Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Cute and cuddly boys, cute and cuddly!
  • Cute and cuddly boys, cute and cuddly!

Are We There Yet? (PG)
Picture Show

Beauty Shop (PG-13)
Picture Show

Because of Winn-Dixie (PG)
Picture Show

Crash (R)
The big collision here is between race and class in Los Angeles, personified by a group of barely interlinked characters who are brought into confrontation with one another through a series of inexplicably linked incidents and car crashes, all involving guns. The directorial debut of Milion Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis, Crash lingers at the edge of importance and greatness, but delivers straw people for characters and serendipity for fate. Anchoring the cast is the great Don Cheadle as a LAPD detective whose younger brother has taken to carjacking. Sandra Bullock is cast distinctly against type as a disaffected, angry housewife, and the rest of the cast, including Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser and Terrence Howard, lends gravity to what feels like an underdeveloped concept. Essentially, the message is that racial and class divisions drive our dissatisfaction, frustrations and fears here in America, but that message is diverted by bland characterization and sidestepping that tends to offer justification for vicious behavior. Mark Isham's musical score intrudes with loud electronic chanting. Crash could have been a smash, but turns out to be a mere fender-bender. -- Kathryn Eastburn


*Downfall (R)
As played by Swiss-born character actor Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire), Hitler is a faltering ideologue whose health is diminishing and whose ideas have become so twisted in their execution that he has turned against everyone, including the German people for being weak and his own generals for failing to conquer the world. Dictating his mission statement one moment and praising the ravioli served at dinner in another, the Fhrer erupts into screaming rages, usually directed at some poor fool whose life is on the line, fighting a battle that's sure to be lost. And, of course, there is the cursed Jewry. The only creatures for whom Hitler seems to have any affection are his dog, Blondi, and his secretary, Traudl Junge, played by Alexandra Maria Lara as a wide-eyed ingnue who comprehends little of what's going on around her. The battle scenes in Berlin's streets are teeth-rattling in their fierceness and sheer destructive power. The lasting effect of Downfall is terror -- at what happened then and at what could happen again given the human propensity for ideological absolutes and an unyielding leader to deliver them. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak

Fever Pitch (PG-13)
Jimmy Fallon plays a die-hard Red Sox fan who falls in love with Drew Barrymore's hard-working businesswoman character. As the Sox season picks up, they struggle to make their relationship work. -- Not reviewed

Picture Show

Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag (NR)
Cinemark 16 IMAX

Forces of Nature (NR)
A National Geographic film showcasing earthquakes, volcanoes, severe storms and interviews with the scientists who study them. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

*The Hitchhiker's Guide

to the Galaxy (PG)
This long-awaited film version of Douglas Adams' cult-classic book, presented by Walt Disney, contains much of the same stream-of-consciousness lunacy that made Adams a god among geeks worldwide. The story traces the life of Arthur Dent, played by Martin Freeman (from the original British "The Office" TV series), a whiny Englishman who is rescued from the Earth's annihilation by Ford Prefect (rapper Mos Def), an amiable alien. Prefect explains that the planet is being destroyed in order to build an outerspace highway bypass, and introduces Arthur to the Hitchhiker's Guide, stylishly animated as a funky computerized operating system for travel advice. For Hitchhiker's purists, the film pulls off some nice touches. By retaining most of Adams' vision, the film maintains the sense of giddy, surreal wonder for which the books are famous. -- Dan Wilcock

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Hitch (PG-13)
Picture Show

Hostage (R)
Picture Show

House of Wax (R)
A group of college students experiences car trouble and wanders into a wax museum overseen by two sadistic brothers who kill people and turn them into exhibits. Starring Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray and Paris Hilton. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Ice Princess (G)
Picture Show

The Interpreter (PG-13)
Master director Sydney Pollack (Cold Mountain, Out of Africa) knows how to craft an excellent film, so it's a disappointment that The Interpreter is so haphazardly constructed and emotionally vague. Beautiful as always, Nicole Kidman is well cast as Silvia Broome, a hyper-intelligent but icy United Nations interpreter who overhears a coup d'etat threat in an obscure African language. She can understand the language because she grew up in Africa, and as the plot thickens the viewer learns that her connections to the assassination plot may be personal. Charged with protecting the visiting African dignitary (and coup target) is agent Tobin Keller (played by a boozy Sean Penn), a man who is struggling to deal with the recent death of his wife. The problem is there are too many plotlines to tie together, and an otherwise intriguing film becomes a messy meditation rather than a taut thriller. -- Dan WIlcock

