the first Mr. Bean movie was one of the most successful comedies in history—mostly because its wordless slapstick made it suitable for release in countries as far flung as Argentina, Iceland and Estonia. Honestly, Bean was not star Rowan Atkinson’s finest hour. But it made $200 million, guaranteeing some sort of sequel. Ten years later, we get this collection of vignettes in which the hapless Mr. Bean travels to France, learns to bicycle, fights with seafood and helps reunite a young tyke with his father. Atkinson is no Harold Lloyd, but the film is worthy of a few decent chuckles. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Mr. Bean’s Holiday trailer.



The Nanny Diaries (PG-13, 107 minutes) Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ popular tell-all novel comes to the big screen with Scarlett Johansson as a college student who goes to work as a nanny for a rich New York couple. Suddenly, she’s tasked with caring for a bratty kid, dealing with the dysfuctional parents (Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti) and juggling a possible new romance (Chris Evans from Fantastic Four). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

No Reservations (PG, 105 minutes) Liberally stealing its title from Anthony Bourdain’s TV series, this standard-issue romantic comedy finds Catherine Zeta-Jones cast as a stuck-up, self-centered chef who learns to live and love when she suddenly becomes the guardian of her young niece (Abigail Breslin). Yes, the plot has been recycled endlessly (this one’s actually a remake of the German film, Mostly Martha), but the cast (including Aaron Eckhart as the would-be love interest) is at least pleasant to look at. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Resurrecting the Champ (PG-13, 111 minutes) Josh Hartnett and Samuel L. Jackson star in this sort-of-based-on-a-true-story drama about an ambitious, up-and-coming sports writer who stumbles across a knockout human interest story. After rescuing a homeless man, our journalist discovers the down-and-out guy is actually a boxing legend believed to have passed away years ago. This one’s partially an uplifting sports movie and partially a flick about the basic human need to inflate one’s own glory. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Rush Hour 3 (PG-13, 90 minutes) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and director Brett Ratner are back for another exciting, occasionally obnoxious go-around in the Rush Hour franchise. This time, mismatched buddy cop duo of Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter are in Paris and have indavertantly gotten themelves mixed up with a murderous Chinese Triad. This calls for some kung fu and some wacky "yo mama" jokes! Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love "The Simpsons"? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Stardust (PG-13, 130 minutes) The popular fantasy novel by comic book icon Neil Gaiman gets turned into a live-action film about a young man who promises to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved. His quest takes him into a magical realm where stars are alive, witches prey on humans and pirates sail through the skies. Claire Danes is the star (literally), Michelle Pfeiffer is the witch and Robert De Niro is the pirate. Fans of romantic adventure stories along the lines of The Princess Bride will welcome this one with open arms. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming graduation party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Underneath all the shocking talk about male and female anatomy, however, is a rather sweet story about friendship and growing up. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Underdog (PG, 84 minutes) For rabid fans of the Garfield movies comes this creepy-looking live-action/CGI adaptation of the classic 1964 cartoon. Jason Lee ("My Name is Earl") provides the voice for our canine superhero. This juvenile offering plays mighty fast and loose with the original, setting it all in the "real" world and throwing in some rude humor for good measure. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

War (R, 103 minutes) Jet Li (Unleashed) and Jason Statham (The Transporter) continue the dumb-but-violent route with this action thriller about an FBI agent (Statham) who battles the mysterious assassin (Li) responsible for his partner’s murder. The word "bang" appears a lot in the screenplay. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

Becoming Jane (PG, 113 minutes) Winsome Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this speculative biopic about young Jane Austen. Prior to becoming a famous author, Austen was just another romantic chick being wooed a young Irish hunk (James McAvoy from The Last King of Scotland). Brits James Cromwell, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith class up the joint in supporting roles. Perhaps the biggest blow to this romantic drama is the fact that it wasn’t actually penned by Austen. As a result, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre.

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Daddy Day Camp (PG, 93 minutes) Daddy Day Care from 2003 had Eddie Murphy pretty much scraping the bottom of the family film barrel. In this "should have gone direct to video" sequel, Murphy’s role has been outsourced to Cuba Gooding Jr. (Snow Dogs, Boat Trip). This time around, our stay-at-home hero is taking a bunch of kids on, yes, a camping trip. Hijinks ensue all over the damn place. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin your way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Illegal Tender (R) John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood, 2 Fast 2 Furious) has his name all over the poster, but he’s only the producer on this urban gangsta flick. It’s directed by Franc. (with a period) Reyes, who gave us the largely unsuccessful urban gangsta flick, Empire. Wanda de Jesús (Blood Work) stars as an upper-class widow who teams up with her college-age son (Rick Gonzalez, Biker Boyz) to battle a team of relentless assassins bent on wiping out their family line. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Invasion (PG-13, 93 minutes) Do we really need another remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Probably not. Actually, this one’s two remakes in one. The studio didn’t like German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s first version, so they brought in the Wachowski brothers (The Matrix) to rewrite it and James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) to redirect it. Oh well. At least this one amps up the star power with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig on the poster. No alien pods this time around, just an epidemic that turns people against one another. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Mr. Bean’s Holiday (G, 88 minutes) Though most American’s don’t realize it, the first Mr. Bean movie was one of the most successful comedies in history—mostly because its wordless slapstick made it suitable for release in countries as far flung as Argentina, Iceland and Estonia. Honestly, Bean was not star Rowan Atkinson’s finest hour. But it made $200 million, guaranteeing some sort of sequel. Ten years later, we get this collection of vignettes in which the hapless Mr. Bean travels to France, learns to bicycle, fights with seafood and helps reunite a young tyke with his father. Atkinson is no Harold Lloyd, but the film is worthy of a few decent chuckles. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Nanny Diaries (PG-13, 107 minutes) Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ popular tell-all novel comes to the big screen with Scarlett Johansson as a college student who goes to work as a nanny for a rich New York couple. Suddenly, she’s tasked with caring for a bratty kid, dealing with the dysfuctional parents (Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti) and juggling a possible new romance (Chris Evans from Fantastic Four). Opening Friday; check local listings
 
No Reservations (PG, 105 minutes) Liberally stealing its title from Anthony Bourdain’s TV series, this standard-issue romantic comedy finds Catherine Zeta-Jones cast as a stuck-up, self-centered chef who learns to live and love when she suddenly becomes the guardian of her young niece (Abigail Breslin). Yes, the plot has been recycled endlessly (this one’s actually a remake of the German film, Mostly Martha), but the cast (including Aaron Eckhart as the would-be love interest) is at least pleasant to look at. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Glen Hansard stars as a busker who gets Czech-ed out in the memorable Once.

Once (R, 85 minutes) This scruffy alt-rock musical is already shaping up to be the sleeper hit of summer. Glen Hansard of the Irish pop group, The Frames, stars as a lovelorn street busker who bares his soul in song, but keeps people at a distance. Into his life comes lonely single mother/Czech immigrant/singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová. The two have an instant chemistry, but are too shy to act on it. In a genre characterized by showy production numbers and over-the-top emotions, this thoroughly modern musical drama makes its mark with a subdued, melancholy mood and a low-key, lo-fi sense of realism. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Rescue Dawn (PG-13, 126 minutes) Werner Herzog (Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo) offers up a fictionalized version of one of his previous documentaries (Little Dieter Needs to Fly). Christian Bale (Batman Begins) stars as real-life Navy flyer Dieter Dengler, who was shot down over Laos in the early days of the Vietnam conflict. Dieter ends up in a ranshackle POW camp trying to keep his tiny collection of fellow inmates from going stir crazy (which they pretty much already have). When conditions deteriorate, Dieter figures it’s time to bust out. With the help of a fellow prisoner (Steve Zahn), he braves the green hell of the Laotian jungle. Despite the occasional harrowing moment, Rescue Dawn is an inspirational tale of survival. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Rush Hour 3 (PG-13, 90 minutes) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and director Brett Ratner are back for another exciting, occasionally obnoxious go-around in the Rush Hour franchise. This time, mismatched buddy cop duo of Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter are in Paris and have indavertantly gotten themelves mixed up with a murderous Chinese Triad. This calls for some kung fu and some wacky "yo mama" jokes! Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love "The Simpsons"? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Stardust (PG-13, 130 minutes) The popular fantasy novel by comic book icon Neil Gaiman gets turned into a live-action film about a young man who promises to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved. His quest takes him into a magical realm where stars are alive, witches prey on humans and pirates sail through the skies. Claire Danes is the star (literally), Michelle Pfeiffer is the witch and Robert De Niro is the pirate. Fans of romantic adventure stories along the lines of The Princess Bride will welcome this one with open arms. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Superbad (R, 114 minutes) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they’ll get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff and all the better for it. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


Trailer for Superbad.


Transformers (PG-13, 144 minutes) The wildly popular toy-line-turned-cartoon-series from the ’80s returns as a big-budget, big-screen film directed by the man who gave us Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. (At least he knows how to make things blow up real good.) Seems Earth has been invaded by space robots—some of whom are good, some of whom are bad, all of which can transform into cars and trucks and planes and stuff. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are among the humans caught in the middle of this frenetic, far-fetched but ultimately action-packed war. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Underdog (PG, 84 minutes) For rabid fans of the Garfield movies comes this creepy-looking live-action/CGI adaptation of the classic 1964 cartoon. Jason Lee ("My Name is Earl") provides the voice for our canine superhero. This juvenile offering plays mighty fast and loose with the original, setting it all in the "real" world and throwing in some rude humor for good measure. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

War (R, 103 minutes) Jet Li (Unleashed) and Jason Statham (The Transporter) continue the dumb-but-violent route with this action thriller about an FBI agent (Statham) who battles the mysterious assassin (Li) responsible for his partner’s murder. The word "bang" appears a lot in the screenplay. Opening Friday; check local listings

Comment Policy

Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

Becoming Jane (PG, 113 minutes) Winsome Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) stars in this speculative biopic about young Jane Austen. Prior to becoming a famous author, Austen was just another romantic chick being wooed a young Irish hunk (James McAvoy from The Last King of Scotland). Brits James Cromwell, Julie Walters and Maggie Smith class up the joint in supporting roles. Perhaps the biggest blow to this romantic drama is the fact that it wasn’t actually penned by Austen. As a result, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre. 


Trailer for Becoming Jane.


The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Bratz: The Movie (PG, 90 minutes) Looking for evidence that future generations are doomed? Look no further than this painfully shallow live-action adaptation (if that’s the right word) of the inexplicably popular doll line. By combining Barbie, Paris Hilton and a Hollywood Boulevard hooker, the toys have inspired a generation of prepubescent girls to dress like total hoochie mamas. The storyline (if that’s the right word) has something to do with a quartet of teenage BFFs who battle the popular cliques in school through the liberating power of fashion. I feel ill. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Daddy Day Camp (PG, 93 minutes) Daddy Day Care from 2003 had Eddie Murphy pretty much scraping the bottom of the family film barrel. In this "should have gone direct to video" sequel, Murphy’s role has been outsourced to Cuba Gooding Jr. (Snow Dogs, Boat Trip). This time around, our stay-at-home hero is taking a bunch of kids on, yes, a camping trip. Hijinks ensue all over the damn place. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin your way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Hot Rod (PG-13) Andy Samberg, the dude behind the much-e-mailed "SNL" video "D**k in a Box," gets his own movie. Samberg plays Rod Kimble, a dorky thrillseeker who fancies himself a "Jackass"-style stunt man. When his abusive stepfather needs a lifesaving heart operation, Rod vows to raise the money by performing a record-setting motorcycle jump. A dumb but laughable throwback to Adam Sandler’s Billy Madison period of man-boy humor. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (PG-13, 140 minutes) In this slight twist on La Cage au Folles, two straight firefighters (Adam Sandler, Kevin James) pretend to be a homosexual couple so they can receive domestic partner benefits. For the next two hours and 20 minutes, Sandler and James "act gay" so no one will catch on. More rude silliness (with a big message at the end) from the director of Big Daddy and Beverly Hills Ninja. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6


 Nicole Kidman looks beautifully worried about getting her body snatched in The Invasion

The Invasion (PG-13, 93 minutes) Do we really need another remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Probably not. Actually, this one’s two remakes in one. The studio didn’t like German director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s first version, so they brought in the Wachowski brothers (The Matrix) to rewrite it and James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) to redirect it. Oh well. At least this one amps up the star power with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig on the poster. No alien pods this time around, just an epidemic that turns people against one another. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Last Legion (PG-13, 110 minutes) This cheap, poorly cast historical fantasy hopes to cash in on a little bit of that leftover 300 money. Good luck. It’s directed by a guy who helmed a couple of episodes of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and purports to tell the story of ousted young Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus (Thomas Sangster, Nanny McPhee) who flees to England looking for supporters. The "international" cast includes Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’s Diary), Ben Kingsley (Gandhi) and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai. This one belongs on the Sci-Fi Channel. Opening Friday; check local listings

No Reservations (PG, 105 minutes) Liberally stealing its title from Anthony Bourdain’s TV series, this standard-issue romantic comedy finds Catherine Zeta-Jones cast as a stuck-up, self-centered chef who learns to live and love when she suddenly becomes the guardian of her young niece (Abigail Breslin). Yes, the plot has been recycled endlessly (this one’s actually a remake of the German film, Mostly Martha), but the cast (including Aaron Eckhart as the would-be love interest) is at least pleasant to look at. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Rescue Dawn (PG-13, 126 minutes) Werner Herzog (Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo) offers up a fictionalized version of one of his previous documentaries (Little Dieter Needs to Fly). Christian Bale (Batman Begins) stars as real-life Navy flyer Dieter Dengler, who was shot down over Laos in the early days of the Vietnam conflict. Dieter ends up in a ranshackle POW camp trying to keep his tiny collection of fellow inmates from going stir crazy (which they pretty much already have). When conditions deteriorate, Dieter figures it’s time to bust out. With the help of a fellow prisoner (Steve Zahn), he braves the green hell of the Laotian jungle. Despite the occasional harrowing moment, Rescue Dawn is an inspirational tale of survival. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Rush Hour 3 (PG-13, 90 minutes) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and director Brett Ratner are back for another exciting, occasionally obnoxious go-around in the Rush Hour franchise. This time, mismatched buddy cop duo of Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter are in Paris and have indavertantly gotten themelves mixed up with a murderous Chinese Triad. This calls for some kung fu and some wacky "yo mama" jokes! Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love "The Simpsons"? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Skinwalkers (PG-13, 110 minutes) The guy who directed Jason X delivers this low-budget shaggy dog story. In it, a 12-year-old boy and his mother become the targets of two warring werewolf packs, each with different intentions and motives. This violent, but not particularly gory horror flick steals a lot of its look from Katherine Bigalow’s classic vampire flick, Near Dark, but it isn’t nearly as good. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Stardust (PG-13, 130 minutes) The popular fantasy novel by comic book icon Neil Gaiman gets turned into a live-action film about a young man who promises to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved. His quest takes him into a magical realm where stars are alive, witches prey on humans and pirates sail through the skies. Claire Danes is the star (literally), Michelle Pfeiffer is the witch and Robert De Niro is the pirate. Fans of romantic adventure stories along the lines of The Princess Bride will welcome this one with open arms. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Superbad (R) From the makers of Knocked Up comes another outrageous comedy. This one stars Jonah Hill (Accepted) and Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") as a couple of dorky, codependent high schoolers who figure they can get lucky if only they can score some booze for an upcoming party. This is unrepentant R-rated stuff. Opening Friday; check local listings
 
Transformers (PG-13, 144 minutes) The wildly popular toy-line-turned-cartoon-series from the ’80s returns as a big-budget, big-screen film directed by the man who gave us Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. (At least he knows how to make things blow up real good.) Seems Earth has been invaded by space robots—some of whom are good, some of whom are bad, all of which can transform into cars and trucks and planes and stuff. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are among the humans caught in the middle of this frenetic, far-fetched but ultimately action-packed war. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Underdog (PG, 84 minutes) For rabid fans of the Garfield movies comes this creepy-looking live-action/CGI adaptation of the classic 1964 cartoon. Jason Lee ("My Name is Earl") provides the voice for our canine superhero. This juvenile offering plays mighty fast and loose with the original, setting it all in the "real" world and throwing in some rude humor for good measure. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13, 111 minutes) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This, of course, involves shooting a whole lot of people.  Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4


Trailer for The Bourne Ultimatum.


Daddy Day Camp (PG, 93 minutes) Daddy Day Care from 2003 had Eddie Murphy pretty much scraping the bottom of the family film barrel. In this "should have gone direct to video" sequel, Murphy’s role has been outsourced to Cuba Gooding Jr. (Snow Dogs, Boat Trip). This time around, our stay-at-home hero is taking a bunch of kids on, yes, a camping trip. Hijinks ensue all over the damn place. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin your way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Hot Rod (PG-13) Andy Samberg, the dude behind the much-e-mailed "SNL" video "D**k in a Box," gets his own movie. Samberg plays Rod Kimble, a dorky thrillseeker who fancies himself a "Jackass"-style stunt man. When his abusive stepfather needs a lifesaving heart operation, Rod vows to raise the money by performing a record-setting motorcycle jump. A dumb but laughable throwback to Adam Sandler’s Billy Madison period of man-boy humor. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

I Know Who Killed Me (R, 105 minutes) Lindsay Lohan stars in this twist-heavy horror thriller about a small-town gal named Aubrey Fleming who is abducted and tortured by a sadistic serial killer. (Oh, more of that, eh?) The traumatized girl escapes and wakes up in a hospital where she claims she is not actually Aubrey Fleming, but another girl named Dakota Moss. Are we dealing with post-traumatic stress? A case of "evil twin syndrome"? Or something even more sinister? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (PG-13, 140 minutes) In this slight twist on La Cage au Folles, two straight firefighters (Adam Sandler, Kevin James) pretend to be a homosexual couple so they can receive domestic partner benefits. For the next two hours and 20 minutes, Sandler and James "act gay" so no one will catch on. More rude silliness (with a big message at the end) from the director of Big Daddy and Beverly Hills Ninja. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13, 130 minutes) You’d think poor, bedraggled cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be tired of saving the world by now, but no. NYC’s favorite supercop returns for the fourth time. For this outing, he’s teamed up with the kid from the Mac/PC commercials (Justin Long) to defeat a cabal of Internet-based terrorists who are systematically shutting down the United States. Realistically, you could probably stop cyber-criminals with a case of Bawls energy drink and a beta test version of Halo 3. McClane, however, goes the heavy caliber weapons and huge explosions route. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

No Reservations (PG, 105 minutes) Liberally stealing its title from Anthony Bourdain’s TV series, this standard-issue romantic comedy finds Catherine Zeta-Jones cast as a stuck-up, self-centered chef who learns to live and love when she suddenly becomes the guardian of her young niece (Abigail Breslin). Yes, the plot has been recycled endlessly (this one’s actually a remake of the German film, Mostly Martha), but the cast (including Aaron Eckhart as the would-be love interest) is at least pleasant to look at. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Once (R, 85 minutes) This scruffy alt-rock musical is already shaping up to be the sleeper hit of summer. Glen Hansard of the Irish pop group The Frames stars as a lovelorn street busker who bares his soul in song, but keeps people at a distance. Into his life comes lonely single mother/Czech immigrant/singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová. The two have an instant chemistry, but are too shy to act on it. In a genre characterized by showy production numbers and over-the-top emotions, this thoroughly modern musical drama makes its mark with a subdued, melancholy mood and a low-key, lo-fi sense of realism. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Rush Hour 3 (PG-13, 90 minutes) Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker and director Brett Ratner are back for another exciting, occasionally obnoxious go-around in the Rush Hour franchise. This time, mismatched buddy cop duo of Chief Inspector Lee and Detective Carter are in Paris and have indavertantly gotten themelves mixed up with a murderous Chinese Triad. This calls for some kung fu and some wacky "yo mama" jokes! Opening Friday; check local listings

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love "The Simpsons"? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Claire Danes’ forehead looks comparatively blank in this still from the free-flowing fantasy, Stardust.

