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At the Movies

As of Friday, September 17, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:


Opening Week of Friday, Sept. 17

'Alpha and Omega'*1/2
In this animated tale in 3-D, two wolves embark on the ultimate road trip home after being taken by park rangers and shipped halfway across the country. Review on Page 23. (PG, 88 mins.)

'Devil'
In a supernatural thriller from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan, the devil preys on people in an elevator and office building. (PG-13, 80 mins.)

'Easy A'***
After a little white lie about losing her virginity gets out, a clean-cut high school girl (Emma Stone) decides to use the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. Review on Page 22. (PG-13, 93 mins.)

'Exit Through the Gift Shop'****
A supposed documentary about an eccentric filmmaker's attempt to locate and befriend the notorious British graffiti artist Banksy. Review on Page 25. (R, 87 mins.)

'Farewell'***
At the height of the Cold War in the early 1980s, a French ambassador and a Russian KGB agent meet secretly for the latter to give the former government secrets that could potentially topple the Soviet Union. Review on Page 27. (NR, 110 mins.)

'I'm Still Here'***1/2
A supposed documentary that portrays a tumultuous year in the life of actor Joaquin Phoenix, who tries to reinvent himself as a rapper. Review on Page 27. (NR, 108 mins.)

'Sa 'Yo Lamang'
An all-star Philippine cast appears in the drama about the life of a family laden with issues and hardships, testing their strength and togetherness in their most trying times. (NR, 105 mins.)

'The Town'***
Ben Affleck directs and stars in the story of a professional thief who gets involved with a victimized bank manager who doesn't know he was her captor during a heist. Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall and Jon Hamm co-star. Review on Page 24. (R, 130 mins.)

 

The Top 10 Movies

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

'Resident Evil: Afterlife'*
Milla Jovovich returns as Alice, as she continues her fight to survive in a world ravaged by a virus that turns its victims into the undead. Jovovich used to give her all in these movies, but she no longer runs as if her life depends on it. And that's the problem with the whole film: There's no urgency. (R, 95 mins.)

'Takers'***
A notorious group of bank robbers finds its plans for one last score thwarted by a hardened detective hell-bent 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 American'***
George Clooney stars as a hitman who retreats to the Italian countryside, where he befriends a local priest and strikes up an unexpected romance while awaiting the details of his next assignment. Director Anton Corbijn has crafted a quiet, haunting European thriller, drained of emotion and moving at its own deliberate and graceful pace. (R, 105 mins.)

'Machete'***
A loud, giddy, carnal blast from Robert Rodriguez as he expands his "Grindhouse" trailer into 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. It's a pastiche of Westerns, revenge thrillers, cultural stereotypes and softcore porn. (R, 105 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, and the movie follows their struggle to keep the fire burning once she returns home to California. This movie tries hard to blend Judd Apatow's bromance humor with the romantic comedy's sappy conventionalism, resulting in a goulash that just doesn't taste right. (R, 97 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.)

'The Last Exorcism'***
A fraudulent exorcist finds his faith 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 completely 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.)

'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.)

 

Arthouse

DORIS DUKE THEATRE

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

'Automorphosis'
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. today through Sunday
A tour of eccentrics, visionaries and just plain folk who have transformed their cars into artworks. (76 mins.)

'NY Export: Opus Jazz'
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Shot on location in Manhattan, dancers from the New York City Ballet revive and re-imagine the classic choreography of Jerome Robbins. (60 mins.)

 

MOVIE MUSEUM

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

'Letters to Juliet'
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. today and Sunday
Amanda Seyfried stars as an American girl on vacation in Italy who finds an unanswered love letter written 50 years ago, and then goes on a quest to find the author and her former sweetheart. (105 mins.)

'Yacoubian Building'
12:15, 3, 5:45 and 8:30 p.m. tomorrow
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.)

'Videocracy'
12:15, 1:45, 3:15 and 4:45 p.m. Monday
A documentary about Italian television and its impact on the country's culture and politics as reflected in the rise to power of media mogul and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. (2009, 85 mins.)

'Graduation Party'
6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Monday
In this movie from veteran Italian director Pupi Avati, a love-smitten baker tries to capture the attentions of a bourgeois society woman by pulling out all the stops to prepare a party for her daughter. (1985, 94 mins.)

'Ajami'
12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday
This Oscar nominee tells a series of interlocking stories that take place in a multiethnic neighborhood in Jaffa, Israel. (2009, 120 mins.)

 

CONSOLIDATED WARD THEATER #14

Ward Entertainment Complex, $12 general.

'The Soul Saviour' Film Festival
5 and 7 p.m. Wednesday
Showcase of original short films and segments, and music and experimental videos, based on or with similar themes as the ongoing, supernatural drama series of the same name and created by local filmmaker Jeff Katts.






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