Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger star as Matthew and Lisa - in Wicker Park.
  • Josh Hartnett and Diane Kruger star as Matthew and Lisa in Wicker Park.

*Alaska: Spirit of the Wild (NR)
Cinemark IMAX

Alien vs. Predator (PG-13)
When archaeologists discover a strange pyramid 2,000 feet below Antarctica's frozen surface, they bring humans into a battle between two extraterrestrial species -- aliens and predators of previous sci-fi movie fame. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (PG-13)
Scientists set out to Borneo searching for a flower that can prevent aging in this sequel to the 1997 thriller. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Anchorman (PG-13)
Picture Show

Around the World in 80 Days (PG)
Picture Show

Baby Geniuses 2: Superbabies (PG)
With the help of part-spy, part-superhero baby Kahuna, the baby geniuses work to foil the schemes of an evil media mogul (Jon Voight). -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16

The Best Two Years (PG)
Young Mormon missionaries (Cameron Hopkin, Kirby Heyborne, Dave Nibley, and KC Clyde) share moments of joy and distress together, while serving together in the Netherlands. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

*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 r & r. 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

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Collateral (R)
In Michael Mann's Collateral , corruption lurks in the underground commerce of the international drug trade and is embodied by a hit man named Vincent (Tom Cruise). Vincent arrives in Los Angeles to take out five potential witnesses during a one-night spree. With money and a big gun, he forces taxi driver Max (Jamie Foxx) to be his unwilling chauffer. Mann masterfully sets up scene after scene, transporting the audience with the camera as if we too were riding along in the cab. Cruise is adequate as a bad guy, stifling his smile and strutting a little quicker than in films past, but Jamie Foxx's performance is the surprise here. Known best for his comedy roles, Foxx draws grace and comfort from his comic delivery to deliver a multi-faceted performance as a terrified, confused, intelligent and deeply humane protagonist. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Day After Tomorrow (PG-13)
Picture Show

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. 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)
Picture Show

Exorcist: The Beginning (R)
Exorcist: The Beginning makes no attempt to hide its ubiquitous violence and gore. In spite of the disturbing occasional decapitated head, the film builds suspense extraordinarily well. Its plot is built as an explanation of Father Merrin's comment about "an exorcism in Africa" in the 1972 horror original. Commendable cinematography repeatedly focuses on minute details (individual footsteps, turning of ceiling fans, etc.), keeping the audience perpetually on edge, wondering when and how evil incarnate will be confronted. Stellan Skarsgard aptly plays Merrin, who has traveled to Kenya to join the excavation of a strangely early and pristine Byzantine church. But the story line is often shallowly and hastily conveyed. -- Michael Beckel

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Garden State (R)
Struggling 26 year-old actor Andrew Largeman (played by writer-director Zach Braff) has returned to his native New Jersey for his mother's funeral. Largeman meets Sam (dynamically played by Natalie Portman) waiting for a doctor's appointment. Their courtship is believable thanks to the way their characters are so ripe for romantic entanglement. This film, Braff's commendable rookie effort as a director, is a midlife crisis for young men. As such, it's something we haven't exactly seen before. Its humor is dry and sharp, and its life-affirming mood is not unlike traffic suddenly clearing on the New Jersey Turnpike when you're young, a little naive and have gone out to look for America. -- John Dicker

Kimball's Twin Peak

Garfield: The Movie (PG)
Picture Show

*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PG)
Cinemark IMAX, Picture Show

Hero (PG-13)
A series of flashbacks recounts the tale of how Nameless (Jet Li) defeats three powerful assassins to gain a presence with the King of Qin (Daoming Chen), a warlord in pre-unified China. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

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

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

King Arthur (PG-13)
Picture Show

*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

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Cinemark IMAX

Napoleon Dynamite (PG)
Napoleon Dynamite is a harmless spawn of Sundance that could have been an excellent character piece had it not overindulged in its own idiosyncratic sensibility. The film's protagonist is Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder), a teenager whose mouth is forever agape and whose disposition hops between extreme dopiness and standard-issue adolescent indignation. If there's anything of a plot, it occurs when the quixotic Napoleon befriends Pedro, a newly arrived Mexican, who makes a bid for class president. The two launch a campaign that, like so much in their hometown of Preston, Idaho, seems motivated by boredom as much as anything else. While Napoleon Dynamite is littered with hilarious bits and pieces, they add up to only a few hard laughs and not much else. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16, Kimball's Twin Peak

The Notebook (PG-13)
Picture Show

Open Water (R)
An American couple (Daniel Travis and Blanchard Ryan) are inadvertently left behind by their cruise boat to face the ordeal of survival in cold, shark-invested, open water. Based on true events. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Passion of the Christ (R)
Picture Show

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (G)
When Mia (Anne Hathaway) assumes the role as princess of Genovia with her grandmother Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews), Mia quickly learns that she will be inheriting the crown sooner than expected and that she must be married before doing so. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Sacred Planet (NR)
Cinemark IMAX

Shrek 2 (PG)
Picture Show

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

Cinemark IMAX, Tinseltown

Suspect Zero (R)
FBI agent Thomas Mackelway (Aaron Eckhart) is tracking a mysterious serial killer that is targeting other serial killers. With the aid of specially trained agent Benjamin O'Ryan (Ben Kingsley), Mackelway must apprehend Suspect Zero before it is too late. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Troy (R)
Picture Show

The Village (PG-13)
The newest thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, director of The Sixth Sense and Signs. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

White Chicks (PG-13)
Picture Show

Without a Paddle (PG-13)
Three guys take a canoe upriver into Oregon's wilderness, where everything that can go wrong does. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie (PG)

As the card game Duel Monsters! sweeps across the nation, Yugi realizes the cards have unleashed a dark force into the world. -- Not reviewed



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