At The Movies
Because I Said So 1/2
Diane Keaton plays a well-intentioned but meddling mother on a mission to find Mr. Right for her youngest unmarried daughter (Mandy Moore). Review on Page 27. (PG-13)
A family moves into an old, run-down farm only to encounter ominous signs that something is very wrong with their new home. The first thing they notice: uncomfortable and alarming changes in the father's behavior. Kristen Stewart, Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller and John Corbett star. (PG-13)
Arthur and the Invisibles
In order to save his grandma's home, a 10-year-old (Freddie Highmore) sets off to find his grandpa's treasure hidden somewhere on the "other side," in the land of the Miniroys, a race of creatures just a tenth of an inch tall and who live in perfect harmony with their environment.
Based on the best-selling book series about a young man thrust into an incredible world of magic and power through which he and his hatchling dragon must navigate.
Flushed Away 1/2
A pampered British rat (voiced by Hugh Jackman) finds himself in an elaborate sewer-city recreation of a miniature London filled with rats, toads and slugs of varying caste. His attempt to return to the surface world with a self-sufficient lady rat (Kate Winslet) is blocked by a toad and his hench-rats.
Happily N'Ever After
When the wizard in charge of Fairy Tale World goes on holiday, Cinderella's wicked stepmother takes over the land. A riff on Cinderella with a gimmick could have worked in deft hands, but this unengaging animated fantasy comes off as derivative and diluted.
Night at the Museum 1/2
Ben Stiller stars in the story of a night watchman dealing with dinosaur skeletons, statues and wax figures that come to life at a museum. The movie mainly is a collection of slapstick vignettes and, despite some occasionally inventive visual effects, comes off as unimaginative and annoying.
A rascally gang of kids, traveling alone, run wild while stranded at an airport during a Christmas Eve blizzard. The movie pretty much swipes the formulas from every holiday-grouch story ever written.
Blood and Chocolate
An American teenager on the run has the power of the loup garoux -- shapeshifters who can change from human to wolf. Living in Bucharest, Romania, she must choose between her love for a human outsider and betraying the vows of her family's secret society. Review on Page 26.
Casino Royale 1/2
Daniel Craig takes over the iconic role of James Bond, in a movie about the secret agent's very first mission. While a bit lighter in action scenes compared to its predecessors, what the movie has in those regards is riveting, clever and well-choreographed.
Catch and Release
Jennifer Garner stars as a woman who must deal with the untimely death of her fiancé, then learning her fiancé had a secret life he never shared with her -- while falling in love with his best friend (Timothy Olyphant). The movie's construction defines it as a chick flick, yet it has a number of strong male roles that are interesting and add up to more than their superficial stereotypes.
Code Name: The Cleaner
Cedric the Entertainer plays an amnesiac janitor who is duped into thinking he's an undercover agent and is subconsciously carrying a dangerous secret that can link the FBI with an arms scandal.
Déjà Vu 1/2
Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott have made a smart and complex movie with powerful emotions and riveting suspense. Washington is superb as a battle-weary federal agent who suspects foul play behind a fatal accident in New Orleans.
Former "American Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson walks away with this big, splashy dazzler of a picture, based on the 1981 Broadway musical about the rise of a Supremes-style vocal trio called the Dreamettes. The movie is a multiple Oscar nominee, including for best supporting actor and actress (Eddie Murphy and Hudson) and best original song three times over.
Epic Movie 1/2
Attempting to compensate for its own lack of originality and humor, this flick spoofs recent summer movies, a few MTV shows and, of course, Paris Hilton. With the flimsiest of story lines, the movie is more spliced-together mimicry.
Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz star in Darren Aronofsky's densely garish fever dream on the subject of immortality.
An unashamed heart-tugger, this movie is based on the true story of an idealistic Southern California teacher (Hilary Swank) who inspires her poor and ethnically diverse high school students.
The Holiday H 1/2
Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet star as women with similar man troubles who meet online and impulsively switch homes for the holiday. Jude Law and Jack Black co-star.
The Painted Veil
Based on the W. Somerset Maugham novel set in the 1920s, a young English couple -- a conservative doctor (Edward Norton) and a restless society girl (Naomi Watts) -- marry hastily and relocate to Hong Kong. There they betray each other easily, and find an unexpected chance at redemption and happiness while on a journey to China.
The Pursuit of Happyness 1/2
Oscar nominee Will Smith stars in the true story of a homeless single father who raised himself up to become a successful stock broker.
The Queen 1/2
Oscar nominee Helen Mirren gives a strong performance as Queen Elizabeth II, here shown during the time of the tragic death of Princess Diana.
Stomp the Yard
A street dancer attends a university where he joins a struggling fraternity and learns the true meaning of brotherhood when he tries to help the school's step team win the national championship.
Stranger Than Fiction
Will Ferrell plays a confused man who discovers that an unseen female narrator is chronicling the events of his life in a voice only he can hear.