Stardust (PG-13, 130 minutes) The popular fantasy novel by comic book icon Neil Gaiman gets turned into a live-action film about a young man who promises to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved. His quest takes him into a magical realm where stars are alive, witches prey on humans and pirates sail through the skies. Claire Danes is the star (literally), Michelle Pfeiffer is the witch and Robert De Niro is the pirate. Fans of romantic adventure stories along the lines of The Princess Bride will welcome this one with open arms. Opening Friday; check local listings

Sunshine (R, 107 minutes) Director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, The Beach, Trainspotting) tries something different with this sci-fi adventure about a team of astronauts sent into space to re-ignite our dying sun 50 years from now. Rose Byrne (Troy), Chris Evans (Fantastic Four), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and Michelle Yeoh (Memoirs of a Geisha) are among the diverse cast. The film keeps focussed on the human element, detailing the assorted errors, tensions and personality conflicts that jeopardize the possible suicide mission. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Talk to Me (R, 118 minutes) Don Cheadle finally grabs himself a full-fledged starring role. Aside from 2004’s Hotel Rwanda, the actor has been more or less content to settle for quality second banana roles. Here, he takes the bull by the horns as real-life Washington, D.C. radio personality Ralph "Petey" Greene, an ex-con who became a popular talk show host and community activist in the ’60s and ’70s. The film is a robust mixture of humor and drama. Director Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) gives the film the all-too-familiar rise-and-fall arc of so many biopics, but the performances (including a great one by Chiwetel Ejiofor) are worth the price of admission. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Transformers (PG-13, 144 minutes) The wildly popular toy-line-turned-cartoon-series from the ’80s returns as a big-budget, big-screen film directed by the man who gave us Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. (At least he knows how to make things blow up real good.) Seems Earth has been invaded by space robots—some of whom are good, some of whom are bad, all of which can transform into cars and trucks and planes and stuff. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are among the humans caught in the middle of this frenetic, far-fetched but ultimately action-packed war. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Underdog (PG, 84 minutes) For rabid fans of the Garfield movies comes this creepy-looking live-action/CGI adaptation of the classic 1964 cartoon. Jason Lee ("My Name is Earl") provides the voice for our canine superhero. This juvenile offering plays mighty fast and loose with the original, setting it all in the "real" world and throwing in some rude humor for good measure. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Who’s Your Caddy? (PG-13) An Atlanta rap mogul (Atlanta rap mogul Big Boi, obviously acting against type) tries to join a conservative country club, causing all the uptight white people to go into a tizzy. Basically, it’s Caddyshack with… No, wait, it’s just Caddyshack. Opening Friday; check local listings

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

1408 (PG-13, 94 minutes) Somebody found another unadapted Stephen King short story. By law they’ve all got to be made into movies before his death, so here we go again. John Cusack plays an author who specializes in debunking claims of the paranormal. To those ends, he checks into the infamously haunted Dolphin Hotel, whose titular room is supposed to be the site of uncounted deaths. Naturally, this being a horror story and all, our protagonist is beset by assorted physical and psychological terrors. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Bourne Ultimatum (NR) The third (loose) adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s spy thriller series wraps things up for our amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon). This time, our boy is racing around the globe, trying to shake a government agent and uncover the final mysteries about his dark past. This will most likely involve shooting a whole lot of people. Opening Friday; check local listings

Bratz: The Movie (NR) Looking for evidence that future generations are doomed? Look no further than this painfully shallow live-action adaptation (if that’s the right word) of the inexplicably popular doll line. By combining Barbie, Paris Hilton and a Hollywood Boulevard hooker, the toys have inspired a generation of prepubescent girls to dress like total hoochie mamas. The storyline (if that’s the right word) has something to do with a quartet of teenage girls who battle the popular cliques in school through the liberating power of fashion. Paula Abdul guest stars. I feel ill. Opening Friday; check local listings

El Cantante (R, 116 minutes) Marc Anthony and wife Jennifer Lopez star in this depressing biopic about salsa music pioneer Hector Lavoe. It’s mostly a quick downward spiral for Lavoe (Anthony), who blows through a mountain of booze, cocaine and heroin while fighting with his devoted but difficult wife (Lopez, who narrates). The music is spirited, but the drama is all downhill. Opening Friday; check local listings

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin you way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Hot Rod (PG-13) Andy Samberg, the dude behind the much-e-mailed "SNL" video "D**k in a Box," gets his own movie. Samberg plays Rod Kimble, a dorky thrillseeker who fancies himself a "Jackass"-style stunt man. When his abusive stepfather needs a lifesaving heart operation, Rod vows to raise the money by performing a record-setting motorcycle jump. A dumb but laughable throwback to Adam Sandler’s Billy Madison period of man-boy humor. Opening Friday; check local listings

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (PG-13, 140 minutes) In this slight twist on La Cage au Folles, two straight firefighters (Adam Sandler, Kevin James) pretend to be a homosexual couple so they can receive domestic partner benefits. For the next two hours and 20 minutes, Sandler and James "act gay" so no one will catch on. More rude silliness (with a big message at the end) from the director of Big Daddy and Beverly Hills Ninja. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen ("Freaks and Geeks") is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from "Grey’s Anatomy") shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

License to Wed (PG-13, 90 minutes) Robin Williams is at his most annoying as a wacky priest who subjects an engaged couple (John Krasinski and Mandy Moore) to a series of "relationship challenges" during a grueling marriage preparation course. Krasinski is great in "The Office," but he’s little more than the straight man for Williams’ over-the-top shenanigans here. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13, 130 minutes) You’d think poor, bedraggled cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be tired of saving the world by now, but no. NYC’s favorite supercop returns for the fourth time. For this outing, he’s teamed up with the kid from the Mac/PC commercials (Justin Long) to defeat a cabal of Internet-based terrorists who are systematically shutting down the United States. Realistically, you could probably stop cyber-criminals with a case of Bawls energy drink and a beta test version of Halo 3. McClane, however, goes the heavy caliber weapons and huge explosions route. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

No Reservations (PG, 105 minutes) Liberally stealing its title from Anthony Bourdain’s TV series, this standard-issue romantic comedy finds Catherine Zeta-Jones cast as a stuck-up, self-centered chef who learns to live and love when she suddenly becomes the guardian of her young niece (Abigail Breslin). Yes, the plot has been recycled endlessly (this one’s actually a remake of the German film, Mostly Martha), but the cast (including Aaron Eckhart as the would-be love interest) is at least pleasant to look at. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Once (R, 85 minutes) This scruffy alt-rock musical is already shaping up to be the sleeper hit of summer. Glen Hansard of the Irish pop group The Frames stars as a lovelorn street busker who bares his soul in song, but keeps people at a distance. Into his life comes lonely single mother/Czech immigrant/singer-songwriter Markéta Irglová. The two have an instant chemistry, but are too shy to act on it. In a genre characterized by showy production numbers and over-the-top emotions, this thoroughly modern musical drama makes its mark with a subdued, melancholy mood and a low-key, lo-fi sense of realism. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Resurrecting the Champ (PG-13, 116 minutes) Josh Hartnett and Samuel L. Jackson star in this sort-of-based-on-a-true-story drama about an ambitious, up-and-coming sports writer who stumbles across a knockout human interest story. After rescuing a homeless man, our journalist discovers the down-and-out guy is actually a boxing legend believed to have passed away years ago. This one’s partially an uplifting sports movie and partially a flick about the basic human need to inflate one’s own glory. Opening Friday; check local listings
 
Sicko (PG-13, 113 minutes) Michael Moore (he of Fahrenheit 9/11 infamy) returns with another rabble-rousing documentary. This one trains its eye on the American health care system (currently ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization). Moore contrasts our corporate-controlled, HMO-dominated, pharmaceutical company-backed lack of universal health care with other countries (England, Canada, France and, you heard it right, Cuba), who actually care for their sick and injured. Surprisingly, this is one of Moore’s more apolitical films, offering plenty of health care horror stories with hardly an ambush interview in site. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love "The Simpsons"? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Sunshine (R, 107 minutes) Director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, The Beach, Trainspotting) tries something different with this sci-fi adventure about a team of astronauts sent into space to re-ignite our dying sun 50 years from now. Rose Byrne (Troy), Chris Evans (Fantastic Four), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and Michelle Yeoh (Memoirs of a Geisha) are among the diverse cast. The film keeps focussed on the human element, detailing the assorted errors, tensions and personality conflicts that jeopardize the possible suicide mission. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Transformers (PG-13, 144 minutes) The wildly popular toy-line-turned-cartoon-series from the ’80s returns as a big-budget, big-screen film directed by the man who gave us Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. (At least he knows how to make things blow up real good.) Seems Earth has been invaded by space robots—some of whom are good, some of whom are bad, all of which can transform into cars and trucks and planes and stuff. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are among the humans caught in the middle of this frenetic, far-fetched but ultimately action-packed war. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Who’s Your Caddy? (PG-13) An Atlanta rap mogul (Atlanta rap mogul Big Boi, obviously acting against type) tries to join a conservative country club, causing all the uptight white people to go into a tizzy. Basically, it’s Caddyshack with… No, wait, it’s just Caddyshack. Opening Friday; check local listings

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

1408 (PG-13, 94 minutes) Somebody found another unadapted Stephen King short story. By law they’ve all got to be made into movies before his death, so here we go again. John Cusack plays an author who specializes in debunking claims of the paranormal. To those ends, he checks into the infamously haunted Dolphin Hotel, whose titular room is supposed to be the site of uncounted deaths. Naturally, this being a horror story and all, our protagonist is beset by assorted physical and psychological terrors. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Evan Almighty (PG, 90 minutes) The makers of Bruce Almighty give Jim Carrey the boot in order to promote second-string standout Steve Carell. Seems newscaster Evan Baxter (now a U.S. congressman) has been tapped by God himself (Morgan Freeman again) to build an ark in preparation for another great flood. Filmed in our area, this is reportedly the most expensive comedy ever made (at something north of $175 million). Try to ignore that and just enjoy it as a nice, light family comedy with lots of cute animals and a tidy moral message. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Evening (PG-13, 117 minutes) How can you argue with a cast that includes Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close? Based on the novel by Susan Minot, this multigenerational drama explores the romantic past of a dying woman. As her daughters gather around to witness her final moments, she recounts how she met the long-lost love of her life back in the 1950s. This one’s definitely aimed at women in the mood to weep, but the Oscar-filled cast should attract serious attention. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin you way from start to finish. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

I Know Who Killed Me (R) Lindsay Lohan stars in this twist-heavy horror thriller about a small-town gal named Aubrey Fleming who is abducted and tortured by a sadistic serial killer. (Oh, more of that, eh?) The traumatized girl escapes and wakes up in a hospital where she claims she is not actually Aubrey Fleming, but another girl named Dakota Moss. Are we dealing with post-traumatic stress? A case of “evil twin syndrome”? Or something even more sinister? Opening Friday; check local listings

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (PG-13, 140 minutes) In this slight twist on La Cage au Folles, two straight firefighters (Adam Sandler, Kevin James) pretend to be a homosexual couple so they can receive domestic partner benefits. For the next two hours and 20 minutes, Sandler and James “act gay” so no one will catch on. More rude silliness (with a big message at the end) from the director of Big Daddy and Beverly Hills Ninja. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

La Vie en Rose (PG-13, 140 minutes) Marion Cotillard (A Good Year, Big Fish) gives an appropriately oversized performance as volatile Parisian singer Edith Piaf. The film endlessly details Piaf’s bad behavior (tantrums, fights, drunken orgies), but at 140 minutes, it’s a rather exhaustive study of mid-century gloom and doom. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre
License to Wed (PG-13, 90 minutes) Robin Williams is at his most annoying as a wacky priest who subjects an engaged couple (John Krasinski and Mandy Moore) to a series of “relationship challenges” during a grueling marriage preparation course. Krasinski is great in “The Office,” but he’s little more than the straight man for Williams’ over-the-top shenanigans here. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13, 130 minutes) You’d think poor, bedraggled cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be tired of saving the world by now, but no. NYC’s favorite supercop returns for the fourth time. For this outing, he’s teamed up with the kid from the Mac/PC commercials (Justin Long) to defeat a cabal of Internet-based terrorists who are systematically shutting down the United States. Realistically, you could probably stop cyber-criminals with a case of Bawls energy drink and a beta test version of Halo 3. McClane, however, goes the heavy caliber weapons and huge explosions route. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

No Reservations (PG, 105 minutes) Liberally stealing its title from Anthony Bourdain’s TV series, this standard-issue romantic comedy finds Catherine Zeta-Jones cast as a stuck-up, self-centered chef who learns to live and love when she suddenly becomes the guardian of her young niece (Abigail Breslin). Yes, the plot has been recycled endlessly (this one’s actually a remake of the German film, Mostly Martha), but the cast (including Aaron Eckhart as the would-be love interest) is at least pleasant to look at. Opening Friday; check local listings

Ocean’s Thirteen (PG-13, 113 minutes) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and crew add one to the guest list and go out pranking for money once again. In this third heist-heavy go-around, the boys are getting even with evil casino owner Al Pacino. Expect plenty of breezy hijinks, a wealth of celebrity in-jokes and a script that is slightly more sensical than the second ridiculous outing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Sicko (PG-13, 113 minutes) Michael Moore (he of Fahrenheit 9/11 infamy) returns with another rabble-rousing documentary. This one trains its eye on the American health care system (currently ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization). Moore contrasts our corporate-controlled, HMO-dominated, pharmaceutical company-backed lack of universal health care with other countries (England, Canada, France and, you heard it right, Cuba), who actually care for their sick and injured. Surprisingly, this is one of Moore’s more apolitical films, offering plenty of health care horror stories with hardly an ambush interview in sight. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6


Don’t be alarmed: After seemingly countless years on TV, it’s only natural that “The Simpsons” makes the jump to the big screen with The Simpsons Movie

The Simpsons Movie (PG-13, 87 minutes) Who doesn’t love “The Simpsons”? Here, America’s favorite animated family comes to the big screen. Seems Homer has lost his job at the power plant after causing a nuclear accident that forces the evacuation of Springfield, possibly forever. In a word: D’oh! Opening Friday; check local listings

Skinwalkers (PG-13, 110 minutes) The guy who directed Jason X delivers this low-budget shaggy dog story. In it, a 12-year-old boy and his mother become the targets of two warring werewolf packs, each with different intentions and motives. This violent, but not particularly gory horror flick steals a lot of its look from Katherine Bigalow’s classic vampire flick, Near Dark,  but it isn’t nearly as good. Opening Friday; check local listings

Transformers (PG-13, 144 minutes) The wildly popular toy-line-turned-cartoon-series from the ‘80s returns as a big-budget, big-screen film directed by the man who gave us Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. (At least he knows how to make things blow up real good.) Seems Earth has been invaded by space robots—some of whom are good, some of whom are bad, all of which can transform into cars and trucks and planes and stuff. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are among the humans caught in the middle of this frenetic, far-fetched but ultimately action-packed war. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Who’s Your Caddy? (PG-13) An Atlanta rap mogul (Atlanta rap mogul Big Boi, obviously acting against type) tries to join a conservative country club, causing all the uptight white people to go into a tizzy. Basically, it’s Caddyshack with… No, wait, it’s just Caddyshack. Opening Friday; check local listings

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1408 (PG-13, 94 minutes) Somebody found another unadapted Stephen King short story. By law they’ve all got to be made into movies before his death, so here we go again. John Cusack plays an author who specializes in debunking claims of the paranormal. To those ends, he checks into the infamously haunted Dolphin Hotel, whose titular room is supposed to be the site of uncounted deaths. Naturally, this being a horror story and all, our protagonist is beset by assorted physical and psychological terrors. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Evan Almighty (PG, 90 minutes) The makers of Bruce Almighty give Jim Carrey the boot in order to promote second-string standout Steve Carell. Seems newscaster Evan Baxter (now a U.S. congressman) has been tapped by God himself (Morgan Freeman again) to build an ark in preparation for another great flood. Filmed in our area, this is reportedly the most expensive comedy ever made (at something north of $175 million). Try to ignore that and just enjoy it as a nice, light family comedy with lots of cute animals and a tidy moral message. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Evening (PG-13, 117 minutes) How can you argue with a cast that includes Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close? Based on the novel by Susan Minot, this multigenerational drama explores the romantic past of a dying woman. As her daughters gather around to witness her final moments, she recounts how she met the long-lost love of her life back in the 1950s. This one’s definitely aimed at women in the mood to weep, but the Oscar-filled cast should attract serious attention. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (PG, 89 minutes) The super-powered gang returns, this time squaring off against the cosmic being known as Silver Surfer (sympathetically voiced by Laurence Fishburne), herald to the planet-eating entity Galactus. The Surfer is one of the most interesting character’s in Marvel’s canon, and it’s nice to see him on screen; but director Tim Story (Taxi) still insists on injecting lots of wacky sitcom moments amid the CGI-driven action. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

**NEW**Hairspray (PG, 107 minutes) It seems redundant to remake the Broadway remake of John Waters’ 1988 film. But it’s hard to grouse when the results are such top-notch fun. Newcomer Nikki Blonsky takes over for Ricki Lake, proving herself a spunky little sparkplug. Surrounding her is an able cast of singers and dancers including John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Pfeiffer. The costumes are great, the music is infectious and the story (about the racial integration of a 1960s TV dance show) quite sincere. It’s hard not to grin you way from start to finish. Opening Friday; check local listings

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. …Oh, and there’s kissing. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

**NEW**I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (PG-13, 140 minutes) In this slight twist on La Cage au Folles, two straight firefighters (Adam Sandler, Kevin James) pretend to be a homosexual couple so they can receive domestic partner benefits. For the next two hours and 20 minutes, Sandler and James “act gay” so no one will catch on. More rude silliness (with a big message at the end) from the director of Big Daddy and Beverly Hills Ninja. Opening Friday; check local listings

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

La Vie en Rose (PG-13, 140 minutes) Marion Cotillard (A Good Year, Big Fish) gives an appropriately oversized performance as volatile Parisian singer Edith Piaf. The film endlessly details Piaf’s bad behavior (tantrums, fights, drunken orgies), but at 140 minutes, it’s a rather exhaustive study of mid-century gloom and doom. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre
License to Wed (PG-13, 90 minutes) Robin Williams is at his most annoying as a wacky priest who subjects an engaged couple (John Krasinski and Mandy Moore) to a series of “relationship challenges” during a grueling marriage preparation course. Krasinski is great in “The Office,” but he’s little more than the straight man for Williams’ over-the-top shenanigans here. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13, 130 minutes) You’d think poor, bedraggled cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be tired of saving the world by now, but no. NYC’s favorite supercop returns for the fourth time. For this outing, he’s teamed up with the kid from the Mac/PC commercials (Justin Long) to defeat a cabal of Internet-based terrorists who are systematically shutting down the United States. Realistically, you could probably stop cyber-criminals with a case of Bawls energy drink and a beta test version of Halo 3. McClane, however, goes the heavy caliber weapons and huge explosions route. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Ocean’s Thirteen (PG-13, 113 minutes) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and crew add one to the guest list and go out pranking for money once again. In this third heist-heavy go-around, the boys are getting even with evil casino owner Al Pacino. Expect plenty of breezy hijinks, a wealth of celebrity in-jokes and a script that is slightly more sensical than the second ridiculous outing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Sicko (PG-13, 113 minutes) Michael Moore (he of Fahrenheit 9/11 infamy) returns with another rabble-rousing documentary. This one trains its eye on the American health care system (currently ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization). Moore contrasts our corporate-controlled, HMO-dominated, pharmaceutical company-backed lack of universal health care with other countries (England, Canada, France and, you heard it right, Cuba), who actually care for their sick and injured. Surprisingly, this is one of Moore’s more apolitical films, offering plenty of health care horror stories with hardly an ambush interview in site. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

