At The Movies
A teenage girl overcomes the loss of her brother by fighting the odds to play competitive soccer at a time, the late '70s, when girls' soccer did not exist. Review on Page 27. (PG-13)
From Judd Apatow, the man behind "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," comes a comedy about a mismatched couple who find themselves parents-to-be after a drunken one-nighter. Review on Page 26. (R)
Renee Zellweger stars in the biopic of renowned children's author Beatrix Potter, who overcame a domineering mother and the chauvinism of Victorian England to become the creator of the forever memorable Peter Rabbit. Ewan McGregor and Emily Watson co-star. Review in Friday's Today section. (PG)
Mr. Brooks 1/2
Kevin Costner stars as a respected family man trying to hide a deep, dark secret: He's a cunning serial killer. Review on Page 18. (R)
Are We Done Yet?
Ice Cube and Nia Long return in the sequel to the popular "Are We There Yet?" Nick and his ever-growing family move out to the Oregon countryside and have an adventure rebuilding their dream Victorian house. No cleverness was exerted on this movie, as it's more of an endurance test than a comedy.
Bridge to Terabithia
An 11-year-old boy has his life changed forever when he befriends the tomboy class outsider. Together, they create an imaginary kingdom filled with ghosts, trolls and other magical beings. This is a perfect family-friendly movie and even a bit of a tear-jerker.
Shrek the Third
Everybody's favorite green ogre is back, this time embarking on a quest to find a suitable replacement king (besides himself) to rule the land of Far Far Away. This final installment in this monster of an animated franchise still subverts the fairy tales we grew up with, but it's smothered in a suffocating sense of been-there, done-that. While it's visually more dazzling than ever, it lacks the zip of its predecessors.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back on the big screen, this time in CGI animation. The team reunites when tech-industrialist Max Winters amasses an army of ancient monsters to apparently take over the world. The movie is entertaining to look at and listen to, albeit on the level of a well-crafted video game.
Away From Her
The comfortable life of an aging couple living in the country is disrupted by the wife's onset of Alzheimer's, something she realizes, and insists upon going to a full-time care facility. The film is far from depressing because actress Julie Christie goes down like a luminous ship at sea. In the end, nothing's for keeps, not even matters of the heart.
Blades of Glory
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder star as rival figure skaters, banned and disgraced from competition, who, in an attempt to make their return years later, team up to perform as the first male-male pair in the sport. There's enough material here for a great little "Saturday Night Live" sketch, but the trouble is there's an extra 80 minutes or so of downtime in which the cast has to repeat their characters' shallow schtick again and again.
In a contemporary variation on Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window," a young man (Shia LaBoeuf) under house arrest becomes a voyeur from his window and suspects that one of his neighbors is a serial killer. This decent thriller is far smarter than most big studio flicks with teen protagonists, and even though it's completely predictable, LaBeouf comes off as a sturdy leading man.
The Invisible 1/2
Attacked and left for dead, a young man's spirit finds himself trapped in limbo -- not quite dead but invisible to the living. His spirit can only watch as his mother and the police search frantically for him, unaware that he is only hours away from truly perishing. It's a fully felt, decently crafted teen B-movie.
A middle-class Indian family moves from Calcutta to New York in the late 1970s to start a new life, but it's a lifelong balancing act to meld into a new world without forgetting the old, as the college-age son particularly finds out. Director Mira Nair has created a gentle and compassionate variation on the often-told immigrant movie theme, and Kal Penn puts in a crackling star performance as the conflicted son.
Nicolas Cage stars as a man who can see into the future, an ability that makes him a target of the FBI, who want him to help stop America's enemies before they strike. This supposed paranormal thriller, unfortunately, shows how a solid crew of filmmakers and performers can apply a big-studio budget to a good story and still have absolutely everything come out wrong.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 1/2
With Jack Sparrow trapped in Davy Jones' locker, Will and Elizabeth ally with Capt. Barbossa on a desperate quest to free him. But first, the trio must forge their way to exotic Singapore and confront a cunning Chinese pirate. Generous as the movie may be with action and spectacle, there's still a ponderousness to this sequel that counterweights the good booty.
