At The Movies
An elite U.S. counter-terrorism team investigates a deadly attack on an American housing compound in Saudi Arabia. Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner star. (R)
The Brave One
The happy life of a New York radio host (Jodie Foster) is shattered when a brutal attack leaves her badly wounded and her fiance dead. Unable to move past the tragedy, she begins prowling the city streets at night to track down the men she holds responsible. Review on Page 26. (R)
A beautiful young woman holds the ancient secret of giant dragons wreaking havoc and destruction on modern-day Los Angeles. (PG-13)
A Love Story
A box-office hit back in its native Philippines, this tearjerker asks the eternal question, "What if you met the woman you wanted to make your wife after you married someone else?" A successful businessman yearns for a flight stewardess, even after marrying a doctor that gives him a solid and loving home life. (NR)
A successful self-help author discovers his widowed mother is engaged to marry his sadistic junior high gym teacher. Billy Bob Thornton, Seann William Scott and Susan Sarandon star. (PG-13)
My Best Friend 1/2
An arrogant and self-centered antiques dealer is blindsided by the revelation that no one actually likes him. His business partner bets him that if he can produce a friend, he can keep a Greek vase he bought on the company tab. That "friend" turns out to be a lowbrow cab driver. Daniel Auteuil stars in the French comedy. Review on Page 27. (PG-13)
Mr. Bean's Holiday
Rowan Atkinson reprises his popular comic character, this time on vacation in the south of France during the Cannes Film Festival. Through a series of mishaps and coincidences, Mr. Bean is wrongly thought to be both a kidnapper and an acclaimed filmmaker. Atkinson exuberantly goofs his way through sight gags that are cute and clever but not terribly amusing.
Anne Hathaway plays Jane Austen as a feisty 20-year-old who, as an emerging writer, already sees a world beyond class and commerce, beyond pride and prejudice, and dreams of doing what was nearly unthinkable in the latter 1700s in Britain: marrying for love. Hathaway is marvelous, playing a character both period perfect and recognizably human -- romantic, imperious and proud.
Evan Almighty 1/2
Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman return in this sort-of sequel to "Bruce Almighty." Carell's bumbling TV weatherman has transformed into a workaholic politician, and this time God wants him to build an ark.
A lab accident gives a bumbling watchdog amazing superpowers to protect the good citizens of Capital City against the evil Simon Barsinister. While the little hero isn't going to replace Lassie any time soon, the movie is a purely inoffensive bit of children's entertainment. It even has some scattered laughs and, for grown-up nostalgia hounds, a few memories of the original 1960s TV cartoon.
John Cusack stars as a jaded ghost-hunting author who stays the night in a haunted New York hotel room. Adapted from a Stephen King short story, this movie is good and scary during its first hour, then director Mikael Hafstrom fails to reconcile reality and delusion. But Cusack delivers a credible portrayal of a descent into madness.
Balls of Fury 1/2
This movie serves up a surprising amount of sports thrills and a good amount of laughter as it chronicles the fable of a disgraced ping-pong champ taking a second shot at greatness. It ridicules '80s music, Asian cinema and "Rocky" stories with some winning sight gags and punch lines.
The Bourne Ultimatum 1/2
Matt Damon returns as an amnesiac secret agent in this kinetic action sequel filled with political resonance. Director Paul Greengrass builds on the first two chapters with a story that is darker and more cynical, as Jason Bourne confronts the truth about who he was before the government brainwashed him into being an assassin.
Daddy Day Camp
This slapdash sequel to "Daddy Day Care" finds Cuba Gooding Jr. taking over Eddie Murphy's role as Charlie Hinton. Hinton now finds himself running a ramshackle day camp he attended as a boy. Richard Gant plays his father, a Marine colonel, who helps toughen up the kids. Gant's charming characterization is syrup poured atop a heaping helping of warrior-jock worship.
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.
The Last Legion H
An action spectacle with bloodless swordplay and pedantic speeches, this movie is like "300" minus the visual panache. The generic adventure, a somersault of clumsy political sloganeering, follows a group of soldiers still loyal to Rome after the empire has fallen. It would be offensive were it not so boring.
