At The Movies
The Bourne Ultimatum
In this new chapter of the espionage series, Matt Damon is back in action as government-trained killer Jason Bourne, still a man without a past and on the run from the CIA. Review on Page 18 and Damon feature on Page 13. (PG-13)
Four teenage girls from different backgrounds empower themselves by rejecting their respective high school cliques. Based on the popular doll series. Feature and review on Pages 8 and 9. (PG)
Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony star in the biography of Hector Lavoe, the Puerto Rican singer and salsa pioneer of the 1970s. Review on Page 27. (R)
"Saturday Night Live's" Andy Samberg stars as an amateur stuntman who stages the motorcycle jump of his life in order to save his ill stepfather. Feature and review on Pages 16 and 17. (PG-13)
A lab accident gives a bumbling watchdog amazing superpowers to protect the good citizens of Capital City against the evil Simon Barsinister. (PG)
Daddy Day Camp
Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as a kid-harried dad who is put in charge of a summer day camp. From the producers of the Eddie Murphy hit "Daddy Day Care." (PG)
Meet the Robinsons
In this Disney animated movie, a boy genius creates a machine to recover the past and embarks on an amazing adventure with his future family. While the script is strictly two-dimensional, the digital 3-D effects are pretty spectacular. The movie has a beautifully retro art deco aesthetic.
The latest Pixar film directed by Brad Bird ("The Incredibles") is a visual feast for the eyes. Children will probably enjoy watching the adventures of a plucky Parisian rat who leaves the colony to pursue his dream of becoming a gourmet chef. But the animation is so lush and intricately detailed that it seems to have been tailored more to grown-up sensibilities.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
The sequel finds the lovably dysfunctional quartet battling an alien foe who assists a planet-eating entity called Galactus. Compared to its predecessor, this latest installment, while not as silly, isn't particularly thrilling. The visual effects are decent and the action sequences are just adequate.
The hit Broadway musical based on John Waters' 1988 romp of a movie gets its own screen adaptation. A plus-size girl with a big heart and a passion for dancing dreams of appearing on a local TV dance party in Baltimore of the early 1960s. Director and choreographer Adam Shankman keeps the tone light, the hair high and the pacing snappy, even while delivering the film's segregation-is-bad message, which seems archaic and obvious 45 years after the movie's setting.
The plucky girl sleuth from the Midwest visits La-La Land to try to solve the mystery surrounding a long-dead Hollywood actress. It's a clever updating of the classic character, and Emma Roberts is thoroughly delightful in the title role, playing someone who's both fearless and a fussbudget.
The perfectionist nature of a master chef (Catherine Zeta-Jones) at a trendy Manhattan eatery is put to the test when she "inherits" her nine-year-old niece (Abigail Breslin) while contending with a brash new sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart) who joins her staff. This romantic comedy offers up strictly comfort fare and the lead actors are appealing in their roles.
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.
A documentary crew follows Cody Maverick, a young penguin with a gift and passion for surfing, as he enters his first pro competition. The faux-documentary angle and the animation are both pretty nifty, and the voice acting is more nuanced than in most animated films.
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.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The many fans of the series can take some satisfaction in a sleek, swift and exciting adaptation of J.K. Rowling's longest novel to date, playing like a tense and twisty political thriller. The movie depicts a wizard world riven by factionalism and threatened by inflexible authoritarianism. Devotees of fine British acting can savor the addition of Imelda Staunton to the roster of first-rate thespians moonlighting at Hogwarts.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Adam Sandler and Kevin James star as firefighter buddies who pose as a newlywed couple in order to receive pension benefits. Although the two stars make the movie bearable, this is just a middling screwball comedy that grows offensive with its double standards towards homosexuality.
La Vie en Rose
The story of Edith Piaf, French diva and national symbol, is told here in a sometimes overly complicated style -- and the facts of her tragic life don't need the extra help. But Marion Cotillard gives a breakthrough performance as "the little sparrow," and the soundtrack -- which uses Piaf's original recordings -- is like a voyage back to another world.