Alejandro González Iñárritu's multiple Oscar-nominated film is a global testament to the curiously incommunicative species that is man, as four separate stories reveal their interconnectedness.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan 1/2
British satirist Sacha Baron Cohen portrays an absurdly clueless Eastern European "journalist" on a real-life, culture-clashing cross-country trip across the United States.
Children of Men 1/2
Director Alfonso Cuarón helped adapt this heavy, provocative tale for the screen. Set in the near-future, a flu pandemic results in complete infertility in women. A former activist is recruited by an old flame -- now the leader of a terrorist group -- into smuggling a young immigrant, who may be fertile, out of the country. The thriller is nominated for three Oscars.
The Curse of the Golden Flower
Director Zhang Yimou reunites with actress Gong Li in this opulent costume drama of intrigue concerning the volatile balance of power between a king, his queen and their three sons. The film is an Oscar nominee for best costume design.
Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese team up again in this multiple Oscar-nominated remake of a Hong Kong police thriller. A Boston undercover cop 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 sides that there's a mole in their midst, each informant must race to uncover the other's identity.
Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood directs this astounding 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 campaigns.
The Good Shepherd
Robert De Niro directs the story of the covert beginnings of the Central Intelligence Agency as seen through the eyes of its co-founder, agent Edward Wilson (Matt Damon). A story like this needs sweep and scope and the operatic melodrama of betrayal, but instead is too slow, too measured and too cold.
The Hitcher 1/2
Yet another remake, this time from a horror favorite from 1986. A college couple, driving across country enroute to spring break, becomes the prey of a cunning serial killer, who blames all his murders on the young man. What starts as a taut chase thriller relies increasingly on boring gore.
The Last King of Scotland
A Scottish doctor on a medical mission becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world's most barbaric figures, Ugandan President Idi Amin, who picks the doctor as his personal physician and closest confidante. Forest Whitaker portrays the mad dictator in an Oscar-nominated performance.
Letters from Iwo Jima
The bookend to Clint Eastwood's masterful "Flags of Our Fathers." This time the story of the battle of Iwo Jima is told from the perspective of the Japanese. Eastwood is a best director Oscar nominee for this film, itself nominated for best picture and original screenplay.
Little Children 1/2
In a suburban town full of "perfect" parents devoted to rearing their children for Ivy League futures, Sarah, a stay-at-home mom has an affair with Brad, an ex-jock stay-at-home dad who rebels against his wife's wishes that he become a big-bucks lawyer. The film boasts two Oscar nominated performances by Kate Winslet and Jackie Earle Haley.
National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The RIse of Taj
Kal Penn's character arrives at a prestigious British university, not only to become the new resident advisor, but to show the uptight student body how to have a good time. The plot, which recalls a less inspired "Old School," is merely a forum for an endless parade of puns on the male anatomy, shots of women's chests and parodies of the prudish elites of the college.
Notes on a Scandal
Oscar nominees Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett star as two British public school teachers -- one a self-professed "old battle-ax," the other a fresh-faced art instructor -- who share the secret of an illicit affair with a student. It's a perfectly executed movie whose working motto is keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Guillermo del Toro's multiple Oscar-nominated film is set against the postwar repression of Franco's Spain. It's a fairy tale that centers on a lonely and dreamy child, who creates a world filled with fantastical creatures and secret destinies.
Shut Up & Sing 1/2
A documentary on the popular country music trio the Dixie Chicks in the wake of singer Natalie Maines' statement against the President at a 2003 London concert soon after the invasion of Iraq. Capturing the women in concert, backstage and at home with their families, the film is compelling and insightful, if a bit self-serving.
Smokin' Aces 1/2
A rogues' gallery of characters collide with the FBI when a Vegas mob boss takes out a hefty contract on a magician's head. The movie's utterly absurd and weirdly boring. It's all attitude and firepower.
Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar's latest film is a generational story of three women -- a good mother who is desperately in love with a man who is far from being a saint, a young mother carrying a hard life upon her shoulders and an illegal hairdresser whose shop is the meeting point for all the neighborhood gossips. Penélope Cruz, who plays the young mother, is a best actress Oscar nominee.
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):
See review on Page 18. (R) At 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5; and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6.
Off the Black
At 1 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7.
3566 Harding Ave.; $5; reservations recommended (735-8771):
The Devil Wears Prada
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday and Monday.
At 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday.
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Feb. 8.
UH OCEAN PLANET
Spalding Hall Auditorium, University of Hawaii-Manoa; $5 general and $3 UH students, faculty and staff:
Oasis of the Pacific: Time is Running Out / Oceans for the Future: The Making of Marine Protected Areas
At 5 p.m. Sunday.
A Life Among Whales / Lost Jewel of the Atlantic
At 7 p.m. Feb. 8.