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Movie Picks

*Alaska: Spirit of the Wild (NR)
Cinemark IMAX

Alien vs. Predator (PG-13)
When archaeologists discover a strange pyramid 2,000 feet below Antarctica's frozen surface, they bring humans into a battle between two extraterrestrial species -- aliens and predators of previous sci-fi movie fame. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (PG-13)
Scientists set out for Borneo, searching for a flower that can prevent aging in this sequel to the 1997 thriller. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Anchorman (PG-13)
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*The Bourne Supremacy (PG-13)
Since the terrific action thriller The Bourne Identity, the reluctant hero, former CIA agent Jason Bourne (Matt Damon), and his spunky French companion Maria (Franka Potente) have apparently enjoyed some R & R. But Bourne is being pursued again, this time by a shady Russian agent who's part of a conspiracy that frames him for the assassination of two Berlin agents. The true star of The Bourne Supremacy is director Paul Greengrass, whose fight-scene cinematography is riveting. He utilizes glass and other reflective surfaces to heighten tension, emphasizing what we can't see, what's on the other side. This sequel is not quite as personally involving as its predecessor, but equally as thrilling and easily one of the best films of the summer. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Catwoman (PG-13)
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A Cinderella Story (PG)
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Cellular (PG-13)

A young man (Chris Evans) receives a call on his cellular phone from a woman (Kim Basinger) who says she's been kidnapped and thinks she's going to be killed soon. She doesn't know where she is, and his cell phone battery might soon go dead. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Collateral (R)
In Michael Mann's Collateral, corruption lurks in the underground commerce of the international drug trade and is embodied by a hit man named Vincent (Tom Cruise). Vincent arrives in Los Angeles to take out five potential witnesses during a one-night spree. With money and a big gun, he forces taxi driver Max (Jamie Foxx) to be his unwilling chauffeur. Mann masterfully sets up scene after scene, transporting the audience with the camera as if we too were riding along in the cab. Foxx, known best for his comedy roles, delivers a multifaceted performance as a terrified, confused, intelligent and deeply humane protagonist. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Cookout (PG-13)
Todd Anderson (Quran Pender) acquires $30 million when he's named the No. 1 NBA draft pick of the New Jersey Nets. He throws a cookout at his new house for his entire family, breaking a sacred neighborhood association rule, as his snooty neighbors look on. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Tinseltown

Dodgeball (PG-13)
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Exorcist: The Beginning (R)
Exorcist: The Beginning makes no attempt to hide its ubiquitous violence and gore. In spite of the disturbing occasional decapitated head, the film builds suspense extraordinarily well. Its plot is built as an explanation of Father Merrin's comment about "an exorcism in Africa" in the 1972 horror original. Commendable cinematography repeatedly focuses on minute details, keeping the audience perpetually on edge, wondering when and how evil incarnate will be confronted. Stellan Skarsgard aptly plays Merrin, who has traveled to Kenya to join the excavation of a early and strangely pristine Byzantine church. But the story line is often shallowly and hastily conveyed. -- Michael Beckel

Carmike 10, Tinseltown

Garfield (PG)
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*Harry Potter and the

Prisoner of Azkaban (PG)
Cinemark IMAX, Picture Show

Hero (PG-13)
A series of flashbacks recounts the tale of how Nameless (Jet Li) defeats three powerful assassins to gain a presence with the King of Qin (Daoming Chen), a warlord in pre-unified China. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

I, Robot (PG-13)
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*The Manchurian Candidate (R)
Director Jonathan Demme recycles the plot and characters of John Frankenheimer's great 1962 Communist paranoia film in an earnest and frequently affecting remake. While the original was audacious, perversely funny, wicked and bold for its time, the new version is merely a competent drama. Liev Schreiber is Raymond Shaw, a decorated war hero from Operation Desert Storm and a senator who has just received his party's vice-presidential nomination -- with more than a little help from his domineering mother, played with aplomb by Meryl Streep. When Shaw's former commander, Major Marco (Denzel Washington), shows up asking questions about strange dreams he and others from their unit brought home from Kuwait, the paranoia begins. Ultimately, Demme's remake stands on its own, but without the humor and satire of its predecessor. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Cinemark IMAX

