At The Movies
Adam Sandler stars as a harried architect who stumbles upon a universal remote that allows him to perform TiVo-like functions on his life, such as pausing events or fast-forwarding past them. He reevaluates his personal and family life, however, when the remote begins creating its own memory and chooses what to fast-forward over. Christopher Walken, Kate Beckinsale, Sean Astin and David Hasselhoff co-star. (PG-13)
A paroled ex-convict, just out of prison, gets into immediate trouble after a dangerous gang kidnaps his son during a carjacking. A street-smart female hustler tries to help him get back his son during an action-packed tear through Los Angeles neighborhoods. Tyrese Gibson, Larenz Tate, Meagan Good and the rapper The Game star. Review on Page 23. (R)
Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel comes back to a changed Earth. While his old enemy Lex Luthor plots to render him powerless once and for all, the superhero faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey and Kate Bosworth star in this much-anticipated movie helmed by former "X-Men" director Bryan Singer. (PG-13)
G - General audiences.
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. Kids will find the movie fast and colorful, but adults may find it quite facile.
PG - Parental guidance suggested.
Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties
On a trip to England, the beloved comic strip fat cat (voiced by Bill Murray) is mistaken for another tabby who inherited a castle. But a nefarious count is determined to do away with Garfield, so he can turn the castle into a resort. The movie is mere kitty litter.
Ice Age: The Meltdown
The cheery animated sequel might as well come with another subtitle: "Featuring Scrat!" The fanged little goof constantly upstages the top-billed talent with his manic antics to secure his precious acorn. The movie is right on par with the 2002 original: brisk, pleasant and loaded with slapstick that should keep young children giggling, though repetitive enough that parents at times may feel they're sitting through the first "Ice Age" all over again.
An Inconvenient Truth
A documentary about former Vice President Al Gore's touring multimedia talk about the moral challenge of global warming. The film's not so much about Gore, but mainly on his presentation on the alarming effect of carbon-dioxide emissions on the world's climate, a talk he's given many times over the last few years. For that, it's a necessary film.
The Lake House
Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves star in this remake of a South Korean film about a doctor who trades love letters with one of her home's previous owners -- and discover that they are living two years apart of each other. You either surrender to this sort of conceit from the beginning, or you don't. But if you enjoy being swept up by romance, the film should at least have the fundamental decency to make sense.
Jack Black plays a Mexican cook who moonlights on the masked Lucha Libre wrestling circuit to funnel his prize money to needy orphans. Black cultivates an exaggerated accent that helps establish the character as an awkward fit in a life that was foisted upon him. But his wild persona cannot be contained, and director Jared Hess ("Napoleon Dynamite") doesn't seem to have been able to control his star. It's an interesting failure in a film that's a mix of Fellini-esque imagery and flatulence gags.
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 with the prompting of an opportunistic raccoon (voiced by Bruce Willis). Even though it isn't taken with pop-culture references as a recent slew of inferior animated films, this is still a mildly amusing, if hackneyed, movie. For kids only.
Scary Movie 4
The latest sequel has sporadic flashes of comic greatness, but is separated by draggy repetitive sketches that make this movie feel longer than it should. It's basically a cross between parodies of "The Grudge" and "War of the Worlds." The details are done perfectly, but the gags are hit-and-miss.
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 smackdown on full-rostered 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 couple who call it quits but refuse to move out of their jointly owned condo. This anti-romantic comedy is pretty much a remake of "The War of the Roses," only watered down. Supporting performances from Vincent D'Onofrio, Judy Davis and Jon Favreau enliven the movie a bit.
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 and co-stars Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellan and Paul Bettany. Ron Howard's adaptation, while handsomely produced and decorated with a few good supporting performances from McKellan and Bettany, comes off as wordy and slow.
