At the Movies
End of the Spear
Based on a true story, a tribesman from a violent Ecuadorian village faces change after the deaths of American missionaries. He becomes the grandfather to the grandchildren of one of the men he killed. (PG-13)
The New World
Director Terrence Malick's new film chronicles the clash between English settlers and Native Americans during the founding of the Jamestown Virginia settlement in 1607, in particular Malick's interpretation of the classic tale of Pocahontas and her relationships with adventurer John Smith and aristocrat John Rolfe. Colin Farrell, Christian Bale and newcomer Q'Orianka Kilcher star. (PG-13)
Kate Beckinsale returns as Selene, a vampire fighting to end the war between her kind, the aristocratic Death Dealers, and the race of werewolves called the Lycans. Scott Speedman also reprises his role as the lycan hybrid Michael, as he and Selene try to unlock the secrets of their bloodlines. (R)
PG - Parental guidance suggested.
Cheaper by the Dozen 2
It's a battle between the Baker and Murtaugh clans, with bellyflops, pratfalls and sight gags, none of them remotely inspired. Steve Martin and Eugene Levy star.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The story follows four siblings who enter the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe. There they join a noble ruler, the lion Aslan, in fighting the evil White Witch, Jadis. Tilda Swinton is positively insane as the witch, and the young actors give winsome performances.
The true story of the underdog Texas Western college basketball team, with history's first all African American starting lineup, and their surprising championship win in the 1966 NCAA tournament. Though the performances are understated, the inspirational story is amped up with an overbearing score, hyperactive camerawork and jumpy edits that obscure the action at crucial spots.
Good Night, and Good Luck
George Clooney directs this timely docudrama that recounts the events of the mid-1950s leading up to acclaimed CBS journalist Edward R. Murrow's decision to stand up against the reckless, red-baiting Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
Detectives try to unravel the mystery at Granny's house in a new satirical, animated take on "Little Red Riding Hood." Kids might be entertained by the color and nonstop energy, but adults, the movie's real target, will see the film is really hackneyed and irrelevant.
The Legend of Zorro
Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones return in this sequel to the 1998 hit. It's a decade later and they have a son. When plans for California statehood are undermined, the masked swashbuckler comes out of retirement.
Zathura: A Space Adventure
Two young brothers are drawn into an intergalactic adventure when their house is magically hurtled through space because of the board game they are playing. Sci-fi thrills with low-tech special effects.
PG-13 Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate from children under age 13.
This is in the dubious tradition of Halle Berry's "Catwoman." Charlize Theron plays a rebel operative out to avenge the death of her sister caused by government agents in this laughably bad sci-fi adventure.
The Family Stone
It's a matriarchal twist on "Meet the Parents," following a tightly wound career woman (Sarah Jessica Parker) on a yuletide jaunt to visit her boyfriend's neo-hippie kin. It's sad to see such a talented cast (Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Luke Wilson included) wasted on such an insipid enterprise.
Fun With Dick & Jane
Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni star as a materialistic couple who, when he loses his job in an Enron-like scandal, go on a crime spree to make ends meet. The two actors share good comedic rapport.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
This action-packed sequel chronicles the teenaged Harry's participation in the TriWizard Tournament, while simultaneously unraveling a sinister conspiracy, discovering girls, and later confronting a grotesquely reborn Lord Voldemort. British director Mike Newell has crafted a film full of images that are wondrous, but strangely detached.
A music executive is reminded of his high school loser past when he reconnects with a woman he had a crush on back then. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart, this is a surprisingly observant comedy.
Peter Jackson's latest fantasy masterpiece is an eye-popping remake of the 1933 original. While the special effects are first-rate, the film's greatest achievement is the tenderness with which it conveys the love and longing between the gorilla and the actress. Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black and Andy Serkis star.
Queen Latifah stars as a shy woman diagnosed with a fatal illness who decides to let loose on a European vacation. The movie manages to avoid being completely maudlin thanks to the luminous Latifah.
In the Mix
Pop star Usher stars as a deejay who saves the life of a mob boss and is then assigned to protect his hottie daughter. The movie's a lightweight yet leaden crime caper/romantic comedy.
Memoirs of a Geisha
Based on the bestselling novel, a poor girl (Ziyi Zhang) is taken from her penniless family in the years before World War II and trained to be a geisha who becomes the legendary Sayuri.
It's the rare work of art, an American film with the lush, languid look of Chinese cinema.
Mel Brooks' comedy about Broadway con artists stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, reprising their roles from the hit stage musical. While the new version is not quite as good as the 1968 classic it's closely based on, it does have some clever gags and a great supporting cast led by Will Farrell and Uma Thurman.
