The English Patient
This adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's romantic novel of wartime passion packs all the adventurous and emotional wallop of "Casablanca" and all the coolheaded intellectualism of some scholarly treatise on the futility of war. Director Anthony Minghella gracefully handles the complex time-frame of the story and stars Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche skillfully bring their characters to life. (R) At Varsity.
Jingle All the Way
What was intended to spread Christmas cheer is a downer that slam bang special effects can't rescue. The one joke of the premise - a busy executive (Arnold Schwarzenegger) spends Christmas Eve searching all over town for the only toy his young son wants and finds himself in direct competition with another frustrated dad (Sinbad) - is never developed into any real comedy. Neither co-stars demonstrates the deft touch required in comedy. (PG) At Kahala, Kapolei, Keolu, Mililani, Nanakuli, Pearlridge West, Restaurant Row.
Star Trek: First Contact
Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), commander of the Starship Enterprise, leads the USS Enterprise in an attack on a gigantic Borg spacecraft. Unfortunately, several of the Borg escape and head to Earth, where they hope to control the present by sabotaging the past. (PG-13) At Enchanted Lake, Kam Drive-In, Kapolei, Koko Marina, Laie, Pearlridge West, Restaurant Row, Waikiki.
Vertigo: (Star rating unavailable)
Re-release of Alfred Hitchcock's haunting, dream-like 1958 suspense thriller. James Stewart plays a retired detective hired to tail a friend's unstable wife (Kim Novak) in San Francisco. The detective becomes obsessed with his quarry but his fear of heights leads to tragedy. After a massive restoration project the movie is being shown in a new 70mm print enhanced with a DTS soundtrack that brings Bernard Herrmann's score to the forefront. (PG) At Cinerama.
First Wives Club
Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Goldie Hawn are in top form as a trio of middle-age women who decide to seek revenge on their executive husbands who have dumped them for sweet young things. (PG) At Kam Drive-In.
The Ghost and the Darkness
This literate and eerie true-life chiller stars Val Kilmer as 19th-century British engineer in Africa wrestling with the possibility that the movie's title characters - two marauding lions, could be the physical embodiment of the spirit of evil. (R) At Kapolei.
High School High
Though loaded with pratfalls, sight gags and an out-of-it hero (Jon Lovitz), "High School High" fails because it
just doesn't get its own joke. Instead of parodying all those earnest-teacher movies, it ultimately becomes one itself. (PG-13) At Kailua, Kapolei, Pearlridge.
The Long Kiss Goodnight
This gawky, relentlessly earnest patchwork of film noir, action-adventure, psychological horror, comedy and touchy-feely sentimentality works, thanks to a luminous lead from Geena Davis and a show-stopping portrayal from Samuel L. Jackson. (R) At Kailua, Pearlridge West.
The Mirror Has Two Faces
Barbra Streisand's ugly duckling-turned-swan romantic comedy is a staggeringly obsessive expression of the importance of appearances, good looks and being adored. With Jeff Bridges, Lauren Bacall and Pierce Brosnan. (PG-13) At Kahala, Kailua, Kapolei, Mililani, Pearlridge West, Restaurant Row.
The young son of a fabulously wealthy tycoon (Mel Gibson) is abducted and held for $2 million ransom in this extremely smart Ron Howard movie. Gibson drags viewers through every conceivable emotion, Rene Russo does a fine job showing a mother's anguish, and Gibson displays a new assurance in his performance. (R) At Aikahi, Kahala, Kapolei, Keolu, Koko Marina, Mililani, Pearlridge West, Restaurant Row, Waikiki
Set It Off
Jada Pinkett, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise play four housing project women who, with everything stacked against them, explode. Despite some implausibilities, the movie excels at action, drama and depicting rage over an all-too-common reality. (R) At Enchanted Lake, Marina, Pearlridge, Restaurant Row.
Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman give solid performances as a fatherly priest and washed-up attorney, respectively, and Kevin Bacon is nightmarishly convincing as the bad guy. Barry Levinson's drama follows a group of longtime friends who cover up a killing that was in revenge of a heinous crime. Also starring Brad Pitt and Jason Patric (R) At Kapolei, Marina.
Basketball mega star Michael Jordan and cartoon mega star Bugs Bunny team up for this clever, cute, rambunctious mix of animation and live action. This will be a must-see for kids, although there isn't enough screen time for that "wascally wabbit." (PG) At Aikahi, Kahala, Kam Drive-In, Kapolei, Keolu, Mililani, Nanakuli, Pearlridge, Restaurant Row, Waikiki.
Stephen King's Thinner
An adaptation of King's novel about an overweight man who keeps getting thinner and thinner after being cursed by a gypsy, the movie has potential but never manages to tap the theme which equates moral excess with physical excess. (R) At Kapolei.
The new Ismail Merchant-James Ivory film film centers on the only mistress of painter Pablo Picasso who had the strength to walk out on his demands for unswerving obedience, art student Francoise Giroud. Stars Anthony Hopkins as Picasso and Natascha McElhone as Giroud. (R) At Varsity.
William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet
Director Baz Luhrmann puts Shakespeare's enduring tragedy in a contemporary setting.in Verona Beach with Leonard DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star-crossed lovers. Danes is luminous as Juliet and convincingly utters the Bard's blank verse. (PG-13) At Enchanted Lake, Kahala, Laie, Pearlridge West, Restaurant Row.