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Movie Picks

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The Barbarian Invasions, opening this week at Kimball's Twin Peak.
  • The Barbarian Invasions, opening this week at Kimball's Twin Peak.

We did not receive schedules for Carmike 10 and Chapel Hills 15. Please call the theaters for times and film information.

50 First Dates (PG-13)
As much as I enjoyed this romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, I want to scold the director for succumbing to gross-out jokes to attract Sandler's core audience. Henry (Sandler), a veterinarian at Sea Life Park, Hawaii, meets Lucy (Barrymore) unaware that she suffers from a brain trauma that causes her short-term memory to erase each night. Henry falls for her and decides that the best thing for Lucy is to face her memory problem. Barrymore holds the film together and has rarely been so captivating. Minus the crudity, 50 First Dates would have been an even better romantic comedy.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Along Came Polly (PG-13)
The world's most cautious man (Ben Stiller) makes his living analyzing high risks. When he falls in love with Polly (Jennifer Anniston), he takes the risk of cheating on his newlywed wife (Debra Messing). -- Not reviewed

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Brother Bear (G)
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Catch that Kid (PG)
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Cheaper by the Dozen (PG)
Steve Martin coaches a football team and tries to take care of his 12 children while his wife (Bonnie Hunt) is out of town. A remake of a 1950 comedy classic. -- Not reviewed

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*Cold Mountain (R)
Would-be lovers Ada (Nicole Kidman) and Inman (Jude Law) are separated at romance's first blush by the battle call of the Civil War. Many memorable moments gracefully depict the cultural and physical devastation caused by the war, and the unexpected female empowerment experienced by Ada and Ruby (Renee Zellweger). Winner of the Oscar for best actress in a supporting role (Zellweger). -- Kathryn Eastburn

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Dawn of the Dead (R)
The survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing the flesh-hungry undead take refuge in a mega shopping mall. With Ving Rhames and Sarah Polley. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Dreamers (NC-17)
See full review, page 32.

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (R)
With Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has created another ethereal portal of consciousness. Jim Carrey stars as Joel, a borderline depressive who falls in love with Clementine, a big talker with blue hair played manically by the ever-delightful Kate Winslet. Kaufman's characters inhabit an inner-focused world that rarely offers moments of clarity. But Eternal Sunshine transcends concept and technique through the wonderful, deeply human performances of Carrey and Winslet. The surprise of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is its uncompromising sentiment that, in love, flawed or not, a second chance is something worth fighting for. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Tinseltown

Gospel of John (PG-13)
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Grand Canyon (NR)
Cinemark IMAX

Haunted Mansion (PG)
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*Hidalgo (PG-13)
Frank T. Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) is a cowboy who enters "The Ocean of Fire," a 3,000-mile race across the Arabian Desert. Presiding over the race is a sheik played by Omar Sharif and watching from the sidelines is Lady Davenport, who sizes up Hopkins' cute cowboy butt. Hidalgo is an old-fashioned horse tale/ screen romp that falls somewhere between Seabiscuit and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Mortensen and the mustang enjoy an easy rapport, and their journey over mountains of dunes, through sandstorms and across centuries is a pleasure to watch. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Jersey Girl (PG-13)
Ollie's (Ben Affleck) life falls apart when he loses his job, his wife (Jennifer Lopez) and has to move in with his father (George Carlin). Things start to look up when he meets a young video clerk (Liv Tyler). Written and directed by Kevin Smith.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Ladykillers (R)
See full review, page 32.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Last Samurai (R)
This epic tale of a Westerner (Tom Cruise) who goes to Japan to train imperial soldiers in modern warfare, but ends up fighting for the samurai, combines elements of Dances With Wolves, Braveheart, Seven Samurai and director Edward Zwick's own best work, Glory, in a big Hollywood spectacle that only occasionally loses its way. Stunning fight choreography and graceful cinematography by John Toll, set to music by Hans Zimmer, make for magnificent battle scenes.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

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*Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (PG-13)
Winner of 11 Academy Awards for best picture, director, adapted screenplay, original song, film editing, original score, sound, makeup, visual effects, costume design and art direction.

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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (PG-13)
Academy Award nominee for best picture and best director (Peter Weir). Starring Russell Crowe. -- Not reviewed

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Miracle (PG)
Kurt Russell stars as the coach of the U.S. national hockey team, led to Olympic victory over the seemingly invincible Russian team. Based on a true story. Not reviewed

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*Nascar 3D (PG) (in IMAX 3-D)
By now you probably know that NASCAR is the most popular spectator sport in America and middle America's unofficial pastime. The film is a 47-minute NASCAR For Dummies primer that includes a brief history of the sport, short profiles of its legends and brief exegesis of its technical underpinnings. Of course, there's no shortage of vroom and boom -- with plenty of point-of-view shots taken inside the speeding cars and sprawling shots of surging racetrack crowds to rival Triumph of the Will. This sport is HUGE. Talk to NASCAR junkies and they'll speak of a mysterious, perhaps primal love of power and noise. -- John Dicker

Cinemark IMAX

Never Die Alone (R)
King David (rapper DMX) is a drug lord who returns to his hometown, sets off a turf war and gets himself killed. A journalist played by David Arquette witnesses the death and investigates King's life through his journal.

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Ocean Wonderland (NR) (in IMAX 3-D)
Swim with the fishies in IMAX 3-D. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark IMAX

The Passion of the Christ (R)
Hey! Didya hear? Mel Gibson's made some sort of Jesus movie. Who knew? If your spirituality requires a graphic reminder of your messiah's martyrdom, then this is your feel-humbled hit of the spring. If not, well, Jesus Christ Superstar still holds up like a champ. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown Now also with Spanish subtitles at Tinseltown

Peter Pan (PG)
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Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (PG)
Sequel to the 2002 film that first brought Scooby and the gang to the big screen. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Secret Window (R)
At a lakeside cabin, Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) suffers writer's block and battles the crazed John Shooter (John Turturro). They broker a deal: if Rainey can prove he wrote the tale Shooter will back off. If he can't, well the murder of Rainey's dog (via screwdriver) offers a good indication of what's to come. The ever-lovable Depp makes this chore of a film bearable at times. Based on a Stephen King novella and directed by David Koepp. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Starsky & Hutch (PG-13)
After Boogie Nights, The Brady Bunch (I-II) Austin Powers (Vol. I-III), The Virgin Suicides, That '70s Show et al., an unfortunate subgenre has been born. Please let it die an early death. This is NOT to say that Todd Phillips' Starsky and Hutch is anything but the finest sort of silly action spoof. However, the film succeeds on its own merit and not because of its lazy pop-culture nostalgia. Recycled or not, Starsky and Hutch is great screwball comedy. The downside is that its success will likely spawn more of the same, which won't always be funny. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Taking Lives (R)
The French Canadian police call in an FBI profiler to catch a serial killer who takes on the identity of each new victim. Starring Angelina Jolie and Keifer Sutherland. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Touching the Void (not rated)
The English are renowned for embarking on foolhardy endeavors and coming out the other end with the minor complaint of having had "a bit of a challenging day." Touching the Void, based on the true story recounted in Joe Simpson's book, belies the understatement and celebrates the ability of humans to confront the seemingly impossible. Simpson, when faced with the enormity of descending a previously unclimbed peak alone and with his leg broken in three places, somehow endures the gut-wrenching journey. The climbing scenes are breathtaking, (Winner of the 2004 British Academy Film Award for Best British Film.) -- Wayne Young

Kimball's Twin Peak

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