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Movie Picks

* 28 Days Later (R)

Director Danny Boyle has crafted a film that invokes our dread of global annihilation. A cell of animal rights zealots have liberated chimps infected with the "rage" virus. Twenty-eight days later, in a hospital bed, Jim (Cillian Murphy) emerges naked and alone from a car accident coma. He eventually meets up with fellow survivors Selena (Naomie Harris) and Mark (Noah Huntley), who give a sober memo: if the infected bleed on you, we'll finish the job. The makeshift family decides to flee. What's refreshing about Boyle's apocalypse is that its horrors are matched with beauty. 28 Days deals with a question more profound than any gadgetry: what if the end of the world is merely a dawn of another? It's substantive brain candy during a season of Happy Meal schlockbusters. --John Dicker


Bruce Almighty (PG-13)

After a less than enthusiastic reception to more serious roles in The Majestic and Man on the Moon, Jim Carrey returns to his tried-and-true physical comedy routine. Carrey plays an insufferable television reporter longing for an anchor job. When he doesn't get it, he blames God for his misfortunes and his "trivial life." He receives an audience with God (Morgan Freeman), who goes on vacation and leaves Bruce in-charge. There is little logic to the film's journey, way too many trademark Jim Carrey stunts, and too little screen time for co-stars Freeman and Jennifer Aniston. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Bugs (NR)

Dame Judi Dench narrates this inside look at the secret world of bugs, presented by Terminix. No joke.

--Not reviewed

Cinemark IMAX

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (PG-13)

The newest sequel to a movie based on a TV show: the heroine trio returns played by Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and a thinner Drew Barrymore. Lots of breasts bouncing, espionage, martial arts, and disguise with no real plot. --Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Finding Nemo (G)

Animated Disney flick about cute fishies, featuring the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Geoffrey Rush, and, I kid you not, Willem Dafoe. --Not reviewed

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

Ghost 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

Cinemark IMAX

*The Hulk (PG-13)

Art house director Ang Lee enters the Marvel Comics-inspired action-hero genre with characteristic precision and visual flair. The Hulk enters the field of blockbusting summer action-adventure with style. Lee first offers back story, visiting the site where scientist David Banner (Nick Nolte) goes overboard with self-experimentation, altering his own DNA then siring a son, Bruce, who transports his father's hubris. The adult Bruce (Australian hunk Eric Bana) works alongside ex-girlfriend, Betty (Jennifer Connely), developing substances that will hopefully allow humans to heal themselves. Connely is solid and Bana is fine, while Nolte gives a one-man freak show. The Hulk is slow going but interesting. Only the computer-graphic Hulk gives pause: the monster looks soft and rubbery. Nevertheless, The Hulk offers enough cinematic beauty to overcome this shortfall. --Kathryn Eastburn

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Carmike 10

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

Cinemark IMAX

*The Italian Job (PG-13)

The latest in a line of mediocre heist flicks, The Italian Job stars a cast of criminals you could actually bring home to Mom. They don't shoot straight because they don't pack heat. They even drive fuel-efficient European minis. Mark Wahlberg leads a team composed of Mos Def, Seth Green and Jason Statham. Charlize Theron is the chick on hand to siphon off the homoerotic tension. Like most heist films, the planning stage is the most satisfying. However there's no tension in the film beyond the question: Will they pull it off? The Italian Job is abetted by a graceful camera, but if you remember anything about it by the time you get home from the multiplex, let me know. --John Dicker

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (PG-13)

Attorney Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) takes her Beverly Hills attitude to Washington, not unlike when she took her Beverly Hills attitude to Harvard, and with much the same result. Sally Fields plays the lobbied congresswoman. Lots of pink, and limp-wristed posing. --Not reviewed

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (PG-13)

Sean Connery leads literature greats Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll, Dorian Gray, and a host of others to fight organized crime. Not recommended for English teachers: you will become depressed and cry. --Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown, Chapel Hills 15, Carmike 10

*The Matrix Reloaded (R)

Neo (Keanu Reeves) exhibits fresh powers in Matrix Reloaded that promise to play a significant role in part three. Since the first film, he has switched from confused Matrix slave into a 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

Cinemark IMAX

*Nowhere in Africa (R)

Winner of this year's Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Caroline Link's Nowhere in Africa is a story of exile, class, race, and family struggle. In 1937 Germany, the Redlich family enjoys an upper-class life. With a notion of the anti-Semitism about to ravage his homeland, Walter (Merab Ninidze) flees to a farm in Kenya and waits for his family. Wife Jettel (Julianne Kohler) reluctantly packs up with daughter Regina (Lea Kurka). Nowhere in Africa explores familiar territory, but also ventures into a few taboo corners. Critics have dismissed Nowhere in Africa for meeting the expected qualifications of a Best Foreign Language Film. These things are there, and the filmmakers do not turn them into cliches. Nowhere in Africa is serious, visually striking and humane-- a classic. --Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (PG-13)

See full review page 26.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown, Cinemark 16

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (PG)

An all star cast voices the latest animated flick from Dreamworks. Brad Pitt stars as the voice of Sinbad, while Michelle Pfeiffer is his nemesis, the goddess of chaos. Joseph Fiennes and Catherine Zeta-Jones also star. --Not reviewed

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

*Spellbound (G)

Every summer one film leaps from art house obscurity to multiplex ubiquity. This year, I'd love the crossover hit to be Spellbound, the story of 8 kids competing for the 1999 national Scripps Howard Spelling Bee. The kids are a potpourri of America: urban and rural, black, white, Latino, Indian, boys and girls. Angela, a Mexican-American girl whose father's first trip to the capital to see his daughter compete in a language he doesn't speak, demonstrates that Spellbound is about more than spelling. Whether throwing our youth into an ephemeral media frenzy is a good idea or a form of child abuse is a question raised early. Will the bell toll their doom? When it doesn't, it's as vicariously delightful as anything on SportsCenter. -- John Dicker

Landmark Mayan (Denver)

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (R)

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns once again as a robot sent back in time to protect a young rebel leader. Basically a rehashing of the plot of Terminator 2, but the antagonist is a sexy lady robot that can put her legs behind her head--Not reviewed

Tinseltown, Cinemark 16, Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

Whale Rider (PG-13)

See full review page 27.

Kimball's Twin Peak

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