These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"Crazy Heart" R, 1:51, Kaahumanu 6.
Jeff Bridges is the frontrunner in the best-actor Oscar race after winning the Golden Globe for his portrayal of has-been country singer "Bad" Blake. Maggie Gyllenhaal scores her own supporting actress nomination as the small town interviewer who gives Blake a last shot at redemption. Bridges does his own singin' and guitar playing (with another nomination for best song) in this wonderful performance that channels Kris Kristofferson, making its hero lovable despite his flaws and has everyone in the theater cheering him on. Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell co-star; Scott Cooper directs. Recommended.
"Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" PG, 2:14, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Harry Potter's probably not looking over his shoulder, but Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is the new kid in a similar line of work. Rick Riordan's novel resets ancient Greek mythology in modern Manhattan, where Percy (short for Perseus) is a typical teen who happens to be the demi-god son of human mom Catherine Keener and god of the sea Poseidon (Kevin McKidd). Also along for the mythological ride are Steve Coogan as Hades, Pierce Brosnan as the centaur and Uma Thurman as the snake-haired Medusa. Veteran Chris Columbus directs the high-minded family fun; Ray Winstone, Rosaria Dawson, Jake Abel, Serinda Swan, Joe Pantoliano and Melina Karakaredes co-star.
Times in the movie ads are subject to change on the weekend. It's a good idea to call the theater, just to be sure. For showtimes at Kaahumanu 6 and Kukui Mall 4, call 1 (800) -FANDANGO visit www.consolidatedtheatres.com.
For showtimes at Lahaina Wharf Cinemas, Front Street Theatres and Maui Mall Megaplex call 249-2222 or check www.gohollywood.com.
"Valentine's Day" PG-13, 2:20, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Boasting more A-list stars per frame than any other reccent romantic comedy, this one interweaves couples of all ages through overlapping storylines, suggesting an American version of "Love Actually." Arriving right on time on the calendar are Ashton Kutcher, Jessical Alba, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Anne Hathaway, Topher Grace, Emma Roberts, Carter Jenkins, Taylor Swift, Shirley MacLaine, Hector Elizondo, Bryce Robinson, Jamie Foxx, Kathy Bates, Eric Dane, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Biel, George Lopez, Bradley Cooper and Julia Roberts. Talent, not to mention egos, like that, call for a master director - namely Garry Marshall, who made many of them stars in the first place and continues to be one of the funniest guys on either side of the camera.
"The Wolfman" R, 1:57, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Trying to get back on more equal footing with all the vampires on screen these days, Benicio Del Toro, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt inject some new blood into werewolf lore. Taking inspiration from Lon Chaney Jr.'s original horror film, Del Toro plays a wayward aristocrat turned into a hairy, fanged beast by an unfortunate encounter. Joe Johnston directs.
"Aristide and the Endless Revolution" screens at 7 p.m. Friday in MCC Ka Lama 103, sponsored by Maui Peace Action and the MCC Peace Club. Free and open to the public. For details, call 984-3305 or visit www.mauipeace.org.
Nicolas Rossier's documentary follows the ouster of Jean Ber- trand Aristide, twice elected president of Haiti. Exploring the web of corruption, hopes and tragedies in the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, it provides background for the devastation and chaos in that land brought about by the recent earthquake.
"Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" PG, 1:44, Kaahumanu 6.
Picking up where their first animated 2007 comedy hit left off, this one sends its rodent stars to high school. They get into cute naughty trouble involving passing gas and shots to the crotch before having their little hearts stolen by their girl-group rivals in the school talent show, The Chipettes. Veteran Betty Thomas directs.
"A Single Man" R, 1:41, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Colin Firth's Best Actor nomination makes this drama mandatory viewing for all serious Oscar handicappers. He plays a gay English professor at the center of Tom Ford's stylistic adaptation of a novel by Christopher Isherwood set in the early '60s. Living in California in a state of quiet grief since his lover died, he hides his feelings and his loneliness under perfect demeanor while plotting his own suicide. Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult and Matthew Goode co-star, with Firth's great performance still haunting long after the film ends.
