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Movie Picks

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40 Days and 40 Nights (R)
I admit it. I laughed at a bunch of the raunchy one-liners in this lightweight sex comedy. But then, in retrospect, I got really disgusted with myself. It was like eating one of those gigantic Nestle Crunch bars in a darkened theater and feeling sick afterward. How could I have enjoyed this film? Everyone in it is a self-centered, superficial prick. All the women are objectified. When the 40 days are up and Josh Hartnett and Shannyn Sossamon finally get it on -- did I mention that the film's central conceit is Josh's vow of celibacy for Lent? -- well, you just kind of feel sorry for her. Then you just want to go home and throw up. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

All About the Benjamins (R)
Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter hot on the trail of a bail jumper (Mike Epps). When the two end up in an abandoned warehouse, which turns out to be a drop-off point for a major diamond heist, the two decide to team up. -- not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Amlie (R)
Screen grabber Audrey Tautou plays the winsomely beautiful and impish Amlie who has an overwhelming urge to help mankind by bringing lonely people together and healing the wounds of those hurt in love. The film's many subplots are endearing but her cat-and-mouse game with her own love interest -- designed to show us the emotional toll of her damaged heart -- is ultimately annoying and overly diverting. Altogether, Amlie is a pleasant confection, stylishly filmed and nicely acted. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

*A Beautiful Mind (PG-13)
With this film, director Ron Howard honors the kind of intellect that has long fascinated him. Who else would see the sexiness and intrigue of a Princeton graduate student who scribbles mathematical equations on the leaded glass windows of his dorm room? Russell Crowe seems born to play the part of Nobel Prizewinning mathematician John Nash who is also schizophrenic. And the beautiful Jennifer Connelly gets her breakthrough role here as Alicia, the physics graduate student who will eventually become Nash's wife, more than holding her own against Crowe's formidable presence. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Black Hawk Down (R)
Unlike so many Vietnam films such as Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Dead Presidents, which all comment heavily upon the absurdity of America's foreign war in a moral vacuum, Black Hawk Down refuses to judge the validity of the 1993 Special Forces operation in Mogadishu, Somalia. Instead, it focuses entirely on the way the soldiers must behave under fire. Please note: If you do not wish to see, or revisit, the realities of war, I highly recommend you skip this film. -- Noel Black

Tinseltown

The Count of Monte Cristo (PG-13)
I really don't have much to say about Kevin Reynolds' adaptation of Alexander Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo other than it's entertaining ... and you may want to wait for it to come out on video. -- Noel Black

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Harrison's Flowers (R)
Andie MacDowell plays the wife of a missing photojournalist who never returns from an assignment in Yugoslavia. Refusing to believe her husband is dead and convinced she saw him in a group of prisoners shown on CNN, she flies to Europe to find him herself. Winner of Best Cinematography in the 2000 San Sebastian International Film Festival. -- not reviewed

Cinemark 16

*Ice Age (PG)
See full review, opposite page.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

John Q (PG-13)
When a hospital won't perform a heart transplant on a young boy, his father, played by Denzel Washington, takes the hospital staff hostage. -- not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Lantana (R)
This Australian film directed by Ray Lawrence is not a thriller, in spite of its central mystery -- the discovery of the dead body of an unidentified woman. It's a psychological drama about adult relationships, loyalty, grief, infidelity, disillusionment, existential crisis and, of course, love. Lantana shows us people as they really live -- on the surface, going through the motions, their sorrow deeply buried. It's an accomplished adult film with people of substance at its core -- a rarity in current cinema. Highly recommended. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

*Lord of the Rings (PG-13)
Director Peter Jackson makes brilliant use of the camera to enhance the action, and the sets, costumes and digital animation speak for themselves magnificently in this triumphant film adaptation of the Tolkien classic. The acting suspends disbelief for all but a few moments. Let the fanatics hash out the discrepancies with the book in their chat rooms. Peter Jackson did it. And this film is cool. Very cool. -- Noel Black

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Resident Evil (R)
A mansion is infested with zombies and monsters and a special military unit is dispatched to stop the evil from spreading. -- not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Return to Neverland (G)
Peter Pan returns to battle Captain Hook after he kidnaps the daughter of Wendy in this Disney sequel. -- not reviewed

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Showtime (PG-13)
This spoof of buddy cop movies stars Robert De Niro as Mitch and Eddie Murphy as Trey, two very different police officers who are forced to work together, as stars of a new reality-based TV show. Also starring Rene Russo. -- not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Time Machine (PG-13)
The problem with this film certainly wasn't with the plot; more than a hundred years after it was written, the story of a promising young scientist who invents a time machine to go back into the past to avert a terrible tragedy is still compelling. The special effects, which admittedly made several fabulous moments possible, were just plain annoying. Perhaps special effects capabilities at a particularly weird juncture -- so good to be almost believable, but still just slightly off. That said, The Time Machine still offers some perfectly fine entertainment value: The acting is solid, the story is good, the inventions of the future are interesting. There's enough in this film to keep you well occupied for a dense 90 minutes. And most days, that's good enough. -- Andrea Lucard

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

We Were Soldiers (R)
The true story of 450 U.S. soldiers, early in the Vietnam War, who became surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese in the Ia Drang Valley, in what became the first major battle of the extended conflict. Starring Mel Gibson Sam Elliott, Clark Gregg, Greg Kinnear. -- not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

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