**NEW**Sunshine (R, 107 minutes) Director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, The Beach, Trainspotting) tries something different with this sci-fi adventure about a team of astronauts sent into space to re-ignite our dying sun 50 years from now. Rose Byrne (Troy), Chris Evans (Fantastic Four), Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and Michelle Yeoh (Memoirs of a Geisha) are among the diverse cast.  The film keeps focussed on the human element, detailing the assorted errors, tensions and personality conflicts that jeopardize the possible suicide mission. Opening Friday; check local listings

Surf’s Up (PG, 85 minutes) If you found the tap-dancing penguins of Happy Feet odd, then the surfing penguins of Surf’s Up will prove equally confusing. This subpar CGI toon (by Sony Pictures) is a basically a remake of old surf documentaries like Endless Summer, only with penguins instead of people. The voice cast is fresh. (Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder and James Woods head it up.) But unless you’ve got a burning desire to see what surf legends Kelly Slater and Rob Machado look like as penguins, the film has only minor appeal. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Transformers (PG-13, 144 minutes) The wildly popular toy-line-turned-cartoon-series from the ‘80s returns as a big-budget, big-screen film directed by the man who gave us Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. (At least he knows how to make things blow up real good.) Seems Earth has been invaded by space robots—some of whom are good, some of whom are bad, all of which can transform into cars and trucks and planes and stuff. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are among the humans caught in the middle of this frenetic, far-fetched but ultimately action-packed war. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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1408 (PG-13, 94 minutes) Somebody found another unadapted Stephen King short story. By law they’ve all got to be made into movies before his death, so here we go again. John Cusack plays an author who specializes in debunking claims of the paranormal. To those ends, he checks into the infamously haunted Dolphin Hotel, whose titular room is supposed to be the site of uncounted deaths. Naturally, this being a horror story and all, our protagonist is beset by assorted physical and psychological terrors. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

A Mighty Heart (R, 100 minutes) Angelina Jolie has gotten a lot of attention for her brave, unglamorous portrayal of Mariane Pearl’s real-life account of searching for her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped in Pakistan. The low-key docudrama (directed by 24 Hour Party People’s Michael Winterbottom) thrives on gritty detail, though audiences not already interested in the subject matter may find it a demanding and depressing film. In English, French, Urdu and Arabic with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

**NEW**Captivity  (R, 85 minutes) This horror thriller has some impressive people behind the scenes. It’s written by Larry Cohen (Phone Booth, Maniac Cop, It’s Alive) and directed by Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, City of Joy)…but played-out torture porn is still played-out torture porn. Elisha Cuthbert (“24”) stars as a young woman kidnapped by a mysterious psycho killer who has locked her in a basement and surrounded her with a series of sadistic, life-threatening traps. This one rips off Saw almost to the letter, but forgets to put in most of the gore, leaving viewers with nothing to look forward to but the utterly predictable “twist” ending. Opening Friday; check local listings

Evan Almighty (PG, 90 minutes) The makers of Bruce Almighty give Jim Carrey the boot in order to promote second-string standout Steve Carell. Seems newscaster Evan Baxter (now a U.S. congressman) has been tapped by God himself (Morgan Freeman again) to build an ark in preparation for another great flood. Filmed in our area, this is reportedly the most expensive comedy ever made (at something north of $175 million). Try to ignore that and just enjoy it as a nice, light family comedy with lots of cute animals and a tidy moral message. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Evening (PG-13, 117 minutes) How can you argue with a cast that includes Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close? Based on the novel by Susan Minot, this multigenerational drama explores the romantic past of a dying woman. As her daughters gather around to witness her final moments, she recounts how she met the long-lost love of her life back in the 1950s. This one’s definitely aimed at women in the mood to weep, but the Oscar-filled cast should attract serious attention. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (PG, 89 minutes) The super-powered gang returns, this time squaring off against the cosmic being known as Silver Surfer (sympathetically voiced by Laurence Fishburne), herald to the planet-eating entity Galactus. The Surfer is one of the most interesting character’s in Marvel’s canon, and it’s nice to see him on screen; but director Tim Story (Taxi) still insists on injecting lots of wacky sitcom moments amid the CGI-driven action. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

**NEW**Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13, 138 minutes) The fifth Harry Potter film hits theaters over summer for a change. This time around, meddling bureaucrats have taken over the Hogwarts School. It’s up to Harry and his friends to practice their evil-busting skills in secret in order to combat the growing menace of Lord Voldemort. Oh, and there’s kissing. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

License to Wed (PG-13, 90 minutes) Robin Williams is at his most annoying as a wacky priest who subjects an engaged couple (John Krasinski and Mandy Moore) to a series of “relationship challenges” during a grueling marriage preparation course. Krasinski is great in “The Office,” but he’s little more than the straight man for Williams’ over-the-top shenanigans here. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13, 130 minutes) You’d think poor, bedraggled cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be tired of saving the world by now, but no. NYC’s favorite supercop returns for the fourth time. For this outing, he’s teamed up with the kid from the Mac/PC commercials (Justin Long) to defeat a cabal of Internet-based terrorists who are systematically shutting down the United States. Realistically, you could probably stop cyber-criminals with a case of Bawls energy drink and a beta test version of Halo 3. McClane, however, goes the heavy caliber weapons and huge explosions route. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Ocean’s Thirteen (PG-13, 113 minutes) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and crew add one to the guest list and go out pranking for money once again. In this third heist-heavy go-around, the boys are getting even with evil casino owner Al Pacino. Expect plenty of breezy hijinks, a wealth of celebrity in-jokes and a script that is slightly more sensical than the second ridiculous outing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Sicko (PG-13, 113 minutes) Michael Moore (he of Fahrenheit 9/11 infamy) returns with another rabble-rousing documentary. This one trains its eye on the American health care system (currently ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization). Moore contrasts our corporate-controlled, HMO-dominated, pharmaceutical company-backed lack of universal health care with other countries (England, Canada, France and, you heard it right, Cuba), who actually care for their sick and injured. Surprisingly, this is one of Moore’s more apolitical films, offering plenty of health care horror stories with hardly an ambush interview in site. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Surf’s Up (PG, 85 minutes) If you found the tap-dancing penguins of Happy Feet odd, then the surfing penguins of Surf’s Up will prove equally confusing. This subpar CGI toon (by Sony Pictures) is a basically a remake of old surf documentaries like Endless Summer, only with penguins instead of people. The voice cast is fresh. (Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder and James Woods head it up.) But unless you’ve got a burning desire to see what surf legends Kelly Slater and Rob Machado look like as penguins, the film has only minor appeal. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Transformers (PG-13, 144 minutes) The wildly popular toy-line-turned-cartoon-series from the ‘80s returns as a big-budget, big-screen film directed by the man who gave us Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. (At least he knows how to make things blow up real good.) Seems Earth has been invaded by space robots—some of whom are good, some of whom are bad, all of which can transform into cars and trucks and planes and stuff. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are among the humans caught in the middle of this frenetic, far-fetched but ultimately action-packed war. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Waitress (PG-13, 107 minutes) In this guilt-free Southern-fried treat, Keri Russell (“Felicity”) stars as an unhappy waitress in a small-town cafe. She’s blessed with an unearthly ability to bake pies, but cursed with an emotionally abusive lout of a hubby (Jeremy Sisto from “Six Feet Under”) and a sudden, unwanted pregnancy. Her life turns around when she meets her obstetrician, though, an awkwardly charming new hunk in town (played by Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” fame). The film occasionally surrenders to its more sitcom-esque moments, but it’s mostly a good-natured, emotionally complex dramedy about pregnancy, infidelity and delicious desserts. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6 

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1408 (PG-13, 94 minutes) Somebody found another unadapted Stephen King short story. By law they’ve all got to be made into movies before his death, so here we go again. John Cusack plays an author who specializes in debunking claims of the paranormal. To those ends, he checks into the infamously haunted Dolphin Hotel, whose titular room is supposed to be the site of uncounted deaths. Naturally, this being a horror story and all, our protagonist is beset by assorted physical and psychological terrors. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

A Mighty Heart (R, 100 minutes) Angelina Jolie has gotten a lot of attention for her brave,  unglamorous portrayal of Mariane Pearl’s real-life account of searching for her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped in Pakistan. The low-key docudrama (directed by 24 Hour Party People’s Michael Winterbottom) thrives on gritty detail, though audiences not already interested in the subject matter may find it a demanding and depressing film. In English, French, Urdu and Arabic with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Evan Almighty (PG, 90 minutes) The makers of Bruce Almighty give Jim Carrey the boot in order to promote second-string standout Steve Carell. Seems newscaster Evan Baxter (now a U.S. congressman) has been tapped by God himself (Morgan Freeman again) to build an ark in preparation for another great flood. Filmed in our area, this is reportedly the most expensive comedy ever made (at something north of $175 million). Try to ignore that and just enjoy it as a nice, light family comedy with lots of cute animals and a tidy moral message. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Evening (PG-13, 117 minutes) How can you argue with a cast that includes Claire Danes, Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close? Based on the novel by Susan Minot, this multigenerational drama explores the romantic past of a dying woman. As her daughters gather around to witness her final moments, she recounts how she met the long-lost love of her life back in the 1950s. This one’s definitely aimed at women in the mood to weep, but the Oscar-filled cast should attract serious attention. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (PG, 89 minutes) The super-powered gang returns, this time squaring off against the cosmic being known as Silver Surfer (sympathetically voiced by Laurence Fishburne), herald to the planet-eating entity Galactus. The Surfer is one of the most interesting character’s in Marvel’s canon, and it’s nice to see him on screen; but director Tim Story (Taxi) still insists on injecting lots of wacky sitcom moments amid the CGI-driven action. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

**NEW**License to Wed (PG-13, 90 minutes) Robin Williams is at his most annoying as a wacky priest who subjects an engaged couple (John Krasinski and Mandy Moore) to a series of “relationship challenges” during a grueling marriage preparation course. Krasinski is great in “The Office,” but he’s little more than the straight man for Williams’ over-the-top shenanigans here. Opening Tuesday; check local listings

Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13, 130 minutes) You’d think poor, bedraggled cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be tired of saving the world by now, but no. NYC’s favorite supercop returns for the fourth time. For this outing, he’s teamed up with the kid from the Mac/PC commercials (Justin Long) to defeat a cabal of Internet-based terrorists who are systematically shutting down the United States. Realistically, you could probably stop cyber-criminals with a case of Bawls energy drink and a beta test version of Halo 3. McClane, however, goes the heavy caliber weapons and huge explosions route. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Nancy Drew (PG, 99 minutes) Carolyn Keene’s teen sleuth, star of a whole lot of books I never read as a kid (I was really more of an Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators type), gets updated to the 21st century. Emma Roberts (niece to Julia) stars as the famed nosey parker, who accompanies her father on a business trip to Los Angeles, where she happens upon clues to a murder involving a movie star. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Ocean’s Thirteen (PG-13, 113 minutes) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and crew add one to the guest list and go out pranking for money once again. In this third heist-heavy go-around, the boys are getting even with evil casino owner Al Pacino. Expect plenty of breezy hijinks, a wealth of celebrity in-jokes and a script that is slightly more sensical than the second ridiculous outing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Sicko (PG-13, 113 minutes) Michael Moore (he of Fahrenheit 9/11 infamy) returns with another rabble-rousing documentary. This one trains its eye on the American health care system (currently ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization). Moore contrasts our corporate-controlled, HMO-dominated, pharmaceutical company-backed lack of universal health care with other countries (England, Canada, France and, you heard it right, Cuba), who actually care for their sick and injured. Surprisingly, this is one of Moore’s more apolitical films, offering plenty of health care horror stories with hardly an ambush interview in site. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Surf’s Up (PG, 85 minutes) If you found the tap-dancing penguins of Happy Feet odd, then the surfing penguins of Surf’s Up will prove equally confusing. This subpar CGI toon (by Sony Pictures) is a basically a remake of old surf documentries like Endless Summer, only with penguins instead of people. The voice cast is fresh. (Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder and James Woods head it up.) But unless you’ve got a burning desire to see what surf legends Kelly Slater and Rob Machado look like as penguins, the film has only minor appeal. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

**NEW**Transformers (PG-13, 144 minutes) The wildly popular toy-line-turned-cartoon-series from the ‘80s returns as a big-budget, big-screen film directed by the man who gave us Bad Boys, The Rock and Armageddon. (At least he knows how to make things blow up real good.) Seems that Earth has been invaded by space robots—some of whom are good, some of whom are bad, all of which can transform into cars and trucks and planes and stuff.  Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are among the humans caught in the middle of this frenetic, far-fetched but ultimately action-packed war. Opening Tuesday; check local listings

Waitress (PG-13, 107 minutes) In this guilt-free Southern-fried treat, Keri Russell (“Felicity”) stars as an unhappy waitress in a small-town cafe. She’s blessed with an unearthly ability to bake pies, but cursed with an emotionally abusive lout of a hubby (Jeremy Sisto from “Six Feet Under”) and a sudden, unwanted pregnancy. Her life turns around when she meets her obstetrician, though, an awkwardly charming new hunk in town (played by Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” fame). The film occasionally surrenders to its more sitcom-esque moments, but it’s mostly a good-natured, emotionally complex dramedy about pregnancy, infidelity and delicious desserts. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6        

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1408 (PG-13, 94 minutes) Somebody found another unadapted Stephen King short story. By law they’ve all got to be made into movies before his death, so here we go again. John Cusack plays an author who specializes in debunking claims of the paranormal. To those ends, he checks into the infamously haunted Dolphin Hotel, whose titular room is supposed to be the site of uncounted deaths. Naturally, this being a horror story and all, our protagonist is beset by assorted physical and psychological terrors. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

A Mighty Heart (R, 100 minutes) Angelina Jolie has gotten a lot of attention for her brave, unglamorous portrayal of Mariane Pearl’s real-life account of searching for her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped in Pakistan. The low-key docudrama (directed by 24 Hour Party People’s Michael Winterbottom) thrives on gritty detail, though audiences not already interested in the subject matter may find it a demanding and depressing film. In English, French, Urdu and Arabic with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Evan Almighty (PG, 90 minutes) The makers of Bruce Almighty give Jim Carrey the boot in order to promote second-string standout Steve Carell. Seems newscaster Evan Baxter (now a U.S. congressman) has been tapped by God himself (Morgan Freeman again) to build an ark in preparation for another great flood. Filmed in our area, this is reportedly the most expensive comedy ever made (at something north of $175). Try to ignore that and just enjoy it as a nice, light family comedy with lots of cute animals and a tidy moral message. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (PG, 89 minutes) The super-powered gang returns, this time squaring off against the cosmic being known as Silver Surfer (sympathetically voiced by Laurence Fishburne), herald to the planet-eating entity Galactus. The Surfer is one of the most interesting character’s in Marvel’s canon, and it’s nice to see him on screen; but director Tim Story (Taxi) still insists on injecting lots of wacky sitcom moments amid the CGI-driven action. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

**NEW**Live Free or Die Hard (PG-13, 130 minutes) You’d think poor, bedraggled cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) would be tired of saving the world by now, but no. NYC’s favorite supercop returns for the fourth time. For this outing, he’s teamed up with the kid from the Mac/PC commercials (Justin Long) to defeat a cabal of Internet-based terrorists who are systematically shutting down the United States. Realistically, you could probably stop cyber-criminals with a case of Bawls energy drink and a beta test version of Halo 3. McClane, however, goes the heavy caliber weapons and huge explosions route. Opening Wednesday; check local listings

Mr. Brooks (R, 120 minutes) Kevin Costner is cast severely against type as a mild-mannered suburban hubby who is occasionally controlled by his alter ego, a vicious serial killer embodied by William Hurt. A sleazy amateur photographer (Dane Cook, also playing against type) finds out about our hero’s little split personality problem and tries to blackmail him. (Is it too much to hope that Cook gets slaughtered?) The film nearly chokes to death on subplots (including one with Demi Moore as a soon-to-be-divorced detective), but the story is clever and Costner does a commendable job. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Nancy Drew (PG, 99 minutes) Carolyn Keene’s teen sleuth, star of a whole lot of books I never read as a kid (I was really more of an Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators type), gets updated to the 21st century. Emma Roberts (niece to Julia) stars as the famed nosey parker, who accompanies her father on a business trip to Los Angeles, where she happens upon clues to a murder involving a movie star. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Ocean’s Thirteen (PG-13, 113 minutes) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and crew add one to the guest list and go out pranking for money once again. In this third heist-heavy go-around, the boys are getting even with evil casino owner Al Pacino. Expect plenty of breezy hijinks, a wealth of celebrity in-jokes and a script that is slightly more sensical than the second ridiculous outing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Paris Je T’Amie (R, 120 minutes) This anthology film about life and love in the City of Lights boasts one hell of a director list—including Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy), Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run), Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), Alexander Payne (Election), Wes Craven (Scream), Alphonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También), Joel & Ethan Coen (Raising Arizona) and roughly a dozen others. Like any anthology, there are some stories you’ll love and some you won’t—but the sheer variety in this charming volume of vignettes makes it a must-see for film lovers. In English and French with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

**NEW**Ratatouille (G, 110 minutes) Animation lovers can breathe a sigh of relief. Pixar, the team behind The Incredibles, Toy Story and so much more, returns with another CGI comedy for the whole family. The star is a food-loving rodent living inside a famous Paris bistro who dreams of becoming a world-class chef—not a career path open to most rats. To realize his gastronomic potential, he teams up with  a hapless young kitchen helper to wow the cooking world. Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy, Peter O’Toole and Janeane Garofalo are among the voice cast. Opening Friday; check local listings

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

**NEW**Sicko (PG-13, 113 minutes) Michael Moore (he of Fahrenheit 9/11 infamy) returns with another rabble-rousing documentary. This one trains its eye on the American health care system (currently ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization). Moore contrasts our corporate-controlled, HMO-dominated, pharmaceutical company-backed lack of universal health care with other countries (England, Canada, France and, you heard it right, Cuba), who actually care for their sick and injured. Surprisingly, this is one of Moore’s more apolitical films, offering plenty of health care horror stories with hardly an ambush interview in site. Opening Friday; check local listings

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Surf’s Up (PG, 85 minutes) If you found the tap-dancing penguins of Happy Feet odd, then the surfing penguins of Surf’s Up will prove equally confusing. This subpar CGI toon (by Sony Pictures) is a basically a remake of old surf documentries like Endless Summer, only with penguins instead of people. The voice cast is fresh. (Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder and James Woods head it up.) But unless you’ve got a burning desire to see what surf legends Kelly Slater and Rob Machado look like as penguins, the film has only minor appeal. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Waitress (PG-13, 107 minutes) In this guilt-free Southern-fried treat, Keri Russell (“Felicity”) stars as an unhappy waitress in a small-town cafe. She’s blessed with an unearthly ability to bake pies, but cursed with an emotionally abusive lout of a hubby (Jeremy Sisto from “Six Feet Under”) and a sudden, unwanted pregnancy. Her life turns around when she meets her obstetrician, though, an awkwardly charming new hunk in town (played by Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” fame). The film occasionally surrenders to its more sitcom-esque moments, but it’s mostly a good-natured, emotionally complex dramedy about pregnancy, infidelity and delicious desserts. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6        

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1408 (PG-13, 94 minutes) Somebody found another unadapted Stephen King short story. By law they’ve all got to be made into movies before his death, so here we go again. John Cusack plays an author who specializes in debunking claims of the paranormal. To those ends, he checks into the infamously haunted Dolphin Hotel, whose titular room is supposed to be the site of uncounted deaths. Naturally, this being a horror story and all, our protagonist is beset by assorted physical and psychological terrors. Opening Friday; check local listings

A Mighty Heart (R, 100 minutes) Angelina Jolie has gotten a lot of attention for her brave, unglamorous portrayal of Mariane Pearl’s real-life account of searching for her husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped in Pakistan. The low-key docudrama (directed by 24 Hour Party People’s Michael Winterbottom) thrives on gritty detail, though audiences not already interested in the subject matter may find it a demanding and depressing film. In English, French, Urdu and Arabic with English subtitles. Opening Friday at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Black Book (R, 145 minutes) Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Basic Instinct) delivers this surprising mix of art house drama and popcorn-fueled exploitation. Carice van Houten stars as a Jew who finds herself stuck in Holland when the Nazis overrun the country round about 1944. She offers her services to the underground resistance and is soon doing Mata Hari duty, pumping (so to speak) a Nazi commander for information. The Nazi extermination of Jewish people in Northern Europe would seem like poor backdrop for an erotic thriller, but Verhoeven and his cast handle it with supreme confidence, delivering Hitchcock-style thrills and plenty of naked bodies. Playing through Thursday, June 21, at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Evan Almighty (PG) The makers of Bruce Almighty give Jim Carrey the boot in order to promote second-string standout Steve Carell. Seems newscaster Evan Baxter (now a U.S. congressman) has been tapped by God himself (Morgan Freeman again) to build an ark in preparation for another great flood. Filmed in our area, this is reportedly the most expensive comedy ever made (at something north of $175). Try to ignore that and just enjoy it as a nice, light family comedy with lots of cute animals and a tidy moral message. Opening Friday; check local listings

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (PG, 89 minutes) The super-powered gang returns, this time squaring off against the cosmic being known as Silver Surfer (sympathetically voiced by Laurence Fishburne), herald to the planet-eating entity Galactus. The Surfer is one of the most interesting character’s in Marvel’s canon, and it’s nice to see him on screen; but director Tim Story (Taxi) still insists on injecting lots of wacky sitcom moments amid the CGI-driven action. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Hostel: Part II (R, 94 minutes) Eli Roth follows up his horror roughie Hostel with this inevitable sequel. This time around, it’s three female college students backpacking through Eastern Europe who are tortured and killed. …Ah, progress. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6.

