Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Importance of Being Earnest
  • Importance of Being Earnest

Bad Company (PG-13)
Anthony Hopkins is a CIA agent who must train Chris Rock to be just like his slain agent twin brother in just one week. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer to the tune of $100 million, so expect some major pyrotechnics. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Bourne Identity (PG-13)
Loosely adapted for the screen from the Robert Ludlum thriller, The Bourne Identity is Matt Damon's first attempt at a pure action role and, as usual, he more than compensates. (In fact, he kicks his good buddy Ben Affleck's butt as action heroes go.) The tension builds slowly, and when bullets begin to fly and car chases ensue, it's all nicely choreographed and not overblown. We are drawn into the human drama of the chase by the finely drawn characters, the intriguing location shots in the streets of Paris and a script as precisely drawn as a good mystery novel. The plot is somewhat thin but the ride is still rich with plenty of well-timed twists and turns. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (PG-13)
There's a lot of material to work with here and director Callie Khouri (screenwriter of Thelma and Louise) had to make some strategic choices. The only way to tell the story of daughter Sidda, mother Vivi and the Ya-Yas (Vivi's lifelong pals) is through flashbacks -- a problematic dramatic structure for any film and particularly prickly here. The Ya-Yas are far more interesting as aging women, especially as played by this stellar cast (Maggie Smith, Shirley Knight and Fionnula Flanagan). The only flashbacks that work are those where Ashley Judd as the young Viviane demonstrates the character's flash and verve. Even poor old James Garner with his watered down character is winning. But the film is crippled by its script and polluted by its blatant commercial leanings. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Importance of Being Earnest (PG)
See full review, page 36.

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

*Insomnia (R)
Director Christopher Nolan's follow-up to last year's Memento is a fairly standard police thriller with spectacular scenery, some intriguing plot twists and a memorable protagonist in Al Pacino's world-weary police detective Will Dormer. Dormer and his partner have traveled to Alaska to help investigate the murder of a local girl. When a cop is fallen by a bullet in a foggy shootout, the plot unfolds. Robin Williams is tolerable as a local true-crime writer who was a friend of the murdered girl. Some nice cat-and-mouse scenes, but the real entertainment is in Pacino's determined, steady performance. A remake of a 1998 Norwegian film, Insomnia is brooding, atmospheric and well told. -- Kathryn Eastburn


Jawanna Mann (PG-13)
When a basketball star is banned from the NBA for behavior on the court, he turns to the WNBA. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Tinseltown

Lilo and Stitch (PG)
Disney film about Lilo, a little girl in Hawaii who adopts a dog that, it turns out, is actually an alien. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Minority Report (PG-13)
See full review, page 36.

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

* My Big Fat Greek Wedding (PG)
A delightful confection of a summer film. Like most twice-told tales, the pleasure of the story comes both from its predictability -- girl gets boy, boy and girl struggle with parents' eccentricities -- and from its specificity -- the Parthenon front porch in a quiet middle-class neighborhood, the roasted lamb on a spit on the front lawn, the huge reproduction of the Greek flag on the garage door. 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

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

Scooby Doo (PG)
A live-action remake of the inexplicably popular '80s cartoon. Don't ask why; just know that it was bound to happen. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Spider-Man (PG-13)
Spider-Man 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

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron (G)
Matt Damon narrates this story of an untamed horse in the Wild West, who's captured by the cavalry, broken and becomes a mount. Told from the viewpoint of the horse. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (PG)
Why dally with the finer points of the plot when we all know the shadowy fate of the entire cast. Fact is, The Phantom Menace may just have been a really big-budget setup for the payoff that's just beginning to unfold in Attack of the Clones. And believe it or not, there are enough brilliant plot twists and "historical" explanations of characters and plot points in the later (previous?) episodes to keep your head spinning. The acting's perfectly two-dimensional for a fantasy adventure. The architectural artwork on the hyper-urban galaxy capital Coruscant is ga-ga, gray and brooding. Plus there's plenty of unbelievably nondigital-looking digital action that strips away the schlocky look that plagued The Phantom Menace. Simply put: smarts and imagination at their best. -- Noel Black

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Sum of All Fears (PG-13)
Another film adaptation of one of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels (Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger). Terrorists threaten to bomb the Superbowl, and Ryan (Ben Affleck) and the CIA director (Morgan Freeman) must act fast to stop what could possibly turn into nuclear holocaust. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Undercover Brother (PG-13)
Don't bother, brother. Aside from a few "laughing on the inside" moments, this Austin Powers-meets-blaxploitation knockoff chortles through one failed slapstick sketch after the next. Undercover Brother isn't even bad enough to be so bad it was good. -- Noel Black

Cinemark 16

Windtalkers (R)
Hong Kong director John Woo (Face/Off, Mission Impossible 2) explores the 1944 Allied invasion of Saipan when American soldiers used the "Navajo Code" -- a code developed from the Navajo language with Navajo translators. Nicolas Cage plays a Marine sergeant who is partnered with one of the Navajo "codebusters," played by Adam Beach. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown


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