Live Free or Die Hard
Rapid-fire, stunt-stuffed and yet still character-driven enough to maintain a healthy human pulse, this movie is a fire-breathing throwback to the grand action spectaculars of the '80s and '90s and a worthy successor for the "Die Hard" franchise. Bruce Willis returns after more than a decade as New York City police detective John McClane. This time around, the enemy is a group led by a genius who electronically shuts down all U.S. communications systems. Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long and Maggie Q join in the action-packed fun.
Based on the true story of German-born Dieter Dengler, who made his way to America in pursuit of his obsession to become a test pilot. On his first mission to Vietnam, he is shot down and captured by the Viet Cong. Director Werner Herzog offers up a powerful drama of imprisonment, survival and perseverance, and the tenderness between actors Christian Bale and Steve Zahn, as fellow POWs, goes so far beyond the male-bonding cliché that it becomes a political statement.
This documentary about the ills of America's health care system is quintessential Michael Moore: expertly crafted, eminently entertaining, one-sided, overly simplistic and incredibly persuasive. Moore allows regular folk -- with and without health insurance -- to tell their stories of frustration, pain and loss. But while he tickles the funny bone and tugs at the heart, Moore never suggests that he tried to reach any insurance executives for a response.
The Simpsons Movie 1/2
The anticipated movie about America's favorite cartoon dysfunctional family works hard and hilariously to include all things that the TV series has come to mean -- celebrity guest stars, jabs at corporate parent Fox, and the continued foolishness of Homer Simpson. It also uses the big, wide screen to stretch out a bit jokewise, both literally and figuratively.
In this latest installment of the hugely successful franchise, the result is a bloated, uneven behemoth of a flick, with more villains, more supporting characters and more plot lines.
Not only does Peter Parker/Spider-Man battle human foes and their supervillainous alter egos, but he also goes to the dark side when a black goop from outer space attaches to him and juggles two love interests as well. As people and threats come and go, the movie's narrative feels scattered.
Michael Bay's feature about the popular line of 1980s toy action figures is a screeching-metal, smash-and-crash, extreme-action movie lover's dream come true. It's also a wildly absurd fantasy and far more fun than it ought to be. The movie's all about the sheer visceral charge of mechanics in motion. The constantly morphing robots are grandeur in motion, created with a detail of computer animation so impressive it's hard not to believe in them.
Who's Your Caddy?
OutKast's Antwan "Big Boi" Patton stars as a hip-hop mogul who wants to join a South Carolina country club that is the last bastion of good-ol'-boy exclusivity. He and his entourage sets out to humiliate the club the only way they know how by acting a fool. A terrible movie, plus the guys don't even play the game in a convincing manner.
I Know Who Killed Me
Perpetual train wreck Lindsay Lohan plays a dual role as an aspiring writer who goes missing and an exotic dancer who wakes up in the hospital with parts of her right arm and leg sawed off. There's nothing even remotely scary or suspenseful about this movie. You want to know who killed her (career, that is)? Lohan's doing it to herself.
A Mighty Heart
Based on Mariane Pearl's memoir on the search for her kidnapped husband-reporter in Pakistan of 2002, Angelina Jolie gives a quiet and strong performance as the pregnant wife who courageously transcends the political and religion-fueled conflicts that were behind the murder of Danny Pearl.
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. There's not much beyond the character's image, so extra material is thrown into the mix, like a second serial killer, a relative who might be a killer as well, and a witness who turns out to want to help the next time Brooks kills. And don't forget the tough homicide detective and an imaginary friend. Really, it's just too much to make this movie work.
A modern day musical set on the streets of Dublin, Ireland. It tells the story of a busker and an immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story. Writer-director John Carney, with actors Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, reinvent the genre in this brilliantly simple film.
An intriguing but ultimately unsatisfying sci-fi tale from the director and screenwriter that made "28 Days Later," it recounts the bleak saga of a spaceship crew on a mission to recharge the sun, whose imminent death has cast Earth into a winter that will soon extinguish humanity.
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):
At 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Charlie Chaplin: Mutual Studios Shorts
At 7:30 p.m. Monday, 1 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 1 p.m. Aug. 9.
3566 Harding Ave.; $5, $4 members; reservations recommended due to limited seating (735-8771):
Hawaii premiere. At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday.
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
At 12:15, 3, 5:45 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Decoy / Among the Living
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Monday.
Library of Congress restored version. At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Aug. 9