Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Around the World in 80 Days
  • Around the World in 80 Days

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

50 First Dates (PG-13)
As much as I enjoyed this romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, I want to scold the director for succumbing to gross-out jokes to attract Sandler's core audience. Henry (Sandler), a veterinarian at Sea Life Park, Hawaii, meets Lucy (Barrymore) unaware that she suffers from a brain trauma that causes her short-term memory to erase each night. Henry falls for her and decides that the best thing for Lucy is to face her memory problem. Barrymore holds the film together and has rarely been so captivating. -- Kathryn Eastburn

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Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (PG)
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The Chronicles of Riddick (PG-13)
Five-hundred years from the present, we find anti-hero Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) as a fugitive with a price on his head who is caught in the middle of the "10th crusade" -- a battle waged by warrior priest Lord Marshal (Colm Feore) for the future of all beings in the galaxy. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Day After Tomorrow (PG-13)
You can enjoy Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow, but you'll have to suspend your disbelief so hard you might acquire several hernias. While the film has provided an excuse to rehash debates over global warming, it will likely do nothing for environmentalism. Dennis Quaid does an admirable job as the scientist possessed of the truth but not an audience, and Jake Gyllenhaal is his soft-spoken son who inherits his dad's intellectual traits but has trouble with girls. The film's plot is lost to its showcasing of CGI effects (Doesn't that snowed over Statue of Liberty look rad?), making the entire movie too familiar -- think ice and snow instead of reptilian extraterrestrials. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Ella Enchanted (PG)
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*Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (R)
With Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has created another ethereal portal of consciousness. Jim Carrey stars as Joel, a borderline depressive who falls in love with Clementine, a big talker with blue hair played manically by the ever-delightful Kate Winslet. Kaufman's characters inhabit an inner-focused world that rarely offers moments of clarity. But Eternal Sunshine transcends concept and technique through the wonderful, deeply human performances of Carrey and Winslet. The surprise of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is its uncompromising sentiment that, in love, flawed or not, a second chance is something worth fighting for. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak

Garfield: The Movie (PG)
Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer) gets a new dog Odie, who is then kidnapped by a mean dog trainer. Everyone's favorite fat cat Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) comes to the rescue. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Grand Canyon (NR)
Cinemark IMAX

*Harry Potter and the Prisoner

of Azkaban (PG)
From the first moments of the film I was entranced -- despite being (up until then) Harry Potter illiterate. We find Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his two best friends, prickly Hermione (Emma Watson) and nave Ron (Rupert Grint), in their third year at Hogwarts, the school for young wizards in training. The school's labyrinthine stairways, talking paintings, goofy student body and eccentric faculty are all captivating. Adding to the excitement of daily course instruction, the presumed murderer of Harry's wizard parents, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), has just escaped Azkaban Prison and is reportedly out to get Harry. The acting sings, including that of the adolescent actors, and director Alfonso Cuaron's version of J. K. Rowling's vision is swirling, rich, terrifyingly beautiful, as it captures the dark magic and moodiness of the Harry Potter oeuvre. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Cinemark IMAX, Tinseltown

*Hellboy (PG-13)
Ron Perlman has racked up quite a rsum playing the gentle (and not-so-gentle) giant. In Hellboy, the spawn of Satan who is raised by humans to make choices for good, Perlman has found the character of a lifetime. Director Guillermo Del Toro seems to have hit upon the ideal mix of dark surroundings, wry humor and mythical characters in this comic book adaptation. Hellboy is an unforgettable character, strengthened by Perlman's mellifluous baritone and his fine instinctive empathy for the outcast. With the exception of the first X-Men, this is the best of a rising genre that's nonsensical but visually thrilling. -- Kathryn Eastburn

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*Hidalgo (PG-13)
Frank T. Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) is a cowboy who enters "The Ocean of Fire," a 3,000-mile race across the Arabian Desert. Presiding over the race is a sheik played by Omar Sharif, and watching from the sidelines is Lady Davenport, who sizes up Hopkins' cute cowboy butt like so much horseflesh. Hidalgo is an old-fashioned horse tale/screen romp that falls somewhere between Seabiscuit and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Mortensen and the mustang enjoy an easy rapport, and their journey over mountains of dunes, through sandstorms and across centuries is a pleasure to watch. -- Kathryn Eastburn

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Jersey Girl (PG-13)
Ollie's (Ben Affleck) life falls apart when he loses his job, and his wife (Jennifer Lopez) and has to move in with his father (George Carlin). Things start to look up when he meets a young video clerk (Liv Tyler). Written and directed by Kevin Smith. -- Not reviewed

