At The Movies
Catch a Fire
Phillip Noyce's drama based on the true story of Patrick Chamusso's transformation into a bomb-toting rebel. Review on Page 27. (PG-13)
Running with Scissors
Ryan Murphy's adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' memoir. Annette Bening plays Burroughs troubled mother and Brian Cox her therapist. Review on Page 26. (R)
Jigsaw continues his torturing, this time with the help of a new apprentice, played by Shawnee Smith. (R)
In this adaptation of the classic novel "My Friend Flicka," Alison Lohman stars as a feisty teenager who sets out to tame a wild mustang into a riding horse.
Mark Wahlberg takes on the inspiring role of real-life zero-to-hero Vince Papale, a 30-year-old substitute teacher and part-time bartender who was plucked out of obscurity at an open tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles and won a spot on the team in 1976 as a wide receiver.
Hilary and Haylie Duff play heiress sisters whose family cosmetics company folds and leaves them penniless.
A group of kids suspect a creepy old house is really alive and dangerous. This blend of motion-capture and CG animation is being shown in Digital 3-D and has lots of fun to deliver. It makes for a great scary film for youngsters.
One Night With the King 1/2
This rather turgid epic is a retelling of the life of Esther, known to Christians as one of the many Old Testament tales about ancient court intrigue, and to Jews as the triumphant heart of Purim. As you might guess, this is a Bible movie that indulges in a lot of literary license, and no one acts here to any effect.
Open Season 1/2
An animated feature about a domesticated girzzly bear (voiced by Martin Lawrence) who gets deposited in the woods during hunting season. The bear and his pal, a scrawny, one-antlered mule deer (Ashton Kutcher), rally all the other forest animals to turn the tables on an evil poacher (Gary Sinise).
A rebel in trouble with the law becomes the dance partner of a beautiful ballet student at a prestigious performing arts school in Baltimore.
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disney Digital 3D
The re-release of the 1993 classic that tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, and his discovery of Christmas Town. Now with added 3-D effects.
It's studly teenage warlocks trying to destroy each other at an elite New England boarding school!
Two friends with different goals in life team up to compete in a high-stakes underground street basketball game.
Employee of the Month 1/2
Standup superstar Dane Cook and Dax Shepard face off as stock boy slackers at a Costco-style store who compete for the love of a new checkout girl, played by Jessica Simpson. This is a miserably idiotic movie, excessively long with a succession of empty-headed jokes and pranks.
The Grudge 2 1/2
In this sequel to the popular remake of the Japanese horror hit, the curse of the haunted travels worldwide. There are a couple of good jumps here and there, but we've seen this all before. Amber Tamblyn takes over as the plucky young heroine in distress.
Kevin Costner plays a Coast Guard rescue swimmer who's struggling with life on the water after losing his squad in an accident. He ends up being the mentor of a hotshot swimmer (Ashton Kutcher) training for his elite military unit.
While fine technical wizardry went into this period film set in early 20th-century Austria, it lacks the magic of romance, drama, longing and faith you think would be generated in a tale about a love triangle involving a magician (Edward Norton), a noblewoman (Jessica Biel) and the heir to the throne (Rufus Sewell). Their supposed ardor is as illusory as the title character's stage magic.
Jet Li's Fearless
Billed as Li's final martial arts movie, it's an underwhelming farewell, rife with tepid drama and mixed messages. While filled with impressive fight choreography by Yuen Wo Ping, it's still a pretentious biopic about Chinese fighting legend Huo Yuanjia, who emerged as a populist hero challenging foreign rivals during the early 20th century.
Man of the Year 1/2
Robin Williams plays a political comedian who decides to run for president as a joke, but the gag gets out of hand when he ends up winning due to a voting-machine error. Director Barry Levinson and his cast deliver well enough to keep the movie in the race, making viewers care about these people more than the story merits.
Director Sofia Coppola presents a distinctly stylized and punkish adaptation of the story of the young queen of 18th-century France who became a symbol for the wanton extravagance of the monarchy that incited a revolution. Kirsten Dunst stars.
The Marine 1/2
WWE star John Cena plays a former jarheard back from Iraq who finds himself returning to action stateside when his wife is kidnapped by a murderous gang led by a merciless criminal. The man is indestructible! In keeping with the orchestrated mayhem of professional wrestling, there is much noise and violence, and little else.
A mystery-drama about the rivalry between two turn-of-the-20th-century stage magicians, one a brilliant showman (Hugh Jackman), the other a brilliant technician (Christian Bale), and the beautiful assistant (Scarlett Johansson) they both desire.
Behind the scenes look at the interaction between Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair after the death of Princess Diana.
School for Scoundrels 1/2
A beleaguered New York City meter maid tries to overcome his feeling of inadequacy by enrolling in an unorthodox and top-secret confidence-building class. Billy Bob Thornton and Jon Heder basically play weaker versions of their "Bad Santa" and "Napoleon Dynamite" characters, the clash of those two opposing forces generating only a few laughs in this overlong movie.