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Kicking and Screaming (PG)
Family man Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) coaches his kids' soccer team and learns how competitive he is. Also starring Robert Duvall and Mike Ditka. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Kingdom of Heaven (R)
During the Crusades, Balian of Ibelin (Orlando Bloom), a young blacksmith from Jerusalem, rises to protect his people from foreign invaders. Directed by Ridley Scott, also starring Liam Neeson. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Kung Fu Hustle (R)
Kung Fu Hustle, the newest effort by Asian box office champ Stephen Chow, is a martial arts extravaganza, a slapstick comedy, a tip of the hat to stylized movie violence and an absurd cartoon. Chow, who wrote, directed, produced and stars in the film, achieves his purpose --entertainment with a capital E -- by sidestepping all reason and giving more attention to the over-the-top design of the film than to his own starring moments. The film opens with a Hollywood Western-inspired showdown involving the Axe Gang, an army of guys in black suits and top hats wielding hatchets, and quickly departs to the mythical slum of Pig Sty Alley, a community of outcasts ruled by a cigarette-sucking, domineering landlady (Yuen Qiu) and her skirt-chasing husband. When the Axe Gang converges on Pig Sty, some unlikely heroes emerge, and fight scenes choreographed as carefully and outlandishly as grand opera ensue. Chow shamelessly roots for the underdog, and we are treated repeatedly to quirky plot shifts that underline that effort. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak

Million Dollar Baby (PG-13)
Picture Show

*Millions (PG)
That Millions, the heartwarming tale of a pair of motherless Irish brothers, is directed by grim meister Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later) is a big surprise. The child actors, Alex Etel as Damian and Lewis McGibbon as Anthony, are natural and charming despite their eccentricities. They don't do cute; they merely are cute. Damian converses with saints and Anthony has an uncanny knack with finances, and when the two are unexpectedly gifted with a duffel bag full of cash, a series of adventures and misadventures is set in place. The film stumbles forward with a shifting focus, but enough endearing scenes to hold it together. The ending should have been dispensed in the cutting room, but it doesn't ruin the effect of having watched a sweet family heal itself with a little help from the spirit world. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak

Mindhunters (R)
Trainees in the FBI's psychological profiling division are forced to use what they are learning when a killer crops up in their midst. Starring Eion Bailey, Clifton Collins Jr. and Val Kilmer. -- Not reviewed


Miss Congeniality 2: Armed

and Fabulous (PG-13)
Picture Show

Monster-in-Law (PG-13)
Charlotte Honeywell (Jennifer Lopez) has a disastrous dating life until she meets "the perfect man," Kevin Fields (Michael Vartan). However, his mother, Viola (Jane Fonda), is willing to go to great lengths to destroy their relationship. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Pacifier (PG)
Picture Show

Robots (PG)
Cinemark 16 IMAX, Picture Show

*Sahara (PG-13)
People who take the problems of Africa very seriously will either puke or die laughing when they see this movie, a big-budget slice of American beefcake motoring up the Niger River into the desert. Two parts action and one part Peace Corps-style quirky humor, Sahara is one of the most entertaining cross-border comedy adventures since Spies like Us. Matthew McConaughey and Steve Zahn play a pair of treasure hunters searching for a Civil War-era ironclad ship they believe to have ended up in Africa. Penelope Cruz plays a doctor from the World Health Organization on the trail of a new plague that threatens to become an epidemic. Penelope and the boys join forces as they dodge gunships up the Niger River and camel-riding assassins in the desert. Shot in Morocco and Spain (doubling for Mali and Nigeria respectively), Sahara is pure fun -- international buffoonery, American style. -- Dan Wilcock

Cinemark 16

Sharks 3-D (NR)
Jean-Michel Cousteau presents an up-close experience with a variety of shark species found around the world. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

*Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge

of the Sith (PG-13)
Despite more of the same lousy acting and poor character ideas that marred I and II (the first two prequels to the well-loved trilogy), Sith wins in the end due to its unrelenting dark vision. After all, this is what everybody has been waiting for: the story of how Anakin Skywalker -- the boy foretold to unite the galaxy -- becomes a black-clad mass murderer named Darth. While the special effects sometimes are too much to grasp, they are nonetheless stunning. When it comes to commanding believable acting and penning good dramatic transitions, Lucas has a wooden heart. As for the showdown between Anakin and Obi-Wan, all there is to say is that it's worth seeing on the big screen. -- Dan WIlcock

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Unleashed (R)
See full review on page 41.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

  • Our reviewers' recommendations for films showing on Colorado Springs area screens.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Film

All content © Copyright 2017, The Colorado Springs Independent

Website powered by Foundation