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At the Movies

For Friday, September 3, 2010


Opening, Fri. Sept. 3

'Animal Kingdom'****
An Australian teenager navigates his survival among his explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him. Review on Page 27. (R, 112 mins.)

'Going the Distance' *1/2
Drew Barrymore plays a journalism grad student who meets a music exec (Justin Long) while interning in New York City one summer. The couple struggles to keep the fire burning once she returns home to California. Review on Page 24. (R, 97 mins.)

'Machete' ***
Robert Rodriguez expands his "Grindhouse" trailer to a full-bore exploitation flick starring Danny Trejo as a renegade Mexican federale and tough-as-nails vigilante for justice who is out to settle the score. Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin and Lindsay Lohan co-star. Review on Page 25. (R, 105 mins.)


The Top 10 Movies

The top grossing movies of the past week. Source:

'Takers' ***
Notorious bank robbers find their plans for one last score thwarted by a hardened detective hellbent on solving the case. It's a slickly efficient yarn, largely uncomplicated yet offering a few moments of insight and dramatic weight. (PG-13, 107 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. It's one of the scariest movies to come along in a long time, until the last five minutes or so, when it falls apart. (PG-13, 90 mins.)

'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.)

'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.)

'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.)

'Vampires Suck' **

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

'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.)

'Nanny McPhee Returns'**1/2br /> 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, sitcomlike fashion, utterly divorced from the way people behave in real life. (PG-13, 100 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.)



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

1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. today through Wednesday (except Monday); and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday
A cheeky, semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale from French-Canadian director Ricardo Trogi about an 11-year-old who 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 and $4 members; reservations recommended:

'Happy Ever Afters'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. today
An Irish screwball comedy about two weddings that collide when both receptions are held at one hotel. (2009, 96 mins.)

'Red Riding Trilogy'
12:15, 2, 3:45, 5:30, 7:15 and 9 p.m. tomorrow
A trilogy adapted from the three-part British television miniseries. Each film looks into the circumstances surrounding a series of grisly murder cases from 1974, '80 and '83. (Each part will screen in sequence, and twice throughout the evening.) Review on Page 17. (2009, 295 mins.)

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

'Hachi: A Dog's Tale'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Monday
Based on a true story from Japan, it's a moving film about a college professor who finds an abandoned Akita puppy at his local train station and decides to keep him when no one claims the dog. Richard Gere and Joan Allen star. (2009, 93 mins.)

'Hunting & Gathering (Ensemble, C'est Tout)'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday
Audrey Tautou and Guillaume Canet star in the charming tale of four loners, from different walks of life, who will eventually live together and become friends. (2007, 93 mins.)

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