These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity" Unrated, 1:38, Kaahumanu 6.
Jesse Eisenberg (left) and Joseph Mazzello give birth to Facebook in 'The Social Network.'
Columbia Pictures photo
A hit when it played at the Maui Film Festival last June, this documentary has special meaning and impact in the land that produced its heroes. Junichi Suzuki, a Japanese filmmaker who moved to Los Angeles nine years ago, retells the story of the "Go for Broke" 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up of Japanese volunteers from the not-yet-a-state of Hawaii, who distinguished themselves fighting in Europe and liberating concentration camps, even as their families were being held in internment camps at home.
"Case 39" R, 1:49, Kaahumanu 6.
Renee Zellweger stars in this suspense thriller as a committed social worker who gets more than she bargained for when she takes an abused 10-year-old (Jodelle Ferland) in until she can find a foster home for the little girl. Turns out the child has some baggage of creep-out, possessed variety making for lots of scary moments. Renee should have had a clue when she saw the girl's name - Lillith. Bradley Cooper, Ian McShane, Kerry O'Malley, Callum Keith Rennie and Crystal Lowe co-star; Christian Alvart directs.
"Let Me In" R, 1:56, Maui Mall Megaplex.
This English-language remake of a 2008 Swedish vampire thriller casts Kodi Smit-McPhee as a 12-year-old outcast whose life gets more complicated when lovely young Chloe Moretz moves in nextdoor in his bleak New Mexico neighborhood. The stirrings of young love are played out against the glowing eyes and other trappings of vampirism, under the skillfully haunting direction of "Cloverfield's" Matt Reeves.
The Social Network" PG-13, 2:15, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Competing with the latest headlines, this tense tale tells us how Facebook -that essential fact of modern life that a lot of people are addicted to but no one fully understands - was born. Coming off his star turn in "Zombieland," Jesse Eisenberg stars as 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, a not very big man on the Harvard campus who came up with the social-networking concept more or less by accident. "The West Wing's" Aaron Sorkin contributes what's sure to be a smart script, not only about Facebook's birth, but about all the litigation that followed. Armie Hammer, Josh Pence, Andrew Garfield, Rooney Mara and Justin Timberlake co-star under the skilled direction of David Fincher.
"Life as We Know It" PG-13, 1:52, Kaahumanu 6 at 7 p.m. Saturday
Katherine Heigl adds another chapter to her franchise built on finding the most roundabout roads to romance with this comedy that teams her with Josh Duhamel. They're not a couple, they don't even like each other very much, which complicates their lives when they wind up as the designated caregivers for the daughter of their respective best friends after a tragic car accident. Josh Lucas and Alexis Clagett co-star under the direction of Greg Berlandi, who goes heavy on diaper-changing and poop-in-the-bathtub humor.
"Alpha and Omega" PG, 1:28, Maui Mall Megaplex (in 3-D with a ticket surcharge).
Young wolves Humphrey (Justin Long) and Kate (Hayden Panettiere) might be a good match, if she weren't an alpha being groomed to lead the pack, and he weren't an amiable but unambitious omega. Things get complicated when they're rounded up and relocated to an Idaho national forest by park rangers who don't realize wolves from such different destinies aren't supposed to breed. The audience, of course, knows better in this animated family comedy featuring the voices of the late Dennis Hopper, Danny Glover and Christina Ricci. Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck direct.
"The American" R, 1:45, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Fresh from an honorary Emmy for his wide-ranging humanitarian work, George Clooney stars in this moody piece about an assassin on the lam in a picturesque Italian village. Hardly your typical action figure, Clooney brings "Michael Clayton" or "Up in the Air" resonance to the role of the man with secrets. Anton Corbijn, continuing his evolution from famed photographer and music-video director to the big screen, surrounds Clooney's understated performance with all the trappings of an art film. Think "Blow Up" for a new millennium. As action movies go, it's slow, but as a meditation on loneliness, Clooney is in his element. Paulo Bonacelli and Violante Placido co-star.
Avatar 3-D Special Edition" PG-13, 2:45, Maui Mall Megaplex
Writer-director-producer-cameraman James Cameron added about nine minutes to the running time of this nouveau classic for this big-screen return to Pandora one more time before the special edition DVD release. Setting cinematic and box-office history, Cameron's brilliant sci-fi epic rewrote the book on how to tell a story on-screen and made other 3-D technology look amateurish in the process. Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Long and Giovanni Ribisi star but you already knew that.
"Devil" PG-13, 1:35, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
M. Night Shyamalan provides the story for this thriller about a group of strangers trapped in an elevator. As though that's not frightening enough, one of them happens to be the devil. Chris Messina, Logan Marshall Green, Jenny O'Hara, Bonny Novakovic, Bokeem Woodbine, Geoffrey Arend and Jacob Vargas star; Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle share the directing credit.
"Easy A" PG-13, 1:47, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4.
"Zombieland's" terrific Emma Stone finds a star-vehicle worthy of her talents and charm in this high school comedy about a girl who starts that trashy rumor about herself, and reaps all sorts of unexpected benefits. With references to the classic "The Scarlet Letter," it's more a cross between "Juno" and "Clueless." Amanda Bynes, Dan Byrd, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell, Aly Michalka and Stanley Tucci co-star; Will Gluck directs and Bert V. Royal provides the clever script around Stone's smart, lovable star turn.
