Movie Picks 

*About a Boy (PG-13)
See full review, page 31.

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Changing Lanes (R)
Changing Lanes isn't a masterpiece of filmmaking -- and its answers come a little bit too easily -- but for a product of the Hollywood studio system, it does a much better job than most at showing the moral ambiguity and complexity possible in one crazy, messed up, very bad day. Both Ben Affleck and Samuel L Jackson are strong in the film, although Jackson outshines the newbie by quite a margin, and a compelling supporting cast backs them up. -- Andrea Lucard

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Ice Age (PG)
Ice Age eschews the inside adult humor that infiltrates so many other animated children's movies. Where movies like Shrek attempt to cater to adult audiences with not-so-subtle sexual innuendo and overloaded pop-culture cross-referencing, Ice Age stays the course of its genre's Bugs Bunny slapstick humor. Although the actors recorded their parts separately, there's chemistry between the cartoon characters that plays like a symphony of toy instruments playing a well-rehearsed Duke Ellington tune. -- Cole Smithey


*Italian for Beginners (R)
See full review, page 31.

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

*Lord of the Rings (PG-13)
Director Peter Jackson makes brilliant use of the camera to enhance the action, and the sets, costumes and digital animation speak for themselves magnificently in this triumphant film adaptation of the Tolkien classic. The acting suspends disbelief for all but a few moments. Let the fanatics hash out the discrepancies with the book in their chat rooms. Peter Jackson did it. And this film is cool. Very cool. -- Noel Black


Murder by Numbers (R)
Two gifted high-school students commit a series of "perfect murders" and engage in a battle of wits with the detective who's hot on their trail. Starring Sandra Bullock, Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The New Guy (PG-13)
After a few years of being the "uncool kid," a high school student (played by DJ Qualls) gets himself expelled and ends up in prison. While there, his cellmate gives him some tips on how to remake his image. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Rookie (G)
Based on the true story of high-school science teacher and baseball coach Jim Morris, who joins the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the age of 35 after making a deal with his high school team: If they make the playoffs, he'll try out for the major league. Starring Dennis Quaid and Rachel Griffiths. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Scorpion King (PG-13)
Action/horror film about a peasant in ancient Egypt who exacts revenge on a marauding army who pillaged his village ... and eventually becomes known as the Scorpion King, the First Pharoah of Egypt. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Spider-Man (PG-13)
One of this movie's central moral taglines is: "With great power comes great responsibility." Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) passes along ye olde wisdom as Peter (Tobey Maguire) begins to discover his superpowers after being bitten by a genetically mutated spider (you know the story, hopefully). It's fine and dandy to ask superheroes to uphold this axiom, but how about studio executives, producers and directors? From the script to the editing and acting, everything is just ... just so enh. Computer effects have rendered the charming reality of human error obsolete, making this film feel just too sterile. There are some clever cameos and campy nods to film history, but unfortunately, overall Spider-Man just doesn't pack a punch. Pow. Bam. -- Noel Black

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

*Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (PG)
See full review, opposite page.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Unfaithful (R)
Diane Lane delivers the most accomplished, nuanced performance of her long career as Connie Sumner, a well-heeled Westchester housewife who spends her days taking care of her quirky little son and doting on her husband Ed (Richard Gere), until she literally crashes into Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez), a sexy SoHo book dealer who soon becomes her paramour. Connies's simultaneous ecstasy and anguish are played out in an astonishing solo scene on the train home where Lane wiggles in her seat, recalling her first tryst with Paul, acting with only facial expressions. Lane is compelling in every scene and Martinez is intriguing as her lover -- attentive, smart, gorgeous and composed. But Director Adrian Lyne wants us to hate Connie and Paul's affair -- all of it -- so he sets us up for the inevitable disaster. We are supposed to accept that the infidels deserve Ed's wrath, no matter how extreme. Ed is not left to wrestle with the moral and emotional complications of infidelity; he simply acts. The first half of Unfaithful is unflinchingly adult and complicated and the second half attempts to wrap it all up in a neat, little moralizing package. The result is both frustrating and unsatisfying. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Y Tu Mama Tabien (R)
Like Amores Perros (now on video and DVD), Y Tu Mama takes an empathetic, but unflinching look at the complexities of Mexican society, and succeeds by doing it through a timeless and sexually complex coming-of-age story. Masterfully executed are the highly charged and erotically explicit sex scenes that crack open every taboo in the book including premature ejaculation, homosexuality, and having sex with your best friend's girlfriend, "y tu mama tambien,"... and your mother too. -- Noel Black

Kimball's Twin Peak


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