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Movie Picks

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Alexandre Rodrigues and Alice Braga in  City of God.
  • Alexandre Rodrigues and Alice Braga in City of God.

A Man Apart (R)
Vin Diesel is an angry vigilante who has lost his true love and carries a big gun. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Agent Cody Banks (PG)
Young Frankie Muniz (TV's Malcolm, as in the middle) plays a run-of-the-mill kid who is chosen by government agents to become a special agent. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15

Anger Management (PG-13
Jack Nicholson is the therapist from hell who must help Adam Sandler come to terms with his anger. -- Not reviewed

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15, Carmike 10

Basic (R)
John Travolta stars as a badass DEA agent searching for the missing members of an elite commando unit. Also stars Samuel L. Jackson. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Bringing Down the House (PG-13)
Steve Martin plays a successful tax attorney who has neglected his personal life, loses his wife and turns to the personals where he hooks up with a conniving ex-con (Queen Latifah). -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Chapel Hills 15

*Chicago (PG-13)
The big winner at the Oscars, including Best Picture, Chicago's social commentary is biting and apt if slightly clichd: Fame is fleeting; the media is fickle. Catherine Zeta-Jones is cold and powerful as Velma Kelley, a hoofer with a heart of steel. Her singing is top-notch and her dancing is lurid and assured. Rene Zellweger gives it her all as Roxie Hart, but her singing and dancing pale next to Zeta-Jones and supporting star Queen Latifah. John C. Reilly is Chicago's most pleasant surprise, turning in a tour de force performance as Roxie Hart's hapless and devoted husband Amos. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Tinseltown, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16

*City of God (PG-13)
This riveting film from Brazil feels like a documentary with its rough-edged camera work and the intimacy and immediacy of its view of the slums of Rio de Janeiro, where the drug trade arose throughout the '60s and '70s and eventually erupted into open warfare on the streets in the early '80s. The meandering story is told by Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues), a local boy who escapes the fate of drug addiction and violence by becoming a storyteller/photographer whose camera is his vehicle. At the center of the story is Li'l Z, a sociopathic drug lord who kills anyone who gets in his way and regularly pays off the cops to keep them out of the City. The film offers one dramatic climax after another, building tension as the poverty and violence of the ghetto grow exponentially. Finally,the image of young kids who can't read or write wielding big guns feels ominously natural in that doomed setting. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak

The Core (PG-13)
Hilary Swank drives deep into the center of the Earth in a last-ditch effort to save it. Also stars Aaron Eckhart. -- Not reviewed

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

Dreamcatcher (R)
This Lawrence Kasdan adaptation of a Stephen King novel is a sloppy, bloody mess, more confusing than scary. Dreamcatcher wanders back and forth from sci-fi thriller to Big Chill love fest to gastrointestinal gross-out, and the audience is left scratching its collective head, trying to fit the disparate pieces together. Featuring an alien that looks like an engorged, uncircumcised penis that invades human bodies and comes out in a bloody, climactic bowel movement. Peeeeyyeeeew. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15

Ghosts of the Abyss (NR) (in IMAX 3D)
Director James Cameron once again exploits, oops that's explores the wreckage of the Titanic -- this time in 3D. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark IMAX

*Head of State (PG-13)
As far as contrived political comedies go, Head of State squeaks in as a winner. Chris Rock plays down-on-his-luck D.C. alderman Mays Gilliam, who represents a district so dangerous that "you can get shot while you're getting shot." Given the depressing local political incident of April Fools' Day, watching Gilliam's unlikely presidential campaign provides a cathartic delight. While there's the predictable struggle between the platitudinous candidate Rock's handlers want him to be, and the rabble-rouser he truly is, Rock's directorial debut is chock-full of hilarious slapstick gags and lots of stodgy white folks getting their groove on. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

House of 1,000 Corpses (R)
A nostalgic homage to pre-Scream horror flicks like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre set on a dark and stormy Halloween night. Directed and written by Rob Zombie. -- Not reviewed

Tinseltown

Phone Booth (R)
Colin Farrell stars as a smartass petty criminal who is trapped by an angry sniper in a New York City phone booth. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

*The Pianist (R)
Winner of the Oscar for Best Actor (Adrien Brody), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director (Roman Polanski). Polanski shows that the Holocaust is more astonishing in its frankness than in its febrile grandeur in this near masterpiece. The Pianist tells the story of a Polish-Jewish pianist (Brody) who spends World War II fleeing German soldiers in the Warsaw ghetto, where he and his well-to-do family suffer a host of indignities while struggling to stave off nihilism and despair. Brody's survivor, in keeping with the film's fine restraint, is not necessarily a martyr, but merely a witness to the depravity of human nature. -- John Dicker

Tinseltown

Piglet's Big Movie (G)
Pooh's stuttering little pink friend gets his (her?) very own movie. Note: PBM features some original songs by local musician Chuck Snow. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Space Station (NR) In IMAX 3D
See what it's like up there, floating in space millions of miles away. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark IMAX

*Talk to Her (R)
Director/screenwriter Pedro Almodvar took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for this unique concoction of eroticized male friendship, grief and pathology. Almodvar's unique knack for crafting tragic love stories with a visual style all his own is on full display here. -- John Dicker

Kimball's Twin Peak

What a Girl Wants (PG)
A New York girl (Amanda Bynes) leaves her all-American mom (Kelly Preston) to find her wealthy, stuck-up Brit dad (Colin Firth). -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

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