Napoleon Dynamite (PG)
Napoleon Dynamite is a harmless spawn of Sundance that could have been an excellent character piece had it not overindulged in its own idiosyncratic sensibility. The film's protagonist is Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder), a teenager whose mouth is forever agape and whose disposition hops between extreme dopiness and standard-issue adolescent indignation. If there's anything of a plot, it occurs when the quixotic Napoleon befriends Pedro, a newly arrived Mexican who makes a bid for class president. The two launch a campaign that -- like so much in their hometown of Preston, Idaho -- seems motivated by boredom as much as anything else. While Napoleon Dynamite is littered with hilarious bits and pieces, they add up to only a few hard laughs and not much else. -- John Dicker

Cinemark 16

The Notebook (PG-13)
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Paparazzi (PG-13)
See full review, page 29.

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Passion of the Christ (R)
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The Princess Diaries 2:

Royal Engagement (G)
When Mia (Anne Hathaway) assumes the role as princess of Genovia with her grandmother Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews), Mia quickly learns that she will be inheriting the crown sooner than expected and that she must be married before doing so. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (R)

A deadly virus has been unleashed on the population of Raccoon City. The film begins where the first film left off, with Alice in the heart of the ravaged and deadly Raccoon City. She and the rest of the cast will battle their way through the ravenous undead, as well as Umbrella forces and bioengineered weapons, the most deadly of which is the assassin Nemesis. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (R)
The cult classic, audience participation flick will play every Saturday at the Lon Chaney theater downtown. Audience members are encouraged to dress in character and bring props. No open flames allowed, but flashlights are OK. Admission and all the popcorn you can eat for $5. -- Not reviewed

City Auditorium

Shrek 2 (PG)
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Spider-Man 2 (PG-13)
As the film opens, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is having trouble keeping up at school despite being a bona fide scientific genius and is growing more alienated from love interest Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and good friend Harry Osborn (James Franco). The film's computer-generated special effects are lovely, and it's fun to watch Spidey glide through the sky. But overall, it is lacking in key areas. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Cinemark 16 IMAX, Tinseltown

The Terminal (PG-13)
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Vanity Fair (PG-13)
The daughter of an English artist and a French chorus girl, Becky Sharp (Reese Witherspoon), strives to move into the British aristocracy during the first quarter of the 19th century. Based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

What the Bleep Do We Know (R)
There are many aspects to What the Bleep Do We Know that deserve slamming, but a lack of ambition is certainly not one of them. It is a film about ideas, big ideas. Defying genre categorization, it uses documentary, narrative and experimental film technique to drive a scant storyline based around a young woman photographer. Any excuse for a plot, however, is used solely as a vehicle for ideas, as the film is dominated by a panel of 14 physicists and professional mystics deployed to pontificate the limits of human consciousness, the nature of God, and our infinite potential to create our realty. It's not a family movie, to say the least. At its best, it flirts with the sort of intellectual calisthenics that'll make your brain spasm; at its worst, the movie often winds up feeling exactly like what it is: a pedagogical artifice. What The Bleep Do We Know is easier to dismiss than it is to even remotely understand -- and this might not be such a bad idea. -- John Dicker

Kimball's Twin Peak

White Chicks (PG-13)
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Wicker Park (PG-13)
John Hartnett plays a man who fell in love with a woman who subsequently vanished without a trace. Two years later, after glimpsing her in a local bar, he begins a quest to uncover the truth about her disappearance.

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Without a Paddle (PG-13)
Three guys take a canoe upriver into Oregon's wilderness, where everything that can go wrong does. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie (PG)
As the card game Duel Monsters! sweeps across the nation, Yugi realizes the cards have unleashed a dark force into the world. -- Not reviewed


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