License to Wed 1/2
Holy matrimony turns into an unholy mess in this comedy about a young couple (Mandy Moore and John Krasinski) who go through a wacky minister's (Robin Williams) accelerated marriage-prep course. Williams' free-associate one-liners come without benefit of a decent script or logical plot.
The Nanny Diaries
Based on the best-selling book, Scarlett Johansson stars as a New York University graduate from a working-class New Jersey family who chooses to work as a nanny for a wealthy and difficult family on the Upper East Side. While the movie vividly depicts a glossy Big Apple, it doesn't provide any fresh or nuanced insights into the existing class disparities.
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.
Rush Hour 3 1/2
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker re-team for more hi-jinks, this time in Paris, in the new installment of the hit buddy cop series. Third time's not the charm, however, as this is a lazy and formulaic action comedy that is neither thrilling nor particularly funny.
Based on Neil Gaiman's best-selling novel, a young man, trying to win the heart of the beautiful but cold object of his desire, embarks on a quest encountering kings, pirates and evil witches, all of whom seek to retrieve a fallen star transformed into a striking girl. This movie is definitely has more than enough imagination and whimsy to keep an adult audience engaged.
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. 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? H
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.
3:10 to Yuma 1/2
This remake of a famous Western 50 years ago brings together two of today's most compelling actors, Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. The two star in this intense stand-off between law and disorder set after the Civil War. The movie addresses the sacrifices of soldiers and the ruthlessness of greed, with its center being the relationship between the rancher, who believes in doing what's right, and the outlaw, who believes in doing what is right for him.
Death at a Funeral
A comedy about dying, especially a British farce about a supposedly proper funeral at a country estate, requires a specifically light, deft touch, which director Frank Oz achieves only half the time. He's crafted a film that's either riotously funny or painfully draggy and nothing in between.
Death Sentence 1/2
This trite revenge thriller sends mixed messages, with stylized action scenes that glorify violence and tragic turns of plot that condemn street justice. Kevin Bacon stars as a family man-turned-equalizer, waging war against the thugs who killed his teenage son.
Veteran director Milos Forman tells the biographical tale through the eyes of the celebrated Spanish painter. The drama unfolds as Brother Lorenzo (Javier Bardem), an enigmatic member of the powerful Spanish clergy during the Inquisition, becomes infatuated with Goya's beautiful teenage muse, Ines (Natalie Portman). The film, however, is a melodramatic folly whose ambitions curdle into camp.
Halloween 1/2 star
Revamping the influential 1978 shocker for a new generation of viewers, director Rob Zombie offers a film with more sex, more violence, no humor and zero scares. Trying to humanize Michael Myers is a mistake, especially since all Zombie offers is a cliche rewind to a miserable childhood.
From Judd Apatow, the man behind "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," is a new comedy more consistently hilarious than its predecessor, and with even greater heart. A goofball of a slacker-stoner (Seth Rogen) enjoys a drunken romp with a up-and-coming TV entertainment reporter (Katherine Heigl). When the reporter realizes she's gotten pregnant from the one-night stand, she decides to keep the baby, and forces major life changes on the both of them.
Shoot 'Em Up 1/2
In this ramped-up action movie, Clive Owen stars as a mysterious loner who protects a woman and her newborn baby from a hit man (Paul Giamatti) who was hired to kill her. Inspired by Hong Kong action movies, its stunts are spectacular, car chases excessive and dialogue absurdly over the top. It makes for good, stupid fun.
Co-stars Jonah Hill and Michael Cera are pretty irresistible together as high school best friends on a quest for alcohol, which they hope will help them hook up with girls at a big party before they graduate. The sweetness and awkwardness of their co-dependent relationship is totally believable, and their comic styles complement each other beautifully.
Action stars Jet Li and Jason Statham face off as an infamous assassin sets off a crime war between rival Asian bosses, only to battle an obsessed FBI agent determined to bring him down after his partner is murdered. Barely utilizing the strengths of the actors, the movie never quite lives up to its title. "Spat" or "Tiff" might be more accurate.
No End in Sight
This documentary offers a dispassionate examination of the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraqi war and occupation. The film chronicles the manner in which the principle errors of U.S. policy largely created the insurgency and chaos that engulf Iraq today.
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 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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 Monday.
After the Wedding
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
3:10 to Yuma (1957 original) / One Six Right
At 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday.
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Sept. 20.