Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale in The Station Agent.
  • Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale in The Station Agent.

*The Station Agent (R)
Sundance Audience Award Winner for Best Drama and for Best Performance by Patricia Clarkson, this film could have been a poster child for indie film weirdness, insignificance and self-indulgence. Instead, this story of three unlikely loners who become friends in the netherland of Newfoundland, N.J., is crisp, moving, hilarious and brilliantly acted. Peter Dinklage is Fin, a dwarf who moves from the city to the countryside when he inherits a delapidated train depot. Fin's a train aficionado, a train watcher, a collector of train lore; and he's an extremely self-contained loner, tired of the stares and jeers "normal" people have heaped on him his whole life. In Newfoundland, he's befriended, reluctantly, by Olivia (Clarkson), a woman grieving the death of her young son two years prior, and Joe (Bobby Cannavale), a lonely but gregarious hotdog vendor. As their friendships blossom, Fin temporarily escapes his carefully built shell. Complications ensue. The humor comes from the naturalness of the dialogue and the strength of the characters in their unique setting. The Station Agent is a touching and meaningful comedy about human ties and alienation. A wonderful supporting role by child actor Raven Goodwin (Lovely and Amazing) rounds out the cast. Don't miss it. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak

We did not receive schedules for Carmike 10 and Chapel Hills 15 this week. Please call the theaters for times and film information.

*Bad Santa (R)
See full review, page 37.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Brother Bear (G)
From the same animation studio as Mulan and Lilo & Stitch comes a New Age tale of three Native American brothers in the Pacific Northwest who take on animal spirits.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat (PG)
Mike Myers frolics as the best-known troublemaker in modern children's literature.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Elf (PG)
In spite of its pre-Thanksgiving release and some blatant product placement, Elf shouldn't be dismissed as simply another cog in the holiday conglomerate marketing conspiracy. It's a movie to get you in the mood, to lighten the burden of pressure that has become the long, extended Christmas shopping holiday. Will Ferrell is perfection as Buddy, a 6-foot-3-inch human raised by Santa's elves in the North Pole. Buddy's a total innocent, unlike his adoptive father Papa Elf, played with trademark furrowed brow by Bob Newhart. Even Santa, played with a hint of world-weariness by Ed Asner, is more of a realist than Buddy, who, when he learns his true identity, sets off for New York City to find his real dad (James Caan). Elf succeeds with unyielding good cheer, a complete absence of canned irony, some nifty visual tricks, surprising characters, quick pacing, snappy dialogue, and an ingenious slapstick performance by Ferrell. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Gothika (R)
Halle Berry in a step down from Oscar material, something that looks more like a grade-B horror flick.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Haunted Mansion (PG)
See full review, page 40.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Love Actually (R)
Richard Curtis' directorial debut sloshes through 692 vaguely related subplots (maybe just nine) while pretending that its cardboard people and their cardboard relationships have something new to tell us about love and romance. The film's tagline is "Forget what you know about love." Please. Remember everything: You'll need it. The plethora of subplots could be forgiven if the laughs in this romantic comedy compensated for a paucity of substance. But they don't. However, in the spirit of the holiday season, let's count our blessings because Love Actually could have been worse. It could have starred Meg Ryan. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (PG-13)
Based on Patrick O'Brien's historic novels, this high-seas adventure stars Russell Crowe as the captain of a British gunship in pursuit of a French warship during the Napoleonic wars.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Matrix Revolutions (R)
You must give this to the Wachowski brothers, if nothing else: They managed to turn existential philosophy and religious mysticism into a multimillion-dollar blockbuster movie franchise. At its core, the Matrix trilogy becomes nothing less than a monumental exploration of the nature of free will vs. determinism. In Revolutions, the evolution of Neo (Keanu Reeves) from human to god to self-doubting messiah begins to register in a way it couldn't quite accomplish in its ponderous predecessor, Matrix Reloaded. Not that there are many moments to think about it. Where Reloaded spent a lot of time simply coming up with more elaborate variations on "bullet time" fight sequences, Revolutions makes its centerpiece the epic assault on Zion, an awesome piece of screen warfare. -- Scott Renshaw

Cinemark 16, Cinemark IMAX, Tinseltown

Misadventures in 3-D (in IMAX 3-D)
The latest IMAX treat, a 3-D animated feature.

Cinemark IMAX

The Missing (R)
A frontier doctor (Cate Blanchett) is reunited with her estranged father (Tommy Lee Jones) following the abduction of her teenage daughter by a renegade Apache in this adaptation of Thomas Eidson's novel, The Last Ride, directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind).

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Ocean Wonderland (NR) (in IMAX 3-D)
Swim with the fishies in IMAX 3-D.

Cinemark IMAX

Our Country (NR) (IMAX)
Wide-angle view of sweeping American landscapes (canyonlands of Utah, Appalachian mountains, etc.) set to the tunes of America's music -- country music.

Cinemark IMAX

Radio (PG-13)
If you haven't seen the trailer for this inspirational take on a true story, you must have been in a coma. Ed Harris stars as a football coach who takes an interest in a mentally challenged young man (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and makes him a part of the team. Also features Debra Winger as Harris' wife. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

Timeline (PG-13)
Another film version of a Michael Crichton novel, this time the sci-fi twist is time travel. An archaeology professor travels through a wormhole to 14th century France and a group of students set off to rescue him.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

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


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