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Brooks (R, 120 minutes) Kevin Costner is cast severely against type as a mild-mannered suburban hubby who is occasionally controlled by his alter ego, a vicious serial killer embodied by William Hurt. A sleazy amateur photographer (Dane Cook, also playing against type) finds out about our hero’s little split personality problem and tries to blackmail him. (Is it too much to hope that Cook gets slaughtered?) The film nearly chokes to death on subplots (including one with Demi Moore as a soon-to-be-divorced detective), but the story is clever and Costner does a commendable job. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Nancy Drew (PG, 99 minutes) Carolyn Keene’s teen sleuth, star of a whole lot of books I never read as a kid (I was really more of an Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators type), gets updated to the 21st century. Emma Roberts (niece to Julia) stars as the famed nosey parker, who accompanies her father on a business trip to Los Angeles, where she happens upon clues to a murder involving a movie star. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Ocean’s Thirteen (PG-13, 113 minutes) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and crew add one to the guest list and go out pranking for money once again. In this third heist-heavy go-around, the boys are getting even with evil casino owner Al Pacino. Expect plenty of breezy hijinks, a wealth of celebrity in-jokes and a script that is slightly more sensical than the second ridiculous outing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Paris Je T’Amie (R, 120 minutes) This anthology film about life and love in the City of Lights boasts one hell of a director list—including Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy), Tom Tykwer (Run, Lola, Run), Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries), Alexander Payne (Election), Wes Craven (Scream), Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También), Joel & Ethan Coen (Raising Arizona) and roughly a dozen others. Like any anthology, there are some stories you’ll love and some you won’t—but the sheer variety in this charming volume of vignettes makes it a must-see for film lovers. In English and French with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Surf’s Up (PG, 85 minutes) If you found the tap-dancing penguins of Happy Feet odd, then the surfing penguins of Surf’s Up will prove equally confusing. This subpar CGI toon (by Sony Pictures) is a basically a remake of old surf documentries like Endless Summer, only with penguins instead of people. The voice cast is fresh. (Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder and James Woods head it up.) But unless you’ve got a burning desire to see what surf legends Kelly Slater and Rob Machado look like as penguins, the film has only minor appeal. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Waitress (PG-13, 107 minutes) In this guilt-free Southern-fried treat, Keri Russell (“Felicity”) stars as an unhappy waitress in a small-town cafe. She’s blessed with an unearthly ability to bake pies, but cursed with an emotionally abusive lout of a hubby (Jeremy Sisto from “Six Feet Under”) and a sudden, unwanted pregnancy. Her life turns around when she meets her obstetrician, though, an awkwardly charming new hunk in town (played by Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” fame). The film occasionally surrenders to its more sitcom-esque moments, but it’s mostly a good-natured, emotionally complex dramedy about pregnancy, infidelity and delicious desserts. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6        

You Kill Me (R, 92 minutes) Neo-noir B-movie kingpin John Dahl (director of Kill Me Again, Red Rock West and The Last Seduction) teams Sir Ben Kingsley and Téa Leoni in this comedy thriller about an alcoholic hitman (Kingsley) sent by his Polish Mob family to San Francisco to dry out. There, he goes to AA, gets a part-time job at a mortuary and falls in love with a tough-talking sales executive (Leoni). Dahl brazenly mixes his romance and murder with a dose of deadpan humor, resulting in an unexpected, off-kilter gem. Opening Friday; check local listings

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28 Weeks Later (R, 99 minutes) 2002’s apocalyptic zombie flick 28 Days Later was a shot in the arm to a stagnant horror film industry. Unfortunately, director Danny Boyle isn’t back for this follow-up. Substitute Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) can’t quite replicate Boyle’s kinetic camerawork; but he does O.K., adding a few honest jump scares to a fairly standard script. It’s six months after the initial outbreak of the Rage Virus, and the U.S. Army has arrived in England, helping to secure a small section of London for repopulation. Naturally, everything goes wrong and those American boys start getting a tad trigger-happy. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Black Book (R, 145 minutes) Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Basic Instinct) delivers this surprising mix of art house drama and popcorn-fueled exploitation. Carice van Houten stars as a Jew who finds herself stuck in Holland when the Nazis overrun the country round about 1944. She offers her services to the undergroud resistance and is soon doing Mata Hari duty, pumping (so to speak) a Nazi commander for information. The Nazi extermination of Jewish people in Northern Europe would seem like poor backdrop for an erotic thriller, but Verhoeven and his cast handle it with supreme confidence, delivering Hitchcock-style thrills and plenty of naked bodies. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Bug (R, 101 minutes) Ashley Judd headlines this somewhat misleading horror thriller directed by Exorcist helmer William Friedkin. Judd plays a lonely woman trapped in a spooky Oklahoma motel room with a paranoid, possibly unhinged Gulf War vet who believes he is being persecuted by invisible insects. It’s based on the claustrophobic stageplay by Tracy Letts and features far more psychological drama than cinematic horror. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

DOA: Dead or Alive (PG-13, 87 minutes) This long-delayed action flick adapts the popular videogame about bikini-clad kung fu babes who beat up on each other (and occasionally play volleyball). Our real-life babes for this version include Jaime Pressly, Devon Aoki and Eric Roberts. Wait, scratch that last one. The film is helmed by Hong Kong action director Corey Yuen (The Transporter, The Enforcer, Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk), but you really shouldn’t go expecting amazing martial arts action from the star of “My Name is Earl.” Opening Friday; check local listings

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (NR, 89 minutes) The super-powered gang returns, this time squaring off against the cosmic being known as Silver Surfer (sympathetically voiced by Laurence Fishburne), herald to the planet-eating entity Galactus. The Surfer is one of the most interesting character’s in Marvel’s canon, and it’s nice to see him on screen; but director Tim Story (Taxi) still insists on injecting lots of wacky sitcom moments amid the CGI-driven action. Opening Friday; check local listings

Gracie (PG-13, 92 minutes) According to the hands on my watch, it’s time for another inspirational, based-on-a-true-story sports movie. This one’s about a teenage gal (Carly Schroeder from Disney Channel’s “Lizzie McGuire”) who faces an uphill battle of sexism and prejudice when she fights for the opportunity to play on a competitive soccer team. Dermot Mulroney and Elizabeth Shue (who says this story is based on something that happened to her) play the caring parents. Personally, I’m inspired enough as it is, but you may feel differently—especially if you’ve already worn out your copy of Bend it Like Beckham. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Hostel: Part II (R, 94 minutes) Eli Roth follows up his horror roughie Hostel with this inevitable sequel. This time around, it’s three female college students backpacking through Eastern Europe who are tortured and killed. …Ah, progress. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6.
Hot Fuzz (R, 121 minutes) Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the team behind the 2004 gem Sean of the Dead, reunite to tweak another movie genre. This time around, Pegg stars as a top London cop who is sent to a sleepy English hamlet and teamed with a dimwit partner (Sean’s Nick Frost) by jealous colleagues. Eventually, the mismatched duo are prevailed upon to solve a series of bloody murders. The film has a blast making fun of classic ’80s buddy cop movies, and the laughs are—more often than not—explosive. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Brooks (R, 120 minutes) Kevin Costner is cast severely against type as a mild-mannered suburban hubby who is occasionally controlled by his alter ego, a vicious serial killer embodied by William Hurt. A sleazy amateur photographer (Dane Cook, also playing against type) finds out about our hero’s little split personality problem and tries to blackmail him. (Is it too much to hope that Cook gets slaughtered?) The film nearly chokes to death on subplots (including one with Demi Moore as a soon-to-be-divorced detective), but the story is clever and Costner does a commendable job. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Nancy Drew (PG, 99 minutes) Carolyn Keene’s teen sleuth, star of a whole lot of books I never read as a kid (I was really more of an Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators type), gets updated to the 21st century. Emma Roberts (niece to Julia) stars as the famed nosey parker, who accompanies her father on a business trip to Los Angeles, where she happens upon clues to a murder involving a movie star. Opening Friday; check local listings

Ocean’s Thirteen (PG-13, 113 minutes) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and crew add one to the guest list and go out pranking for money once again. In this third heist-heavy go-around, the boys are getting even with evil casino owner Al Pacino. Expect plenty of breezy hijinks, a wealth of celebrity in-jokes and a script that is slightly more sensical than the second ridiculous outing. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Surf’s Up (PG, 85 minutes) If you found the tap-dancing penguins of Happy Feet odd, then the surfing penguins of Surf’s Up will prove equally confusing. This sub-par CGI toon (by Sony Pictures) is a basically a remake of old surf documentries like Endless Summer, only with penguins instead of people. The voice cast is fresh. (Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder and James Woods head it up.) But unless you’ve got a burning desire to see what surf legends Kelly Slater and Rob Machado look like as penguins, the film has only minor appeal. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Waitress (PG-13, 107 minutes) In this guilt-free Southern-fried treat, Keri Russell (“Felicity”) stars as an unhappy waitress in a small-town cafe. She’s blessed with an unearthly ability to bake pies, but cursed with an emotionally abusive lout of a hubby (Jeremy Sisto from “Six Feet Under”) and a sudden, unwanted pregnancy. Her life turns around when she meets her obstetrician, though, an awkwardly charming new hunk in town (played by Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” fame). The film occasionally surrenders to its more sitcom-esque moments, but it’s mostly a good-natured, emotionally complex dramedy about pregnancy, infidelity and delicious desserts. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6        

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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28 Weeks Later (R, 99 minutes) 2002’s apocalyptic zombie flick 28 Days Later was a shot in the arm to a stagnant horror film industry. Unfortunately, director Danny Boyle isn’t back for this follow-up. Substitute Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) can’t quite replicate Boyle’s kinetic camerawork; but he does O.K., adding a few honest jump scares to a fairly standard script. It’s six months after the initial outbreak of the Rage Virus, and the U.S. Army has arrived in England, helping to secure a small section of London for repopulation. Naturally, everything goes wrong and those American boys start getting a tad trigger-happy. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Away From Her (PG-13, 110 minutes) Actress Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead, My Life Without Me) writes and directs this drama/romance, based on a short story by Alice Munro. The story concerns a Canadian man (Gordon Pinset) torn apart by the rapid onset of Alzheimer’s in his wife (Julie Christie). After being put into a full-time care facility, she begins to forget her husband, transferring her affections to a mute resident (Michael Murphy). There are plenty of heartbreaking moments with a slight undercurrent of humor. Polley displays skills beyond her years, offering up a subtle, well-shot character study about love and loss. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Bug (R, 101 minutes) Ashley Judd headlines this somewhat misleading horror thriller directed by Exorcist helmer William Friedkin. Judd plays a lonely woman trapped in a spooky Oklahoma motel room with a paranoid, possibly unhinged Gulf War vet who believes he is being persecuted by invisible insects. It’s based on the claustrophobic stageplay by Tracy Letts and features far more psychological drama than cinematic horror. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fracture (R, 112 minutes) Anthony Hopkins as a manipulative killer behind stuck bars? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Ryan Gosling plays the young D.A. caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with Hopkins’ could-be killer. TV producer Gregory Hoblit (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) directs. The film misses a lot of opportunity for suspense, but the absorbing script and quality acting make this a good bet for legal drama fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Gracie (PG-13, 92 minutes) According to the hands on my watch, it’s time for another inspirational, based-on-a-true-story sports movie. This one’s about a teenage gal (Carly Schroeder from Disney Channel’s “Lizzie McGuire”) who faces an uphill battle of sexism and prejudice when she fights for the opportunity to play on a competitive soccer team. Dermot Mulroney and Elizabeth Shue (who says this story is based on something that happened to her) play the caring parents. Personally, I’m inspired enough as it is, but you may feel differently—especially if you’ve already worn out your copy of Bend it Like Beckham. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Hostel: Part II (R) Eli Roth follows up his horror roughie Hostel with this inevitable sequel. This time around, it’s three female college students backpacking through Eastern Europe who are tortured and killed. …Ah, progress. Opening Friday; check local listings.
Hot Fuzz (R, 121 minutes) Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the team behind the 2004 gem Sean of the Dead, reunite to tweak another movie genre. This time around, Pegg stars as a top London cop who is sent to a sleepy English hamlet and teamed with a dimwit partner (Sean’s Nick Frost) by jealous colleagues. Eventually, the mismatched duo are prevailed upon to solve a series of bloody murders. The film has a blast making fun of classic ’80s buddy cop movies, and the laughs are—more often than not—explosive. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Mr. Brooks (R, 120 minutes) Kevin Costner is cast severely against type as a mild-mannered suburban hubby who is occasionally controlled by his alter ego, a vicious serial killer embodied by William Hurt. A sleazy amateur photographer (Dane Cook, also playing against type) finds out about our hero’s little split personality problem and tries to blackmail him. (Is it too much to hope that Cook gets slaughtered?) The film nearly chokes to death on subplots (including one with Demi Moore as a soon-to-be-divorced detective), but the story is clever and Costner does a commendable job. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Ocean’s Thirteen (PG-13) George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and crew add one to the guest list and go out pranking for money once again. In this third heist-heavy go-around, the boys are getting even with evil casino owner Al Pacino. Expect plenty of breezy hijinks, a wealth of celebrity in-jokes and a script that is slightly more sensical than the second ridiculous outing. Opening Friday; check local listings

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Surf’s Up (PG) If you found the tap-dancing penguins of Happy Feet odd, then the surfing penguins of Surf’s Up will prove equally confusing. This sub-par CGI toon (by Sony Pictures) is a basically a remake of old surf documentries like Endless Summer, only with penguins instead of people. The voice cast is fresh. (Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder and James Woods head it up.) But unless you’ve got a burning desire to see what surf legends Kelly Slater and Rob Machado look like as penguins, the film has only minor appeal. Opening Friday; check local listings

Waitress (PG-13, 107 minutes) In this guilt-free Southern-fried treat, Keri Russell (“Felicity”) stars as an unhappy waitress in a small-town cafe. She’s blessed with an unearthly ability to bake pies, but cursed with an emotionally abusive lout of a hubby (Jeremy Sisto from “Six Feet Under”) and a sudden, unwanted pregnancy. Her life turns around when she meets her obstetrician, though, an awkwardly charming new hunk in town (played by Nathan Fillion of “Firefly” fame). The film occasionally surrenders to its more sitcom-esque moments, but it’s mostly a good-natured, emotionally complex dramedy about pregnancy, infidelity and delicious desserts. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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28 Weeks Later (R, 99 minutes) 2002’s apocalyptic zombie flick 28 Days Later was a shot in the arm to a stagnant horror film industry. Unfortunately, director Danny Boyle isn’t back for this follow-up. Substitute Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) can’t quite replicate Boyle’s kinetic camerawork; but he does O.K., adding a few honest jump scares to a fairly standard script. It’s six months after the initial outbreak of the Rage Virus, and the U.S. Army has arrived in England, helping to secure a small section of London for repopulation. Naturally, everything goes wrong and those American boys start getting a tad trigger-happy. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Away From Her (PG-13, 110 minutes) Actress Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead, My Life Without Me) writes and directs this drama/romance, based on a short story by Alice Munro. The story concerns a Canadian man (Gordon Pinset) torn apart by the rapid onset of Alzheimer’s in his wife (Julie Christie). After being put into a full-time care facility, she begins to forget her husband, transferring her affections to a mute resident (Michael Murphy). There are plenty of heartbreaking moments with a slight undercurrent of humor. Polley displays skills beyond her years, offering up a subtle, well-shot character study about love and loss. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Bug (R, 101 minutes) Ashley Judd headlines this somewhat misleading horror thriller directed by Exorcist helmer William Friedkin. Judd plays a lonely woman trapped in a spooky Oklahoma motel room with a paranoid, possibly unhinged Gulf War vet who believes he is being persecuted by invisible insects. It’s based on the claustrophobic stageplay by Tracy Letts and features far more psychological drama than cinematic horror. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fracture (R, 112 minutes) Anthony Hopkins as a manipulative killer behind stuck bars? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Ryan Gosling plays the young D.A. caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with Hopkins’ could-be killer. TV producer Gregory Hoblit (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) directs. The film misses a lot of opportunity for suspense, but the absorbing script and quality acting make this a good bet for legal drama fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Georgia Rule (R, 113 minutes) Garry Marshall (The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman, Beaches) adds another chick flick to his resumé. This one follows a rebellious, uncontrollable teenager (Lindsay Lohan, who surely was not typecast) who is hauled off by her dysfunctional mother (Felicity Huffman) to spend the summer on an Idaho farm with her tough-talking, no-nonsense granny (Jane Fonda). Lessons are learned, motherly bonds are strengthened and hankies are moistened. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Gracie (PG-13, 92 minutes) According to the hands on my watch, it’s time for another inspirational, based-on-a-true-story sports movie. This one’s about a teenage gal (Carly Schroeder from Disney Channel’s “Lizzie McGuire”) who faces an uphill battle of sexism and prejudice when she fights for the opportunity to play on a competitive soccer team. Dermot Mulroney and Elizabeth Shue (who says this story is based on something that happened to her) play the caring parents. Personally, I’m inspired enough as it is, but you may feel differently—especially if you’ve already worn out your copy of Bend it Like Beckham. Opening Friday; check local listings

Hot Fuzz (R, 121 minutes) Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the team behind the 2004 gem Sean of the Dead, reunite to tweak another movie genre. This time around, Pegg stars as a top London cop who is sent to a sleepy English hamlet and teamed with a dimwit partner (Sean’s Nick Frost) by jealous colleagues. Eventually, the mismatched duo are prevailed upon to solve a series of bloody murders. The film has a blast making fun of classic ’80s buddy cop movies, and the laughs are—more often than not—explosive. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Knocked Up (R, 129 minutes) From the team behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin comes another witty sex comedy. Seth Rogen (“Freaks and Geeks”) is a fun-loving party animal whose life gets turned upside down when a one-night stand (Katherine Heigl from “Grey’s Anatomy”) shows up on his doorstep with the info that she’s pregnant. Opening Friday; check local listings

Mr. Brooks (R, 120 minutes) Kevin Costner is cast severely against type as a mild-mannered suburban hubby who is occasionally controlled by his alter ego, a vicious serial killer embodied by William Hurt. A sleazy reporter (Dane Cook, also playing against type) finds out about our hero’s little split personality problem and tries to blackmail him. Is it too much to hope that Cook gets slaughtered? A surprisingly violent, twist-filled thriller. Opening Friday; check local listings