Johnny Knoxville stars in this comedy produced by the Farrelly brothers. A con man hatches a scheme to pose as an "intellectually challenged" contestant in the Special Olympics to fix the games. It's surprisingly funny and yes, inspirational.
Rumor Has It ...
Jennifer Aniston plays a journalist who learns her grandma was the basis for Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate." A failure of "Gigli" proportions, the film is a Molotov cocktail of mood disorder and dysfunctional behavior.
Tristan & Isolde
A love affair between a knight and a princess threatens to break the peace between medieval England and Ireland. With James Franco and Sophia Myles as the lovers, the movie is the much-adapted version of the story from the Wagner opera, with its grand passions and bloody warfare. Both look good thanks to director Kevin Reynolds.
Walk the Line
Joaquin Phoenix plays the late country music star Johnny Cash, following the iconic figure's rise to fame, drug addiction and romance with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon). Phoenix inhabits his role with a raw intensity, and Witherspoon is in the role she was born to play, with her radiance, charm and maturity showcased to perfection.
R Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Based on the popular video game and directed by video game-turned-into-bad movie-specialist Uwe Boll, a woman searches for her vampire father before he gains power to take over the human world.
Ang Lee's epic love story between a ranch hand and a rodeo cowboy should be seen not for its hot-button topicality or its cultural cachet but simply that it's a very good movie, with a staggeringly fine performance by Heath Ledger, His portrayal of Ennis Del Mar is both ennobled and shamed by feelings for Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) he doesn't possess words to describe.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's Golden Globe-winning performance guides a well-constructed retelling of the most significant period of author Truman Capote's life -- his research into and writing of "In Cold Blood" -- that ultimately led to his downward spiral.
Heath Ledger stars as the legendary Venetian lover who meets his match in the form of a feisty, feminist writer, played by Sienna Miller. Director Lasse Hallstrom tries too hard to evoke the complex hilarity of a Shakespearan comedy.
A married man (Clive Owen) and his mistress (Jennifer Aniston) try to turn the tables on the criminal trying to blackmail them. A nasty thriller, the film is smart enough to take the time to set up its characters before introducing that fatal mistake common to all film noir.
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
50 Cent stars as a drug dealer who tries to turn his life around after imprisonment by pursuing a promising career as a rapper.
A comedy about a slacker and video game tester who moves in with his grandmother and her two roommates, and tells his friends that he living with "hot babes." It's an inter-minably flat, one-joke movie.
Director Eli Roth takes an avant bloody cue from Asian cinema with this harrowing tale of three Eurotrip backpackers who wind up in a Slovakian hell house where tourists are hacked to pieces. The torture scenes are inventively disgusting, so genre fans should appreciate the envelope-pushing carnage.
An adept adaptation of a sniper's memoir of the 1991 Gulf War. It's a story of the U.S. Marines and the details of one grimy operation. Directed by Sam Mendes, with sharp performances by Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard and Chris Cooper.
Steven Spielberg directs the true story of a secret Israeli squad assigned to track down and kill the Palestinians behind the '72 Olympic attacks. It's a morally complex story about morally agonizing matters, with both sides' characters evoking both compassion and repugnance. Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, and Geoffrey Rush star.
The sequel to 2004's creepshow of a hit. This time, the maniacal killer Jigsaw lures eight strangers into a fun house decorated with high-concept death traps, but it cannot match the impact of the original.
The Squid and the Whale
Writer-director Noah Baumbach reworks his own memories as a child of divorce into a small, sharply observed period piece, set in an upscale, area of Brooklyn in 1986. Two brothers take up separate sides with their writer-parents, whose marriage is on the rocks. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney are exquisite to watch.
George Clooney stars in this political thriller about a CIA agent who uncovers the dark secrets behind the oil industry. Stephen Gaghan's film weaves pathos, compassion, and cross-cultural insight into its lesson on the realities of greed in international commerce.
Ryan Reynolds leads a rebellious wait staff at a chain restaurant who deal with rude customers in even ruder ways.
ART HOUSE | REVIVAL
THE DORIS DUKE THEATRE, HONOLULU ACADEMY OF ARTS
900 S. Beretania St.; $7 general; $6 seniors, students and military; $5 Academy members (532-8768):
The President's Last Bang
At 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 to 26.
MOVIE MUSEUM 3566 Harding Ave.; $5, $4 members; reservations recommended due to limited seating (735-8771):
The Day the Earth Stood Still
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday.
You Can Count on Me
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
Kung Fu Hustle
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Jan. 23.
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Jan. 26.
"THE HEALING WORLD" FILM SERIES
Spalding Hall Auditorium, University of Hawaii-Manoa, (223-0130):
Encounters of a Healing KInd: Approaches to Alternative Medicine / Nutrition and Cancer
At 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Shaman's Apprentice
At 7 p.m. Jan. 26.