These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"Eat Pray Love" PG-13, 2:35, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Columbia Pictures photo
Julia Roberts finds what she’s looking for with Javier Bardem in “Eat Pray Love”
Julia Roberts steps into the role of author Elizabeth Gilbert, whose chronicle of her round-the-world search for her soul became a huge best-seller. Director Ryan Murphy brings the odyssey to the screen with sumptuous visuals, both of the luminous Roberts and settings in Italy, India and Bali. The title explains the scope of her journey, mixing pleasures of the senses with deeper spiritual realizations and self-fulfillment. Richard Jenkins, Billy Crudup, James Franco and Javier Bardem co-star.
"The Expendables" R, 1:58, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Sylvester Stallone is an older, wiser "Rambo" on both sides of the camera, directing, co-writing and starring in this guerrilla-action thriller. Playing -what else? - the leader of a group of disenfranchised mercenaries, the story bounces from one battle to the next with other mercenaries who have a hard time keeping track of which side they're on. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Robert, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, David Zayas, Giselle Itie, Charisma Carpenter, Gary Danields, Terry Crews and Mickey Rourke co-star.
"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" PG-13, 2:07, Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters.
Michael Cera stars in this comic adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's graphic novel as low-ambition bass player in a Toronto garage band called to action to battle the "seven evil exes" to win the heart of new love Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Borrowing heavily from comic-book culture, video games and music videos, the film should attract Cera's legions of fans and other 20-somethings. Anna Kendrick, Kieran Culkin, Mark Webber, Alison Pill and Ellen Wong co-star; "Shaun of the Dead's" Edgar Wright writes and directs.
"Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" PG, 1:40, Maui Mall Megaplex (in 3-D and 2-D); ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas (3-D).
Bette Midler gives voice to the villainous Kitty in this family-friendly animated comedy that has her masterminding a plan to enslave the canines and put the felines in charge. The satire in the script starts with a James Bond sendup, targeting other iconic images like "Silence of the Lambs" for the grownups, while distracting the kids with the cute talking critters. Neil Patrick Harris, Nick Nolte, James Marsden, Christina Applegate and Roger Moore provide voices; Brad Peyton directs.
"Charlie St. Cloud" PG-13, 1:54, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters.
Fresh from his recent tribute at the Maui Film Festival, teen heartthrob Zac Efron ventures into supernatural drama territory, playing a young man plagued by visions of his younger brother who died in a car crash that should have taken his own life. Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew, Augustus Prew, Donal Logue, Kim Basinger and Ray Liotta co-star; Burr Steers directs.
"Cyrus" R, 1:31, Maui Mall Megaplex.
An audience-award winner at last June's Maui Film Festival, this Freudian comedy stars John
C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill and Catherine Keener. Reilly plays Tomei's new boyfriend, whose honorable but bumbling intentions are no match for the not-quite-innocent schemes of her grown son Hill, who still lives at home with her. The always great Keener co-stars as Reilly's first wife, the smart one. Brothers Mark and Jay Duplass co-write and direct.
"Despicable Me" PG, 1:35, Kaahumanu 6; ends tonight at Front Street Theatres.
Clever moments, colorful characters and a French-flavored sense of whimsey underlie this offbeat comedy featuring a bravura vocal performance by Steve Carell as Gru, a bad guy who eventually discovers he's got a good heart. The first animated 3-D movie from Universal follows the heavyset Gru, with his hunched carriage, indeterminate Eastern European accent and environmentally unfriendly vehicle, as he hatches a plan to steal the moon. He soon meets his match in three girls:?Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier); Agnes, (Elsie Fisher); and Margo, (Miranda Cosgrove). Gru's growing fondness for becoming a father figure adds heart to the wit, yielding a box-office hit in the process. Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud direct. Recommended.
"Dinner for Schmucks" PG-13, 2:09, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Steve Carell and Paul Rudd star in this adaptation of a French comedy as an odd couple of doofuses invited to a dinner by wealthy businessmen secretly betting on who can take the prize as the biggest loser. Carell reveals his comic genius, playing a dork whose only talent is creating dioramas featuring stuffed mice wearing little costumes; Rudd plays a more cunning kind of striver who latches onto him. David Walliams, Zach Galifianakis and Jemaine Clement co-star in the mayhem under the direction of Jay Roach.
"Grown Ups" PG-13, 1:57, Kaahumanu 6.
