At the movies
A dream comes true for a young man from the wrong side of the tracks when he is accepted into the Naval Academy. But once there, he's not sure he measures up against the best and the brightest. Review on Friday's Entertainment page. (PG-13)
Big Momma's House 2
Martin Lawrence goes back undercover in his disguise as a grandmother built like a brick house, this time to be a nanny for the three kids of a suspected killer. Review on Friday's Entertainment page. (PG-13)
When a traveling salesman accidentally meets up with a hit man at a Mexico City bar, their subsequent evening together intertwines their lives in an unexpected, but lasting bond. Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis star. Review on Page 23. (R)
Woody Allen's latest film is the story of a former tennis pro who climbs into the world of the British upper class through his engagement to one of his wealthy tennis students. But then he falls for a sexy American actress who is dating his future brother-in-law. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Scarlett Johansson star. Review on Page 22. (R)
Emma Thompson stars as a magical but tough nanny who shapes up a family with seven badly behaved children. Review on Page 10. (PG)
Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic
The provocative comedian with the Jewish Princess persona is decidedly un-PC in this film that mixes her stand-up routine with musical number parodies. Review on Thursday's Entertainment page. (NR)
The Work and the Glory: American Zion
This sequel is the story of a fictional family set against the historical backdrop of the Mormons battle against persecution in the 1830s American Midwest. This plays best to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (PG-13)
PG | Parental guidance suggested.
Cheaper by the Dozen 2
It's a battle between the Baker and Murtaugh clans, filled 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
Based on C.S. Lewis' classic fantasy novel, the story follows four siblings in World War II England who enter the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe. There they join a noble and mystical ruler, the lion Aslan, in fighting the evil White Witch, Jadis. The visual overload is impressive, 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, since this is a Jerry Bruckheimer production, the inspirational story is amped up with an overbearing score, along with hyperactive camerawork and jumpy edits that obscure the action at some of the most 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 colorful aesthetics and nonstop energy, but adults, clearly the movie's real target, will see the film for what it really is: hackneyed, inferior 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 by land barons and businessmen, 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.
PG-13 | Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under age 13.
Following in the dubious footsteps of Halle Berry's "Catwoman," Charlize Theron plays a top rebel operative out to avenge the death of his sister caused by government agents in this inscrutable, laughably bad sci-fi adventure.
End of the Spear
Based on a true story, five Christian missionaries are killed by a primitive tribe of Ecuadorian Indians, but the Church's work goes on to make its conversions. It's an earnest film made by true believers, and while faith is no impediment to vital filmmaking, it's the simple lack of talent that keeps this movie from being truly transformative in a religious sense.
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.
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 movie's a light, likable distraction, and 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 vast and wondrous, but strangely detached and obviously artificial.
A successful 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 and action sequences 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 (who works his motion-capture magic again as the Great Ape) star.
Queen Latifah stars as a shy woman diagnosed with a fatal illness who decides to let loose on a European vacation. Unabashedly feel-good and life-affirming, the movie turns ridiculous toward the end but mostly 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 whom he, of course, falls for. 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. Director Rob Marshall layers the story's despair with an easy grace and sensuality.
The New World
Director Terrence Malick settles in and takes his time telling the story of the settlement of Jamestown, Va., in particular his interpretation of the classic tale of Pocahontas and her relationships with adventurer John Smith and aristocrat John Rolfe. While the film is beautiful to look at, it's also lacking in narrative drive and character development, almost defiantly so. But your perseverance will be rewarded.
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 movie classic it's closely based on, it does have some clever gags and a great supporting cast led by Will Farrell and Uma Thurman. It's wacky and giddy in a way Hollywood films rarely are nowadays.
Johnny Knoxville stars as a con man who poses as an "intellectually challenged" contestant in the Special Olympics to fix the games.
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 young lovers, the movie is the much-adapted version of their story taken from the Wagner opera, surely chosen for the screen for its grand passions and lots of bloody warfare, and both look good thanks to director Kevin Reynolds.
R | Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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. Ledger turns the classic iconography of the Western male into protective coloring.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's Golden Globe-winning central performance guides a well-constructed retelling of the most significant period of author Truman Capote's life -- namely his research into and writing of "In Cold Blood" -- that ultimately led to the New York sophisticate's downward spiral.
A married man (Clive Owen) and his mistress (Jennifer Aniston) try to turn the tables on the violent criminal trying to blackmail them.
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 elderly roommates, and tells his friends that he's living with "hot babes." It's an interminably 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 obnoxious tourists are hacked to pieces. It's a clip reel of sicko tableaus. The torture scenes are inventively disgusting, but the narrative linking one murder to the next is sketchy. Genre fans, however, should appreciate the envelope-pushing carnage.
An adept adaptation of a sniper's memoir of the 1991 Gulf War. It's a sand-blown story of the U.S. Marines and the dusty details of one grimy operation.
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, and Spielberg deftly recreates the gritty, menacing look of 1970s thrillers. 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 the gore fest 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, intellectual area of Brooklyn in 1986. Two brothers take up separate sides with their writer-parents, their marriage on the rocks due to her infidelity and his arrogance. The performances of Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, in particular, are exquisite to watch.
From the writer/director of "Traffic," 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 powerful moments of pathos, compassion, and cross-cultural insight into its lesson on the realities of greed in international commerce.
This sequel starring Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman continues the centuries-old feud between vampires and lycans. It features the same green-gray color scheme, the same metallic tinge, the same self-serious characters over-emoting while running around in black leather dusters, trying to destroy each other.
Ryan Reynolds leads a rebellious wait staff at a chain restaurant who deal with rude customers in even ruder ways. This is a derivative paean to potato skins, hard partying and dormant ambition.
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):
At 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
A State of Mind
At 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30, 1 p.m. Jan. 31, and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 and 2.
3566 Harding Ave.; $5, $4 members; reservations recommended due to limited seating (735-8771):
You Can Count on Me
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday.
The Straight Story
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
Kung Fu Hustle
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
The Soong Sisters
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Jan. 30.
The Blue Bird / Seven Up!
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Feb. 2.
"THE HEALING WORLD" FILM SERIES
Spalding Hall Auditorium, University of Hawaii-Manoa,; $5 general and $3 for UH students, faculty and staff (223-0130):
The Indigo Revolution
Special screening with $10 admission. At 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
The Shaman's Apprentice / Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Mayan Healer
At 5 p.m. Sunday.
Dances of Ecstasy
At 7 p.m. Feb. 2.