- Jim Carreys magic powers go well beyond getting a role in a serious film in his new hit, Bruce Almighty.
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
Bruce Almighty (PG-13)
See full review, page 30.
Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown
Daddy Day Care (PG)
Eddie Murphy is a recently unemployed dad who opens a day-care center run by men. Poopie jokes galore. -- Not reviewed
Carmike 10; Chapel Hills 15; Cinemark 16; Tinseltown
*The Dancer Upstairs (R)
See full review, page 30.
Kimball's Twin Peak
*Down With Love (PG-13)
Peyton Reed, director of the wonderfully biting and energetic cheerleading movie Bring It On, pulls off a retro, candy-colored sex farce that stands the Doris Day/Rock Hudson dynamic on its head in this romantic comedy that takes romance clichs and tosses them around like so many olives in a martini shaker. Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor are perfectly cast as author Barbara Novak and man-about-town/journalist Catcher Block, would-be lovers who are too caught up in their public identities to succumb to true romance. David Hyde Pierce, Frazier's Niles, steals the show as Block's neurotic, possibly homosexual boss, Peter McManus. But the production team is the real star of Down With Love, which bubbles with saturated color and groovy 1960s-era ambience. The costumes are fabulous and the apartment sets scream bachelor and bachelorette pad -- his in masculine shades of blue and chrome, hers in bouncy primary colors. Don't leave too early or you'll miss the zippy musical number by Zellweger and McGregor that runs alongside the closing credits -- the film's cute, suitably sexy and notably naughty footnote. -- Kathryn Eastburn
Cinemark 16; Tinseltown; 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 3-D. -- Not reviewed
- Holes is an intelligent, funny kids caper with a complex swirl of subplots.
In a movie market jammed with adult comedies that rely on rude adolescent humor for laughs, the emergence of Holes -- an intelligent, funny kids' caper with a complex swirl of subplots -- is cause for celebration among adult and juvenile audiences alike. Based on the wildly popular, Newberry Award-winning young adult novel by Texan Louis Sachar (who also wrote the screenplay), Holes never approaches the saccharin sweetness we've come to expect in youth morality tales. The characters are flawed and frequently grotesque but oddly lovable, and the casting is impeccable: Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Tim Blake Nelson are rich as the three adult villains, and Shia LaBeouf as the protagonist, Stanley Yelnats, is utterly authentic and winning. Suitable for 10-year-olds, maybe a bit too scary for 6-year-olds and highly recommended for viewers 30 and up who might have forgotten the value of genuine, unadulterated adolescent humor. -- Kathryn Eastburn
Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15
Heads roll in Identity, director James Mangold's whodunit that begs the question, didtheyneedtodoit? A classic horror film plot and set inventory melds with another scenario -- a foreshadowing scene of interviews with a death row convict and his psychiatrist. The onus is on you to connect the dots between the murders at the Nevada motel Norman Bates would love and the death row subplot. A Cliff's Notes denouement eventually ruins all the fun. Good performances by Ray Liotta and John Cusack. Bloody and scary but scarcely memorable. -- John Dicker
Tinseltown, Cinemark 16
India: Kingdom of the Tiger (NR) (large format for IMAX)
A National Wildlife Federation presentation, this new IMAX film focuses on the plight of the Bengal tiger, and retells the true story of British hunter and wildlife conservationist, Edward James Corbett, who lived most of his life in India. -- Not reviewed
The In-Laws (PG-13)
Albert Brooks and Michael Douglas are prospective fathers-in-law in this remake of the underrated '70s comedy starring Alan Arkin and Peter Falk. Also featuring Candice Bergen.
Cinemark 16; Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown
The Lizzie McGuire Movie (PG)
Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff), a middling American from a middling American family, travels to Rome where she is befriended by an Italian pop star who wants her -- gasp! -- to be his new stage partner. Can she overcome her self-consciousness and clumsiness and go glam? Will she forsake her down-home values for a flashy new life? -- Not reviewed
Tinseltown, Cinemark 16
*The Matrix Reloaded (R)
Neo (Keanu Reeves) exhibits fresh powers in Matrix Reloaded that promise to play a significant role in part three, coming in November. Since the first film, he has switched from confused Matrix slave into a Superman-styled messianic protagonist with a heightened love for S&M warrior priestess Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) in her signature patent leather cat suit. What's at stake, essentially, in Matrix Reloaded -- besides the question of whether Neo and Trinity can lead humanity if indeed that is all that exists outside the Matrix -- is a symbolic capacity for original or individual thought. The world of violent, super-action cinema is about to swing in a very aggressive direction. Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be Matrix days at the movies for a very long time to come. -- Cole Smithey
Kimball's Twin Peak, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15
*A Mighty Wind (PG-13)
Neither as biting as Spinal Tap or Waiting for Guffman, nor as uproarious as Best in Show, A Mighty Wind holds its own as an exuberant Christopher Guest-brand treatment of a sentimentally revered era -- the '60s and '70s of The Kingston Trio, The New Christy Minstrels and Peter, Paul and Mary. The film features Guest's trademark cast including Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean and a wonderfully over-the-top Fred Willard. The songs will remind you why the best upbeat tunes of the folk era became children's classics -- they are relentlessly cheery, hopeful, bouncy and lithe. Guest lets his actors go nuts, and the audience shares their genuine pleasure. Filmed in mock documentary style, the old days are warmly remembered by the players in interviews while an awkward folk reunion is staged in real time. A mild but satisfying entertainment, A Mighty Wind is a soft breeze in the midst of the summer cinema's hurricane season. -- Kathryn Eastburn
Chapel Hills 15
*X-2: X-Men United (PG-13)
The new and improved X-Men is darker than the first and, even for the uninitiated, a fascinating comic-book adventure come to life. There's more of Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and the taste of his torment as he paces the Earth with the instincts of a wild animal, the hairdo of a '50s rock 'n' roll devil, the physique of a GI Joe doll and the bony anatomy of Edward Scissorhands. Mystique, the blue vinyl shape-shifter played by Rebecca Romijin-Stamos gets full star treatment as Magneto's (Ian McKellen) sizzling sidekick. Nightcrawler, a new character introduced and creepily played by Alan Cumming, brings religion to the mix, raising questions about faith and fervor while bonding with a group who can appreciate his ability to disappear into a thin wisp of smoke. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart duke it out for the title of Most Intriguing Soon-to-be Elderly Actor as Magneto and Professor Xavier -- former friends, now intellectual foes who disagree on how mutants should interact with humans in a world that dangerously polarizes anyone who diverts from the mainstream. Bravo, X-Men! Encore! -- Kathryn Eastburn
Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Cinemark IMAX, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15