Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro work out some issues in Analyze That.
  • Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro work out some issues in Analyze That.

Analyze That (R)
The sequel to the comedy Analyze This, starring Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal and Lisa Kudrow. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

*Die Another Day (PG-13)
As Pierce Brosnan has remarked in an interview, Die Another Day is like one-and-a-half Bond films in one. For fans of the incredibly lavish series, it is everything one could expect. For those new to the innumerable glories of James Bond, the movie is a gorgeous and exciting introduction to the stylized cinematic roller-coaster ride that audiences have savored for the past 40 years. The film's most concrete secret weapon is Halle Berry, who has signed a three-movie spin-off deal for her character Jinx. And, apart from one disastrously defective special-effects sequence, Die Another Day successfully raises the bar on a film series that continues to inspire imitators in an action genre that never quite equals its predecessor. -- Cole Smithey

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

*Drumline (PG-13)
This story of a Harlem boy who enters the legendary world of show marching bands at fictional Atlanta A&T University rocks in the tradition of the 2001 cheerleading flick Bring It On. Booty-shaking and life affirming, it is, unlike its predecessor, populated with characters that look and feel like real people. Nick Cannon plays Devon, a good kid from the 'hood, who's far away from home -- eager, cocky, talented and ambitious. What awaits him at A&T is basically marching band boot camp, complete with an overbearing drill sergeant who can't wait to put Devon in his place. Throw in a love interest, a dorm room full of cute musical cohorts, and a stern professor, and you've got a coming-of-age tale told in R&B time with hip-hop flashes and more than a splash of soul. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

Gangs of New York (R)
See full review, page 23.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Kimball's Twin Peak

*Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PG)
Let's accent the positive: This film is a better movie than its predecessor, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. However, the two movies, while sturdy and workmanlike, haven't yet captured the charm and magic of the Harry Potter books. Part of the problem lies in their too-faithful rendition of the books onto screen; part of the problem lies in pacing, with too much emphasis laid upon special effects (granted, they're great, but that's not the point) and not enough on story -- the movie is almost three hours long and still the ending is confusing. That said, when a movie sets out to be sequel-ized, a special dynamic sets in; the artists and the audience understand they're in it for the long haul and, with each movie, the world and the characters within it stand less on their own -- and the strength or weakness in the work becomes visible through accretion, film by film. So, go see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and then wait and see. You may not be able to tell whether this movie works until, let's see, perhaps 2010, when the series is finally put to bed. -- Andrea Lucard

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

The Hot Chick (PG-13)
A popular, unpleasant high-school prima donna (Rachel McAdams) wakes up to find that she's become a 30-year-old geek (Rob Schneider). She tries to figure out how she can return to her previous life, and in the process realizes how superficial and snotty she's been. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

click to enlarge Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers  opens just in time for the holidays
  • Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers opens just in time for the holidays

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PG-13)
Allow me to state without equivocation that Peter Jackson's The Two Towers is the best film about hobbits, elves, orcs and wizards since last year's Fellowship of the Ring. But seriously, the second installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy is upon us. Brace yourself for aerial tracking shots fit for a Middle Earth travelogue. Jackson does a masterful job of stitching together three separate plots and though the story itself doesn't advance much, it almost sustains its three-hour length. (During the last half-hour, butt and bladder agitate for a speedier conclusion.) Jackson's strength in The Two Towers is combining a visual realization of Middle Earth's inhabitants, and utilizing the New Zealand landscapes to instill a sense of pending dread and ephemeral beauty. ... Stay tuned for next year's installment -- same Middle Earth time, same Middle Earth channel. -- John Dicker

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Kimball's Twin Peak

Maid in Manhattan (PG-13)
A sweet Cinderella story turned into a lazy piece of hog slop, sugarcoated and caramelized to make it go down easy. Jennifer Lopez is utterly wasted as Marisa Ventura, a New York City chambermaid, who's caught playing dress-up with the designer wardrobe of ritzy hotel guest and is mistaken for a woman of means by a debonair bachelor politician. (Speaking of, who in their right mind would cast pasty, sweaty Ralph Fiennes in the Cary Grant/Clark Gable role? He's too pale and earnest. It hurts to watch him slobbering over Lopez.) Naturally, Cinderella and the Prince fall in love, and soon follows the glass slipper scene (a swank fund-raiser by New York's elite for New York's po' folks) and the ugly revelation of Marisa's true identity. Will they live happily ever after? I bet you can guess. Of course you can, but that's not the point. It's OK for romantic comedies to be predictable. It is not, however, OK for them to be stodgy, slow-witted, smarmy and written to the intelligence factor of the average 8-year-old. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

*My Big Fat Greek Wedding (PG)
A delightful confection of a film. The pacing of the first half of the film is a little slow, but it picks up nicely when the whole crazy extended family gets into the act. Romantic comedies require a deft touch, and the writing of Nia Vardalos (who also plays the lead) provides it. -- Andrea Lucard

Cinemark 16

Santa Clause 2 (G)
Eight years after the original, Tim Allen returns as Santa. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

Star Trek: Nemesis (PG-13)
See full review, page 23.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

Two Weeks Notice (PG-13)
Hugh Grant plays billionaire George Wade, who realizes that he's in love with his attorney (Sandra Bullock) just as she's about to leave his employment. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

The Wild Thornberrys Movie (PG)
Animated film based on the Nickelodeon television show about a family that travels the world to make nature documentaries -- made more interesting by the fact that one of the daughters can communicate with animals. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16

  • Our reviewers' recommendations for films showing on Colorado Springs area screens.


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