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Movie Picks

*All the Pretty Horses (PG-13)

In Billy Bob Thornton's film version of Cormac McCarthy's award-winning novel, All the Pretty Horses, the filmmaker has succeeded admirably, due largely to a superb screenplay adaptation by Ted Tally, best known for his screen adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs. Tally recognized the brilliance of McCarthy's spare, regional dialogue and kept most of it intact, resulting in an epic Western populated by a cast of characters who are heart-wrenching in their honesty, endearing in their coincidental courage and memorable in their plain-spoken narrative. Matt Damon is absolutely credible as John Grady Cole, the last of a line of Texas ranchers whose family land is sold, and who sets out for Mexico in search of life as an authentic cowboy. His sidekick, best friend Lacey Rawlins, is ably played by Henry Thomas. And the strange young horse wrangler who joins them along the way, as played by Lucas Black, is one of the most startlingly fresh characters I've seen onscreen since Black's debut in Thornton's Slingblade. See full review. -- KCE
Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

Bedazzled (PG-13)

The real delight of this film is Brendan Fraser. Each time he finds himself in a new ridiculous situation, Fraser demonstrates amazing comic talent, using a very plastic face, a perpetually surprised expression and a slightly awkward physicality to produce radical transformations. The film almost falls flat at the ending, where the writers couldn't seem to resist the temptation to moralize. Fortunately, however, this blip doesn't destroy the film, it just makes the comedown from hilarity a little abrupt. Otherwise, Bedazzled is a genial comedic take on Faust, and a good showing by a talented actor. -- AL

Silver Cinemas

*Bring It On (PG-13)

With one foot firmly planted in the sexed-up teen genre, Bring It On is a perky and often hilarious take on the world of competitive cheerleading starring the adorable Kirsten Dunst as Torrance. The peculiar brand of adolescent sexiness native to cheerleaders dominates the film. The cheering is terrific, the teen-speak dialogue relentless, the camera moves supple and graceful, and the climax is sweet and satisfying. See full review. -- KCE
Silver Cinemas

*Cast Away (PG-13)

Cast Away is not a great film -- it wanders in the end and loses dramatic momentum almost fatally -- but Tom Hanks' is a great performance. When we meet him at the beginning of the film, he is a hyperactive Federal Express efficiency expert -- irritatingly smart, glib and precise. But his comeuppance is surviving a plane crash that kills all the other passengers and washing up on an island where he is helpless against the elements. Here, Director Robert Zemeckis' skill comes to play, creating a place where the viewer is drawn to feel as if she is actually there, partaking in the action. Hanks is touching, funny, painfully human. We grow to love him because he makes the best of the situation by succumbing to a bit of madness, passing his time talking to a volleyball, washed ashore in a FedEx package. When he is finally rescued and returns to civilization, we don't give a damn about what will happen with his girlfriend at home, nicely played by Helen Hunt, we just want to see how he will adjust his life, given what he has learned. Zemeckis missteps and gives us what we don't want, but we can forgive him because the moments on the island were so entertaining and so remarkably well-acted by Hanks. See full review. -- KCE
Kimball's Twin Peak; Carmike 10; Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

Charlie's Angels (PG-13)

A strange and oddly enjoyable hybrid directed by a video director named McG, this Charlie's Angels is no television throwback, but a tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top female martial arts fantasy in which every uttered word is a sexual innuendo -- and a funny one at that. Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore are utterly engaging as three gorgeous chicks with all the usual hangups who just happen to also be secret agents capable of dismantling the high-tech world's most sophisticated security system. Don't worry about the plot; it doesn't matter. All that matters is the pace and the ass-kicking which are both non-stop, cleverly filmed and arresting in a very Jackie Chan-ish manner. Diaz, in particular, shows terrific comic flair. -- KCE
Silver Cinemas

*Extreme (not rated)

Most of us have that one friend who brags about skiing double black diamonds in Vail or climbing the rock faces in Garden of the Gods without a rope. After seeing Extreme in Imax I now know what they are talking about and why it must be such a rush. This is not a 3D film, so you won't go home feeling like you were strapped to a surfboard riding 30-foot waves, but the stunts featured are indeed extreme. World class surfers, skiers, snowboarders and climbers fill the giant screen, taking the viewer into the world of daredevil sports and into the minds of the people that perform them. Arial views and extreme close-ups are narrated with voiceovers by the athletes, and backed up by a killer soundtrack from Soulfood featuring everything from world music to hip hop. The end credits are fascinating, showing how some of this stuff was filmed. -- John Lindsay
Cinemark 16 IMAX

