At the Movies
Director John Lasseter and his Pixar animation team's latest feature is about a hotshot rookie race car (voiced by Owen Wilson) who learns about life in the slow lane when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured to the sleepy town of Radiator Springs. Paul Newman, Larry the Cable Guy and Bonnie Hunt also lend their vocal talents. Review on Page 22. (G)
A Prairie Home Companion
The big-screen adaptation of Garrison Keillor's popular public radio variety show is the fictional tale of events surrounding the show's final broadcast from its Minnesota theater home. The new Texas conglomerate owners of the radio station, looking for more profitability, pulls the plug on Keillor's show. Between musical numbers, there are illicit affairs, strange apparitions and a death. Robert Altman directs an all-star cast that includes Keillor himself, Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly and Tommy Lee Jones. Review on Page 23. (PG-13)
PG - Parental guidance suggested.
Akeelah and the Bee
The innate talent of an 11-year-old inner-city girl makes her a surprise contender for the national spelling bee. Keke Palmer steps into a lead role with poise, panache and spirit. The movie manages to uplift without drowning in its own sweetness. Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett are part of the sturdy supporting cast.
Ice Age: The Meltdown
The cheery animated sequel might as well come with another subtitle: "Featuring Scrat!" The fanged little goof upstages the top-billed talent with his antics to secure his precious acorn. The movie is on par with the 2002 original: brisk, pleasant and loaded with slapstick that should keep young children giggling. But it's repetitive enough that parents may feel they're sitting through the first "Ice Age" all over again.
Over the Hedge
Based on the comic strip seen in the Sunday Star-Bulletin, a group of woodland animals visit the strange new world of suburbia upon the prompting of an opportunistic raccoon (voiced by Bruce Willis). A mildly amusing movie for kids only.
Robin Williams stars as a dad who rents a recreational vehicle to take his family on an adventure-filled vacation to Colorado. Lame jokes and sight gags are repeated so often you feel you're driving in circles.
The Shaggy Dog
A top-secret serum turns a district attorney (Tim Allen) into a pooch. Before he can become human again, he must stop the evil forces behind the serum. This is a well-intentioned but forgettable mutt without any new tricks.
PG-13 - Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate from children under age 13.
This baseball buffoonery comedy packs more pop than you'd expect from a film made up of former "Saturday Night Live" second-stringers (Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, plus Jon Heder from "Napoleon Dynamite"). Three grown-up dweebs form a barnstorming team seeking to lay the smack down on youth squads. The movie takes this inherently funny concept and frontloads its best gags to get you in a good mood, then plays small ball the rest of the way to maintain its dwindling lead.
Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn play a Chicago couple who call it quits but refuse to move out of their jointly owned condo. A watered-down version of "The War of the Roses."
The Da Vinci Code
Based on the best-selling novel, the murder of a curator at the Louvre reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected since the days of Christ. Tom Hanks stars as the symbologist out to solve the murder. Co-stars Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellan and Paul Bettany. Ron Howard's adaptation, while handsomely produced, just comes off as wordy and slow.
Failure to Launch
Matthew McConaughey plays a 30-something slacker who still lives with his parents. They hire a professional motivator (Sarah Jessica Parker) to lure him out of the nest. The movie has a TV sitcom-y shine to it when it starts, but then it reveals its surprises: quirky, appealing characters played by a talented cast; sly dialogue; and slapstick magic.
A shoe factory owner, trying to save his family's failing business, finds a savior in, of all people, a transvestite cabaret star who becomes his fashion advisor. Yet another one of those heartwarmers about Great Britain's plucky eccentrics, it's a by-the-numbers exercise. But Chiwetel Ejiofor offers a fine performance.
Mission: Impossible III
Tom Cruise's superspy series continues, this time helmed by "Lost" co-creator J.J. Abrams. Ethan Hunt goes against a dangerous international weapons dealer (Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman) who places his girlfriend (Michelle Monaghan) in peril. A replay of Cruise's best-known hits, some action sequences are nonethe-less jaw-droppingly thrilling.