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Waitress (PG-13, 107 minutes) In this guilt-free Southern-fried treat, Keri Russell ("Felicity") stars as an unhappy waitress in a small-town cafe. She’s blessed with an unearthly ability to bake pies, but cursed with an emotionally abusive lout of a hubby (Jeremy Sisto from "Six Feet Under") and a sudden, unwanted pregnancy. Her life turns around when she meets her obstetrician, though, an awkwardly charming new hunk in town (played by Nathan Fillion of "Firefly" fame). The film occasionally surrenders to its more sitcome-esque moments, but it’s mostly a good-natured, emotionally complex dramedy about pregnancy, infidelity and delicious desserts. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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Capsule Reviews of films playing in town

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28 Weeks Later (R, 99 minutes) 2002’s apocalyptic zombie flick 28 Days Later was a shot in the arm to a stagnant horror film industry. Unfortunately, director Danny Boyle isn’t back for this follow-up. Substitute Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) can’t quite replicate Boyle’s kinetic camerawork; but he does O.K., adding a few honest jump scares to a fairly standard script. It’s six months after the initial outbreak of the Rage Virus, and
the U.S. Army has arrived in England, helping to secure a small section of London
for repopulation. Naturally, everything goes wrong and those American boys start getting a tad trigger-happy. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Bug (R, 101 minutes) Ashley Judd headlines this somewhat misleading horror thriller directed by Exorcist helmer William Friedkin. Judd plays a lonely woman trapped in a spooky Oklahoma motel room with a paranoid, possibly unhinged Gulf War vet who believes he is being persecuted by invisible insects. It’s based on the claustrophobic stageplay by Tracy Letts and features far more psychological drama than cinematic horror. Opening Friday; check local listings

Delta Farce (PG-13, 90 minutes) Two out of three members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour star in this slapstick silly Iraq war sitcom. (Seriously, how bad does a movie have to be for Jeff Foxworthy to bow out?) Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and Road Trip’s DJ Qualls (subbing for Foxworthy) star as a trio of redneck National Guardsmen who get recruited to fight in the Gulf War. When they are accidentally parachuted out over the Mexican desert, these three screwups mistakenly believe they’ve arrived in Iraq and end up trying to “liberate” a small village. This is just the thing for you, if you still think the phrase “git-r-done” is hilarious. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fracture (R, 112 minutes) Anthony Hopkins as a manipulative killer behind stuck bars? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Ryan Gosling plays the young D.A. caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with Hopkins’ could-be killer. TV producer Gregory Hoblit (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) directs. The film misses a lot of opportunity for suspense, but the absorbing script and quality acting make this a good bet for legal drama fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Georgia Rule (R, 113 minutes) Garry Marshall (The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman, Beaches) adds another chick flick to his resumé. This one follows a rebellious, uncontrollable teenager (Lindsay Lohan, who surely was not typecast) who is hauled off by her dysfunctional mother (Felicity Huffman) to spend the summer on an Idaho farm with her tough-talking, no-nonsense granny (Jane Fonda). Lessons are learned, motherly bonds are strengthened and hankies are moistened. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Hot Fuzz (R, 121 minutes) Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the team behind the 2004 gem Sean of the Dead, reunite to tweak another movie genre. This time around, Pegg stars as a top London cop who is sent to a sleepy English hamlet and teamed with a dimwit partner (Sean’s Nick Frost) by jealous colleagues. Eventually, the mismatched duo are prevailed upon to solve a series of bloody murders. The film has a blast making fun of classic ’80s buddy cop movies, and the laughs are—more often than not—explosive. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Invisible (PG-13, 97 minutes) This remake of a recent Swedish thriller has an apparently dead teen (Justin Chatwin, War of the Worlds) wandering the halls of his high school looking for help in nailing his killer. He finds it in the form of a depressed girl (Margarita Levieva), who is suffering her own slightly more symbolic form of “invisibility.” Can Ghost Boy and Gloomy Girl solve the murder before, you know, some other bad stuff happens? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Lives of Others (R, 137 minutes) This Academy Award winner from Germany takes us back to the days of the Berlin Wall. In East Germany, a by-the-books secret police officer named Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mohe, the GDR’s answer to Stanley Tucci) is ordered to spy on a seemingly loyal Communist Party playwright and his actress girlfriend. The good captain fills the couple’s apartment with listening devices and starts prying into their private lives. As the investigation wears on, Wiesler becomes increasingly absorbed in the happy couple’s daily drama—which only serves to highlight how empty the policeman’s life really is. Ultimately, the quiet, observational film transcends its thriller-like setting and finds a universal message about the purely human need to connect with one another. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Next (PG-13, 96 minutes) Nicolas Cage, his hair still not recovered from Ghost Rider, is Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas magician blessed with the power of precognition. Even though he’s tried his whole life to hide his ability to see into the future, he ends up recruited by a government agent (Julianne Moore) to help find a nuclear device hidden in Los Angeles by evil terrorists. From the writer of The Punisher and the director of Die Another Day. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (PG-13, 168 minutes) After the two-and-a-half-hour cliffhanger that was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest comes the nearly three-hour conclusion. This time, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley have sailed to the ends of the Earth to rescue Johnny Depp. They’re also required to gather a massive pirate army to fight the forces of nastiness and villainy (still embodied by squid-faced Bill Nighy and uptight Tom Hollander). Opening Friday; check local listings

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around.    Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Year of the Dog (PG-13, 98 minutes) Mike White, writer of Chuck&Buck, The Good Girl and The School of Rock, tries his hand at directing with this sullen, low-key drama/comedy about a lonely secretary (Molly Shannon, late of “Saturday Night Live”) who is obsessively attached to her pet beagle. When the dog up and dies, our protagonist is at a loss and tries to fill her life by doting on other people’s children, dating a string of losers and otherwise trying (though mostly failing) to make an impression on the outside world. White has always been a bit of an oddball, and this film certainly reflects that, giving viewers far more uncomfortable irony than recognizable humor. There’s something perceptive and poignant going on here, but most folks will hate it. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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28 Weeks Later (R, 99 minutes) 2002’s apocalyptic zombie flick 28 Days Later was a shot in the arm to a stagnant horror film industry. Unfortunately, director Danny Boyle isn’t back for this follow-up. Substitute Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) can’t quite replicate Boyle’s kinetic camerawork; but he does O.K., adding a few honest jump scares to a fairly standard script. It’s six months after the initial outbreak of the Rage Virus, and the U.S. Army has arrived in England, helping to secure a small section of London for repopulation. Naturally, everything goes wrong and those American boys start getting a tad trigger-happy. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Are We Done Yet? (PG, 92 minutes) Clearly Ice Cube isn’t, cranking out a sequel to his 2005 family friendly hit Are We There Yet? This time around, filmmakers “borrow” basically the entire script to 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, sending Mr. Cube out to the suburbs with his brood to perform endless slapstick repairs on a rundown house. Somewhere in southern California, Eazy-E is rolling over in his grave. Oh well. It beats Barbershop 3 or The Friday after the Friday After Next Friday. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Avenue Montaigne (PG-13, 100 minutes) Young Jessica (Cécile de France) arrives in Paris fresh from the countryside and lands a job at a busy sidewalk café on the titular street. There, our optimistic ingenue finds herself entangled in the personal and professional lives of the angst-ridden actors and performers who haunt Paris’ theater district. A frothy, decidedly French dramedy from the writer/director of 2003’s Jet Lag. In French with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Blades of Glory (PG-13, 93 minutes) The names Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers) don’t exactly guarantee intellectual social satire, but they do promise pure, stupid fun. This sporting comedy finds the comedic duo cast as a pair of rival Olympic ice skaters who get permanently banned from the sport thanks to their on-ice fisticuffs. A loophole, however, allows them back in the game—but only if they compete in couples skating. Cast includes comedians Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Rob Corddry and skaters Sasha Cohen, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Delta Farce (PG-13, 90 minutes) Two out of three members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour star in this slapstick silly Iraq war sitcom. (Seriously, how bad does a movie have to be for Jeff Foxworthy to bow out?) Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and Road Trip’s DJ Qualls (subbing for Foxworthy) star as a trio of redneck National Guardsmen who get recruited to fight in the Gulf War. When they are accidentally parachuted out over the Mexican desert, these three screwups mistakenly believe they’ve arrived in Iraq and end up trying to “liberate” a small village. This is just the thing for you, if you still think the phrase “git-r-done” is hilarious. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fracture (R, 112 minutes) Anthony Hopkins as a manipulative killer behind stuck bars? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Ryan Gosling plays the young D.A. caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with Hopkins’ could-be killer. TV producer Gregory Hoblit (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) directs. The film misses a lot of opportunity for suspense, but the absorbing script and quality acting make this a good bet for legal drama fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Georgia Rule (R, 113 minutes) Gary Marshall (The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman, Beaches) adds another chick flick to his resumé. This one follows a rebellious, uncontrollable teenager (Lindsay Lohan, who surely was not typecast) who is hauled off by her dysfunctional mother (Felicity Huffman) to spend the summer on an Idaho farm with her tough-talking, no-nonsense granny (Jane Fonda). Lessons are learned, motherly bonds are strengthened and hankies are moistened. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Host (R, 119 minutes) What with all the torture-porn taking over American cineplexes (Saw, Hostel, Touristas, The Passion of the Christ), it’s hard to remember what it was like to have fun watching a horror movie. Thankfully, this honest-to-god monster movie out of South Korea is stuffed to the gills with humor, scares, emotions, thrills and a dash of blood. Seems that there’s some sort of humongous man-eating tadpole which has crawled out of Seoul’s polluted Han River and is devouring people like popcorn. When their youngest daughter is monster-napped, the sad-sack screw-ups of the Park family must unite as one big dysfunctional family to come to her rescue. Imagine Little Miss Sunshine crossed with Godzilla and you’ll have some idea what this ride is gonna be like. In English and Korean with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Hot Fuzz (R, 121 minutes) Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the team behind the 2004 gem Sean of the Dead, reunite to tweak another movie genre. This time around, Pegg stars as a top London cop who is sent to a sleepy English hamlet and teamed with a dimwit partner (Sean’s Nick Frost) by jealous colleagues. Eventually, the mismatched duo are prevailed upon to solve a series of bloody murders. The film has a blast making fun of classic ’80s buddy cop movies, and the laughs are—more often than not—explosive. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Invisible (PG-13, 97 minutes) This remake of a recent Swedish thriller has an apparently dead teen (Justin Chatwin, War of the Worlds) wandering the halls of his high school looking for help in nailing his killer. He finds it in the form of a depressed girl (Margarita Levieva), who is suffering her own slightly more symbolic form of “invisibility.” Can Ghost Boy and Gloomy Girl solve the murder before, you know, some other bad stuff happens? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Lucky You (PG-13, 124 minutes) Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, L.A. Confidential) directs this comedy/drama about a hard-hearted poker player (Hulk’s Eric Bana) who falls in love with an aspiring singer (Drew Barrymore). Can our boy learn to drop the poker face and express his true feelings in time to win the girl (and maybe the money)? Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Next (PG-13, 96 minutes) Nicolas Cage, his hair still not recovered from Ghost Rider, is Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas magician blessed with the power of precognition. Even though he’s tried his whole life to hide his ability to see into the future, he ends up recruited by a government agent (Julianne Moore) to help find a nuclear device hidden in Los Angeles by evil terrorists. From the writer of The Punisher and the director of Die Another Day. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Shrek the Third (PG, 93 minutes) Kids and fart-loving adults are welcome for this third gathering of the CGI Shrek cast. Seems that our titular ogre’s father-in-law has fallen ill. Now it’s up to Shrek to assume the throne of the fairy tale-filled kingdom—a job he’d rather not take. The voice cast is getting crowded, with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake on board for this go-around. Starts Friday; check local listings

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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28 Weeks Later (R) 2002’s apocalyptic zombie flick 28 Days Later was a shot in the arm to a stagnant horror film industry. Unfortunately, director Danny Boyle isn’t back for this follow-up. Substitute Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (Intacto) can’t quite replicate Boyle’s kinetic camerawork; but he does O.K., adding a few honest jump scares to a fairly standard script. It’s six months after the initial outbreak of the Rage Virus, and the U.S. Army has arrived in England, helping to secure a small section of London for repopulation. Naturally, everything goes wrong and those American boys start getting a tad trigger-happy. Coming Friday; check local listings

300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Are We Done Yet? (PG, 92 minutes) Clearly Ice Cube isn’t, cranking out a sequel to his 2005 family friendly hit Are We There Yet? This time around, filmmakers “borrow” basically the entire script to 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, sending Mr. Cube out to the suburbs with his brood to perform endless slapstick repairs on a rundown house. Somewhere in southern California, Eazy-E is rolling over in his grave. Oh well. It beats Barbershop 3 or The Friday after the Friday After Next Friday. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Avenue Montaigne (PG-13, 100 minutes) Young Jessica (Cécile de France) arrives in Paris fresh from the countryside and lands a job at a busy sidewalk café on the titular street. There, our optimistic ingenue finds herself entangled in the personal and professional lives of the angst-ridden actors and performers who haunt Paris’ theater district. A frothy, decidedly French dramedy from the writer/director of 2003’s Jet Lag. In French with English subtitles. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Blades of Glory (PG-13, 93 minutes) The names Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers) don’t exactly guarantee intellectual social satire, but they do promise pure, stupid fun. This sporting comedy finds the comedic duo cast as a pair of rival Olympic ice skaters who get permanently banned from the sport thanks to their on-ice fisticuffs. A loophole, however, allows them back in the game—but only if they compete in couples skating. Cast includes comedians Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Rob Corddry and skaters Sasha Cohen, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Condemned (R, 100 minutes) This junky remake of The World’s Most Dangerous Game, The Running Man, Battle Royale and roughly 1,200 other films finds wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin cast as a death row prisoner forced to engage in a fight-to-the-death reality show against a bunch of other murderous prisoners on a desolate island. Not only is it grim and sleazy, but it tries to make you feel bad for watching. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Delta Farce (PG-13) Two out of three members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour star in this slapstick silly Iraq war sitcom. (Seriously, how bad does a movie have to be for Jeff Foxworthy to bow out?) Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and Road Trip’s DJ Qualls (subbing for Foxworthy) star as a trio of redneck National Guardsmen who get recruited to fight in the Gulf War. When they are accidentally parachuted out over the Mexican desert, these three screwups mistakenly believe they’ve arrived in Iraq and end up trying to “liberate” a small village. This is just the thing for you, if you still think the phrase “git-r-done” is hilarious. Coming Friday; check local listings

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fracture (R, 112 minutes) Anthony Hopkins as a manipulative killer behind stuck bars? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Ryan Gosling plays the young D.A. caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with Hopkins’ could-be killer. TV producer Gregory Hoblit (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) directs. The film misses a lot of opportunity for suspense, but the absorbing script and quality acting make this a good bet for legal drama fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Georgia Rule (R, 113 minutes) Gary Marshall (The Princess Diaries, Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman, Beaches) adds another chick flick to his resumé. This one follows a rebellious, uncontrollable teenager (Lindsay Lohan, who surely was not typecast) who is hauled off by her dysfunctional mother (Felicity Huffman) to spend the summer on an Idaho farm with her tough-talking, no-nonsense granny (Jane Fonda). Lessons are learned, motherly bonds are strengthened and hankies are moistened. Coming Friday; check local listings

Grindhouse (R, 185 minuts) Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up to create this double-feature tribute to the days of junky grindhouse horror films. Tarantino directs a killer car chase film starring Kurt Russell, while Rodriguez gives us an over-the-top zombie film with Rose McGowan. The films do their best to re-create the ramshackle exploitation vibe of the mid-’70s—right down to the damaged film stock and missing scenes. Plus, there are even trailers for other “fake” films. A grand old time! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Hot Fuzz (R, 121 minutes) Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the team behind the 2004 gem Sean of the Dead, reunite to tweak another movie genre. This time around, Pegg stars as a top London cop who is sent to a sleepy English hamlet and teamed with a dimwit partner (Sean’s Nick Frost) by jealous colleagues. Eventually, the mismatched duo are prevailed upon to solve a series of bloody murders. The film has a blast making fun of classic ‘80s buddy cop movies, and the laughs are—more often than not—explosive. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Invisible (PG-13, 97 minutes) This remake of a recent Swedish thriller has an apparently dead teen (Justin Chatwin, War of the Worlds) wandering the halls of his high school looking for help in nailing his killer. He finds it in the form of a depressed girl (Margarita Levieva), who is suffering her own slightly more symbolic form of “invisibility.” Can Ghost Boy and Gloomy Girl solve the murder before, you know, some other bad stuff happens? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Kickin’ It Old School (PG-13, 107 minutes) Comedian/prank show star Jamie Kennedy (who must be really jealous of Sacha Baron Cohen at this point) stars in this doofy comedy about a young breakdancer who hits his head during a talent show and slips into a coma. Waking up 20 years later, he tries to revive his aging team’s outdated career. Good for a few ’80s-inspired laughs and yet another in an endless string of David Hasselhoff cameos. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Lucky You (PG-13, 124 minutes) Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, L.A. Confidential) directs this comedy/drama about a hard-hearted poker player (Hulk’s Eric Bana) who falls in love with an aspiring singer (Drew Barrymore). Can our boy learn to drop the poker face and express his true feelings in time to win the girl (and maybe the money)? Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Next (PG-13, 96 minutes) Nicolas Cage, his hair still not recovered from Ghost Rider, is Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas magician blessed with the power of precognition. Even though he’s tried his whole life to hide his ability to see into the future, he ends up recruited by a government agent (Julianne Moore) to help find a nuclear device hidden in Los Angeles by evil terrorists. From the writer of The Punisher and the director of Die Another Day. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Perfect Stranger (R, 109 minutes) What would you do if you suspected your best friend were murdered by a rich businessman with a taste for kinky online sex? Natually, you’d go undercover, seduce the guy and try to get him to confess. (Assuming you were in a sexy Hollywood thriller, of course.) Bruce Willis plays the could-be murderer. Halle Berry plays the undercover seductress. The filmmakers allegedly shot three different endings, each with a different character revealed as the murderer. So, don’t go expecting a well-thought-out, intricately plotted mystery. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (R, 86 minutes) Cartoon Network’s brilliantly strange “Adult Swim” series gets its own movie film for theaters! The three animated members of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad) join forces to battle an immortal, intergalactic piece of exercise equipment. Sort of. Anyone who’s watched the show knows there’s not much point in trying to summarize the surreal, non sequitur-filled plots. You’ll either find this completely hilarious or totally nonsensical. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Are We Done Yet? (PG, 92 minutes) Clearly Ice Cube isn’t, cranking out a sequel to his 2005 family friendly hit Are We There Yet? This time around, filmmakers “borrow” basically the entire script to 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, sending Mr. Cube out to the suburbs with his brood to perform endless slapstick repairs on a rundown house. Somewhere in southern California, Eazy-E is rolling over in his grave. Oh well. It beats Barbershop 3 or The Friday after the Friday After Next Friday. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Blades of Glory (PG-13, 93 minutes) The names Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers) don’t exactly guarantee intellectual social satire, but they do promise pure, stupid fun. This sporting comedy finds the comedic duo cast as a pair of rival Olympic ice skaters who get permanently banned from the sport thanks to their on-ice fisticuffs. A loophole, however, allows them back in the game—but only if they compete in couples skating. Cast includes comedians Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Rob Corddry and skaters Sasha Cohen, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Condemned (R, 100 minutes) This junky remake of The World’s Most Dangerous Game, The Running Man, Battle Royale and roughly 1,200 other films finds wrestler "Stone Cold" Steve Austin cast as a death row prisoner forced to engage in a fight-to-the-death reality show against a bunch of other murderous prisoners on a desolate island. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fracture (R, 112 minutes) Anthony Hopkins as a manipulative killer behind stuck bars? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Ryan Gosling plays the young D.A. caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with Hopkins’ could-be killer. TV producer Gregory Hoblit (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) directs. The film misses a lot of opportunity for suspense, but the absorbing script and quality acting make this a good bet for legal drama fans. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Grindhouse (R, 185 minuts) Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up to create this double-feature tribute to the days of junky grindhouse horror films. Tarantino directs a killer car chase film starring Kurt Russell, while Rodriguez gives us an over-the-top zombie film with Rose McGowan. The films do their best to re-create the ramshackle exploitation vibe of the mid-’70s—right down to the damaged film stock and missing scenes. Plus, there are even trailers for other “fake” films. A grand old time! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Hoax (R, 120 minutes) Richard Gere does what might be his best acting job in this based-on-a-true-story tale of writer Clifford Irving. In the early ‘70s, Irving lied his way into a million dollar contract, allegedly ghostwriting the autobiography of legendary recluse Howard Hughes. Of course, it was all one big hoax. Irving kept it up for a surprisingly long time, considering Hughes was still alive at the time. Director Lasse Hallström (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) gives the film a light touch, producing a humorous, occasionally mesmerizing character study that mixes the conniving antics of Catch Me If You Can with the paranoid Watergate-era conspiracy of All The President’s Men. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Hot Fuzz (R, 121 minutes) Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the team behind the 2004 gem Sean of the Dead, reunite to tweak another movie genre. This time around, Pegg stars as a top London cop who is sent to a sleepy English hamlet and teamed with a dimwit partner (Sean’s Nick Frost) by jealous colleagues. Eventually, the mismatched duo are prevailed upon to solve a series of bloody murders. The film has a blast making fun of classic ‘80s buddy cop movies, and the laughs are—more often than not—explosive. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

