Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Will Smith's hunt for a killer draws the attention of one - very special robot, Sonny in I, Robot.
  • Will Smith's hunt for a killer draws the attention of one very special robot, Sonny in I, Robot.

13 going on 30 (PG-13)
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*Anchorman (PG-13)
Sublime silliness. Will Ferrell stars as a smooth 1970s San Diego TV anchorman, threatened by the arrival of an ambitious female reporter (Christina Applegate). Anchorman is absurd, but is more than a mere big hair, polyester suit period parody. The wacked-out writing and Ferrell and company's over-the-top swaggering make it a painfully funny escapist riot. With cameo appearances by Tim Robbins, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, all as anchormen from competing stations. Two scenes catapult this comedy above the ordinary: Ferrell in a nightclub jamming on jazz flute, and Ferrell in a phone booth having an emotional breakdown. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Chronicles of Riddick (PG-13)
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The Day After Tomorrow (PG-13)
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Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (PG-13)
To save a local gym from extinction, a group of misfits enters the ultimate dodgeball tournament in Las Vegas. The cast of this comedy includes Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Ella Enchanted (PG)
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*Fahrenheit 9/11
You can like director Michael Moore or not, admire or dislike his previous films, but you'd be hard pressed to deny the power of Fahrenheit 9/11. Little is revealed that hasn't already been reported in the mainstream press at least once over the past four years. But in Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore has meticulously pieced together all the disturbing tidbits, and the cumulative effect is startling. Moore's research is deeper, his editing stricter and the reach of documentary footage richer in this film than in his others. More importantly, he keeps himself out of the frame more often than not. If many neutral moviegoers who might not otherwise be motivated to vote are galvanized by Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore, the guy who right-wing pundits love to accuse of hating America, will have served his country well. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak, Tinseltown

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

*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

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Cinemark IMAX, Tinseltown

*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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Home on the Range (PG)
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*Kill Bill Vol. II (R)
The second installment of Kill Bill is as much of a delight as the first and easily the director's best work since Pulp Fiction. Unlike Vol. I, which was marked by acrobatic kung fu orgies and preposterous body counts, the final installment doles out more psychological drama than straight up killing. Tarantino has previously taught us that even the most murderous gangsters can be redeemed. Kill Bill's lesson is similar and sillier: being a ruthless killer and a good mom are not mutually exclusive. Handy stuff to know, strangely enjoyable to watch, and probably a good idea to forget. -- John Dicker

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King Arthur (PG-13)
This most recent portrayal of the legend of King Arthur focuses on the life of Arthur (Clive Owen) during his probable historical and political setting -- the collapse of the Roman Empire -- than on myth and magic. Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table join for an adventure that changes the course of history. -- Not reviewed

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

*Mean Girls (PG-13)
Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) is a 16-year-old raised in Africa by her anthropologist parents. When her mom is relocated, Cady is inaugurated into the social viper pit of American high school and finds herself caught between two polarized cliques. Mean Girls is a smart comedy splattered with ingenious writing from Tina Fey, although its attempt to skewer the image-obsession of teen girls while making a sexy spectacle of their bodies suffers from its own contradictions. -- John Dicker

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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

The Notebook (PG-13)
When a young woman (Rachel McAdams) meets a local mill worker (Ryan Gosling) in the summer of 1940, they fall deeply in love. But WWII soon pulls their worlds apart. They are united again seven years later, but does their love endure? Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Passion of the Christ (R)
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Sacred Planet (NR)
Cinemark IMAX

Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (PG)
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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

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Sleepover (PG)
Teenage girls strive for mischief and mayhem to improve their social status, as Julie's (Alexa Vega) sleepover party turns into an all-night scavenger hunt against the popular girls. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Spider-Man 2 (PG-13)
As the film opens, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is having trouble keeping up at school despite being a bona fide scientific genius, is growing more alienated from love interest Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and good friend Harry Osborn (James Franco), and his superhero powers are failing him as his resolve waxes and wanes. So Peter decides not to be Spider-Man any more -- until the city is faced with a crisis of nuclear proportion in the form of mad scientist Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) stalking the streets on four mechanical arms, thanks to a fusion experiment gone wrong. The film's computer-generated special effects are lovely, and it's fun to watch Spidey glide through the sky. But overall, Spider-Man 2 lacks the glamour, sly humor, darkness, tense plotting and overblown emotionality that drives its superior film counterparts. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

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

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Terminal (PG-13)
An immigrant (Tom Hanks) fleeing a war-torn Eastern European country arrives in an airport terminal in New York City at the exact moment the war causes his nation to no longer exist. Without valid paperwork for entry into the United States, he takes up residence in the terminal itself, befriending the staff and falling in love with a flight attendant (Catherine Zeta-Jones). -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Two Brothers (PG)
Twin tiger cubs are separated during their youth. Yet years later, an adventurer (Guy Pearce) reunites the brothers -- pitting them against each other in a fighting match. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

Van Helsing (PG-13)
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White Chicks (PG-13)
Two African-American men (Marlon and Shawn Wayans) go undercover for the FBI as white Hampton socialites Tiffany and Brittany Wilson. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown


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