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At the Movies

Opening Friday, July 16

‘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. Review on Page 21; feature on Page 24. (PG-13, 147 mins.)

‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ * * 1/2
"National Treasure" alumni Nicolas Cage, director Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer team up again for this action-adventure inspired by the 1940 short in the Disney feature "Fantasia." 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. Review on Page 25. (PG, 110 mins.)

‘Standing Ovation’
Five junior high school friends form a singing group to compete against a talented if unscrupulous group of sisters in a national music video contest. (PG, 108 mins.)


The Top 10 Movies

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

‘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 (right) 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 Twilight Saga: Eclipse’
In the third part of the franchise, a string of mysterious killings grips 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.)

‘Predators’ * 1/2
A group of elite warriors realize they’ve 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.)

‘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.)

‘The Last Airbender’ *
The hit Nickelodeon animated adventure series comes to life (right), courtesy director M. Night Shyamalan, as a powerful young warrior learns he is key to restoring balance to his war-torn world. Yet 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. This is a joyless, soulless, muddled mess. (PG, 94 mins.)

‘Grown Ups’ *
A group of childhood buddies get 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.)

‘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.)

‘The A-Team’ * * *
Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Sharlto Copley star in the big screen remake of the popular 1980s action TV show that featured the exploits of a rogue crew of ex-special operatives. This is flat-out fun with a cheeky sense of humor and full of over-the-top action scenes. (PG-13, 117 mins.)

‘Cyrus’ * * *
John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill star in this creepy-funny comedy about a lonely divorce whose new relationship with an attractive single mom is challenged by her 20-something, still-at-home son, who share an off-puttingly close relationship with each other. (R, 92 mins.)



Honolulu Academy of Arts, 900 S. Beretania St. (532-8768); $8 general; $7 seniors, students and military; $5 Academy members (tickets also available online at www.tix.com):

Third Annual Surf Film Festival: ‘Waveriders’
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Fri, July 16 and Sat., July 17
A previously untold story of the unlikely Irish roots of the worldwide surfing phenomenon and today’s pioneers of Irish big-wave surfing. The story unfolds through the inspirational and ultimately tragic history of legendary Irish-Hawaiian waterman George Freeth, who was responsible for the rebirth of the sport in the early 20th century. (75 mins.)

‘Lost Prophets: Search for the Collective’
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
A profile of how some pro surfers balance their lives with adventure, dedication and a deep connection to the sea in the hope that it will revitalize the sport. (52 mins.)

‘Out of Place’
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Documentary about the underground surf scene surrounding Lake Erie in Cleveland during the winter. (65 mins.)

‘The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun’
1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Filmed and edited by George Greenough, one of surfing’s godfathers, this classic film chronicles the advancements of the shortboard revolution of 1968.

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

‘Don McKay’
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 16
In this 2009 indie drama /thriller, a man returns to his hometown after a 25-year absence to try and rekindle a romance but instead gets caught in a web of confusion, deceit and murder. Thomas Haden Church, Elisabeth Shue and Melissa Leo star. (87 mins.)

‘Pretty Bird’
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17
A sweet-natured guy enlists his pals to help him create and market his idea for a rocket-powered belt. But can their friendship withstand unexpected success? Billy Crudup, David Hornsby and Paul Giamatti star in this comedy directed by "Parks and Recreation" actor Paul Schneider. (120 mins.)

‘Gettin’ Square’
12:15, 2, 3:45 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday
Set in the colorful surroundings of Australia’s Gold Coast in Queensland, the film revolves around a recent parolee who sets out to find himself a legitimate job. Sam Worthington, David Wenham and Timothy Spall star in this popular 2003 film. (98 mins.)

‘California Dreamin”
7:30 p.m. Sunday
A dark comedy set in 1999 during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, as a train being escorted by a platoon of U.S. Marines gets stopped in a remote town. (155 mins.)

‘Day for Night’
12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Monday
Francois Truffaut’s 1973 film is a romantic comedy that takes place behind the scenes on a movie set. Jean-Pierre Leaud, Jacqueline Bisset, Valentina Cortese and Truffaut himself star. (115 mins.)

12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday
In the latest film from acclaimed Korean director Bong Joon-ho, a dedicated 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.)


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