In the Land of Women (PG-13, 97 minutes) Adam Brody from “The O.C.” stars as a dorky-yet-cool 20-something writer who gets dumped by his hot model girlfriend and movies in with his nutty grandma (Olympia Dukakis) in suburban Michigan. There, he becomes romantically entangled with a beautiful housewife (Meg Ryan) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart). The film is cute and all, but feels a bit too much like a Lifetime movie. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Invisible (PG-13, 97 minutes) This remake of a recent Swedish thriller has an apparently dead teen (Justin Chatwin, War of the Worlds) wandering the halls of his high school looking for help in nailing his killer. He finds it in the form of a depressed girl (Margarita Levieva), who is suffering her own slightly more symbolic form of “invisibility.” Can Ghost Boy and Gloomy Girl solve the murder before, you know, some other bad stuff happens? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Kickin’ It Old School (PG-13, 107 minutes) Comedian/prank show star Jamie Kennedy (who must be really jealous of Sacha Baron Cohen at this point) stars in this doofy comedy about a young breakdancer who hits his head during a talent show and slips into a coma. Waking up 20 years later, he tries to revive his aging team’s outdated career. Good for a few ’80s-inspired laughs and yet another in an endless string of David Hasselhoff cameos. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Lucky You (PG-13) Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, L.A. Confidential) directs this comedy/drama about a hard-hearted poker player (Hulk’s Eric Bana) who falls in love with an aspiring singer (Drew Barrymore). Can our boy learn to drop the poker face and express his true feelings in time to win the girl (and maybe the money)? Coming Friday; check local listings

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Next (PG-13, 96 minutes) Nicolas Cage, his hair still not recovered from Ghost Rider, is Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas magician blessed with the power of precognition. Even though he’s tried his whole life to hide his ability to see into the future, he ends up recruited by a government agent (Julianne Moore) to help find a nuclear device hidden in Los Angeles by evil terrorists. From the writer of The Punisher and the director of Die Another Day. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Perfect Stranger (R, 109 minutes) What would you do if you suspected your best friend were murdered by a rich businessman with a taste for kinky online sex? Natually, you’d go undercover, seduce the guy and try to get him to confess. (Assuming you were in a sexy Hollywood thriller, of course.) Bruce Willis plays the could-be murderer. Halle Berry plays the undercover seductress. The filmmakers allegedly shot three different endings, each with a different character revealed as the murderer. So, don’t go expecting a well-thought-out, intricately plotted mystery. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

September Dawn (R, 110 minutes) While this film is technically another historical look at the Mormon church, it talks about a chunk of history that the LDS folks tend not to bring up. The film is set in 1857 and covers a fictionalized version of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, in which 140 people were slaughtered by a renegade Mormon group obsessed with the idea of “Blood Atonement.” A tacked-on Romeo-and-Juliet romance is a bit of a distraction, but the horrific events aren’t exactly toned down. Jon Voight makes a memorable impression as a blood-crazy Mormon bishop. In other words:  This ain’t no The Book of Mormon, Vol. 1: The Journey or The Work and The Glory. Coming Friday; check local listings

Spider-Man 3 (PG-13, 140 minutes) The third time is supposed to be a charm, but poor Spider-Man is having an awfully bad time of it in this second sequel to the smash hit superhero flick. Seems that Spidey’s best friend (James Franco) has gone insane and is now trying to kill him. He’s also been possessed by a malevolent alien life force and is trying to bring a sand-powered supervillain (Thomas Hayden Church) to justice. Oh, and he’s thinking of getting married. The film’s a bit long, but there’s plenty of action and the special effects should please hardcore comic book fans. Coming Friday; check local listings

Vacancy (R, 100 minutes) Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson star in this fill-in-the-blank horror flick about a young couple whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Luckily (or is it?), they stumble across an isolated motel. Turns out, however, that the motel owners are psychos who torture and kill their clients and film it. If you’re one of those types who can’t wait until Hostel 2 or Saw IV, this might satisfy your torture porn jones. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (R, 86 minutes) Cartoon Network’s brilliantly strange “Adult Swim” series gets its own movie film for theaters! The three animated members of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad) join forces to battle an immortal, intergalactic piece of exercise equipment. Sort of. Anyone who’s watched the show knows there’s not much point in trying to summarize the surreal, non sequitur-filled plots. You’ll either find this completely hilarious or totally nonsensical. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Are We Done Yet? (PG, 92 minutes) Clearly Ice Cube isn’t, cranking out a sequel to his 2005 family friendly hit Are We There Yet? This time around, filmmakers “borrow” basically the entire script to 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, sending Mr. Cube out to the suburbs with his brood to perform endless slapstick repairs on a rundown house. Somewhere in southern California, Eazy-E is rolling over in his grave. Oh well. It beats Barbershop 3 or The Friday after the Friday After Next Friday. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Blades of Glory (PG-13, 93 minutes) The names Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers) don’t exactly guarantee intellectual social satire, but they do promise pure, stupid fun. This sporting comedy finds the comedic duo cast as a pair of rival Olympic ice skaters who get permanently banned from the sport thanks to their on-ice fisticuffs. A loophole, however, allows them back in the game—but only if they compete in couples skating. Cast includes comedians Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Rob Corddry and skaters Sasha Cohen, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Condemned (R, 100 minutes) This junky remake of The World’s Most Dangerous Game, The Running Man, Battle Royale and roughly 1,200 other films finds wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin cast as a death row prisoner forced to engage in a fight-to-the-death reality show against a bunch of other murderous prisoners on a desolate island. Coming Friday; check local listings

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fracture (R, 112 minutes) Anthony Hopkins as a manipulative killer behind bars? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Ryan Gosling plays the young D.A. caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with Hopkins’ could-be killer. TV producer Gregory Hoblit ("NYPD Blue," "L.A. Law") directs.  Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Grindhouse (R, 185 minuts) Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up to create this double-feature tribute to the days of junky grindhouse horror films. Tarantino directs a killer car chase film starring Kurt Russell, while Rodriguez gives us an over-the-top zombie film with Rose McGowan. The films do their best to re-create the ramshackle exploitation vibe of the mid-’70s—right down to the damaged film stock and missing scenes. Plus, there are even trailers for other “fake” films. A grand old time! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Hoax (R, 120 minutes) Richard Gere does what might be his best acting job in this based-on-a-true-story tale of writer Clifford Irving. In the early ‘70s, Irving lied his way into a million dollar contract, allegedly ghostwriting the autobiography of legendary recluse Howard Hughes. Of course, it was all one big hoax. Irving kept it up for a surprisingly long time, considering Hughes was still alive at the time. Director Lasse Hallström (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) gives the film a light touch, producing a humorous, occasionally mesmerizing character study that mixes the conniving antics of Catch Me If You Can with the paranoid Watergate-era conspiracy of All The President’s Men. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Hot Fuzz (R, 121 minutes) Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the team behind the 2004 gem Sean of the Dead, reunite to tweak another movie genre. This time around, Pegg stars as a top London cop who is sent to a sleepy English hamlet and teamed with a dimwit partner (Sean’s Nick Frost) by jealous colleagues. Eventually, the mismatched duo are prevailed upon to solve a series of bloody murders. The film has a blast making fun of classic ‘80s buddy cop movies, and the laughs are—more often than not—explosive. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Invisible (PG-13) This remake of a recent Swedish thriller has an apparently dead teen (Justin Chatwin, War of the Worlds) wandering the halls of his high school looking for help in nailing his killer. He finds it in the form of a depressed girl (Margarita Levieva), who is suffering her own slightly more symbolic form of “invisibility.” Can Ghost Boy and Gloomy Girl solve the murder before, you know, some other bad stuff happens? Coming Friday; check local listings

Kickin’ It Old School (PG-13, 107 minutes) Comedian/prank show star Jamie Kennedy (who must be really jealous of Sacha Baron Cohen at this point) stars in this doofy comedy about a young breakdancer who hits his head during a talent show and slips into a coma. Waking up 20 years later, he tries to revive his aging team’s outdated career. Good for a few ’80s-inspired laughs and yet another in an endless string of David Hasselhoff cameos. Coming Friday; check local listings

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Next (PG-13) Nicolas Cage, his hair still not recovered from Ghost Rider, is Cris Johnson, a Las Vegas magician blessed with the power of precognition. Even though he’s tried his whole life to hide his ability to see into the future, he ends up recruited by a government agent (Julianne Moore) to help find a nuclear device hidden in Los Angeles by evil terrorists. From the writer of The Punisher and the director of Die Another Day. Coming Friday; check local listings

Pathfinder (R, 88 minutes) Karl Urban (Eomer in the Lord of the Rings films) stars in this bloody historical action flick. In it, a Viking child, accidentally left behind in the New World round about 1000 A.D., is raised by Native Americans. As an adult, he becomes a sword-wielding savior, fighting off a Norse invasion. Think Braveheart, but dumber. Blame director Marcus Nispel (the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Perfect Stranger (R, 109 minutes) What would you do if you suspected your best friend were murdered by a rich businessman with a taste for kinky online sex? Natually, you’d go undercover, seduce the guy and try to get him to confess. (Assuming you were in a sexy Hollywood thriller, of course.) Bruce Willis plays the could-be murderer. Halle Berry plays the undercover seductress. The filmmakers allegedly shot three different endings, each with a different character revealed as the murderer. So, don’t go expecting a well-thought-out, intricately plotted mystery. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Reaping (R, 96 minutes) A former Christian missionary (Hilary Swank) who now specializes in debunking claims of the supernatural finds herself in a small Southern town seemingly beset by the 10 Biblical plagues—you know, frogs, blood, locusts, all that stuff we saw in Exorcist II: The Heretic. Clearly, the most horrifying film about the miracle of God since Patricia Arquette was touched by Christ in Stigmata. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Slow Burn (R, 93 minutes) Coming off the shelf after four years is this cheap thriller about a district attorney (Ray Liotta) listenting to the convoluted confession of a record store employee (LL Cool J) who may or may not have witnessed the rape (or was it a seduction?) of an assistant DA (who’s also sleeping with Liotta’s character). It might have all had something to do with the search for a mysterious gang leader. The film is highly derivative of The Usual Suspects, and gets increasingly silly thanks to Cool J.’s bizarre food-based metaphors. (Sample: “She walked into the room smelling like mashed potatoes, and every guy there wanted to be the gravy.”) Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Vacancy (R) Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson star in this fill-in-the-blank horror flick about a young couple whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Luckily (or is it?), they stumble across an isolated motel. Turns out, however, that the motel owners are psychos who torture and kill their clients and film it. If you’re one of those types who can’t wait until Hostel 2 or Saw IV, this might satisfy your torture porn jones. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Wild Hogs (PG-13, 99 minutes) Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy (really, Bill?) go middle-aged crazy as a gang of suburban biker wannabes who hit the road looking for adventure and wind up running afoul of a violent Southwestern motorcycle gang called the Del Fuegos. Hijinks ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (R, 86 minutes) Cartoon Network’s brilliantly strange “Adult Swim” series gets its own movie film for theaters! The three animated members of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad) join forces to battle an immortal, intergalactic piece of exercise equipment. Sort of. Anyone who’s watched the show knows there’s not much point in trying to summarize the surreal, non sequitur-filled plots. You’ll either find this completely hilarious or totally nonsensical. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Are We Done Yet? (PG, 92 minutes) Clearly Ice Cube isn’t, cranking out a sequel to his 2005 family friendly hit Are We There Yet? This time around, filmmakers “borrow” basically the entire script to 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, sending Mr. Cube out to the suburbs with his brood to perform endless slapstick repairs on a rundown house. Somewhere in southern California, Eazy-E is rolling over in his grave. Oh well. It beats Barbershop 3 or The Friday after the Friday After Next Friday. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Blades of Glory (PG-13, 93 minutes) The names Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers) don’t exactly guarantee intellectual social satire, but they do promise pure, stupid fun. This sporting comedy finds the comedic duo cast as a pair of rival Olympic ice skaters who get permanently banned from the sport thanks to their on-ice fisticuffs. A loophole, however, allows them back in the game—but only if they compete in couples skating. Cast includes comedians Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Rob Corddry and skaters Sasha Cohen, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Firehouse Dog (PG, 111 minutes) Rexxx, Hollywood’s top canine actor, gets lost while on location and is adopted by a shabby, small-town firehouse. There, our hairy protagonist learns some sort of lesson about…I don’t know, not being a spoiled, rich dog. This live-action kiddie film is just the sort of thing to keep the youngsters quiet in between Air Bud releases. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Fracture (NR) Anthony Hopkins as a manipulative killer behind bars? Haven’t we seen this somewhere before? Ryan Gosling plays the young D.A. caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with Hopkins’ could-be killer. TV producer Gregory Hoblit (“NYPD Blue,” “L.A. Law”) directs. Coming Friday; check local listings

Grindhouse (R, 185 minuts) Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up to create this double-feature tribute to the days of junky grindhouse horror films. Tarantino directs a killer car chase film starring Kurt Russell, while Rodriguez gives us an over-the-top zombie film with Rose McGowen. The films do their best to re-create the ramshackle exploitation vibe of the mid-’70s—right down to the damaged film stock and missing scenes. Plus, there are even trailers for other “fake” films. A grand old time! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Hills Have Eyes 2 (R, 89 minutes) Alexandra Aja’s 2006 remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes had its moments, so it’s not too surprising to see a gruesome sequel. Unfortunately, Aja has bugged out for greener territories. By way of compensation, Craven is back aboard as screenwriter (along with son Jonathan Craven). Perhaps he’s trying to make up for his 1985 bomb The Hills Have Eyes Part II (a certified all-time stinker). This time around, a group of National Guard trainees find themselves attacked by vicious desert-dwelling mutants. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Hoax (R, 120 minutes) Richard Gere does what might be his best acting job in this based-on-a-true-story tale of writer Clifford Irving. In the early ’70s, Irving lied his way into a million dollar contract, allegedly ghostwriting the autobiography of legendary recluse Howard Hughes. Of course, it was all one big hoax. Irving kept it up for a surprisingly long time, considering Hughes was still alive at the time. Director Lasse Hallström (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) gives the film a light touch, producing a humorous, occasionally mesmerizing character study that mixes the conniving antics of Catch Me If You Can with the paranoid Watergate-era conspiracy of All The President’s Men. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

In the Land of Women (PG-13, 97 minutes) Adam Brody from “The O.C.” stars as a dorky-yet-cool 20-something writer who gets dumped by his hot model girlfriend and movies in with his nutty grandma (Olympia Dukakis) in suburban Michigan. There, he becomes romantically entangled with a beautiful housewife (Meg Ryan) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart). The film is cute and all, but feels a bit too much like a Lifetime movie. Coming Friday; check local listings

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pathfinder (R, 88 minutes) Karl Urban (Eomer in the Lord of the Rings films) stars in this bloody historical action flick. In it, a Viking child, accidentally left behind in the New World round about 1000 A.D., is raised by Native Americans. As an adult, he becomes a sword-wielding savior, fighting off a Norse invasion. Think Braveheart, but dumber. Blame director Marcus Nispel (the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake). Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Perfect Stranger (R, 109 minutes) What would you do if you suspected your best friend were murdered by a rich businessman with a taste for kinky online sex? Natually, you’d go undercover, seduce the guy and try to get him to confess. (Assuming you were in a sexy Hollywood thriller, of course.) Bruce Willis plays the could-be murderer. Halle Berry plays the undercover seductress. The filmmakers allegedly shot three different endings, each with a different character revealed as the murderer. So, don’t go expecting a well-thought-out, intricately plotted mystery. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Reaping (R, 96 minutes) A former Christian missionary (Hilary Swank) who now specializes in debunking claims of the supernatural finds herself in a small Southern town seemingly beset by the 10 Biblical plagues—you know, frogs, blood, locusts, all that stuff we saw in Exorcist II: The Heretic. Clearly, the most horrifying film about the miracle of God since Patricia Arquette was touched by Christ in Stigmata. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Shooter (R, 120 minutes) Mark Wahlberg stars as an expert marksman who gets lured out of retirement after learning of a plot to assassinate the president. Anybody wanna lay odds that he’s being double-crossed and will soon be framed for the assassination attempt?…Didn’t think so. The plot is standard issue, but there’s plenty of music video-style action thanks to director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun, King Arthur). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Slow Burn (R, 93 minutes) Coming off the shelf after four years is this cheap thriller about a district attorney (Ray Liotta) listenting to the convoluted confession of a record store employee (LL Cool J) who may or may not have witnessed the rape (or was it a seduction?) of an assistant DA (who’s also sleeping with Liotta’s character). It might have all had something to do with the search for a mysterious gang leader. The film is highly derivative of The Usual Suspects, and gets increasingly silly thanks to Cool J.’s bizarre food-based metaphors. (Sample: “She walked into the room smelling like mashed potatoes, and every guy there wanted to be the gravy.”) Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

TMNT (PG, 90 minutes) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back! And this time, they’re in CGI! With their old nemesis Shredder gone, the Turtles have grown apart, but must reunite to battle an evil industrialist and his army of ancient monsters. Old-schoolers can rest assured, this one sticks fairly close to the original toon. Impressive guest voices belong to Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chris Evans, Zhang Ziyi, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Smith and Laurence Fishburne. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Vacancy (R) Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson star in this fill-in-the-blank horror flick about a young couple whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Luckily (or is it?), they stumble across an isolated motel. Turns out, however, that the motel owners are psychos who torture and kill their clients and film it. If you’re one of those types who can’t wait until Hostel 2 or Saw IV, this might satisfy your torture porn jones. Coming Friday; check local listings

Wild Hogs (PG-13, 99 minutes) Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy (really, Bill?) go middle-aged crazy as a gang of suburban biker wannabes who hit the road looking for adventure and wind up running afoul of a violent Southwestern motorcycle gang called the Del Fuegos. Hijinks ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Blades of Glory (PG-13, 93 minutes) The names Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers) don’t exactly guarantee intellectual social satire, but they do promise pure, stupid fun. This sporting comedy finds the comedic duo cast as a pair of rival Olympic ice skaters who get permanently banned from the sport thanks to their on-ice fisticuffs. A loophole, however, allows them back in the game—but only if they compete in couples skating. Cast includes comedians Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Rob Corddry and skaters Sasha Cohen, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Dead Silence (R, 90 minutes) From James Wan, the writer/director of Saw, comes this old-fashioned but entertaining ghost story. A widower (Ryan Kwanten, “Summerland”) returns to his small hometown to solve his wife’s murder. Wouldn’t you know it, the ghost of a crazy female ventriloquist is haunting the place, using her possessed puppets to hunt down and cut out the tongues of any victims unfortunate enough to scream in fright. I hate it when that happens. The film isn’t as gory as Saw, but it’s got some decent jump-out-of-your-seat moments. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Disturbia (PG-13, 104 minutes) It’s a blatant steal of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but the film is fairly honest about it. Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Constantine) stars as a teen stuck at home under house arrest. Bored out of his skull, he takes to spying on the neighbors. Before long, he spots one who might just be a serial killer, bumping off victims in his garage. Is this observation real, or just the product of an overactive imagination? Coming Friday; check local listings

