At The Movies
A Mexican restaurant chef becomes the sole confidant of a young, unmarried waitress who finds herself pregnant. Review on Page 17. (PG-13)
Fred Claus 1/2
Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti star in the family movie about the sibling rivalry between Old St. Nick and his fast-talking slacker of a brother. Review on Page 16. (PG)
The Hunting Party 1/2
Based on a true story, three journalists return to Bosnia five years after the end of the war to search for a war criminal who is still on the loose. Richard Gere, Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg star. Review in Friday's Today section. (R)
Lady Chatterley 1/2
A sensuous adaptation of the famous D.H. Lawrence novel. Set in 1921, it's the story of an adulterous affair between a sexually unfulfilled upper-class married woman and the gamekeeper who works for the estate owned by her wheelchair-bound husband. Review in Friday's Today section. (NR)
Lions for Lambs 1/2
A rumination on war, education and politics from the socially minded Robert Redford. Along with director Redford, it stars Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep. Review on Page 18. (R)
A businesswoman working late on Christmas Eve finds herself trapped and alone, pursued by a psychotic security guard, inside a parking garage. (R)
Mr. Bean's Holiday
Rowan Atkinson reprises his popular comic character, and this time he's on vacation in the south of France during the Cannes Film Festival. Through a series of mishaps and coincidences, Mr. Bean is thought to be both a kidnapper and an acclaimed filmmaker. Atkinson goofs his way through sight gags that are cute and clever but not terribly amusing.
Jerry Seinfeld's animation project has some pretty pictures and a few good jokes, but not nearly enough. And the story -- about a restless honeybee who sues the human race for making money off of the sweet stuff -- suffers from sitcom attention-deficit disorder. It picks up whenever there's a chase scene, but the rest of the time, it just bumbles along.
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.
John Cusack plays a recently widowed science fiction writer who forms an unlikely family with a close friend and a boy he adopts who claims to be from Mars. While the melodramatic movie can squeeze out Hollywood sniffles, it's the gooey sort that'll be forgotten by the time you reach the parking lot.
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in 3-D
The classic 1993 stop-motion animated musical fantasy gets a digital 3-D makeover. The movie remains a postmodern three-ring circus of morbid humor, eye-popping puppet animation and show-stopping songs.
A lab accident gives a bumbling watchdog amazing superpowers that he uses 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.
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.
American Fusion 1/2
A genial romantic comedy about a Chinese woman approaching her 50s who starts dating a Hispanic man, much to the horror of her mother. It makes for a genial and amusing roundelay that nicely balances outright slapstick and forthright romantic yearnings.
The Bourne Ultimatum 1/2
Matt Damon returns as the amnesiac 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.
The Comebacks 1/2
This slapdash and ultimately tedious parody 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. The movie's low aspirations are depressing because its best gags are agreeably demented.
Dan in Real Life
A strait-laced advice columnist and widower's strict rules for behavior are tested when he falls for the girlfriend of his younger brother. Considering all the talent behind and in front of the camera (a strong cast led by Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche), this is surprisingly plain and sappy.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Shekhar Kapur's follow-up to his 1998 hit "Elizabeth" is a big disappointment. The drama, which consists of heaving bosoms, romance-novel dialogue 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.
The movie is often as juvenile and predictable as its title suggests. Yet this dark comedy about a self-help author plotting revenge on his sadistic former gym coach gets honest laughs because of performances that ring true. Kudos to actors Billy Bob Thornton, Seann William Scott and Susan Sarandon.
Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?
Perry's latest African-American 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 and the camera work and editing could be better, yet there's no denying Perry continues to make movies audiences love.
30 Days of Night
Based on the hit graphic novel about vampires who strike an Alaska town, where skies stay dark for a month. While the flick is a huge cut above most gorefests that have come out of late, the premise and its repetitive gimmicks gradually grow as monotonous as, well, 30 days of night.
The formidable trio of director Ridley Scott and Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe combine to present an exceptionally crafted and superbly directed movie about the real Frank Lucas, a powerful Harlem drug kingpin-turned informant of the 1970s.
The Brave One
Jodie Foster is pretty amazing as the woman who becomes a gun-toting vigilante in pursuit of the thugs who murdered her fiancé. She plays the role with a fierce conviction, even as someone torn up by self-doubt, and she absolutely lifts the movie over its problematic bumps in the storyline.
The Darjeeling Limited
In Wes Anderson's sweetly inviting film, three American brothers take a train trip across India to find themselves and bond. Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman make for an amusing trio whose passive-aggressive deadpan is relieved by fits of brotherly scrapping.
Gone Baby Gone
In Ben Affleck's directorial debut, two private investigators search Boston's seedy underbelly for a missing 4-year-old girl. The film presents a place oozing with atmosphere and rich, complicated characters.
Into the Wild 1/2
In Sean Penn's adaptation of the best-seller, Emile Hirsch plays to perfection the doomed young man whose restless wanderings in search of nature, beauty and truth left him dead in the unforgiving Alaskan terrain. Penn presents this flawed figure in both his selflessness and selfishness without judging him or turning him into a martyr.
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 bit of slick, slam-bang action.
Lars and the Real Girl 1/2
It might sound like a contradiction in terms to say that a movie about a guy in love with a sex doll is bursting with humanity, but that's really the most apt way to describe this warm and wonderful movie that's filled with deadpan humor. Ryan Gosling is respectful of both his awkward, fiercely anti-social character and his manufactured and anatomically correct co-star.
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.
Ubervillain Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda are dead. Still, SWAT commander Rigg, the last officer untouched by Jigsaw, finds himself suddenly abducted and thrust into the madman's harrowing and grizzly game. This latest sequel is more disturbing that compelling, with material already seen in the prior installments.
Action stars Jet Li and Jason Statham face off as an infamous assassin sets off a gang 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.
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. The explicit sex scenes are memorable because they break through the reserve of this stylish but emotionally removed film.
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):
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox
At 1 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
At 1 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday, and 1 p.m. Tuesday.
GiRL FeST Film Festival
Starts Nov. 15 and runs through the 18th. $6 admission. Go to girlfesthawaii.org for more info.
3566 Harding Ave.; $5, $4 members; reservations recommended due to limited seating (735-8771):
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday.
Talk to Me
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday.
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Monday.
La Vie en Rose
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Nov. 15.
World Music Film Series
Spalding Hall Auditorium, University of Hawaii-Manoa; $5 general and $3 UH students, staff and faculty (223-0130):
Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul
At 5 p.m. Sunday.
Let's Get Lost
At 7 p.m. Nov. 8.