The death of their childhood basketball coach leads to a reunion for old friends Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Chris Rock, who gather at the site of a championship celebration from years ago. Picking up where they left off, the old buddies, now with wives and children in tow, discover age doesn't necessarily equal maturity. David Spade and Rob Schneider co-star, with Sandler and Fred Wolf providing the screenplay and Dennis Dugan doing the direction.
"Inception" PG-13, 2:43, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Writer-director Christopher Nolan's blockbuster mind trip has scored box-office gold by speaking the language and revealing the architecture of dreams. Viewers have no choice but to strap in for the ride through this stunningly gorgeous, technically flawless symphony of images and ideas. Leonardo DiCaprio is Dom Cobb, a master thief of the subconscious who enters the minds of sleeping victims 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 to 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 that has torn him from his wife and two young children and forced him to go on the run. A heist movie with a "Memento"-like way of telling the story in reverse, the unique film's awesomeness, ambition and scope inspire viewers to return time and again. Recommended.
"The Kids Are All Right" R, 1:44, Kukui Mall 4.
If they had waited until December to release this Sundance festival hit, there would have been Oscar nominations all around. The modern family is portrayed with comedy, vibrancy and emotional truth in this look at an L.A. clan led by two married moms, Nic and Jules (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore). Things take a surprising turn when kids, Joni (Mia Wasikowska), 18, and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), 15, conceived by artificial insemination, find their sperm donor. He's "bio-dad" Paul (Mark Ruffalo), an easygoing restauranteur. The kids are drawn to the bachelor's style, while Nic and Jules struggle with feelings of inadequacy. As Paul enters the lives of the forthright four, family ties are defined, redefined, then re-redefined. Lisa Cholodenko directs from the screenplay she wrote with Stuart Blumberg. Recommended!
"The Other Guys" PG-13, 2:02, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg knock "Inception" off the box-office thrown with this offeat, whimsical parody of the mismatched-cop-buddies formula. Wahlberg is the hot-headed one, like his Oscar-nominated role in "The Departed." The brilliant Ferrell is the earnest, goofy one. How they manage to outshine hotshot detectives Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson is one of the running gags, written and directed by Adam McKay. With the stars playing their roles deadpan and the film paying homage to great cop-action sequences, there are sly jokes everywhere you look. Co-stars include Michael Keaton, Rob Riggle and Eva Mendes. Recommended. (See review on Page 2.)
"The Last Airbender" PG-13, 1:58, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Suspense auteur M. Night Shyamalan tells this tale of 12-year-old Aang (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, centurylong war against the others. Aang discovers he is the lone avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements, teaming up with Katara (Nicola Peltz) and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world.
"Ramona and Beezus" G, 1:59, Maui Mall Megaplex.
This adaptation of Beverly Cleary's best-selling books 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 and Front Street Theatres; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4.
Angelina Jolie is the kind of action hero who can do stunts that would break a normal person's back without breaking a nail. Better still, she looks gorgeous when she does it. The role of Evelyn Salt, a crack CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy is tailor-made for her in this action-thriller that cements her action-hero status, but doesn't go very deep to find the character underneath. Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Daniel Olbrychski co-star; Phillip Noyce directs.
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" PG, 2:05, Maui Mall Megaplex.
This pleasant-enough potion of action and comedy that will send some parents and kids home happy is a variation of the King Arthur Chosen One tale. Nicholas Cage stars as 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 ancient conflict between good and evil as they vie with arch nemesis Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). Along the way, the sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, working together to stop the forces of darkness and helping the apprentice get the girl. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub, creators of the "National Treasure" franchise, concoct this family fantasy.
"The Servant" (Bang-Ja-Jeon) R, 2:04, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Based on a Korean folktale, this comedy in Korean with English subtitles follows an endangered romance between the son of a local official and a beautiful woman of a lower social class. In a new wrinkle, it lets the pair's servants do their bidding. Kim Dae-Woo directs.
"Step Up 3-D" PG-13, 1:47, Kaahumanu 6.
This latest addition to the street-dancing franchise brings 3-D to the equation and moves the action to New York. There NYU freshman Adam G. Sevani breaks his promise to his parents to study, getting drawn instead into hip-hop nirvana with the House of Pirates crew. Alyson Stoner plays his on-again, off-again best friend. Jon M. Chu directs with Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson co-starring, but the real stars are the choreographers, providing great moves for the film's cast on the sidewalks of New York.
"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 turns dangerous when they get 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.
It's 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 carries on the blockbuster tradition, delighting fans and defanging critics.