Grindhouse (R, 185 minuts) Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up to create this double-feature tribute to the days of junky grindhouse horror films. Tarantino directs a killer car chase film starring Kurt Russell, while Rodriguez gives us an over-the-top zombie film with Rose McGowen. The films do their best to re-create the ramshackle exploitation vibe of the mid-’70s—right down to the damaged film stock and missing scenes. Plus, there are even trailers for other “fake” films. A grand old time! Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Hills Have Eyes 2 (R, 89 minutes) Alexandra Aja’s 2006 remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes had its moments, so it’s not too surprising to see a gruesome sequel. Unfortunately, Aja has bugged out for greener territories. By way of compensation, Craven is back aboard as screenwriter (along with son Jonathan Craven). Perhaps he’s trying to make up for his 1985 bomb The Hills Have Eyes Part II (a certified all-time stinker). This time around, a group of National Guard trainees find themselves attacked by vicious desert-dwelling mutants. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Last Mimzy (PG, 94 minutes) In this bizarrely misguided New Age kiddie flick, two youngsters discover a magical toybox from the future. Inside are a bunch of weird devices and a telepathic stuffed rabbit (the titular Mimzy). Soon, the kids start exhibiting all sorts of techno-mystical, quantum mathematical superpowers (levitation, teleportation, the ability to speak with spiders). The film borrows its entire plot structure from E.T. the Extraterrestrial, but is far creepier than it is cute. Perfect for 8-year-olds who loved What the Bleep Do We Know!?, though. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Lives of Others (R, 137 minutes) This Academy Award winner from Germany takes us back to the days of the Berlin Wall. In East Germany, a by-the-books secret police officer named Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe, the GDR’s answer to Stanley Tucci) is ordered to spy on a seemingly loyal Communist Party playwright and his actress girlfriend. The good captain fills the couple’s apartment with listening devices and starts prying into their private lives. As the investigation wears on, Wiesler becomes increasingly absorbed in the happy couple’s daily drama—which only serves to highlight how empty the policeman’s life really is. Ultimately, the quiet, observational film transcends its thriller-like setting and finds a universal message about the purely human need to connect with one another. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pathfinder (R, 88 minutes) Karl Urban (Eomer in the Lord of the Rings films) stars in this bloody historical action flick. In it, a Viking child, accidentally left behind in the New World round about 1000 A.D., is raised by Native Americans. As an adult, he becomes a sword-wielding savior, fighting off a Norse invasion. Think Braveheart, but dumber. Blame director Marcus Nispel (the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake). Coming Friday; check local listings

Perfect Stranger (R, 109 minutes) What would you do if you suspected your best friend were murdered by a rich businessman with a taste for kinky online sex? Natually, you’d go undercover, seduce the guy and try to get him to confess. (Assuming you were in a sexy Hollywood thriller, of course.) Bruce Willis plays the could-be murderer. Halle Berry plays the undercover seductress. The filmmakers allegedly shot three different endings, each with a different character revealed as the murderer. So, don’t go expecting a well-thought-out, intricately plotted mystery. Coming Friday; check local listings

Premonition (PG-13, 110 minutes) Sandra Bullock follows up her alternate timeline romance, The Lake House, with an alternate timeline thriller. Sandy plays a suburban housewife who wakes up one day to find out her husband (Rosie O’Donnell’s man-crush Julian McMahon) is dead. She wakes up the next day to find out he’s alive. Is she having premonitions of his imminent death or is she somehow randomly traveling through time for reasons largely unexplained? It takes Bullock’s character most of the movie to figure out what viewers will have latched onto in the first 10 minutes. The film is one huge plot hole, and Bullock seems bored by it all. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Reaping (R, 96 minutes) Hilary Swank, letting the dust gather on that Oscar of hers,  stars in this latest, decidedly unscary installment in the religious horror flick genre. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Redline (PG-13, 95 minutes) This low-budget Cannonball Run-ish action flick about an illegal cross-country street race is notable mostly because it features the personal exotic car collection of the producer, real estate investor Daniel Sadek. Sadek provided the vehicles, including a Phantom Rolls Royce, a Lamborghini Murcielago, a Ferrari Enzo, a Ferrari F430, a Ferrari Scaglietti and two Mercedes SLR McLarens….I think there are some humans in the film too, but I can’t be sure. Coming Friday; check local listings

Reign Over Me (R, 124 minutes) Adam Sandler stars in this tearjerking drama (Warning! Warning! Warning!) about a New York man who lost his entire family in the September 11 attacks. He’s crazy depressed and looks like Bob Dylan on a bender, at least until he runs into an old college roommate (Don Cheadle), who helps him recover. An intense mental drama about friendship, loss and overwhelming grief—pretty much the exact words you think of when Adam Sandler comes to mind. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shooter (R, 120 minutes) Mark Wahlberg stars as an expert marksman who gets lured out of retirement after learning of a plot to assassinate the president. Anybody wanna lay odds that he’s being double-crossed and will soon be framed for the assassination attempt?…Didn’t think so. The plot is standard issue, but there’s plenty of music video-style action thanks to director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun, King Arthur). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Slow Burn (R, 93 minutes) Coming off the shelf after four years is this cheap thriller about a district attorney (Ray Liotta) listenting to the convoluted confession of a record store employee (LL Cool J) who may or may not have witnessed the rape (or was it a seduction?) of an assistant DA (who’s also sleeping with Liotta’s character). It might have all had something to do with the search for a mysterious gang leader. The film is highly derivative of The Usual Suspects, and gets increasingly silly thanks to Cool J.’s bizarre food-based metaphors. (Sample: “She walked into the room smelling like mashed potatoes, and every guy there wanted to be the gravy.”) Coming Friday; check local listings

TMNT (PG, 90 minutes) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back! And this time, they’re in CGI! With their old nemesis Shredder gone, the Turtles have grown apart, but must reunite to battle an evil industrialist and his army of ancient monsters. Old-schoolers can rest assured, this one sticks fairly close to the original toon. Impressive guest voices belong to Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chris Evans, Zhang Ziyi, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Smith and Laurence Fishburne. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Wild Hogs (PG-13, 99 minutes) Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy (really, Bill?) go middle-aged crazy as a gang of suburban biker wannabes who hit the road looking for adventure and wind up running afoul of a violent Southwestern motorcycle gang called the Del Fuegos. Hijinks ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4 and Carmike Cinema 6

Amazing Grace (PG, 111 minutes) Ioan Gruffudd is William Wilburforce, an 18th-century British do-gooder who championed the abolitionist cause in British Parliament. This well-cast, workmanlike costume drama is invaluable as an educational piece and, as entertainment, falls somewhere between lecture and sermon. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Are We Done Yet? (PG, 92 minutes) Clearly Ice Cube isn’t, cranking out a sequel to his 2005 family hit Are We There Yet? This time around, filmmakers “borrow” basically the entire script to 1948’s Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, sending Mr. Cube out to the suburbs with his brood to perform endless slapstick repairs on a ramshackle house. Oh well. It beats Barbershop 3 or The Friday after the Friday After Next Friday. Coming Wednesday; check local listings

Blades of Glory (PG-13, 93 minutes) The names Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers) don’t exactly guarantee intellectual social satire, but they do promise pure, stupid fun. This sporting comedy finds the comedic duo cast as a pair of rival Olympic ice skaters who get permanently banned from the sport thanks to their on-ice fisticuffs. A loophole, however, allows them back in the game—but only if they compete in couples skating. Comedians Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Rob Corddry are skaters Sasha Cohen, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Dead Silence (R, 90 minutes) From James Wan, the writer/director of Saw, comes this old-fashioned but entertaining ghost story. A widower (Ryan Kwanten, “Summerland”) returns to his small hometown to solve his wife’s murder. Wouldn’t you know it, the ghost of a crazy female ventriloquist is haunting the place, using her possessed puppets to hunt down and cut out the tongues of any victims unfortunate enough to scream in fright. I hate it when that happens. The film isn’t as gory as Saw, but it’s got some decent jump-out-of-your-seat moments. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Firehouse Dog (PG, 111 minutes) Rexxx, Hollywood’s top canine actor, gets lost while on location and is adopted by a shabby, small-town firehouse. There, our hairy protagonist learns some sort of lesson about…I don’t know, not being a spoiled rich dog. This live-action kiddie film is just the sort of thing to keep the youngsters quiet inbetween Air Bud releases. Coming Wednesday, check local listings

Grindhouse (R, 185 minuts) Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez team up to create this double-feature tribute to the days of junky grindhouse horror films. Tarantino directs a killer car chase film starring Kurt Russell, while Rodriguez gives us an over-the-top zombie film with Rose McGowen. The films do their best to re-create the ramshackle exploitation vibe of the mid-’70s—right down to the damaged film stock and missing scenes. Plus, there are even trailers for other “fake” films. A grand old time! Coming Friday; check local listings

The Last Mimzy (PG, 94 minutes) In this bizarrely misguided New Age kiddie flick, two youngsters discover a magical toybox from the future. Inside are a bunch of weird devices and a telepathic stuffed rabbit (the titular Mimzy). Soon, the kids start exhibiting all sorts of techno-mystical, quantum mathematical superpowers (levitation, teleportation, the ability to speak with spiders). The film borrows its entire plot structure from E.T. the Extraterrestrial, but is far creepier than it is cute. Perfect for 8-year-olds who loved What the Bleep Do We Know!?, though. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Lives of Others (R, 137 minutes) This Academy Award winner from Germany takes us back to the days of the Berlin Wall. In East Germany, a by-the-books secret police officer named Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe, the GDR’s answer to Stanley Tucci) is ordered to spy on a seemingly loyal Communist Party playwright and his actress girlfriend. The good captain fills the couple’s apartment with listening devices and starts prying into their private lives. As the investigation wears on, Wiesler becomes increasingly absorbed in the happy couple’s daily drama—which only serves to highlight how empty the policeman’s life really is. Ultimately, the quiet, observational film transcends its thriller-like setting and finds a universal message about the purely human need to connect with one another. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

The Lookout (R, 98 minutes) Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a janitor at a small-town bank who, as a high school student, caused a car accident that killed three people and left him without any short-term memory. When he’s targeted to be the patsy for a would-be bank robber, the film becomes a neo-noir companion to films like Memento. It’s a good wallow in pulp fiction territory. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6 Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Namesake (PG-13, 122 minutes) Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Vanity Fair) directs this multigenerational drama/comedy about an American-born son of East Indian immigrants who tries to shake off his parents’ too-traditional ways. Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) stars as our sullen protagonist, stuck between two worlds. Like the novel it’s based on (by Jhumpa Lahiri), the film wisely paints its pictures in small, intimate strokes. In English, Bengali and Hindi with English subtitles. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Premonition (PG-13, 110 minutes) Sandra Bullock follows up her alternate timeline romance, The Lake House, with an alternate timeline thriller. Sandy plays a suburban housewife who wakes up one day to find out her husband (Rosie O’Donnell’s man-crush Julian McMahon) is dead. She wakes up the next day to find out he’s alive. Is she having premonitions of his imminent death or is she somehow randomly traveling through time for reasons largely unexplained? It takes Bullock’s character most of the movie to figure out what viewers will have latched onto in the first 10 minutes. The film is one huge plot hole, and Bullock seems bored by it all. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pride (PG, 104 minutes) Looks like basketball and football are a bit burned out as topics for inspirational sports dramas. In this one, Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow) plays a swimmer-turned-janitor who uses tough love to coach a ragtag inner city swim team to victory. The film trots out every possible inspirational sports movie cliché it can think of. But at least it focuses on the red-hot, super-exciting sport of swimming. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Reaping (R, 96 minutes) A former Christian missionary (Hilary Swank) who now specializes in debunking claims of the supernatural finds herself in a small Southern town seemingly beset by the ten Biblical plagues—you know, frogs, blood, locusts, all that stuff we saw in Exorcist II: The Heratic. Clearly, the most horrifying film about the miracle of God since Patricia Arquette was touched by Christ in Stigmata. Coming Thursday; check local listings

Reign Over Me (R, 124 minutes) Adam Sandler stars in this tearjerking drama (Warning! Warning! Warning!) about a New York man who lost his entire family in the September 11 attacks. He’s crazy depressed and looks like Bob Dylan on a bender, at least until he runs into an old college roommate (Don Cheadle), who helps him recover. An intense mental drama about friendship, loss and overwhelming grief—pretty much the exact words you think of when Adam Sandler comes to mind. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shooter (R, 120 minutes) Mark Wahlberg stars as an expert marksman who gets lured out of retirement after learning of a plot to assassinate the president. Anybody wanna lay odds that he’s being double-crossed and will soon be framed for the assassination attempt?…Didn’t think so. The plot is standard issue, but there’s plenty of music video-style action thanks to director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun, King Arthur). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

TMNT (PG, 90 minutes) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back! And this time, they’re in CGI! With their old nemesis Shredder gone, the Turtles have grown apart, but must reunite to battle an evil industrialist and his army of ancient monsters. Old-schoolers can rest assured, this one sticks fairly close to the original toon. Impressive guest voices belong to Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chris Evans, Zhang Ziyi, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Smith and Laurence Fishburne. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Wild Hogs (PG-13, 99 minutes) Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy (really, Bill?) go middle-aged crazy as a gang of suburban biker wannabes who hit the road looking for adventure and wind up running afoul of a violent Southwestern motorcycle gang called the Del Fuegos. Hijinks ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book 300 comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. where 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Amazing Grace (PG, 111 minutes) Ioan Gruffudd is William Wilburforce, an 18th-century British do-gooder who championed the abolitionist cause in British Parliament. This well-cast, workmanlike costume drama is invaluable as an educational piece and, as entertainment, falls somewhere between lecture and sermon. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Blades of Glory (PG-13, 93 minutes) The names Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, Anchorman) and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite, The Benchwarmers) don’t exactly guarantee intellectual social satire, but they do promise pure, stupid fun. This sporting comedy finds the comedic duo cast as a pair of rival Olympic ice skaters who get permanently banned from the sport thanks to their on-ice fisticuffs. A loophole, however, allows them back in the game—but only if they compete in couples skating. Comedians Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Rob Corddry are skaters Sasha Cohen, Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton. Coming Friday; check local listings

Bridge to Terabithia (PG, 95 minutes) Katherine Paterson’s Newberry Award-winning children’s book (filmed once before in 1985) comes to life as a big-budget feature film. Thankfully, the smart script remains faithful to Paterson’s original story. Josh Hutcherson (Zathura) plays Jesse, a poor middle school kid who’s ignored at home and bullied at school. He finds his one true friend in fellow outsider Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). He’s an aspiring artist, she loves telling stories. Together, they retreat into their own little fantasy world. Although the commercials make this look like a third-rate Chronicles of Narnia, it isn’t. The fantasies these kids have are never real (they take up barely 10 minutes of screen time), and the film’s only major misstep is rendering them in such detailed CGI. This is no whimsical fantasy, but a well thought-out coming-of-age tale, not so far removed from Stand By Me or My Girl. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Dead Silence (R, 90 minutes) From James Wan, the writer/director of Saw, comes this old-fashioned but entertaining ghost story. A widower (Ryan Kwanten, “Summerland”) returns to his small hometown to solve his wife’s murder. Wouldn’t you know it, the ghost of a crazy female ventriloquist is haunting the place, using her possessed puppets to hunt down and cut out the tongues of any victims unfortunate enough to scream in fright. I hate it when that happens. The film isn’t as gory as Saw, but it’s got some decent jump-out-of-your-seat moments. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Ghost Rider (PG-13, 114 minutes) Nicolas Cage finally gets around to starring in a full-fledged superhero movie. Here, he plays minor Marvel character Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt man who makes a deal with the devil and is transformed into a hellblazing vigilante. Don’t get too excited, fanboys; it’s from the same writer/director who gave us Elektra, Daredevil and Grumpier Old Men. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Hills Have Eyes 2 (NR, 89 minutes) Alexandra Aja’s 2006 remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes had its moments, so it’s not too surprising to see a gruesome sequel. Unfortunately, Aja has bugged out for greener territories. By way of compensation, Craven is back aboard as screenwriter (along with son Jonathan Craven). Perhaps he’s trying to make up for his 1985 bomb, The Hills Have Eyes Part II (a certified all-time stinker). This time around, a group of National Guard trainees find themselves attacked by vicious desert-dwelling mutants. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

I Think I Love My Wife (R, 94 minutes) In a somewhat belated remake of Eric Rohmer’s classic 1972 film, Chloe in the Afternoon, writer/director/star Chris Rock plays a slightly unhappily married man who finds his morals tested after he’s visited by the ex-mistress of an old friend. Certainly a more mature effort on the part of folks who gave us Pootie Tang. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Last Mimzy (PG, 94 minutes) In this bizarrely misguided New Age kiddie flick, two youngsters discover a magical toybox from the future. Inside are a bunch of weird devices and a telepathic stuffed rabbit (the titular Mimzy). Soon, the kids start exhibiting all sorts of techno-mystical, quantum mathematical superpowers (levitation, teleportation, the ability to speak with spiders). The film borrows its entire plot structure from E.T. the Extraterrestrial, but is far creepier than it is cute. Perfect for 8-year-olds who loved What the Bleep Do We Know!?, though. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4 Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

The Lives of Others (R, 137 minutes) This Academy Award winner from Germany takes us back to the days of the Berlin Wall. In East Germany, a by-the-books secret police officer named Captain Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe, the GDR’s answer to Stanley Tucci) is ordered to spy on a seemingly loyal Communist Party playwright and his actress girlfriend. The good captain fills the couple’s apartment with listening devices and starts prying into their private lives. As the investigation wears on, Wiesler becomes increasingly absorbed in the happy couple’s daily drama—which only serves to highlight how empty the policeman’s life really is. Ultimately, the quiet, observational film transcends its thriller-like setting and finds a universal message about the purely human need to connect with one another. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Meet the Robinsons (G, 102 minutes) Disney presents this colorful but convoluted non-Pixar-based CGI film. In it, a kid inventor is whisked away to the future by a mysterious stranger in a time machine. The plot—something about multiple generations of good and evil, a talking dinosaur and a hat with a mind of its own—seems unnecessarily complicated. Kids with ADD will probably be fine with all the frantic action, but adults are likely to find it a loud and unfocussed mix of Back to the Future and “The Jetsons.” Coming Friday; check local listings