A smart-mouthed, size-plus, aspiring fashion designer (Mo'Nique) tries to find accept-ance in a world full of "hot-bodied" babes. A disarming and delightful vehicle for its star and executive producer. It's a touching demand for the empowerment of the big-boned woman disenfranchised by society.
A groaning giant of a film, it delivers disaster on an epic scale and absurdity in abundance. The action remake, about a cruise ship capsized by a freak wave, is bigger, louder and cheesier than its 1972 predecessor. There are some serious pyrotechnics on display, but the acting and dialogue are pure camp.
"24's" Kiefer Sutherland is protecting the president again, this time hunting down a suspected Secret Service mole (Michael Douglas), who claims he is being framed. The movie delivers modest action at best and the plot is silly.
She's the Man
This movie takes a little bit of "Bend It Like Beckham" and a lot of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and twists them into a cross-dressing teen farce. Amanda Bynes pretends to be one of the guys in this energetic but unspectacular comedy.
Frankie Muniz and Samaire Armstrong are part of a group of teens who play an online video game and find themselves being murdered the same ways as their game characters. This is an unintentionally funny and not at all scary movie.
This poignant import directed by Deepa Mehta reflects on the plight of Indian women who, according to Hindu custom, are not allowed to remarry after their husbands die. They are abandoned by their families to dwell in squalor in ashrams, where some of them are sold into prostitution. Set in the late 1930s, the story centers on three widows. Mehta tells their stories with metaphors, using water to signify death, division and rebirth.
X-Men: The Last Stand
Change is at the core of the third "X-Men" movie, with director Brett Ratner taking over for Bryan Singer. When a cure for the genetic aberrations that grant the mutants their powers is discovered, the embattled team must decide if they want to become normal human beings. The nuance and complexity of character that made the first two "X-Men" movies compelling are gone.
R - Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Lucky Number Slevin
Part mistaken-identity thriller, part flimflam game, this film stars Josh Hartnett as a sap caught in the middle of a mob war between rival crime bosses (Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley). An engaging crime romp, its convolutions will keep the audience guessing. The movie's biggest flaw is its end, which is too pat.
An exceedingly faithful remake of the 1976 horror classic. An American diplomat and his wife discover that their adopted boy may be the long-prophesized Antichrist. The movie is so similar to the original that it only serves as a reminder of the superiority of Richard Donner's original. Still, there are solid performances from Julia Stiles and Mia Farrow.
See No Evil
Wrestling star Kane plays a serial killer that hunts down teens who invade his hotel hideout. The movie is misogynistic even by horror-movie standards. And with its run-down setting, it's more dirty and gross than scary.
Yet another video game adaptation, this one features a woman looking for her daughter in a town inhabited by strange creatures. The movie is compelling in a nightmarish way, but it's way too long.
A big-budget Korean drama pits an embittered man bent on destroying the Korean peninsula with stolen nuclear missile kits against an elite naval officer trying to stop him. Despite all of the needed elements of a good action flick, the movie lacks the energy to transcend its mediocrity.
A real-time drama about the fourth plane hijacked on 9/11. The story of the passengers who fought back is told with devastating realism, stirring up a fresh sense of horror and erasing five years' distance from the attacks. British writer-director Paul Greengrass ("The Bourne Supremacy") handles volatile material with tact, his detail-laced screenplay based on interviews with family members and reports from the 9/11 commission.
V for Vendetta
Natalie Portman stars as a woman enlisted by a masked revolutionary to help fight against a totalitarian government in this futuristic thriller. The saga scores well enough in the first hour, then loses focus. The Wachowski brothers based the screenplay on Alan Moore's graphic novel.
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 Grace Lee Project
At 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Down in the Valley
At 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Academy Award Nominated Short Films
At 1 and 7:30 p.m. June 13 to 15.
3566 Harding Ave.; $5, $4 members; reservations recommended due to limited seating (735-8771):
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday and June 12.
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
The World's Fastest Indian
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. June 15.
UHM CINEMA SERIES: BEYOND OIL
Spalding Hall Auditorium, University of Hawaii at Manoa; $5 general and $3 UH students/faculty:
The Power of the Sun
At 5 p.m. Sunday.