Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Dory (left) and Marlin get some much needed direction from a school of moonfish in  Finding Nemo.
  • Dory (left) and Marlin get some much needed direction from a school of moonfish in Finding Nemo.

Anger Management (PG-13)
Jack Nicholson is the therapist from hell who must help Adam Sandler come to terms with his anger. -- Not reviewed


Bruce Almighty (PG-13)
After a less than enthusiastic reception to more serious roles in The Majestic and Man on the Moon, Jim Carrey returns to his tried and true physical comedy routine. Carrey plays an insufferable television reporter longing for an anchor job. When he doesn't get the job he rants at God, blaming the Almighty for his misfortunes and his "trivial life." He receives on audience with God (Morgan Freeman) who wants to go on vacation and leave Bruce in charge. There is little logic to the film's journey to its obvious conclusion, way too many trademark Jim Carrey stunts minus interesting characterization, and far too little screen time for co-stars Freeman and Jennifer Aniston. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Daddy Day Care (PG)
Eddie Murphy is a recently unemployed dad who opens a daycare center run by men. Poopie jokes galore. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10; Chapel Hills 15; Cinemark 16; Tinseltown

*The Dancer Upstairs (R)
John Malkovich's directorial debut is an adaptation of the Nicholas Shakespeare novel of the same name. It's hard to decide if dancer is a remarkable first effort or a sprawling pretentious failure. Javier Bardem plays Augustin Rejas, a once powerful attorney turned police officer. As dead dogs are found strung up on lampposts Rejas and his posse of counterinsurgent cops are assigned to hunt down the source of the ominous warnings. The film mixes political violence with the interpersonal buoyancy of Rejas and his associates, making for an engaging dynamic. Still, Dancer is ultimately both an inchoate character study of Rejas and an inchoate political film. -- John Dicker

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Down With Love (PG-13)
Peyton Reed, director of the wonderfully biting and energetic cheerleading movie Bring It On, pulls off a retro, candy-colored sex farce that stands the Doris Day/Rock Hudson dynamic on its head in this romantic comedy that takes romance clichs and tosses them around like so many olives in a martini shaker. Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor are perfectly cast as author Barbara Novak and man about town/journalist Catcher Block, would-be lovers who are too caught up in their public identities to succumb to true romance. David Hyde Pierce, Frazier's Niles, steals the show as Block's neurotic, possibly homosexual boss, Peter McManus. But the production team are the real stars of Down With Love which bubbles with saturated color and groovy 1960s-era ambience. The costumes are fabulous and the apartment sets scream bachelor and bachelorette pad -- his in masculine shades of blue and chrome, hers in bouncy primary colors. Don't leave too early or you'll miss the zippy musical number by Zellweger and McGregor that runs alongside the closing credits -- the film's cute, suitably sexy and notably naughty footnote. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16; Tinseltown

Finding Nemo (G)
Animated Disney flick about cute fishies, featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen Degeneres, Geoffrey Rush, and, I kid you not, Willem Dafoe.

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

Ghosts of the Abyss (NR) (in IMAX 3D)
Director James Cameron once again exploits, oops that's explores the wreckage of the Titanic -- this time in 3D. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark IMAX

click to enlarge (Left to right) Edward Norton as Steve, Mark Wahlberg as Charlie Croker and Charlize Theron as Stella in  The Italian Job.
  • (Left to right) Edward Norton as Steve, Mark Wahlberg as Charlie Croker and Charlize Theron as Stella in The Italian Job.

*Holes (PG)
In a movie market jammed with adult comedies that rely on rude adolescent humor for laughs, the emergence of Holes -- an intelligent, funny kids' caper with a complex swirl of subplots -- is cause for celebration among adult and juvenile audiences alike. Based on the wildly popular, Newberry Award-winning young adult novel by Texan Louis Sachar (who also wrote the screenplay), Holes never approaches the saccharine sweetness we've come to expect in youth morality tales. The characters are flawed and frequently grotesque but oddly lovable, and the casting is impeccable: Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Tim Blake Nelson are rich as the three adult villains, and Shia LaBeouf as the protagonist, Stanley Yelnats, is utterly authentic and winning. Suitable for 10-year-olds, maybe a bit too scary for 6-year-olds and highly recommended for viewers 30 and up who might have forgotten the value of genuine, unadulterated adolescent humor. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16

India: Kingdom of the Tiger (NR) (large format for IMAX)
A National Wildlife Federation presentation, this new IMAX film focuses on the plight of the Bengal tiger, retelling the true story of British hunter and wildlife conservationist, Edward James Corbett, who lived most of his life in India. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark IMAX

The In-Laws (PG-13)
Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas are prospective fathers-in-law in this remake of the underrated '70s comedy starring Alan Arkin and Peter Falk. Also featuring Candice Bergen.

Cinemark 16

The Italian Job (PG-13)
Heist flick starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Edward Norton -- all talking tough and driving really fast.

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

*The Matrix Reloaded (R)
Neo (Keanu Reeves) exhibits fresh powers in Matrix Reloaded that promise to play a significant role in part three, coming in November. Since the first film, he has switched from confused Matrix slave into a Superman-styled messianic protagonist with a heightened love for S&M warrior priestess Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) in her signature patent leather cat suit. What's at stake, essentially, in Matrix Reloaded -- besides the question of whether Neo and Trinity can lead humanity if indeed that is all that exists outside the Matrix -- is a symbolic capacity for original or individual thought. The world of violent, super-action cinema is about to swing in a very aggressive direction. Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be Matrix days at the movies for a very long time to come. -- Cole Smithey

Kimball's Twin Peak, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

Wrong Turn (R)
Horror flick with "strong violence and gore." The tag line: Wrong Turn ... it's the last one you'll ever take. Ouch.

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

*X-Men 2: X-Men United (PG-13)
The new and improved X-Men is darker than the first and, even for the uninitiated, a fascinating comic book adventure come to life. There's more of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and the taste of his torment as he paces the Earth with the instincts of a wild animal, the hairdo of a '50s rock 'n' roll devil, the physique of a G-I Joe doll and the bony anatomy of Edward Scissorhands. Mystique, the blue vinyl shape-shifter played by Rebecca Romjin-Stamos gets full star treatment as Magneto's (Ian McKellen) sizzling sidekick. Nightcrawler, a new character introduced and creepily played by Alan Cumming, brings religion to the mix, raising questions about faith and fervor while bonding with a group who can appreciate his ability to disappear into a thin wisp of smoke. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart duke it out for the title of Most Intriguing Soon-to-be Elderly Actor as Magneto and Professor Xavier -- former friends, now intellectual foes who disagree on how mutants should interact with humans in a world that dangerously polarizes anyone who diverts from the mainstream. Bravo, X-Men! Encore! -- Kathryn Eastburn

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


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