Movie Picks 

click to enlarge What new catastrophes can Hollywood put poor little - Dakota Fanning (here, as Rachel in War of the - Worlds) - through?
  • What new catastrophes can Hollywood put poor little Dakota Fanning (here, as Rachel in War of the Worlds) through?

A Lot Like Love (PG-13)
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The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D (PG)
A boy's imaginary superhero friends come to life and join him in a series of adventures. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, starring David Arquette and Kristin Davis. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Amityville Horror (R)
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*Batman Begins (PG-13)
We thought we knew Batman and his trappings, the Bat Cave and the Batmobile. But director Chris Nolan and Co. offer us exquisite new insight into the worlds of both the absurdly rich and entitled Bruce and his Batman (played by Christian Bale). Bruce's first adult descent into what will become the Bat Cave is a revelatory scene of tremendous beauty and underlying terror, as are many of the following scenes in Gotham's underworld. A set-up for the next film appears near the end -- a cause for rejoicing. Batman Begins isn't just the best film of early summer, or a mere prequel to existing films; it's the beginning of an entirely re-envisioned series that promises to raise the bar of audience interest, challenging viewers to think and feel and follow the stories of their comic book heroes, and not just be titillated by expensive eye candy.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Tinseltown

Bewitched (PG-13)
Directed by Nora Ephron, this film stars Nicole Kidman as Samantha the Witch and Will Ferrell as Darren. In the film, a producer remaking the classic sitcom, Bewitched, unknowingly casts a real witch for the role. Also featuring Shirley MacLaine, Michael Caine, David Alan Grier and Stephen Colbert. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Cinderella Man (PG-13)
Ron Howard again teams up with screenwriter Akiva Goldman (A Beautiful Mind) and actor Russell Crowe to tell the tale of "Irish Jim" Braddock's descent into poverty at the height of the Depression, his virtuous life as a husband and father, and his ultimate triumph in the ring over ruthless heavyweight champion Max Baer. Despite some problems with pacing and Howard's tendency to go on too long -- the film clocks in at two and a half hours -- Cinderella Man accomplishes its dual purpose: It tells the uplifting tale of Braddock's boxing career while creating a lump-in-the-throat metaphor for what is (or, at least, what was) best about America, land of opportunity. Because Rocky told the same story, it's impossible not to make comparisons, and there are many obvious ones here. Where Rocky had the crowd cheering for the punch-drunk palooka from Nowheresville, Cinderella Man leaves the audience smiling and satisfied, though not particularly stimulated.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Forces of Nature (NR)
A National Geographic film showcasing earthquakes, volcanoes, severe storms and interviews with the scientists who study them.

-- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

Guess Who (PG-13)
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Herbie: Fully Loaded (G)
Maggie (Lindsay Lohan) becomes the new owner of Number 53, a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. She and the car train to compete in NASCAR. Also starring Matt Dillon, Michael Keaton and Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Hitch (PG-13)
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*The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (PG)
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Kicking and Screaming (PG)
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*Land of the Dead (R)
See full review on page 31.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Longest Yard (PG-13)
Adam Sandler stars as an ex-football star who ends up in prison and is encouraged to start an inmate football team that plays against the prison guards. This re-make also stars Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, Nelly and James Cromwell.

-- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Mad Hot Ballroom (PG)
See full review on page 30.

Kimball's Twin Peak

Madagascar (PG)
This children's computer-animated comedy is so packed with madcap humor and outlandish acrobatics at breakneck speed that it resembles an episode of the old televised cartoon Animaniacs. The film follows the adventures of four animals that live in New York's Central Park Zoo: Marty, the rambunctious zebra (with the voice of Chris Rock); Alex, the vain lion (Ben Stiller); Gloria, the motherly hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith); and Melman, the hypochondriac giraffe (David Schwimmer). Marty's ultimately bummed out because he's trapped in a pen and wants to experience "the wild." Marty gets his chance through a bizarre series of accidents that lands the quartet in Madagascar. The storyline never quite comes together in a stirring way, and lacks the same satisfying emotional punch that made Finding Nemo a classic. On the positive side, keeping the action and comedy percolating makes up for some of what the film misses. -- Dan Wilcock

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Monster-in-Law (PG-13)
Charlotte Honeywell (Jennifer Lopez) has a disastrous dating life until she meets "the perfect man," Kevin Fields (Michael Vartan). However, his mother, Viola (Jane Fonda), is willing to go to great lengths to destroy their relationship. -- Not reviewed

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Mr. and Mrs. Smith (PG-13)
Though it's 30 minutes too long (at two hours) and more closely resembles a television miniseries than a movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a snarky romantic comedy disguised as an ultra-violent action thriller. It works. This is about the only kind of movie in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could be well cast together, a tongue-in-cheek wink at every suburbanite's secret dream to be James Bond or La Femme Nikita. Pitt plays Mr. Smith, who plays as an import-export exec when he's not pulling off assassinations. Mrs. Smith, likewise, covers up her deadly trade by masquerading as a temp agency CEO. When they're assigned to the same target, however, the sparks start to fly as both characters attempt to be the bigger badass. -- Dan Wilcock

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Pacifier (PG)
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The Perfect Man (PG)
Holly (Hilary Duff) is tired of having to move every time her mother (Heather Locklear) breaks up with a boyfriend. Holly decides to create an imaginary secret admirer and uses her friend's uncle (Chris Noth of Sex and the City) as a stand-in. Holly becomes desperate to keep the ruse alive and almost misses the real "perfect man" when he comes along. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Robots (PG)
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Sahara (PG-13)
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Sharks 3-D (NR)
Jean-Michel Cousteau presents an up-close experience with a variety of shark species found around the world. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

*Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (PG-13)
Despite more of the same lousy acting and poor character ideas that marred I and II (the prequels to the well-loved trilogy), Sith wins in the end due to its unrelenting dark vision. After all, this is what everybody has been waiting for: the story of how Anakin Skywalker -- the boy foretold to unite the galaxy -- becomes a black-clad mass murderer named Darth. While the special effects sometimes are too much to grasp, they are stunning nonetheless. When it comes to commanding believable acting and penning good dramatic transitions, Lucas has a wooden heart. As for the showdown between Anakin and Obi-Wan, all there is to say is that it's worth seeing on the big screen. -- Dan Wilcock

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

xXx: State of the Union (PG-13)
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  • Our reviewers' recommendations for films showing on Colorado Springs area screens.


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