"Eat Pray Love" PG-13, 2:35, Maui Mall Megaplex.
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.
"Get Low" PG-13, 1:42, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Screen immortal Robert Duvall, boasting a shaggy beard out to here, plays rascal Felix Bush in this mystery-comedy-drama set in the 1930s. Also featuring Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, the title refers to being buried, an idea that Felix realizes he will have to deal with after hearing about the death of a friend. How he goes about making his own funeral arrangements - Murray plays the undertaker -provides the heart, soul and laughs, under the direction of Aaron Schneider. A hillbilly parable nicely surrounded by '30s atmosphere and music, it doesn't break new ground -but provides plenty of pleasure just watching Duvall, Spacek and Murray work together. Recommended.
"Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole" (3-D) PG, 1:55, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
With the cutest faces to hit the big screen since the penguin invasion a few years ago, this 3-D animated adventure plays out the age-old battle between good and evil among owls! Jim Sturgess is owl Soren, at odds with a jealous brother. Boasting flying sequences and dreamlike landscapes reportedly rivaling "Avatar," the owls have an impressive roster of actors providing their voices including Abbie Cornish, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving, Joel Edgerton, David Wenham and Oscar winners Geoffrey Rush and Helen Mirren. Zack Snyder directs.
"Nanny McPhee Returns" PG, 2:04, ends tonight at Kaahumanu 6.
Try as she might to make herself look hideous, everyone knows Emma Thompson's iron-willed English nanny is truly a saint under the snaggle tooth and moles. Scripting as well as starring in this sequel to the charming original, she plays the remedy for ill-behaved children everywhere. The movie is set in the English countryside in the 1940s, with the men away fighting World War II. Colin Firth, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Maggie Smith and Rhys Ifans co-star with a bunch of kids, and Susanna White directs.
"Resident Evil: Afterlife" R, 2:00, Kaahumanu 6; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters.
Milla Jovovich reprises her role as Alice, the no-nonsense survivor of a global viral plague now battling the forces of the undead and the nasty Umbrella Corporation making life miserable on the planet. Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts and Sergio Peris-Mencheta co-star. Paul W.S. Anderson writes and directs.
"Takers" PG-13, 2:02, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
This latest crime-caper adventure casts Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Hayden Christensen, Michael Ealy and Chris Brown as highly effective bank robbers who set their sights on an armored car heist. Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez are the dogged cops on their tail. John Luessenhop directs.
"The Town" R, 2:20, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Ben Affleck gets high marks as director and co-writer while registering the best performance in his acting career in this gritty heist thriller set in the streets of Boston's blue-collar Charleston neighborhood. He plays the leader of an ingenious gang of bank robbers, whose ranks include the hot-headed Jeremy Renner. The best-laid plans of the gang get put to the test after Ben starts a relationship with a bank manager (Rebecca Hall) taken hostage on the last job, just to find out what she knows. Of course you know where that's headed. Jon Hamm and Chris Cooper make strong contributions in the supporting ranks, as the script keeps the audience guessing right up to the end. Combining a flair for working with actors with an assured sense of his setting, Affleck is the star on both sides of the camera, producing a tasty blend of action and drama. Recommended.
"The Virginity Hit" R, 1:26, Kaahumanu 6.
An ill-fated attempt to lose his virginity, compounded by the mother of all diarrhea attacks, would be life-scarring enough for nerdy Matt Bennett, but, oh, no! His friends, including Zack Pearlman, Jacob Davich and Justin Kline, recorded the whole thing and posted it online where it becomes a viral sensation. Why he thinks they're his friends is the first mystery in this raunchy comedy that bring hormonal teendom into the age of YouTube. Krysta Rodriguez, Nicole Weaver and Savannah Welch co-star. Andrew Gurland and Juck Botko write and direct.
"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" PG-13, 2:28, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Michael Douglas reprises his Oscar-winning role as amoral Wall Street player Gordon Gecko, whose cynical "Greed is good" mantra of the '80s resonates in new, and more relevant, ways in 2010. After doing a long stretch in prison for his misdeeds, Gecko returns to his old line of work, mentoring Shia LaBeouf while keeping the audience guessing what he's up to. Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Josh Brolin and Carey Mulligan co-star. Bravely showing his age, Douglas finds new ways of being shifty, driving the movie to the top of the box office charts as LaBeouf's guide and disillusioner. While the performances are memorable, the writers don't waste much time explaining all that financial stuff to the audience, and director Stone orchestrates things in an over-the-top direction, trampling more subtle nuances in the process.
"You Again" PG, 2:00, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
High school rivalries never die in this comedy that traces at least two generations' worth of them. Kristin Bell stars as the sister of soon-to-be-groom James Wolk, who realizes that his bride (Odette Yustman) was her arch tormentor in high school. When aunt Sigourney Weaver flies in for the wedding, it turns out she has the same issues with old classmate Jamie Lee Curtis. Throw in Betty White for good measure, and you've got the recipe for one uncomfortable wedding day. Andy Fickman directs.
This article includes a correction from the original published on Thursday, September 30, 2010. A sneak preview of the new movie comedy "Life as We Know It" takes place at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Kaahumanu 6. The theater was incorrectly listed on Page 7 of Thursday's Maui Scene. The Maui News apologizes for the error.