"Avatar" PG-13, 2:57, Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D, $3 surcharge per ticket); ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
With nine Oscar nominations after winning Golden Globes for best picture and best director, genius filmmaker and cinematic dictator James Cameron can lay claim to "king of the cosmos" with this dazzling and provocative $300 million sci-fi epic that's already topped $1 billion internationally. It's set on a distant moon of a faraway planet where the story revolves around the contact between humans - or, rather, their avatar surrogates - with the locals, a graceful race of 12-foot-tall blue-skinned beings. Under the dazzling visuals and special effects is an allegory about the things technological societies do to indigenous cultures in the name of greed and progress. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana lead the mixed-species cast, along with Sigourney Weaver (no stranger to outer space), Stephen Lang and Giovanni Ribisi. Upping state of the art to the next level with its amazing creatures and equally amazing 3-D effects, Cameron never lets his technology trump his storytelling, which is touching, instructive and inspiring, all at once. Recommended.
"Dear John" PG-13, 2:03, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Bring hankies for this romantic weeper from "The Notebook's" Nicholas Sparks. Channing Tatum stars as a soldier who meets his soul mate (Amanda Seyfried) while he's on leave. Despite how perfect they are for each other, real life interferes, in the form of his distant father (Richard Jenkins) and the other man in her life (Henry Thomas). The title refers to the way her letters to him begin over all the years that test and prove the meaning of true love. Lasse Hallstrom directs, topping the box office charts this week.
"The Book of Eli" R, 2:13, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Denzel Washington is the latest superstar to go roaming across a post-apocalyptic landscape in this action-adventure directed by the horror-show brother team of Albert and Allen Hughes. He plays an avenger with the last Bible on earth in his backpack, but who finds his shotgun and knife more handy to deal with the cannibalizing bandits now ruling things after a meteor strike and war 30 years earlier. Trouble ensues when Denzel wanders into a western town run by a ruthless Gary Oldman, who wants that Bible. Mila Kunis co-stars.
"Edge of Darkness" R, 2:12, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4.
"You have to decide if you're up on the cross or driving in the nails," says Mel Gibson in this new cop thriller. He plays a Boston detective on the trail of the murderers of his 24-year-old daughter (Bojana Novakovic) in this gritty saga that leads him into realms of corporate and political corruption. Ray Winstone and Danny Huston co-star and Martin Campbell directs. Looking and acting his age, Gibson's "Lethal Weapon" volatility has given way to weariness - but he still finds moments of charisma to keep things interesting.
"From Paris with Love" R, 1:50, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
John Travolta returns to his old "Pulp Fiction" stomping grounds playing a wisecracking CIA agent mentoring the more dapper Jonathan Rhys Meyers through a bloody campaign to save politicians from ruthless terrorists. "Taken's" Pierre Morel directs the action-packed carnage through the City of Light.
"It's Complicated" R, 2:15, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
The always perfect-for-the-role Meryl Streep stars in this light romantic comedy, playing the object of affection for ex-husband Alec Baldwin and new suitor Steve Martin. Writer-director Nancy Meyers, a specialist in comedies for grown-ups, tries to make life after divorce look like a whole lot of fun, with her A-list stars not taking themselves too seriously. Lake Bell, John Krasinski, Mary Kay Place and Rita Wilson co-star.
"Legion" R, 1:40, Kaahumanu 6.
Paul Bettany plays the archangel Michael in this allegorical horror-thriller set in a remote diner. After God decides that humans have fallen short of His plans for them and decides to start over, it falls to the archangel and the strangers in the cafe - Dennis Quaid, Adrianne Palicki Charles S. Dutton, Tyrese Gibson and Lucas Black - to ward off a legion of supernatural dark angels intent on wiping out humankind. Scott Stewart directs.
