At The Movies
30 Days of Night
Based on the hit graphic novel about vampires who strike an Alaska townh. Review coming up in Monday's Today section. (R)
This spoof follows a football coach (David Koechner) with the worst losing record in the history of the sport as he goes for redemption with a ragtag college team. (PG-13)
Gone Baby Gone
In Ben Affleck's directorial debut, two private investigators search Boston's seedy underbelly for a missing 4-year-old girl. Review on Page 26. (R)
Into the Wild 1/2
Sean Penn directs this adaptation of the best-seller by Jon Krakauer about a college graduate who abandoned all of his worldy possessionsand hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness, where he met his untimely fate. Review in Friday's Today section. (R)
Ang Lee follows "Brokeback Mountain" with this erotic espionage thriller set in World War II Shanghai. A radical student goes on a mission to seduce -- and kill -- a politician who has collaborated with the Japanese occupiers. Feature and review coming up in Sunday's Today section. (NC-17)
Reese Witherspoon stars as the wife of an Egyptian-born chemical engineer being held by the CIA as a terrorist. Review on Page 27. (R)
Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour
A 17-year-old girl has mysterious encounters with the strange, secret and supernatural in the small town of Pine Valley. (PG)
The Ten Commandments
The first of an animated feature film series called "Epic Stories of the Bible," featuring the voices of Ben Kingsley, Christian Slater, Alfred Molina and Elliott Gould. (PG)
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D
The popular 1993 stop-motion animated musical fantasy gets a digital 3-D makeover just in time for Halloween. (PG)
Things We Lost in the Fire
Halle Berry stars as a widow trying to rebuild her life, forging an unlikely relationship with her husband's childhood best friend, a heroin addict played by Benicio Del Toro. Review on Page 18. (R)
The latest Pixar film from 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 tastes and sensibilities.
Four teenage girls from different backgrounds empower themselves by rejecting their respective high school cliques. Based on the popular doll series, this movie is mind-numbingly vapid and shrill, playing out more like an extended commercial.
The Game Plan
A pro quarterback (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) must learn to juggle his party-and-practice lifestyle with ballet, bedtime stories and dolls when the 7-year-old daughter he never knew existed shows up at his door. The movie is the cinematic equivalent of a family-friendly half-time show.
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 1960s Baltimore. Director and choreographer Adam Shankman keeps the tone light, the hair high and the pacing snappy.
The perfectionist nature of a master chef (Catherine Zeta-Jones) at a trendy Manhattan eatery is put to the test when she "inherits" her 9-year-old niece (Abigail Breslin) while contending with a brash new sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart). This romantic comedy offers up strictly comfort fare and the lead actors are appealing in their roles.
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
Based on the lesser-known fantasy novel series by Susan Cooper, the producers have tried to gin up the story for multiplex audiences, and succeeded in making a movie for no audience at all. An American teenager, living with his family in rural England, discovers he's the long-awaited savior in the endless battle between the Dark and the Light. The battle is depicted as one frenetic show sequence to the next, so much so that it plays out like a highlight reel for a film we never get to see.
Across the Universe
A romantic musical set in the tumultuous 1960s told mainly through "reimagined" Beatles songs performed by the characters. Director Julie Taymor brings a blinding combination of artistic ambition, excess and plain old bad taste, making her latest extravaganza a potential camp masterpiece.
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 pingpong champ taking a second shot at greatness. It ridicules '80s music, Asian cinema and "Rocky" stories with winning sight gags and punch lines.
Feel the Noise
After a run-in with local thugs, a talented Harlem rapper is forced to hide in Puerto Rico, but finds his salvation in reggaetón beats. Produced by Jennifer Lopez, the movie huffs and puffs to work up dramatic steam, and ends up being an acceptable if resolutely average low-budget drama.
Harry Potter andthe 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.