Superman Returns 1/2
The Man of Steel returns to Metropolis after a five-year absence, as he begins his life on Earth again as his alter ego Clark Kent, all the while trying to restart his romance with Lois Lane and doing battle with his arch-nemesis Lex Luthor. Bryan Singer's big-budget movie is reverential to the source material, joyous with the possibility of discovery, yet deeply moving in its melancholy.
The U.S. vs. John Lennon 1/2
Yoko Ono helped with this project, so it should come as no surprise that this documentary deifies her late husband for his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, which famously made him a target of the federal government's scrutiny. Lennon comes off as a visionary leader at best and a marketing genius at worst.
The Wicker ManH1/2
Indie fave director Neil LaBute presents his take on the 1970s horror movie about a cop (Nicolas Cage) who investigates the disappearance of a girl on a remote island inhabited by a dangerous matriarchal cult. A deliriously delightful weird streak runs through the film before it spirals into irretrievably ridiculous territory toward the end. It might be the greatest bad movie of the year, with its clunky writing resulting in some surprisingly entertaining kooky moments.
The comedy troupe Broken Lizard's latest movie is about a couple of American buddies who stumble upon a secret centuries-old beer-drinking championship in Germany. When they assemble a team of top drinkers to try to win the title the following year, the training takes a toll on all of them. But out of the pain comes off-color and puerile jokes a-plenty. It's all the fun you want -- without the hangover.
The Black Dahlia
Crime novelist James Ellroy and director Brian De Palma present a classic noir Hollywood period drama of a struggling actress who winds up a murder victim, her frozen grin mocking the detectives on the case. Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart and Mia Kirshner star.
Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese team up again in this remake of the 2002 Hong Kong police thriller "Infernal Affairs." Caprio plays a Boston undercover cop who infiltrates a mob syndicate, while at the same time a criminal (Matt Damon) has infiltrated the police department as an informer. When it becomes clear to both the gangsters and the police that there's a mole in their midst, each informant must race to uncover the other's identity. It's two-thirds vintage Scorsese, with the last third lolling around in much soul-searching and pill-popping before reaching its climactic conclusion.
Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood directs this ensemble drama about the six soldiers who planted a U.S. flag atop the island of Iwo Jima in the midst of World War II's bloodiest Pacific-theater campaigns. The inspiring photo capturing that moment became a symbol of victory to the nation and made instant heroes of the soldiers.
This film tells the same tale told by the Oscar-winning "Capote." The diminuitive Toby Jones looks and sounds more eerily like the author than Philip Seymour Hoffman. And while it doesn't match the mer's chillingly bleak mood and subtle insight, "Infamous" is much more celebratory of Capote's unequaled, larger-than-life spirit, which can be a joy to watch. Sandra Bullock is particularly good as childhood friend Nelle Harper Lee.
Jackass: Number Two 1/2
Johnny Knoxville and his original crew of reprobates return for another round of pointlessly dangerous, absurd and disgusting stunts. But because of the gleeful attitude and friendship shared amongst the guys, all of this bawdy, earthy, puerile humor is shamelessly entertaining.
Little Miss Sunshine
A hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the film follows an oddball clan as they race across three states to get their 7-year-old daughter to a beauty pageant. It's a sunny, prefabricated charmer of a comedy, looking at the all-American obsession with winning and chortles darkly.
Martial arts superstar Tony Jaa plays a Thai fighter who must battle his way across Australia to recover stolen elephants, and in doing so protect a traditional way of life that has been ruined by outsiders. Ah, forget the plot, and just watch the thrilling Jaa in full-tilt action.
The Science of Sleep
A shy graphic designer (Gael Garcia Bernal) caught in a mundane job at a Parisian calendar publisher has his dreams of a perfect life and true romance constantly invade his waking life. Blurring the boundary between fantasy and reality, whimsy and delusion, director Michel Gondry creates a hallucinatory love story with a twisted sense of humor.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
In this prequel to the 1974 horror classic, we find out how the psychopath murderer Leatherface was manipulated by a crooked sheriff into being a tool for evil. Most of the actors are reduced to meat puppets, leaving no justification for making this movie in the first place. There's no character, no commentary. Just slice and dice, pare and scare, scream and run, and fall and die.
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):
Heading South (Vers Le Sud)
At 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
The War Tapes
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
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.
Shaun of the Dead plus Land of the Dead
At 12:30, 4, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Monday.
Castle of the Blood plus Raw Meat a.k.a. Death Line
At 12:30, 4, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
UH CINEMA SERIES
BEYOND OIL: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS
Spalding Hall Auditorium,
University of Hawaii at Manoa; $5 general and $3 UH students/faculry:
An Inconvienent Truth
At 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Who Killed the Electric Car
At 7 p.m. Nov. 8.
Turning Down the Heat: The New Energy Revolution and Renewable Power: Earth's Clean Energy Destiny
At 7 p.m. Nov. 15.