"The Lovely Bones" PG-13, 2:30, Kaahumanu 6.
Young Saorise Ronan leads a cast also featuring Rose McIver, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci in this adaptation of Alice Sebold's best-seller about a murdered girl looking back on her life from the afterlife. ''The Lord of the Rings' '' Peter Jackson directs, trying to balance the enchanting fantasy glow of her new realm with the truly harrowing events that put her there.
"Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" R, 1:50, ends tonight at Front Street Theaters.
Mo'Nique adds a sure-thing Oscar nomination to the Golden Globe she won as best supporting actress playing the abusive mother or a pregnant Harlem teen in this gritty, challenging and ultimately unforgettable drama. Young actress Gabourey Sidibe picks up her own Best Actress nomination to go with the film's well-earned other nominations including Best Picture and Best Director for Lee Daniels. Despite all the odds stacked against Precious, the movie sneaks in glimpses of humor, and hope. Paula Patton and Mariah Carey co-star. Recommended.
"Sherlock Holmes" PG-13, 2:23, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters.
"Iron Man," Robert Downey Jr. won a Golden Globe for reinventing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's evergreen Victorian detective. With Jude Law as Dr. Watson and Guy Ritchie directing, Downey adds funny stuff to the brainy deductions, poking fun at Victorian propriety along the way. Rachel McAdams rounds out the merry band as the brilliant detective's elementary distraction. There's cleverness galore, especially in the testy relationship between eccentric Holmes and Watson, although it often gets lost under the bombastic action and unrelenting special effects.
"The Spy Next Door" PG, 1:47, Kaahumanu 6.
The spy is Jackie Chan, and his name is Bob Ho and that's probably as much as grown-ups need to know about this family comedy that has him trying to babysit his girlfriend's three challenging children for a few weeks. Bob is supposedly a mild-mannered pen importer, so wouldn't you know that one of the kids would hack into his computer, uncovering his secret identity and setting off a slapstick crisis with his Russian counterpart. George Lopez and Billy Ray Cyrus co-star, Brian Levant directs.
"The Tooth Fairy" PG, 1:55, Kaahumanu 6.
Dwayne Johnson is one action-hero secure enough to put on wings and a tutu and star in a movie with "fairy" in the title. He plays an ice hockey player whose nickname stems from knocking opponents' teeth out. Imagine his surprise when he gets transported to Fairyland, a realm presided over by Julie Andrews, who presses him into service as an actual tooth fairy long enough to make a few deliveries and rekindle his own childhood dreams. Ashley Judd co-stars in this family-friendly comedy; Michael Lembeck directs.
"Up in the Air" R, 2:04, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Winner of a screenplay Golden Globe for writer-director Jason Reitman, this bittersweet blend of love, loneliness and hard times features George Clooney along with co-stars Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick in pitch-perfect performances. Now they've all got Oscar nominations, along with one for Best Picture for their efforts. Clooney plays a corporate terminator, logging hundreds of thousands of air miles a year to lay off white-collar workers whose bosses don't have the backbone to do it themselves. Filmmaker Reitman finds just the right tone in the bathos, mixing happy with sad and cynicism with compassion. Breaking the usual molds for romantic comedy, Clooney's performance seems effortless. Mixing in interviews with laid-off white-collar workers, it's an insightful commentary on our uncertain economic and emotional times, brilliantly offering an occasional glimpse of a silver lining to all those clouds in Clooney's world. Recommended.
"When in Rome" PG-13, 1:45, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Kristen Bell steps into the role usually played by Katherine Heigl in this opposites-attract romantic comedy. She plays an ambitious New Yorker in Rome for her sister's wedding. Not believing in love herself, she still manages to ignite the interest of an eclectic bunch of suitors including Will Arnett, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard and Danny Devito and Josh Duhamel. You know which one is Mr. Right from the trailers, but there are still laughs to be had. Anjelica Huston and Alexis Dziena co-star; Mart Steven Johnson directs.