Movie Picks 

click to enlarge I know you wanted a puppy, Timmy, but look at the fun - fishy from A Sound of Thunder that we got for - you - instead!
  • I know you wanted a puppy, Timmy, but look at the fun fishy from A Sound of Thunder that we got for you instead!

The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl (PG)
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Aliens of the Deep (G)
James Cameron teams up with NASA scientists to explore the Mid-Ocean Ridge, a submerged chain of mountains, and its ecosystems. In IMAX 3-D. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

Bad News Bears (PG-13)
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*Batman Begins (PG-13)
Director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia) borrows from the Depression-era origins of the comic book superhero but relies more on the late '80s rebirth of the Dark Knight by Frank Miller. Christian Bale's Bruce/Batman is delightfully dark and tortured. The supporting performances are uniformly strong, including those of an almost unrecognizable Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon, and of Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16 IMAX

Bewitched (PG-13)
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Broken Flowers (R)
The new Jim Jarmusch film stars Bill Murray as a newly dumped Don Johnston. Johnston receives an anonymous letter from an ex-girlfriend explaining that he has a son, and he embarks on a cross-country trip to figure out which ex penned the note. -- Not reviewed

Kimball's Twin Peak

*The Brothers Grimm (PG-13)
Director Terry Gilliam's work most decidedly is a particular taste, and The Brothers Grimm may not be the kind of film to convert non-believers. Sets and costumes tend toward the dark and grungy. Supporting characters often are grotesque. And there are twisted bursts of visual invention. With whatever Gilliam sees in his head at night, be thankful you don't live there. -- Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Cave (PG-13)
Bloodthirsty creatures await a pack of divers who become trapped in an underwater network of caves. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (PG)
First understand: This is a revision, not a remake. Cast presumptive likenesses to 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to the wind, and let the movies exist as separate entities. Director Tim Burton both remains true to Roald Dahl's book and departs wildly from it. Charlie's conclusion tosses some loops -- especially for Wonka -- to create what ultimately is a satisfying twist. Though Charlie isn't all cotton-candy fluff, it's mostly exciting, mindless fun. -- Kara Luger

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

Cinderella Man (PG-13)
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Dark Water (PG-13)
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Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (R)
Rob Schneider again stars as Deuce Bigalow, a man-whore, as he learns his craft at a gigolo school in Europe. He has a new clientele and is exposed to the secret society of gigolos. -- Not reviewed


The Dukes of Hazzard (PG-13)
Cousins Bo Duke (Seann William Scott), Luke Duke (Johnny Knoxville) and Daisy Duke (Jessica Simpson), along with Uncle Jesse (Willie Nelson), cause trouble and give law enforcement a hard time in Hazzard County. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Fantastic Four (PG-13)
A group of astronauts develops superpowers and proves that it is, indeed, clobbering time. -- Not reviewed

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The 40-Year-Old Virgin (R)
It's unfortunate and ironic that Steve Carell's debut performance as a movie star, in a film he co-wrote, is lacking his comedic signature. Carell sedates his expressive face to play a kind of straight man among stooges, the butt of everyone's jokes because he's made it to age 40 without getting laid. And even though The 40-Year-Old Virgin packs a bevy of laughs, it is just another riff on an increasingly familiar Hollywood theme: Everyone secretly wants to be a frat boy. -- Dan Wilcock

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Four Brothers (R)
When the Mercer boys reunite in Detroit for the funeral of Evelyn (Fionnula Flanagan), the woman who adopted them all, Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), Angel (Tyrese Gibson), Jeremiah (Andr Benjamin) and Jack (Garrett Hedlund) interact with the kind of coarse familiarity you'd expect from siblings. If anything else in Four Brothers had been as authentic as the fraternal sparring, director John Singleton might have had a truly exceptional character drama on his hands. But character quickly becomes an afterthought as the real plot kicks into gear. -- Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Great Raid (R)
Set in the Philippines in 1945, Lt. Col. Henry Mucci (Benjamin Bratt) leads the 6th Ranger Battalion on a daring rescue mission to liberate American prisoners of war. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Herbie: Fully Loaded (G)
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The Longest Yard (PG-13)
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Madagascar (PG)
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*March of the Penguins (G)
French director Luc Jacquet and his cinematographers, Laurent Chalet and Jrme Maison, suffered minus-80-degree temperatures and violent winter windstorms to bring us this footage from a year in the lifecycle of the Emperor penguin. Not only have they made a fascinating film; it's crossed into the mainstream of summer releases, a remarkable feat for a documentary of any kind. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16

*Mr. and Mrs. Smith (PG-13)
Though it's 30 minutes too long (at two hours) and more closely resembles a television miniseries than a movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a snarky romantic comedy disguised as an ultra-violent action thriller. This is about the only kind of movie in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could be well cast together, a tongue-in-cheek wink at every suburbanite's secret dream to be James Bond or La Femme Nikita. -- Dan Wilcock

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Must Love Dogs (PG-13)
A 40-something divorcee looks to the personals for a change of pace and a relationship. Starring Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Dermot Mulroney and Stockard Channing. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

*Red Eye (PG-13)
Hollywood throws genre fare like this at us on a near-monthly basis, but it's really only when you see a cleanly constructed example like Red Eye that you realize how badly most movies botch it. This one starts with an easily embraceable protagonist -- Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers)-- and a great, challenging villain played by Cillian Murphy. Both characters are written smart and resourceful, which makes it so much more enjoyable when they do the little things that movie characters so rarely do -- like checking behind the shower curtain. -- Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Skeleton Key (PG-13)
Kate Hudson plays Caroline, who works as a hospice care aide who answers a job ad to care for a dying man. Ben, a wonderfully wrinkled and ruined John Hurt, and Violet, the great Gena Rowlands, appear innocent enough at first, but Caroline's doubts soon surface. Caroline comes to suspect that Violet wants Ben to die and that she's using hoodoo -- the tools of which reside behind a locked door in the attic -- to mess with his mind. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Sky High (PG)
Will (Michael Angarano), the son of superheroes Captain Stronghold (Kurt Russell) and Josie Jetstream (Kelly Preston), tries to find a balance between being a normal teenager and an extraordinary superhero. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (PG-13)
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Stealth (PG-13)
Oh, Jamie Foxx, what happened? You were in Oscar-winning form in Ray, and now you're playing not-even-second fiddle to a stealth jet. Foxx and other pretty faces Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel are Navy pilots who are enlisted to test an experimental artificial intelligence-driven jet. Absolute schlock from beginning to finish. -- Kara Luger

Cinemark 16

Undiscovered (PG-13)
Aspiring entertainers try to establish careers for themselves in Los Angeles. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Valiant (G)
This animated comedy follows Valiant, a little pigeon who becomes a hero in Great Britain's Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Service during WWII. Featuring the voices of Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, Tim Curry, John Cleese, John Hurt and more. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

War of the Worlds (PG-13)
Beyond the glitzy surface of expensive special effects and superstar actors, Steven Spielberg's newest blockbuster boils down to one message: Only the strong (and maybe the lucky) survive. In the end, War of the Worlds is similar to Star Wars III in its brutality and darkness of vision. Perhaps these films fit the times. -- Dan Wilcock

Cinemark 16

*Wedding Crashers (R)
Wedding Crashers' protagonists are John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), a pair of best buddies in Washington D.C., who have learned the secret of picking up women by posing as party guests at weddings. The first half of Wedding Crashers is inspired enough that even its late loss of momentum can't completely spoil its pleasures, but it's disappointing to see yet another contender for the lowbrow throne brought down by its lack of resolve. -- Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown


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