Family Man

The Family Man is a perfectly acceptable takeoff of the Frank Capra/ Jimmy Stewart film It's a Wonderful Life, although it is missing virtually all of the magic. In this version, Nicholas Cage plays a fabulously successful investor who does a good deed, and is rewarded with what his angel (Don Cheadle) calls "a glimpse" into what might have been if he had stayed with his college sweetheart Kate (Ta Leoni). But alas, The Family Man is remarkably ignorant of economic realities. Screenwriters David Diamond and David Weissman have conflated all social classes below the richest of the rich into one giant mush. What is missing is all the substance of its great predecessor: the sense of uplifting spirit, of connection, of community, of dignity and reward in self-sacrifice. Having lost their grasp of economic reality and community life from too long a stint in Hollywood, the creators of The Family Man have in turn lost the essence of one of the great modern Christmas tales. -- AL
Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16; Gold Hill Theaters

Finding Forrester (PG-13)

Finding Forrester lags and lurches like an old Volkswagen navigating potholes in a bad neighborhood. Newcomer Rob Brown, an inexperienced, 16-year-old non-actor, does a perfectly respectable job in the role of Jamal, a well-read, basketball-playing, aspiring writer, but doesn't come close to the sophisticated acting level of, say, a Tobey Maguire or a Joaquin Phoenix. Director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) lingers too long on setting up the characters before the story kicks in, and gives an overwrought weight to endless scenes between Jamal and his writing mentor William Forrester (Sean Connery). The top-heavy casting serves to give Sean Connery the floor as a grand master, massaging his role with flourishes and his signature Scottish charisma. After Van Sant's recent controversial remake of Psycho, Finding Forrester is predictable as a bow to the Hollywood powers-that-be to prove that Van Sant is still capable of directing mainstream dramatic hay. See full review. -- Cole Smithey
Carmike 10; Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

Miss Congeniality (PG-13)

Nobody does bumbling and endearing better than Sandra Bullock and here she lets it rip. All of Miss Congeniality centers on her hilarious pratfalls and clumsy attempts to fit into the world of beauty pageants, and the laughs are plenty. It's a treat to see Candice Bergen in a full-blown comic role, and William Shatner's smarmy charm makes him the perfect pageant emcee, complete with middle-age paunch, bad hair and execrable wardrobe. Michael Caine makes a very funny appearance as FBI agent Bullock's pageant coach. Unfortunately, the filmmakers decided to rely almost completely on Bullock's excellent physical comedy and practically forgot the need for a script. This film is not sublime silliness, but dumb comedy. See full review. --
Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Carmike 10; Cinemark 16

Red Planet (PG-13)

Red Planet is a mildly enjoyable excursion, though not particularly mind stretching or dramatically compelling. Basically the four guys in the crew are catapulted onto Mars' surface while the female commander (Carrie-Anne Moss, The Matrix) stays with the crippled ship, trying to figure out how to get them all back to Earth. Val Kilmer brings his trademark low-key humor to the role of Mechanical Systems Engineer Robby Gallagher, the crew's non-intellectual fix-it man whose practical skills come in mighty handy. There's nothing new here besides the barely camouflaged notion that once we wreck this planet we can just move on to another one -- the ultimate Mars fantasy. See full review. -- KCE
Silver Cinemas

Remember the Titans (PG)

Remember the Titans glorifies youth, manhood and the pursuit of football as the best avenues for social justice. The field of justice is, in this case, an Alexandria, Va., high school ordered to desegregate in 1971, where the school board hires a black man, Coach Boone (Denzel Washington) to coach their successful Titans football team. As usual, Washington manages to hit just the right note throughout the film, helping to redeem a fairly cheeseball script and bring out its nobility. It helps if you're willing to believe that the struggle against racism is best fought by men on the model of a war. Whether the male/war model contributes to lasting change is questionable. But war makes for good un-nuanced drama, and Remember the Titans takes full advantage of that. See full review. -- AL
Silver Cinemas; Broadmoor

*Traffic (R)

See full review.

Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

*T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (not rated)

The story revolves around a paleontologist (Peter Horton of thirtysomething fame), his daughter, a museum and a mysterious dinosaur egg that transports the audience back to the day of the dinosaurs. The plot is dull and predictable (and contains way too many close-ups of our lead) but, who cares? We are here to see the dinosaurs. Unfortunately, they don't see as much screen time as one would hope -- Jurassic Park this ain't. That aside, when the big guys do appear, the 3D effects will have you jumping in your seat. The 3D effects, augmented by the huge sound system, are stunning. You may even forget that you are wearing special 3D glasses. (Don't worry. These are much better then the flimsy cardboard ones.) Some scenes may be a little intense for younger kids, but overall this should be a great family moviegoing experience. Colorado Springs now has the only 3D Imax in the state and T-Rex makes great use of the technology. -- John Lindsay
Cinemark 16 IMAX

Unbreakable (PG-13)

Bruce Willis is David Dunn, a Philadelphia security guard who mysteriously emerges unscathed from the derailment of a train that kills every other passenger. He is pursued by Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson), an erudite gallery owner who tries to convince the survivor that he possesses superhuman powers that explain his invincibility. Director M. Night Shyamalan's visual style is certainly compelling, but Unbreakable, lovely as it may be, is doomed by its bizarre script. Shyamalan's purported theme is this: "These are mediocre times, and it's hard for people to believe there's something extraordinary inside themselves." If the above were the only problems with Unbreakable, it might have been palatable. But the film is plagued with a cheap-shot ending that is not just distasteful but downright inedible. See full review.

Vertical Limit (PG-13)

While the film promises a sophisticated thrill-ride, Vertical Limit succumbs to the same hackneyed ideas that weighed down other mountain-climbing movies like Cliffhanger and K2. By the time the fifth nitro-fueled explosion occurs, you may well ask yourself if it was the actors or the audience that the writers were mocking when they wrote the script. Vertical Limit was undoubtedly a very difficult film to shoot, and stands as a technical achievement of sorts. The movie was shot at 10,000 feet above sea level in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, and does a very convincing job for the most part of placing an audience smack in the middle of cold, high-altitude terrain. But all of the well-observed details in the world can't redeem Vertical Limit for its penchant for explosions. -- Cole Smithey
Chapel Hills; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

What Women Want (PG-13)

What do women want? According to this film, we want empathy, sympathy, love and a good time in bed, preferably with Mel Gibson. Gibson plays Nick Marshall, a chauvinistic ad exec whose boss (Alan Alda) passes him over for a promotion in favor of Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt) who is supposed to help their Chicago ad firm get more of a female touch. When Nick has an accident with a hairdryer and a bathtub that miraculously makes him able to hear what women think, he uses his newfound power to undermine Darcy in her new position. Some cute comedy from Gibson and an empathy-enducing performance by the hapless Hunt. See full review. -- AL
Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16; Gold Hill Theaters


Anti Trust (PG-13)

Ryan Phillippe stars as a young computer genius battleing his former idol (Tim Robbins) in this modern-day technological David vs. Goliath. With Claire Forlani.
Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

*Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (PG-13)

See full review.
Kimball's Twin Peak

Double Take (PG-13)

A framed, uptight financier (Orlando Jones) on the run is forced to switch identities with a street hustler (Eddie Griffin). With Vivica A. Fox.
Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

O Brother Where Art Thou? (PG-13)

Three convicts -- shackled together -- escape from a Mississippi prison and try to make their way to freedom through the oft-colorful oft-dangerous deep, Depression-era South in the Coen Brothers' remake of Homer's Odyssey. Starring George Clooney, Holly Hunter and John Goodman.


Save the Last Dance (PG-13)

After the death of her mother, a young ballet dancer (Julia Stiles) must move to her father's inner-city neighborhood where she meets an unlikely young man (Sean Patrick Thomas) who shows her that love and dance transcend all bounds.
Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

State and Main (R)

A director trying to film a low budget movie titled The Old Mill in a quaint New England town finds obstacles in every direction -- mainly, the town's mill has burnt down and his leading man (Alec Baldwin) can't keep his hands off the town's young girls. A critically-acclaimed new comedy from director/writer David Mamet, starring Patti LuPone, Sarah Jessica Parker, Charles Durning and Chevy Chase.

Thirteen Days (PG-13)

Kevin Costner stars in this inside look into the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis. With Steven Culp and Bruce Greenwood.
Chapel Hills; Carmike 10; Tinseltown; Cinemark 16

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