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At the Movies

For Friday, July 23, 2010


POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 10:55 p.m. HST, Jul 23, 2010



Opening Friday, July 23

'The Girl Who Played With Fire' * * 1/2
The sequel to the hit Swedish thriller "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Computer hacker Lisbeth Salander is implicated in the murder of two investigative reporters helping her journalist friend Mikael Blomkvist's expose on a sex trafficking operation. Feature on Page 25 and review on Page 24. (R, 129 mins.)

'The Kids Are All Right'* * * *
Two teenage children conceived by artificial insemination get the notion to seek out their birth father and introduce him into the family life that their two mothers have built for them. Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson star. Feature on Page 20 and review on Page 21. (R, 104 mins.)

'Ramona and Beezus' * * *
In the big-screen version of Beverly Cleary's classic kids' novel, newcomer Joey King stars as the rambunctious and accident-prone Ramona Quimby, while Selena Gomez is her long-suffering older sister, Beezus. Review on Page 26. (G, 104 mins.)

'Salt' * *
Angelina Jolie stars as a CIA agent who's accused of being a Russian sleeper spy. She goes on the run while trying to clear her name, using all her skills as a covert operative to stay one step ahead of the agency's pursuits. Feature on Page 18 and review on Page 19. (PG-13, 93 mins.)

 


The Top 10 Movies

The top grossing movies of the past week, courtesy Hollywood.com

'Inception' * * * *
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Christopher Nolan's sci-fi thriller as the leader of a group of skilled thieves who steal people's ideas for corporate gain by inserting themselves into strangers' subconscious while they are sleeping. It's a stunningly gorgeous, technically flawless symphony of images and ideas. In its sheer enormity, it's every inch a blockbuster, but in the good sense of the word. (PG-13, 147 mins.)

'Despicable Me' * * 1/2
A master villain planning the world's biggest heist meets his greatest challenge in three orphaned girls who see him as a potential dad. The animated movie has some clever moments and colorful characters, but it isn't particularly memorable. It's actually darker and odder than most family-friendly animated fare, but it goes predictably soft and gooey at the end. (PG, 95 mins.)

'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'* * 1/2
Nicolas Cage plays a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan, who finds a reluctant protege (Jay Baruchel) in his eternal fight against the forces of darkness. "National Treasure" alumni Cage, director Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer stir up a pleasant-enough potion whose effects, action and comedy should send parents and kids home happy. (PG, 110 mins.)

'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse'* *
In the third part of the franchise, a string of mysterious killings grips the city of Seattle, and Bella, whose high school graduation is fast approaching, is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward and her friendship with werewolf Jacob. Director David Slade and his collaborators lighten up on the relentless gloom of the first two movies by making fun of some of the franchise's silliness. Still, it wallows in what fans love most, that whiny romantic triangle among a schoolgirl and her two beastie boys. (PG-13, 124 mins.)

'Toy Story 3' * * *
Eleven years have passed since the last "Toy Story" movie, and Buzz and Woody's owner is leaving for college. His toys are shipped to a day-care center where they meet an uncertain future. It's a gorgeous film -- funny, sweet and clever in the tradition of the best Pixar movies -- even though this third installment doesn't feel quite as fresh as the first two. (G, 102 mins.)

'Grown Ups' *
A group of childhood buddies gets together after 30 years for the funeral of the basketball coach who led them to a championship. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider are the depressing waste of talent here. The movie is shockingly inept and nothing much happens, aside from pratfalls in the woods, plenty of public urination and an eventual moment of confession which is nothing short of cringe-worthy. (PG-13, 102 mins.)

'The Last Airbender' *
The hit Nickelodeon animated adventure series comes to life, courtesy director M. Night Shyamalan, as a powerful young warrior learns he is key to restoring balance to his war-torn world. Even though it has epic scope and soaring ambitions, exotic locations and a cast of thousands, it manages to get everything wrong on every level. (PG, 94 mins.)

'Predators' * 1/2
Elite warriors realize they have been brought together on a distant planet to be systematically hunted by alien predators. The movie produced by maverick Robert Rodriguez stays close to the more hallucinogenic 1987 original, but the action isn't enough to cover the plot holes. (R, 107 mins.)

'Knight and Day' * * 1/2
Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in this action-comedy about how a highly trained secret agent turns a regular gal's life upside down when he takes her on a worldwide journey to protect a nerdy creator's powerful battery that holds the key to an infinite power source. It's a vintage Cruise role: He gets to be charming but also toy with the idea that he might be a little nuts. That contradiction is part of the fun of the character and the movie as a whole. (PG-13, 130 mins.)

'The Karate Kid' * *
In a reboot of the 1984 original, Jackie Chan stars as the martial arts mentor who teaches an American transplant (Jaden Smith) to stand up for himself against Beijing bullies. The remake hits all the same notes of the earlier movie, but Smith is so slight of build, neither the fighting nor the romance with a girl out of his league -- two key components of the original -- makes sense. The ending is still rousing enough to make this a crowd-pleaser, though. (PG, 126 mins.)

 


Arthouse

DORIS DUKE THEATRE

Honolulu Academy of Arts, 900 S. Beretania St. (532-8768); $8.50 general; $7.50 seniors, students and military; and $5 Academy members (tickets also available online at www.tix.com):

'Ingredients'
4 p.m. Friday, July 23
Whole Foods Market Kahala teams up with the museum to present this documentary by part-time Hawaii resident Robert Bates about the people behind the American movement to eat locally grown food. (73 mins., with a reception at 3:30 p.m. and a post-screening panel discussion)

3rd Annual Surf Film Festival: 'Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables' with 'You Scratched My Anchor'
1 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 23
Two films on influential longboard riders who fly under the radar. (39 and 30 mins.)

'Hanging Five' with 'Fire'
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 24
Documentaries about artists who surf and the life of tube-riding pioneer Mike Stewart. (53 and 48 mins.)

'Lost Paradise: Extreme Pioneers Explore Mystical Lands'
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 25
New Zealand director Clive Neeson's 45 years' worth of footage of vintage, hidden surf spots and more. (90 mins.)

'Somewhere Near Tapachula'
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 27 and 1 and 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 28
An Australian couple teaches their 54 adopted Mexican orphans how to surf. (63 mins.)

'The Oxbow Watermen Experience'
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 28 (special admission $12 general and $10 academy members)
A group of top watermen prepare to ride one of the biggest swells ever recorded during the winter of 2009 at Jaws off the north shore of Maui. (45 mins.)

'Wake Unto Blue'
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29
The daughter of surf legend Buzzy Trent uses footage from her father's friend and surf-film pioneer Bud Browne to create a poetic film about early 1950s and '60s surfing. (45 mins.)

 

MOVIE MUSEUM

3566 Harding Ave. (735-8771) ; $5 general and $4 members; reservations recommended:

'Terribly Happy'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 23 and Monday, July 25
In a remote Danish town, a new marshal in town gets in trouble with the town bully's femme fatale of a wife in this comedic film noir. (90 mins.)

'Mother'
12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday, July 24
In the latest film from acclaimed Korean director Bong Joon-ho, a mother does everything in her power to prove the innocence of her mentally incapacitated son, accused in the murder of a teenage girl. (128 mins.)

'The Japanese Wife'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 25
The romance between a Bengali village school teacher and his pen friend who lives in Japan results in a marriage. (105 mins.)

'The Greatest'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29
A teenage girl, who is pregnant by her boyfriend who has since died in a car crash, creates emotional turmoil when she is taken in by his parents. Carey Mulligan, Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon and Aaron Johnson star in this debut by director Shana Feste. (99 mins.)






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