These are Maui Scene's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"The Kids Are All Right" R, 1:44, Kaahumanu 6. The modern family is portrayed with comedy, vibrancy and emotional truth in the most talked about movie at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. All is well with the Southern California clan, led by two married moms, Nic and Jules (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, respectively), in a cozy, suburban L.A. neighborhood. However, things take a comedically surprising turn when kids, Joni (Mia Wasikowska), 18, and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), 15, conceived by artificial insemination, want to find their biological father. Joni honors her brother's request and manages to make contact with "bio-dad" Paul (Mark Ruffalo), an easygoing restauranteur. The kids find themselves drawn to the bachelor's style, while Nic and Jules struggle with feelings of inadequacy. As Paul comes into the lives of the fourthright four, an unexpected chapter begins for all five of them as family ties are defined, redefined, then re-redefined. Lisa Cholodenko ("High Art" and "Laurel Canyon") directs from an original screenplay that she wrote with Stuart Blumberg ("Keeping the Faith").
"Ramona and Beezus" G, 1:59, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. Based on the best-selling books by Beverly Cleary, "Ramona and Beezus" brings the adventures of young Ramona Quimby (Joey King) and her big sister, Beezus (Selena Gomez), to life. Ramona's vivid imagination, boundless energy and accident-prone antics keep everyone she meets on their toes. Her sense of mischief comes in handy when she attempts to help save her family's home. John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Duhamel and Sandra Oh also star in the film. Elizabeth Allen directs.
"Salt" PG-13, 1:55, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kaahumanu 6 and Front StreetTheatres. See previous article for review.
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.
"Despicable Me" PG, 1:35, Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theatres. "Despicable Me" could be called "Forgettable Me," despite a few clever moments and colorful characters. A strong voice cast led by Steve Carell as the bad guy, Gru, can't seem to uplift the comedy that's a bit darker and odder than most family friendly animated films. The first animated 3-D movie from Universal seems to forget the storyline, although it does remember to include pleasing animation found in a slightly off-kilter look. The heavyset Gru, with his hunched carriage, indeterminate Eastern European accent and environmentally unfriendly vehicle, hatches a plan to steal the moon. He soon meets his match in three girls:?Edith voiced by Dana Gaier; Agnes, voiced by Elsie Fisher; and Margo, voiced by Miranda Cosgrove. However, aesthetics of the characters and the scenes are enough to hold this summer cartoon afloat, and the plot goes predictably soft and gooey at the end. Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud direct.
"Inception" PG-13, 2:43, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. There's no way to prepare for this anticipated blockbuster mind trip by writer-director Christopher Nolan. The only thing viewers can do is strap in and get ready for the ride through this stunningly gorgeous, technically flawless symphony of images and ideas. Leonardo DiCaprio is Dom Cobb, an extractor who's a master thief with experience in entering the mind while a person is sleeping to steal their secrets. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is his right-hand man, Arthur, and Ken Watanabe is one of their clients named Saito. Watanabe hires Dom and his team for a different kind of crime: sneak into the subconscious of a competitor (Cillian Murphy) and implant an idea that will ruin his empire. In return, Saito will help Dom clear his name for a crime he didn't commit, one that's torn him from his wife and two young children and forced him to go on the run. At its core, the film is a heist movie with a "Memento"-type movement of the mystery in reverse. But the sheer enormity of the film, with it's awesomeness, ambition and scope, is what makes this a journey to which viewers will return time and again. Recommended.
"The Last Airbender" PG-13, 1:58, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. Suspense auteur M. Night Shyamalan takes a break from crafting original screenplays to tell this tale of a 12-year-old boy (Noah Ringer) who provides the last hope for restoring harmony to a land consumed by chaos. In a world balanced on the four nations of Water, Earth, Fire and Air, chaos ensues when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world.
"Grown Ups" PG-13, 1:57, Kaahumanu 6. Ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. The death of their childhood basketball coach leads to a reunion for some old friends (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock), who gather at the site of a championship celebration from years ago. Picking up where they left off, the buddies, with their wives and children in tow, discover why age doesn't necessarily equal maturity. Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider star in this film written by Sandler and Fred Wolf.
