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At the Movies

For Friday, August 13, 2010


POSTED:



OPENING FRIDAY

'Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky'***
The film focuses on the possible love affair between the pioneering fashion designer and the avant-garde composer now a penniless refugee living in exile in Paris after the Russian revolution. Review on Page 26. (R, 118 mins.)

'Eat Pray Love' ***
Julia Roberts stars in the adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir about a woman's yearlong globe-trotting search for sustenance and serenity after a wrenching divorce. Feature on Page 23. (PG-13, 133 mins.)

'The Expendables' **
The cast is a who's-who of muscle-bound macho men, with Sylvester Stallone directing the story about a band of mercenaries hired by a shady mogul to try to overthrow a ruthless Latin American dictator. Review on Page 25. (R, 103 mins.)

'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' ***
Based on a popular graphic novel series, Michael Cera stars as an indie-rock bassist who must face off against a nefarious rogues' gallery of seven exes to be with the girl of his dreams. Review on Page 24. (PG-13, 112 mins.)

 

OPENING WEDNESDAY

'Vampires Suck'
The inevitable teen angst-vampire romance spoof, made by the same team that brought you "Date Movie," "Epic Movie" and "Meet the Spartans." (PG-13, 80 mins.)

 

THE TOP 10 MOVIES

The top grossing movies of the past week. Source: Hollywood.com

'The Other Guys' ***
Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay join comedic forces with Mark Wahlberg to tell the story of a pair of side-lined police detectives who finally get their chance to crack a big-time financial fraud case. This is a surprisingly fresh take on the usually rehashed mismatched-buddy cop setup -- self-aware but not tongue-in- cheek -- and helped in part by action sequences played totally straight. (PG-13, 107 mins.)

'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.)

'Step Up 3D' **
In the series' third film, a tight-knit group of street dancers find themselves pitted against the world's best dancers in a high-stakes hip-hop showdown. While the synchronized camera and body movement literally stands out, the story's cliched and the acrobatic cast doesn't display anything even closely approximating charisma. (PG-13, 97 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. No actress working today is as convincing an action star as Jolie, and she does tear it up in the visceral fight scenes, but the movie doesn't help us care for her character, as Salt's motives and her fate aren't sufficiently fleshed out. (PG-13, 93 mins.)

'Dinner for Schmucks' ***
Steve Carell and Paul Rudd -- who previously worked together on "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Anchorman" -- collaborate again in this comedy about an ambitious finance executive who fights for a promotion on the condition that he invite a megadork to a dinner contest, where the one who brings the biggest imbecile wins. The movie's tone is more naughty than raunchy, and the little character turns by everyone in the cast are an embarrassment of comic riches. (PG-13, 114 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.)

'Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore'***
Nearly a decade after the original, the 3-D spy spoof sequel has the two sides forming an unlikely alliance against a common enemy: a demented hairless cat trying to take out dogs and humans alike. There's enough here in this movie to keep everyone watching -- grown-ups, kids, dogs, cats -- entertained. (PG, 87 mins.)

'Charlie St. Cloud' **
Zac Efron plays an accomplished young sailor who must find the courage to let go of the past when tragedy strikes his family. Efron takes a confident half-step toward becoming a mature romantic lead in this middling movie. (PG-13, 100 mins.)

'Toy Story 3' ***
Pictured at right, 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.)

'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 a lesbian couple have built for them. Combining a great cast with Lisa Cholodenko's direction, the film is so canny in its insights and so agile in its negotiation of complex emotions that it deserves to stand on its own. (R, 104 mins.)

 

ARTHOUSE: DORIS DUKE THEATRE

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

'Ohina Short Film Showcase
7:30 p.m. today and 1 and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow
Eight short films by local filmmakers. Feature and review of "Lychee Thieves" on Page 11.

'Mid-August Lunch'
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
Gianni Di Gregorio's directorial debut is a charming tale of good food, feisty ladies and unlikely friendships, as a middle-age man looks after a group of elderly women during a Rome holiday. (2009, 75 mins.)

 

ARTHOUSE: MOVIE MUSEUM

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

'Downfall'
12:15, 3, 5:45 and 8:30 p.m. today
The Oscar nominee depicts the final 10 days of Adolf Hitler's life in his Berlin bunker, through the eyes of his secretary. (2004, 156 mins.)

'The Sun'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday
The last part of director Aleksandr Sokurov's "Men of Power" trilogy depicts the demystification of Emperor Hirohito after his World War II surrender to the Allied Forces under U.S. Gen. MacArthur. (2005, 115 mins.)

'Rain'
12:15, 2, 3:45, 5:30 and 7:15 p.m. Sunday
In this intimate family drama set in the Bahamas, a teenager travels to the slums of Nassau to reunite with her drug-addicted mother, who abandoned her when she was a toddler. (2008, 93 mins.)

'Yacoubian Building'
12:15, 3, 5:45 and 8:30 p.m. Monday
Egyptian director Marwan Hamed's ambitious feature debut interweaves the stories of squatters who live in an aging building originally designed in the 1990s for Cairo's elite. (2006, 172 mins.)






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