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Movie Picks

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Clint Eastwood pours his heart out in Blood - Work,opening this week
  • Clint Eastwood pours his heart out in Blood Work,opening this week

Austin Powers in Goldmember (PG-13)
Labored and teeming with half-hearted jokes, this third installment in the Austin Powers franchise falls wide of the giddy mark that The Spy Who Shagged Me hit three years ago. The star of the show is still Dr. Evil, and Mike Myers has perfected that character's various charms to a point where he's not so pernicious anymore; unfortunately, the result of this pseudo-affectionate turn-of-events is that Austin Powers loses a heretofore-worthy adversary. Michael Caine gets a much-deserved heavy helping of screen time, but Beyonce Knowles of Destiny's Child lacks the abundant comic savoir-faire to bring her Blaxploitation-inspired character Foxxy Cleopatra to life. Bottomline: Myers needs to be breaking molds rather than adhering to them. -- Cole Smithey

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Bourne Identity (PG-13)
Matt Damon's first attempt at a pure action role and, as usual, he more than compensates. (In fact, he kicks his good buddy Ben Affleck's butt as action heroes go.) The tension builds slowly, and when bullets begin to fly and car chases ensue, it's all nicely choreographed and not overblown. The plot is somewhat thin but the ride is still rich with plenty of well-timed twists and turns. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Country Bears (PG)
A 10-year-old bear, who was adopted by a human family, takes off to Tennessee to find his biological family and reunite the once-successful band The Country Bears for a benefit concert that could save the Country Bear Hall from demolition. Inspired by the Country Bear Jamboree attraction at Disneyland. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Enigma (R)
See full review, page 27.

Chapel Hills

K-19: The Widowmaker (PG-13)
How could Hollywood's finest -- led by arty exploitation director Kathryn Bigelow -- spend more than $100 million over a period of years without one person whispering, "Excuse me, but as a cinema professional, I think it wise to have a third act." So skimpy is this K-19 that just talking about it is problematic; by giving away its set-up, you've given away the movie. Worse, the film is perversely stingy in sharing information and/or logic that would help us forgive its many and constant flaws. Ultimately, the movie's blend of historical fact, action-movie schematics and the need to make its $20 million lead into a last-minute hero positions K-19 in a misty-moral no man's land somewhere between the vacuum-packed sacrifices of Black Hawk Down and the thick-headed jingoism of Sum of All Fears. Except it's not nearly the very guilty pleasure such a description might suggest. -- Ian Grey

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Lilo and Stitch (PG)
Disney film about a little Hawaiian girl, Lilo, who adopts a dog that, it turns out, is actually an alien. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Martin Lawrence Live (R)
Comedian Martin Lawrence's latest stand-up tour, filmed during at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. in January 2002. -- Not reviewed

Tinseltown

Master of Disguise (PG)
Dana Carvey plays Pistachio Disguisey, the last in a long line of -- you guessed it -- masters of disguise, who must harness his innate gift in order to save the world. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Men in Black II (PG-13)
Although the newness of the Men in Black concept has worn off, there's plenty of slick and witty post-modern humor to savor in this eccentrically clever romp. And Will Smith brings a new level of charm and comic timing to the role of Agent Jay. -- Cole Smithey

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Minority Report (PG-13)
With a genius plot, and a budget to match, much of the thrill of Minority Report is in the art direction and special effects. They bring us every detail of a future-noir world where surveillance has become as much of a marketing tool as it is a form of policing. Hats off to Steven Spielberg for managing the ambiguities with an uncanny dexterity, and to Tom Cruise, by gum, for playing it straight!

-- Noel Black

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Mr. Deeds (PG-13)
Adam Sandler is a small-town guy who inherits controlling interest in a massive media corporation. Winona Ryder is a tabloid TV reporter who's sent to do an expos on him ... but they wind up falling in love. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

*My Big Fat Greek Wedding (PG)
A delightful confection of a summer film. The pacing of the first half of the film is a little slow, but it picks up nicely when the whole crazy extended family gets into the act. Romantic comedies require a deft touch, and the writing of Nia Vardalos (who also plays the lead) provides it. -- Andrea Lucard

Kimball's Twin Peak Theater

Reign of Fire (PG-13)
A 12-year-old boy, Quinn, watches his mother wake a fire-breathing dragon in present-day London. Twenty years later, the Earth is scorched and running rampant with the dragons. Quinn (Christian Bale) joins revolutionary Van (Matthew McConaughey) to fight back.

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Road to Perdition (R)
This is not a neatly wrapped up father-and-son/growing-up tale but a highly stylized gangster film that explores the dark fate of those men and the time it recreates. Filmmaker/theater director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) is a master at setting a dramatic scene, artfully orchestrating the nervous pauses before the bullets begin to fly. Tom Hanks' character is deeply conflicted and the actor effectively conveys all that he has lost. Paul Newman, at 77, is still more elegant and fluid than the majority of screen actors, and plays mobster John Rooney with a keen mix of charm, anguish and simmering furor. And Jude Law, as a creepy little weasel, Maguire, makes the screen crackle every time he makes an appearance. The film successfully explores the painful distance between trusting sons and their alienated fathers, and the impact is quiet and somewhat confounding; the dark beauty created by the messengers sticks with the viewers long after the film has ended. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Kimball's Twin Peak

*Signs (PG-13)
See full review, page 27

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

Stuart Little 2 (PG)
The sequel to 1999's popular film. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Ultimate X (PG)
ESPN and IMAX team up for this extreme sports extravaganza, highlighting ESPN's summer X Games. In 70 mm.

Cinemark IMAX

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