Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Tina Majorino and Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite.
  • Tina Majorino and Jon Heder in Napoleon Dynamite.

13 going on 30 (PG-13)
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*Alaska: Spirit of the Wild (NR)
Cinemark IMAX

*Anchorman (PG-13)
Sublime silliness. Will Ferrell stars as a smooth-talking 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 whacked-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 meltdown. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Around the World in 80 Days (PG)
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*The Bourne Supremacy (PG-13)
Since the terrific action thriller The Bourne Identity, reluctant hero, former CIA agent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), and his spunky French companion Maria (Franka Potente) have apparently enjoyed some comfort. But Bourne is being pursued again. This time by a shady Russian agent who's part of a conspiracy that frames him for the assassination of two Berlin agents. The true star of The Bourne Supremacy is director Paul Greengrass, whose fight scene cinematography is riveting. He utilizes glass and other reflective surfaces to heighten tension, emphasizing what we can't see, what's on the other side. And his car chase scenes are bone-rattlingly fast and scary. This sequel is not quite as personally involving as its predecessor, but equally as thrilling and easily one of the best films of the summer. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Catwoman (PG-13)
Halle Berry stars as Patience Philips, a shy, sensitive artist employed by a giant cosmetics firm. Patience's fate takes an unexpected twist when she mysteriously obtains the prowess, intuition and agility of a cat and achieves superhero status as Catwoman. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Tinseltown

The Chronicles of Riddick (PG-13)
Chapel Hills 15, Picture Show

A Cinderella Story (PG)
For downtrodden teen Sam Martin (Hilary Duff) a fairy tale is in the making when studly football star Austin (Chad Michael Murray) finds Sam's cell phone and the two begin exchanging messages over the internet. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16

*Collateral (R)
See full review on page 30.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Day After Tomorrow (PG-13)
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De-Lovely (PG-13)
Director Irwin Winkler's De-Lovely, starring Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd as Cole Porter and his wife Linda Lee, is being touted as some kind of breakthrough because it tells the truth -- gasp! -- about Porter's erotic taste for men. Winkler tosses the sappy Cary Grant version of the life of Porter, Night and Day, out the window in his lush redo. The structure is awkward, a sort of fantasy This is Your Life set-up. Kline is fresh, lithe and charming throughout, but Judd seems out of her league in the scenes where she is required to merely appear amused and happy, coming to life only when she pouts and cries. De-Lovely is largely successful as a musical, with some big production numbers featuring Elvis Costello and others. The best numbers are sung by Kline himself, while sitting at the piano, the place where Cole Porter was most at home in the world. -- Kathryn Eastburn


Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (PG-13)
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The Door in the Floor (R)
See full review on page 31.

Kimball's Twin Peak

*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)
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Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (R)
Stoner roommates Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) add some spice to their lives with late-night trek through New Jersey searching for hamburgers. The newest comedy from Danny Leiner, director of Dude, Where's My Car?. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Harry Potter and the

Prisoner of Azkaban (PG)
Entrancing from its first wicked moments to its thrilling end. In this installment, the presumed murderer of Harry Potter's wizard parents, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), has just escaped Azkaban Prison and is reportedly out to get Harry (Daniel Radcliffe). Director Alfonso Cuaron's version of J. K. Rowling's vision is swirling, rich and terrifyingly beautiful. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark IMAX

I, Robot (PG-13)
The year is 2035. Robots have become common household accessories. Chicago Police Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) is investigating a case in which he alone believes a robot is the culprit. Based on the science-fiction short stories of Isaac Asimov. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

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. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 , Tinseltown

Little Black Book (PG-13)
Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy) uses her role as a talk show assistant producer to delve into the secrets of her commitment-shy boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston). With a handful of names and numbers taken from Derek's Palm Pilot, Stacy investigates her lover's past. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Manchurian Candidate (R)
Director Jonathan Demme recycles the plot and characters of John Frankenheimer's great 1962 Communist paranoia film in an earnest and frequently affecting remake. While the original was audacious, perversely funny, wicked and bold for its time, the new version is merely a competent drama. Liev Schreiber is Raymond Shaw, a decorated war hero from Operation Desert Storm and senator who has just received his party's vice-presidential nomination -- with more than a little help from his domineering mother, played with aplomb by Meryl Streep. When Shaw's fomer commander, Major Marco (Denzel Washington) shows up asking questions about strange dreams he and others from their unit brought home from Kuwait, the paranoia begins. Ultimately Demme's remake stands on its own, but without the humor and satire of its predecessor. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

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. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

The Passion of the Christ (R)
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Raising Helen (PG-13)
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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. -- Not reviewed

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 and is growing more alienated from love interest Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and good friend Harry Osborn (James Franco). Moreover, 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 serpentine mechanical arms. 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, Cinemark IMAX, Tinseltown

The Stepford Wives (PG-13)
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Thunderbirds (PG)
A criminal mastermind (Ben Kingsley) launches a plot to commandeer the high-tech resources of the Thunderbirds -- the fearless rescue corps run by Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) and his five sons. Based on the 1960s British television series. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Troy (R)
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Two Brothers (PG)
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The Village (PG-13)
A sinister secret lies behind the picture perfect calm of the residents of Covington, Pennsylvania. The community has made a pact with the unseen creatures that lurk in the woods surrounding the village. But when headstrong Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) violates the code by going into the woods, the creatures decide the covenant is breakable. The newest thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, director of The Sixth Sense and Signs. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown


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