Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

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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3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

Posted In:     Arts

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Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

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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.  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

Posted In:     Arts

Previous Post

Screw Santa! [with video]

Next Post

Britta’s bees [with video]



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

Posted In:     Arts

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

Posted In:     Arts

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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First Friday, December 7, 2007 [With Photo Gallery]



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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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1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

Posted In:     Arts

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A cluttered desk…

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

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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3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

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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

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

Posted In:     Arts

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Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

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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1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

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

Posted In:     Arts

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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Making faces [with video]



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

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Capsule reviews of films playing in town

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

Posted In:     Arts

Previous Post

The C-VILLE Minute! [video]

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Peace out!



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

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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


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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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. 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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Capsule reviews of films playing in town



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

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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. 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 Tre