Music and Lyrics (PG-13, 96 minutes) Cute without being cloying, this genial romantic comedy features Hugh Grant as a washed-up ’80s pop star who hooks up with a daffy amateur writer (Drew Barrymore) to pen a new tune for the world’s most popular teen starlet. Eventually, the two find time to fall in love; but the film is mostly about artistic integrity, selling out and the fickle world of the music biz. Grant and Barrymore are both adorable in their own way, the music is quite catchy and the script never drowns itself in sap. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Premonition (PG-13, 110 minutes) Sandra Bullock follows up her alternate timeline romance, The Lake House, with an alternate timeline thriller. Sandy plays a suburban housewife who wakes up one day to find out her husband (Rosie O’Donnell’s man-crush Julian McMahon) is dead. She wakes up the next day to find out he’s alive. Is she having premonitions of his imminent death or is she somehow randomly traveling through time for reasons largely unexplained? It takes Bullock’s character most of the movie to figure out what viewers will have latched onto in the first 10 minutes. The film is one huge plot hole, and Bullock seems bored by it all. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pride (PG, 104 minutes) Looks like basketball and football are a bit burned out as topics for inspirational sports dramas. In this one, Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow) plays a swimmer-turned-janitor who uses tough love to coach a ragtag inner city swim team to victory. The film trots out every possible inspirational sports movie cliché it can think of. But at least it focuses on the red-hot, super-exciting sport of swimming. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Reign Over Me (R, 124 minutes) Adam Sandler stars in this tearjerking drama (Warning! Warning! Warning!) about a New York man who lost his entire family in the September 11 attacks. He’s crazy depressed and looks like Bob Dylan on a bender, at least until he runs into an old college roommate (Don Cheadle), who helps him recover. An intense mental drama about friendship, loss and overwhelming grief—pretty much the exact words you think of when Adam Sandler comes to mind. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Shooter (R, 120 minutes) Mark Wahlberg stars as an expert marksman who gets lured out of retirement after learning of a plot to assassinate the president. Anybody wanna lay odds that he’s being double-crossed and will soon be framed for the assassination attempt?…Didn’t think so. The plot is standard issue, but there’s plenty of music video-style action thanks to director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun, King Arthur). Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Skinwalkers (NR, 110 minutes) The guy who directed Jason X delivers this low-budget shaggy dog story. In it, a 12-year-old boy and his mother become the targets of two warring werewolf packs, each with different intentions and motives. This violent, but not particularly gory horror flick steals a lot of its look from Katherine Bigalow’s classic vampire flick, Near Dark; but it isn’t nearly as good. Coming Friday; check local listings

TMNT (PG, 90 minutes) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back! And this time, they’re in CGI! With their old nemesis Shredder gone, the Turtles have grown apart, but must reunite to battle an evil industrialist and his army of ancient monsters. Old-schoolers can rest assured, this one sticks fairly close to the original toon. Impressive guest voices belong to Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chris Evans, Zhang Ziyi, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Smith and Laurence Fishburne. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Wild Hogs (PG-13, 99 minutes) Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy (really, Bill?) go middle-aged crazy as a gang of suburban biker wannabes who hit the road looking for adventure and wind up running afoul of a violent Southwestern motorcycle gang called the Del Fuegos. Hijinks ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

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300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book, 300, comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. when 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Amazing Grace (PG, 111 minutes) Ioan Gruffudd is William Wilburforce, an 18th-century British do-gooder who championed the abolitionist cause in British Parliament. This well-cast, workmanlike costume drama is invaluable as an educational piece and, as entertainment, falls somewhere between lecture and sermon. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Black Snake Moan (R, 116 minutes) This sizzling drama, hot off the film fest circuit, features Christina Ricci as a backwoods nymphomaniac and Samuel L. Jackson as a god-fearing bluesman who kidnaps her in an effort to “cure her of her wickedness.” It’s a crazy mix of Erskine Caldwell, Baby Doll and all-out Russ Meyer-style exploitation, but if you go expecting nothing more than pulpy Southern melodrama, you’ll get your money’s worth and then some. Ricci is a sight to behold as the feral sex machine and Jackson can belt out a mean blues tune. Not for the kiddies. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Bridge to Terabithia (PG, 95 minutes) Katherine Paterson’s Newberry Award-winning children’s book (filmed once before in 1985) comes to life as a big-budget feature film. Thankfully, the smart script remains faithful to Paterson’s original story. Josh Hutcherson (Zathura) plays Jesse, a poor middle school kid who’s ignored at home and bullied at school. He finds his one true friend in fellow outsider Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). He’s an aspiring artist, she loves telling stories. Together, they retreat into their own little fantasy world. Although the commercials make this look like a third-rate
Chronicles of Narnia, it isn’t. The fantasies these kids have are never real (they take up barely 10 minutes of screen time), and the film’s only major misstep is rendering them in such detailed CGI. This is no whimsical fantasy, but a well thought-out coming-of-age tale, not so far removed from Stand By Me or My Girl. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Dead Silence (R) From James Wan, the writer/director of Saw, comes this old-fashioned but entertaining ghost story. A widower (Ryan Kwanten, “Summerland”) returns to his small hometown to solve his wife’s murder. Wouldn’t you know it, the ghost of a crazy female ventriloquist is haunting the place, using her possessed puppets to hunt down and cut out the tongues of any victims unfortunate enough to scream in fright. I hate it when that happens. The film isn’t as gory as Saw, but it’s got some decent jump-out-of-your-seat moments. Coming Friday; check local listings

Ghost Rider (PG-13, 114 minutes) Nicolas Cage finally gets around to starring in a full-fledged superhero movie. Here, he plays minor Marvel character Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt man who makes a deal with the devil and is transformed into a hellblazing vigilante. Don’t get too excited, fanboys; it’s from the same writer/director who gave us Elektra, Daredevil and Grumpier Old Men. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

I Think I Love My Wife (R, 94 minutes) In a somewhat belated remake of Eric Rohmer’s classic 1972 film, Chloe in the Afternoon, writer/director/star Chris Rock plays a slightly unhappily married man who finds his morals tested after he’s visited by the ex-mistress of an old friend. Certainly a more mature effort on the part of folks who gave us Pootie Tang. Coming Friday; check local listings

Little Children (R, 130 minutes) From the director of In the Bedroom comes this dark domestic drama about the intersecting lives of several young suburban couples. Kate Winslet headlines as a stay-at-home mother who feels out of place amid the minivan set and has an affair with a married man. The stand-out performance, though, comes from Jackie Earle Haley (Kelly Leak from The Bad News Bears) as a registered sex offender being harassed out of the community by misguided family types. Think American Beauty with a sardonic edge. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Music and Lyrics (PG-13, 96 minutes) Cute without being cloying, this genial romantic comedy features Hugh Grant as a washed-up ‘80s pop star who hooks up with a daffy amateur writer (Drew Barrymore) to pen a new tune for the world’s most popular teen starlet. Eventually, the two find time to fall in love; but the film is mostly about artistic integrity, selling out and the fickle world of the music biz. Grant and Barrymore are both adorable in their own way, the music is quite catchy and the script never drowns itself in sap. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Pan’s Labyrinth (R, 117 minutes) From Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Blade II, The Devil’s Backbone, Cronos) comes this intelligent, phantasmagorical fantasy about a young girl who travels with her pregnant mother to post-war Spain. Hoping to avoid the grim reality of Franco’s fascist repression, our heroine escapes into a fantasy world of her own creation. In time, the two worlds—one stylized and beautiful, one bloody and brutal—begin to meld. Despite certain Alice in Wonderland connections, this dark, disturbing fantasy is not a kids’ film. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Premonition (PG-13, 110 minutes) Sandra Bullock follows up her alternate timeline romance, The Lake House, with an alternate timeline thriller. Sandy plays a suburban housewife who wakes up one day to find out her husband (Rosie O’Donnell’s man-crush Julian McMahon) is dead. She wakes up the next day to find out he’s alive. Is she having premonitions of his imminent death or is she somehow randomly traveling through time for reasons largely unexplained? It takes Bullock’s character most of the movie to figure out what viewers will have latched onto in the first 10 minutes. The film is one huge plot hole, and Bullock seems bored by it all. Coming Friday; check local listings

Reno 911: Miami (R, 84 minutes) The half-assed sheriffs from Comedy Central’s “Reno 911” find themselves on the big screen and in Miami. When a terrorist attack disrupts a national police convention in Miami Beach during spring break, the rag-tag Reno cops are the only ones left to defend the city from crime. Naturally, things go very, very wrong. An absolute must for fans of the goofball “COPS” parody. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6.

The Ultimate Gift (PG, 114 minutes) From busy beaver distributors FoxFaith comes another Truly Moving Picture. Instead of leaving his spoiled grandson Jason (Drew Fuller, “Charmed”) a bunch of money, rich dead dude James Garner bequeaths a series of “tasks” in his will, each designed to impart a crash course in Life (working at a cattle ranch, living as a homeless man, giving away money). Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) shows up as a cutesy-poo cancer patient who explains how God hand-paints all the pretty butterflies in the world. In the end our protagonist learns…wait for it…money doesn’t equal happiness! The film means well, but its naive concept of good and bad and its blatantly obvious moralizing are appropriate only for audiences who read “Love Is…” every day in the newspaper. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Wild Hogs (PG-13) Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy (really, Bill?) go middle-aged crazy as a gang of suburban biker wannabes who hit the road looking for adventure and wind up running afoul of a violent Southwestern motorcycle gang called the Del Fuegos. Hijinks ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Zodiac (R) David Fincher, no stranger to serial killers (having directed 1995’s Se7en), tackles the true, unsolved case of the Zodiac killer. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards and Robert Downey Jr. star in this ensemble look into the police investigation that got close, but not close enough to the figure who terrorized San Francisco with a string of random killings in the ’60s and ’70s. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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300 (R, 117 minutes) Much like his previous work, Sin City, Frank Miller’s stylish comic book, 300, comes to life on the big screen. This faithful (nearly panel-for-panel) adaptation arrives courtesy of up-and-comer Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead). This violent, highly visual adventure tale tells the story of story of the battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. when 300 bedraggled Spartans beat back the entire Persian army. Gerard Butler (The Phantom of the Opera) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) star. Coming Friday; check local listings

The Abandoned (R, 94 minutes) This audience choice favorite from the recent “8 Films to Die For” Horrorfest tour now gets its own solo theatrical release. It’s your basic ghost story about an orphaned girl who returns to her biological parents’ isolated Russian farmhouse. Director Nacho Cerda, known for his transgressive underground shorts (Aftermath, Genesis), does an impressive job of delivering a visceral visual experience in his first feature film. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Amazing Grace (PG, 111 minutes) Ioan Gruffudd is William Wilburforce, an 18th-century British do-gooder who championed the abolitionist cause in British Parliament. This well-cast, workmanlike costume drama is invaluable as an educational piece and, as entertainment, falls somewhere between lecture and sermon. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Astronaut Farmer (PG, 104 minutes)  From oddball indie auteurs Mark and Michael Polish (Twin Falls Idaho, Southfork) comes this surprisingly straightforward feel-good flick about a former-astronaut-turned-rancher (Billy Bob Thornton) who wants to build a rocket ship in his barn. Everything you expect to happen in this “don’t give up on your dreams” heartwarmer does, but you’ll probably still leave the theater with a smile on your face. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Black Snake Moan (R, 116 minutes) This sizzling drama, hot off the film fest circuit, features Christina Ricci as a backwoods nymphomaniac and Samuel L. Jackson as a god-fearing bluesman who kidnaps her in an effort to “cure her of her wickedness.” It’s a crazy mix of Erskine Caldwell, Baby Doll and all-out Russ Meyer-style exploitation, but if you go expecting nothing more than pulpy Southern melodrama, you’ll get your money’s worth and then some. Ricci is a sight to behold as the feral sex machine and Jackson can belt out a mean blues tune. Not for the kiddies. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Breach (PG-13, 110 minutes) Based on a true story, this real-life espionage thriller finds a young FBI recruit (Ryan Phillippe) drafted to spy on his boss (Chris Cooper), a longtime agent who seems to be selling secrets to the Soviet Union. Director Billy Ray (Shattered Glass) resists the temptation to turn this into too much of a Hollywood action thriller, instead relying on his solid cast (also including Laura Linney, Kathleen Quinlan, Dennis Haysbert and Bruce Davidson) for acting fireworks. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Bridge to Terabithia (PG, 95 minutes) Katherine Paterson’s Newberry Award-winning children’s book (filmed once before in 1985) comes to life as a big-budget feature film. Thankfully, the smart script remains faithful to Paterson’s original story. Josh Hutcherson (Zathura) plays Jesse, a poor middle school kid who’s ignored at home and bullied at school. He finds his one true friend in fellow outsider Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). He’s an aspiring artist, she loves telling stories. Together, they retreat into their own little fantasy world. Although the commercials make this look like a third-rate Chronicles of Narnia, it isn’t. The fantasies these kids have are never real (they take up barely 10 minutes of screen time), and the film’s only major misstep is rendering them in such detailed CGI. This is no whimsical fantasy, but a well thought-out coming-of-age tale, not so far removed from Stand By Me or My Girl. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Ghost Rider (PG-13, 114 minutes) Nicolas Cage finally gets around to starring in a
full-fledged superhero movie. Here, he plays minor Marvel character Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt man who makes a deal with the devil and is transformed into a hellblazing vigilante. Don’t get too excited, fanboys; it’s from the same writer/director who gave us Elektra, Daredevil and Grumpier Old Men. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Hannibal Rising (R, 117 minutes) Cannibal/pop culture icon Hannibal Lecter has been involved in two good books (Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs) and two bad books (Hannibal and Hannibal Rising). He’s also given birth to two good movies (Manhunter and The Silence of the Lambs) and two bad movies (Hannibal and Red Dragon). Here comes the tiebreaker. Frenchman Gaspard Ulliel (A Very Long Engagement) stars in this grisly but unnecessary prequel as the young Lecter hunting down and killing the men responsible for his parents’ deaths during World War II. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Happy Feet (PG, 87 minutes) Wouldn’t March of the Penguins have been so much more interesting if the birds could sing and tap-dance? That’s the premise of this odd CGI musical featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, Brittany Murphy and Robin Williams. (Couldn’t rehab have kept Robin out of at least a couple movies this year?) The film hijacks so many random pop tunes (Prince, The Beach Boys, Grandmaster Flash, Queen) that it starts to sound like a broken iPod Shuffle—at least until the music is dropped in favor of a very confused ecological message. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Music and Lyrics (PG-13, 96 minutes) Cute without being cloying, this genial romantic comedy features Hugh Grant as a washed-up ‘80s pop star who hooks up with a daffy amateur writer (Drew Barrymore) to pen a new tune for the world’s most popular teen starlet. Eventually, the two find time to fall in love; but the film is mostly about artistic integrity, selling out and the fickle world of the music biz. Grant and Barrymore are both adorable in their own way, the music is quite catchy and the script never drowns itself in sap. Playing at Regal Seminole Square Cinema 4

Norbit (PG-13, 110 minutes) Yes, it’s another excuse to put Eddie Murphy in a fat suit. But Murphy at least gives it his acting all in this very broad comedy/romance about a mild-mannered dork (the titular Norbit) who is engaged to a monstrous (in more ways than one) woman (also played by Murphy). When our submissive hero meets the girl of his dreams (Thandie Newton), he schemes to lose his gigantic girlfriend. Hijinks ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

The Number 23 (R, 95 minutes) Jim Carrey goes briefly serious for this clever thriller about an ordinary family man who becomes obsessed with a mystery novel that appears to be based on his real life—except for the fact it ends in a murder that has yet to happen. Is our boy going slowly nuts, or does he have a date with destiny? It’s sort of a darker (though still slightly humorous) version of Stranger Than Fiction, complete with an alternative “comic noir” storyline in which Carrey is a tough-talking detective. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Pan’s Labyrinth (R, 117 minutes) From Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Blade II, The Devil’s Backbone, Cronos) comes this intelligent, phantasmagorical fantasy about a young girl who travels with her pregnant mother to post-war Spain. Hoping to avoid the grim reality of Franco’s fascist repression, our heroine escapes into a fantasy world of her own creation. In time, the two worlds—one stylized and beautiful, one bloody and brutal—begin to meld. Despite certain Alice in Wonderland connections, this dark, disturbing fantasy is not a kids’ film. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Reno 911: Miami (R, 84 minutes) The half-assed sheriffs from Comedy Central’s “Reno 911” find themselves on the big screen and in Miami. When a terrorist attack disrupts a national police convention in Miami Beach during spring break, the rag-tag Reno cops are the only ones left to defend the city from crime. Naturally, things go very, very wrong. An absolute must for fans of the goofball “COPS” parody. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6.

Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls (PG-13, 95 minutes) Tyler Perry (Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion) finally ditches the unconvincing drag act to direct this melodramtic romance about a financially strapped single father (Idris Elba) who falls in love with a successful attorney (Gabrielle Union) who’s helping him protect his three kids from a vengeful ex-wife. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Venus (R, 95 minutes) Peter O’Toole (75 and counting) is nicely typecast as an aging actor and non-quite-reformed ladies man who finds himself smitten with his septuagenarian drinking pal’s 19-year-old caretaker (newcomer Jodie Whittaker). She’s a provincial layabout with a foul mouth and he’s a charming, cultured dirty old man. Though the film could have easily come off as a twee English modification of Harold and Maude, it’s smart enough to understand the many cute-‘n’-uncomfortable aspects of its May-December romance (which, to be perfectly honest, is never even consummated). In any other hands, it might have been just another easy-to-dismiss bit of British whimsy. O’Toole’s bittersweet performance lends this comedy/drama an air of gravity, however. Playing at Vinegar Hill Theatre

Wild Hogs (PG-13) Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy (really, Bill?) go middle-aged crazy as a gang of suburban biker wannabes who hit the road looking for adventure and wind up running afoul of a violent Southwestern motorcycle gang called the Del Fuegos. Hijinks ensue. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Zodiac (R) David Fincher, no stranger to serial killers (having directed 1995’s Se7en), tackles the true, unsolved case of the Zodiac killer. Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards and Robert Downey Jr. star in this ensemble look into the police investigation that got close, but not close enough to the figure who terrorized San Francisco with a string of random killings in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

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The Abandoned (R, 94 minutes) This audience choice favorite from the recent “8 Films to Die For” Horrorfest tour now gets its own solo theatrical release. It’s your basic ghost story about an orphaned girl who returns to her biological parents’ isolated Russian farmhouse. Director Nacho Cerda, known for his transgressive underground shorts (Aftermath, Genesis), does an impressive job of delivering a visceral visual experience in his first feature film. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Amazing Grace (PG, 111 minutes) Ioan Gruffudd is William Wilburforce, an 18th-century British do-gooder who championed the abolitionist cause in British Parliament. This well-cast, workmanlike costume drama is invaluable as an educational piece and, as entertainment, falls somewhere between lecture and sermon. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6Reviewed on this page. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

The Astronaut Farmer (PG)  From oddball indie auteurs Mark and Michael Polish (Twin Falls Idaho, Southfork) comes this surprisingly straightforward feel-good flick about a former-astronaut-turned-rancher (Billy Bob Thornton) who wants to build a rocket ship in his barn. Everything you expect to happen in this “don’t give up on your dreams” heartwarmer does, but you’ll probably still leave the theater with a smile on your face. Playing at Carmike Cinema 6

Because I Said So (PG-13, 101 minutes) A meddling, overprotective mother (Diane Keaton) keeps trying to set her youngest daughter (Mandy Moore) up with the right man so the kid won’t follow in her footsteps. Keaton and Moore make a nice duo, but the mild, middle-of-the-road humor makes this a rather ordinary romcom. Playing at Regal Downtown Mall 6

Black Snake Moan (R, 116 minutes) This sizzling drama, hot off the film fest circuit, features Christina Ricci as a backwoods nymphomaniac and Samuel L. Jackson as a god-fearing bluesman who kidnaps her in an effort to “cure her of her wickedness.” It’s a crazy mix of Erskine Caldwell, Baby Doll and all-out Russ Meyer-style exploitation, but if you go expecting nothing more than pulpy Southern melodrama, you’ll get your money’s worth and then some. Ricci is a sight to behold as the feral sex machine and Jackson can belt out a mean blues tune. Not for the kiddies. Coming Friday; check local listings

Bridge to Terabithia (PG, 95 minutes) Katherine Paterson’s Newberry Award-winning children’s book (filmed once before in 1985) comes to life as a big-budget feature film. Thankfully, the smart script remains faithful to Paterson’s original story. Josh Hutcherson (Zathura) plays Jesse, a poor middle school kid who’s ignored at home and bullied at school. He finds his one true friend in fellow outsider Leslie (AnnaSophia Robb, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). He’s an aspiring artist, she loves telling stories. Together, they retreat into their own little fantasy world. Although the commercials make this look like a third-rate
Chronicles of Narnia, it isn’t. The fantasies these kids have are never real (they take up barely 10 minutes of screen time), and the film’s only major misstep is rendering them in such detailed CGI. This is no whimsical fantasy, but a well thought-out coming-of-age tale, not so far removed from Stand By Me or My Girl. Pla