Failure to Launch
Matthew McConaughey plays a thirty-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, such as quirky and appealing characters played by a talented cast, sly and hilarious dialogue, and slapstick magic realism.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
A young American street racer, living in Japan, gets caught up in the underworld arena of drift racing. Trouble ensues when he falls for the girlfriend of the Drift King, a local champ with Yakuza ties. This is the perfect movie for adolescent boys. The thin story and thinner characters are just setups for race sequences.
Just My Luck
Lindsay Lohan plays a young New York career woman, lucky in life, who exchanges a kiss -- and fortunes -- with a hapless stranger. It's a thin premise stretched paper thin into a feature-length romantic comedy, but it's harmless enough and targets its tween audience perfectly.
Mission: Impossible III
Tom Cruise's superspy series continues, this time helmed by "Lost" co-creator J.J. Abrams. Cruise goes against a international weapons and information dealer (Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman) who places his girlfriend (Michelle Monaghan) in peril. It's basically a replay of some of Cruise's best-known hits, although some of the action sequences are jaw-droppingly thrilling.
A smart-mouthed, size-plus, aspiring fashion designer (Mo'Nique) tries to find love and aceeptance in a world full of "hot-bodied" babes. This is a disarming and, in its own way, delightful vehicle for its star and executive producer. It's a touching demand for the empowerment of the big-boned woman who's disenfranchised by society.
A Prairie Home Companion
Veteran director Robert Altman applies his masterfully ironic and curmudgeonly eye to a whimsy-filled fantasy about the last night of Garrison Keillor's venerable radio variety show. It blends real people behind the show with fictional characters who part of the "Prairie Home" universe, and even weaves in a trippy supernatural element. The result is an ambling, rambling folksy yarn that nicely captures the radio-show-that-time-forgot spirit of Keillor's music and comedy revue. The all-star cast mixes with an easy camaraderie.
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, one of them a young girl. Mehta tells their stories with metaphors, using water to signify death, division and rebirth. Lyrical imagery is matched with subtle performances.
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 choose between remaining as they are or become normal human beings. The nuance and complexity of character that made the first two "X-Men" movies compelling are gone, with spectacle trumping substance.
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 New York's rival crime bosses (Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley). It's an engaging crime romp, and its convolutions will keep the audience guessing. The movie's biggest flaw is that, in the end, it makes things too easy and pat for viewers.
An exceedingly faithful remake of the 1976 horror classic. An American diplomat and his wife discover that their adopted boy, Damien, may be the long-prophesized Antichrist. The movie is so similar to the original that the audience knows what's coming. And because it adheres so closely, it only serves as a reminder of the superiority of Richard Donner's original. Still, there are solid performances here from Liev Schreiber, Julia Stiles and Mia Farrow.
Yet another video game adaptation, this one features a woman looking for her missing daughter in an abandoned town inhabited by strange creatures. While the movie is compelling in a nightmarish way, it's way too long.
A big-budget Korean drama pits an embittered man bent on destroying the Korean peninsula with the help of stolen nuclear missile guidance kits against an elite naval officer trying to stop him. Despite having all of the needed elements of a good action flick, the movie lacks the needed 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. Seeing the events play out on a big screen could be therapeutic, as long as one is prepared to deal with the emotions the film evokes.
V for Vendetta
Natalie Portman stars as a woman enlisted by a masked revolutionary to help fight against a totalitarian government, in this thriller. The saga scores well enough in the first hour, but loses focus midway through. The Wachowski brothers wrote the screenplay based 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):
I Am a Sex Addict
(NR) At 1 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang)
At 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday; 7:30 p.m. June 26; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. June 27 to 29.
3566 Harding Ave.; $5, $4 members; reservations recommended due to limited seating (735-8771):
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday and June 26.
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
I Know Where I'm Going!
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
The Goddess of 1967
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. June 29.
UHM CINEMA SERIES: BEYOND OIL
Spalding Hall Auditorium, University of Hawaii at Manoa; $5 general and $3 UH students/faculty:
Wind over Water / Velocity: Exploring Sustainability Through Wind Power
At 5 p.m. Sunday.