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At the Movies

For Friday, August 27, 2010


Opening, Fri., August 27

'Avatar: Special Edition'
An additional nine minutes is included in this re-release in 3-D of James Cameron's box-office smash. Feature on Page 26. (PG-13, 170 mins.)

'Get Low'***1/2
Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray star in a film inspired by the true story of a man who threw himself a living funeral party in 1938 Tennessee. Review on Page 25. (PG-13, 102 mins.)

Dana Brown's documentary depicts the drama, humor and humanity of the 2005 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition on the North Shore. Review on Page 27. (NR, 94 mins.)

'The Last Exorcism' ***
A fraudulent exorcist finds his faith truly tested when an encounter with a possessed teenager in rural Louisiana brings him face to face with the devil. Review on Page 21. (PG-13, 90 mins.)

'The Nature of Existence' **1/2
Documentarian Roger Nygard asks hundreds of people around the globe about humankind's purpose. (NR, 94 mins.)

A notorious group of bank robbers finds its plans for one last score thwarted by a hardened detective hell-bent on solving the case. Matt Dillon, Idris Elba, Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen star. (PG-13, 107 mins.)

'What if ...'
An angel shows a man what his life would've been if he had followed his true calling to become a preacher instead of a successful businessman. Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson, Debby Ryan and John Ratzenberger star. (PG, no running time given)


The Top 10 Movies

The top-grossing movies of the past week, courtesy

'The Expendables' **
Sylvester Stallone's all-star mercenary movie is a deliriously retro ride into Reagan-era blockbusters. The macho men still deliver, but it's not much of an ensemble piece, and despite the high body count, the whole thing feels forgettably disposable. (R, 103 mins.)

'Vampires Suck'**
The latest project from enthusiastic parodists Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer is a dead-on send-up of the "Twilight" flicks, a nonstop assault on teen angst, sexy bodies and gloomy settings. (PG-13)

'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. Roberts is radiant as ever, and the movie satisfies its core audience by providing a gorgeous escape, exquisitely photographed and full of female wish fulfillment. (PG-13, 133 mins.)

'Lottery Ticket' **1/2
A young man (Bow Wow) in Atlanta's housing projects tries to keep his winning lottery ticket a secret from his nosy neighbors over a long Fourth of July weekend. Director Erik White and his cast successfully blend comic lunacy with sweet sentimentality. (PG-13, 95 mins.)

'The Other Guys' ***
Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay join comedic forces with Mark Wahlberg to tell the story of a pair of sidelined 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.)

'Piranha 3D' ***1/2
After a sudden underwater tremor unleashes a prehistoric strain of flesh-eating fish during a busy spring break season, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop everyone from being literally torn apart by this new razor-toothed terror. Mere words cannot describe how awesomely gnarly and how hugely entertaining this movie is — it's cleverly knowing without collapsing into parody. (R, 89 mins.)

'Nanny McPhee Returns' **1/2
Emma Thompson returns as the magical nanny who this time appears at the door of a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war, all while trying to keep the peace between her children and two spoiled city cousins who refuse to leave. There's a warm, British naturalism and old-fashioned cheerfulness here uncommon to most of today's kids' movies. (PG, 100 mins.)

'The Switch'*
Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman star in this comedy about a man who doesn't understand why his best friend decides to be artificially inseminated by someone other than himself, so he drunkenly switches her chosen donor's sperm with his own. Not a single moment rings true in this contrivance — it's played in broad, sitcommy fashion, utterly divorced from the way people behave in real life. (PG-13, 100 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.)

'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. There's an infectious energy to this movie — the comic book and video game flourishes grab your attention — and the appealing, eclectic cast offer up lively performances. (PG-13, 112 mins.)



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

'Here and There'
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. today, tomorrow, Sunday and Tuesday
A jaded, middle-age New Yorker and unemployed musician goes to Serbia to make quick cash by marrying his acquaintance's girlfriend so she can get her U.S. immigration papers. (85 mins.)

1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday
A coming-of-age tale from French-Canadian director Ricardo Trogi, who, as an 11-year-old, struggles with his family's move and new school, and decides to become a liar. (2009, 102 mins.)


Movie Museum

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

'The Square'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. today
This Australian film noir is about a small-town construction boss who finds out his lover's abusive husband has "inherited" a large amount of cash. (2008, 105 mins.)

12:15, 2:30, 4:45, 7 and 9:15 p.m. tomorrow
This Oscar nominee tells a series of interlocking stories that take place in a multiethnic neighborhood in Jaffa, Israel. (2009, 120 mins.)

'City Island'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday
A dark comedy starring Andy Garcia, Julianne Margulies and Alan Arkin about a dysfunctional family. (2009, 104 mins.)

'All About Our House (Minna no Ie)'
12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Monday
Two stubborn architects with contrasting styles go head to head. (2001, 116 mins.)

'Le Grand Jeu'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday
A disgraced businessman joins the Foreign Legion and becomes obsessed with a prostitute whom he feels compelled to rescue. (1934, 111 mins.)

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