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Man on Fire (R)
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*NASCAR 3-D (PG) (in IMAX 3-D)
By now, you probably know that NASCAR is the most popular spectator sport in America and Middle America's unofficial pastime. The film is a 47-minute "NASCAR For Dummies" primer that includes a brief history of the sport, short profiles of its legends and a brief exegesis of its technical underpinnings. Of course, there's no shortage of vroom and boom -- with plenty of point-of-view shots taken inside the speeding cars and sprawling shots of surging racetrack crowds to rival Triumph of the Will. This sport is HUGE. -- John Dicker

Cinemark IMAX

New York Minute (PG)
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The Passion of the Christ (R)
Hey! Didya hear? Mel Gibson's made some sort of Jesus movie. Who knew? If your spirituality requires a graphic reminder of your messiah's martyrdom, then this is your feel-humbled hit of the spring. If not, well, Jesus Christ Superstar still holds up like a champ. -- John Dicker

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Raising Helen (PG-13)
Helen (Kate Hudson) is a successful fashion consultant whose life is turned upside down when she becomes the guardian of three children. Directed by Garry Marshall and stars John Corbett, Joan Cusack and Helen Mirren. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Sacred Planet (NR)
Cinemark IMAX

Saved! (PG-13)
See full review on page 26.


Shrek 2 (PG)
In Shrek, the first installment of this computer-animated series, the lovable ogre Shrek (Mike Myers) vanquished the evil Lord Farquaad to win Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) as his bride. In Shrek 2, he faces a more daunting challenge: meeting the in-laws. With the voices of Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous), Antonio Banderas as famed ogre-killer Puss In Boots and, of course, Eddie Murphy as the mischievous Donkey. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Starsky & Hutch (PG-13)
After Boogie Nights, The Brady Bunch (I-II) Austin Powers (Vol. I-III), The Virgin Suicides, That '70s Show et al., an unfortunate sub-genre has been born. Please let it die an early death. This is NOT to say that Todd Phillips' Starsky and Hutch is anything but the finest sort of silly action spoof. However, the film succeeds on its own merit and not because of its lazy pop-culture nostalgia. Recycled or not, Starsky and Hutch is great screwball comedy. The downside is that its success will likely spawn more of the same, which won't always be funny. -- John Dicker

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The Stepford Wives (PG-13)
Stepford, Connecticut, is a modern, upper-class, planned community where everything is perfect. Wives are totally complacent and submissive to their husbands. When a new couple arrives in town (Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick), a strange inquiry into the truth begins. The housewives may be blissful, but also doomed. Frank Oz directs this remake of a 1975 horror classic. Based on the book by Ira Levin. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Super Size Me (NR)
While Super Size Me is overtly political, taking aim against the food industry in general and McDonald's in particular, it's also about something every American has a relationship with: fast food. But more than its subject matter, there's a freak-show element to Morgan Spurlock's endeavor. Eating McDonald's for three square meals a day, not exercising, Spurlock, a 32-year-old New Yorker, sacrifices his gastrointestinal well-being for our own amusement. Those worshipping at the church of personal responsibility will maintain that Spurlock's approach is bogus and placing the blame for all our nutritional woes on McDonald's doorstep is as absurd as Spurlock's diet. But Super Size Me is not merely an indictment of one corporation, but an entire culture's obsession with "big." -- John Dicker

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Troy (R)
Wolfgang Petersen's Troy is a blast, a massive entertainment with a handful of substantial characters and a muted anti-war message. The film opens as a peace treaty has just been pounded out between Menelaus, King of Sparta (Brendan Gleeson) and Troy, represented by Prince Hector (Eric Bana). Hector's playboy brother Paris (Orlando Bloom) beds Menelaus' unhappy wife, Helen (Diane Kruger), then smuggles her aboard a ship to Troy, thus launching the thousand ships of lore. Menelaus enlists his brother Agamemnon (Brian Cox) and the kings of several other Greek tribes to attack Troy. Reluctantly going along for the ride is the great but sullen warrior Achilles (Brad Pitt). Many battles ensue leading to the ultimate confrontation between Hector and Achilles and the sacking of Troy. The film is too long by about 20 minutes but overall Troy succeeds. Peter O'Toole's performance as the elderly king of Troy is heartbreaking, Pitt's Achilles is well drawn, and Bana, best known in the United States for his portrayal of The Hulk, almost steals the show. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Van Helsing (PG-13)
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