The Jane AustenBook Club
In modern-day California, six women find their lives and romances reflected in the six novels of 18th century English author Jane Austen. A highly predictable chick flick is made better with strong performances by the cast, in particular Emily Blunt as a French teacher who fancies herself more intellectual than everyone else in the club.
The Simpsons Movie 1/2
The movie about America's favorite TV cartoon dysfunctional family works hard and hilariously to include all thing that the TV series has come to mean -- celebrity guest stars, jabs at corporate parent Fox, and the continued foolishness of Homer Simpson ("Spider-Pig! Spider-Pig! ..."). It also uses the big, wide screen to stretch out a bit jokewise, both literally and figuratively.
Based on Neil Gaiman's best-selling graphic novel, the film follows a young man, trying to win the heart of the beautiful but cold object of his desire, who 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 definitely has more imagination and whimsy to keep an adult audience engaged.
Michael Bay's feature based on 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.
Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?
Perry's latest black melodrama is about a group of married college friends who, when they reunite for their annual retreat in the snowcapped mountains of Colorado, find themselves instead re-examining their marriages. The characters don't make consistent sense, the camera work and editing could be better, yet there's no denying Perry continues to make movies audiences love.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Shekhar Kapur's follow-up to his 1998 arthouse crossover hit "Elizabeth" is a big disappointment. The drama, which consists of heaving bosoms, romance-novel dialog and rampant historical inaccuracies, is undermined further by Kapur's penchant for cockeyed camera angles. Reprising the title role, Cate Blanchett comes across more as a petulant schoolgirl than a queen.
Good Luck Chuck
Jessica Alba and Dane Cook star in this obnoxious and ugly-looking movie about a guy stuck in a pattern of cursed relationships -- all the women he sleeps with marry the next guy they date. He develops a reputation as a good luck charm, as women line up for a quickie. But he tries to change things when he meets the girl of his dreams.
The Heartbreak Kid 1/2
Ben Stiller and the Farrelly brothers combine forces again for this knockout with wall-to-wall laughs. A middle-aged bachelor succumbs to pressure from friends and family and rushes into marriage, only to fall in love with another woman while on his honeymoon. The movie carries a wily edge and boldness, trampling on good taste and political correctness in the chase for laughs.
The Kingdom 1/2
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 in this "CSI"-type movie that offers basic characters, simple messages, gruesome details and a slick, slam-bang action.
George Clooney stars as a shadowy fixer with a legal New York empire. The film is a fulsome exploration of the legal thriller genre. And the trio of actors at the movie's core -- Clooney, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton -- operate at full thrusters in tautly realized, mature performances.
Resident Evil: Extinction 1/2
Milla Jovovich returns as the superhuman Alice who, along with old allies and new survivors, goes on a mission to eliminate the deadly virus that threatens to make every human being a zombie. Not exactly dull but never interesting either, the movie has no weight because there's no characterization or emotion, just slick mayhem.
We Own the Night
Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg star as brothers on opposite sides of the law in this great gangster movie, full of loathsome criminals and proudly profane police officers, and possessing a coked-up energy that captures the drug-fueled world in which it's set.
Memories of Tomorrow
In this award-winning Japanese film, Western audiences more familiar with Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe playing a samurai will be surprised with his extraordinary performance as a man with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He plays a hard-charging, midlevel salaryman whose world crumbles along with his brain.
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):
Postmen in the Mountains
At 1 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Tuesday; 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday; and 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Pierrepoint -- The Last Hangman
At 1 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Oct. 25.
3566 Harding Ave.; $5, $4 members; reservations recommended due to limited seating (735-8771):
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday.
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Monday.
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
At 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Oct. 25.
World Music Film Series
Spalding Hall Auditorium,
University of Hawaii-Manoa; $5 general and $3 UH students, staff and faculty (223-0130):
10 Questions for the Dalai Lama
At 3 p.m. Sunday ($10 special admission).
At 5 p.m. Sunday.
To You Sweetheart, Aloha / Waikiki: Riding the Waves of Change
At 7 p.m. Oct. 25.