"The Karate Kid" PG, 2:35, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex. Jaden Smith - Will and Jada Pinkett's kid - leaps into the starring role in this update of the heartwarming 1984 action-drama about a boy who has to learn martial arts from an unexpected master to ward off bullies' attacks. In this version, he is forced to move from Detroit to China after his single mom (Taraji P. Henson) is assigned to a new job there. He gets a big boost when his school's janitor turns out to be Jackie Chan. Harald Zwart directs, right to the top of the box-office charts.
"Knight and Day" PG-13, 2:04, Kaahumanu 6. This spy caper unites fugitive couple (Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz) as they wage a war between truth and trust while speeding across the globe in an attempt to avoid capture by a determined federal agent. During their glamorous, globetrotting and sometimes deadly adventure, nothing and no one - even the now fugitive couple - are what they seem. Amid shifting alliances and unexpected betrayals, they race across the world with their survival ultimately hinging on the battle of truth vs. trust. The all-star cast is rounded out with Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Grace, Paul Dano, Marc Blucas, Viola Davis, Jordi Molla and the film, which was shot in locations all over the world, is directed by James Mangold.
"Predators" R, 1:46, Maui Mall Megaplex. Ends tonight at Front Street Theatres. As if one "Predator" wasn't threatning enough, "Predators" - plural - promises even more beasts in the latest sequel to John McTiernan's 1987 original. A group of mercenaries - Adrien Brody as the former Arnold Schwarzenegger star; a Mexican drug cartel veteran (Danny Trejo); a Brazilian black ops sniper (Alice Braga); and a Yakuza assassin (Louis Ozawa Changchien) - finds itself assembled, ready to square off against a gang of alien predators. As with the original film, viewers are treated to the aliens' blurry, red-and-orange point-of-view, which remains the most interesting visual of the series. However, combine fighting among the motley crew members and fighting against the monsters from the scary-looking species, and everyone is a predator, hence the plurality. It's left up to the viewer as to whether this third film of predators is one to try and escape. Nimrod Antal directs.
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" PG, 2:05, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theatres. "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" stirs up a pleasant-enough potion of action and comedy that will send some parents and kids home happy. A variation of the King Arthur Chosen One tale and developed by a team of five writers from the Mikey Mouse short stars Nicholas Cage as the 1,500-year-old sorcerer Balthazar Blake who can claim Merlin the magician as mentor. Set in modern-day Manhattan, Blake and his hapless apprentice, Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel), are swept into the center of an ancient conflict between good and evil. Blake must defend the city from arch nemesis Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina) and he recruits the reluctant Stutler. The sorcerer then gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic; together these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkeness and to help Stutler get the girl. Walt Disney Studios, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub, the creators of the "National Treasure" franchise, concocts this family fantasy.
"Toy Story 3" G, 1:43, Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D, with ticket surcharge). Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and cowgirl (Joan Cusack) return to the third installment of this franchise the first in 3-D - that put Pixar and computer animation on the map. Once again the toys confront their own mortality as their boy grows up and heads for college, leaving them with the options of being boxed in the attic or put out for the garbage man. They get a new lease on life when they wind up in a day care center, but that also turns dangerous when theyget placed in the toddler room. Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris and new addition Ned Beatty add their voices to the mix under Lee Unkrich's direction.
"Twilight Saga: Eclipse" PG-13, 2:19, Maui Mall Megaplex, Front Street Theatres and Kukui Mall 4. It'll be a battle of the heartthrobs as Team Edward and Team Jacob fans converge for this third installment of the vampire series. Bella (Kristen Stewart) once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward (Robert Pattinson) and her friendship with Jacob (Taylor Lautner) - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the struggle between vampire and werewolf. This third edition of the "Twilight" series is already set to be the summer's big blockbuster, taking in more than $30 million from midnight screenings when it opened earlier this week, surpassing the previous midnight record of $26.3 million set on opening day last November by its predecessor, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."