Starring Sandra Bullock as a woman whose husband is killed in a car wreck one day but turns up alive and well the next, the movie plays out too tranquilly in the early going to build much suspense. It teases viewers with the promise of great twists or revelations, making the unsatisfying conclusion the more annoying. It's a shame, because Bullock breathes far more soul into the role than her superficially written character merits.
In this latest installment of the hugely successful franchise, the result is a bloated, uneven behemoth of a flick, with more villains, supporting characters and plot lines. Not only does Peter Parker/Spider-Man battle human foes and their supervillainous alter egos, but he also juggles two love interests and goes to the dark side when a black goop from outer space attaches to him.
When a waitress in a cheery Southern diner discovers she's pregnant with her immature husband's baby, her dreams for a better life are squashed, until a sympathetic and good-looking doctor arrives in town. With the help of the late director-actress Adrienne Shelly, Keri Russell gives one of the best on-screen performances of the year, one that's clipped, direct and self-aware -- utterly unromantic and yet full of feeling.
Year of the Dog
A single fortysomething woman embarks of a journey of personal transformation after the unexpected death of her beloved pet dog. What could've been a predictable romantic comedy is instead refreshing, thanks to writer-director Mike White's complex character study and Molly Shannon's delicate and poignant lead performance.
28 Weeks Later
In this woeful sequel to the zombie hit "28 Days Later," it's now six months after the rage virus wiped out the British Isles. Even though the reconstruction of the country is beginning, the virus is still alive and, with no outward symptoms, deadlier than ever. It's a strained story with an empty message and stiff and shallow characters.
Director Zack Snyder painstakingly re-creates the panels from Frank Miller's graphic novel about the Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 Spartans fought off a much larger Persian army. But the movie is so over-the-top it's laughable, and so full of itself it's hard to take seriously. The CGI effects are cool at first, but the gimmicks wear off quickly and ultimately become overbearing, including the pounding musical score and profuse use of voiceover narrative.
Black Book 1/2
Set in 1944, it's a thriller about the Dutch underground based on true events. The story centers around Rachel Stein, a young German Jewish woman who falls for a high-ranking Gestapo officer while seeking revenge for her family's murders. Director Paul Verhoeven is as brazen as his heroine, played by a feisty Carice van Houten. He's made an insanely entertaining World War II melodrama, filled with his particular mix of mockery, cynicism and sadism.
Ashley Judd plays a lonely waitress who rooms in a rundown motel, living in fear of her abusive, recently paroled ex-husband. But a tentative romance with an eccentric drifter turns paranoiac when he reveals that there are bugs crawling under his skin. Whatever solid acting ability Judd shows early in this thriller goes utterly to waste, as the movie spirals out of control.
Ryan Gosling plays a hotshot assistant district attorney prosecuting a man (Anthony Hopkins) who readily admits to murdering his wife, in this suspenseful and darkly stylish movie. Whenever the two actors share screen time together, it's exhilirating.
Longtime friends Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino have made an epic homage to '70s B-movie kitsch by each writing and directing an entire feature-length film, in this double bill complete with fake trailers. Rodriguez's zombie flick "Planet Terror" is a total blast and Tarantino's actioner "Death Proof," while overly verbose, does have a climactic and dazzling car chase.
The guys from "Shaun of the Dead" -- Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost -- do for buddy-cop action tales what they did for zombie flicks on "Shaun of the Dead." They present a nice homage while making jolly good fun of the genre's clichés. The movie packs a lot of hearty laughs and few real guffaws, as a hotshot London cop (Pegg) adjusts to life in a seemingly tranquil country town.
When a reporter learns that her friend's murder might be connected to a powerful advertising executive, she goes undercover to find out the truths. Halle Berry and Bruce Willis star in this thriller that starts off all sleek and sexy, but later collapses in a heap of plot twists that are annoyingly implausible.
Mark Wahlberg stars as a former Marine Corps sniper who is lured out of retirement, only to be double-crossed in a government conspiracy. Antoine Fuqua's silly action flick revels in masculine clichés and over-the-top braggadocio. It's like two hours of watching a man hit himself in the face while yelling how tough he is.
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).
Isn't This a Time?
At 1. 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
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
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
For the Moment
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Monday.