These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
Not Horsing around: Diane Lane (from left) Nelsan Ellis, Otto Thorwarth and John Malkovich are the humans hoping for a Triple Crown victory in “Secretariat.”
Walt Disney Studios photo via AP
"Life as We Know It" PG-13, 1:52, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters. 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.
"My Soul to Take" R, 2:02, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. Max Thieriot stars in this new serial killer thriller, but it's Wes Craven's name in the credits as writer and director that lets you know this is going to be quality horror. The story is set 16 years after the death of a mass murderer who swore he'd be back to kill the seven children born the night he died. John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker, Zena Grey, Nick Lashaway, Paulina Olszynski, Jeremy Chu, Emily Meade, Raul Esparza, Jessica Hecht, Frank Grille, Danai Gurita, Haris Yulin, Shareeka Epps and Elena Hurst co-star.
"Secretariat" PG, 2:18, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. Historical facts are the spoilers in the unlikely but true story of the horse that gained the nation's attention as a Triple Crown contender in 1973, but this Disney production still pulls out all the stops when it comes to excitement and sentimentality. Five horses take turns playing the title character, but Diane Lane and John Malkovich add the human dimensions that give the film character. She plays a Denver housewife who becomes a Virginia stable owner after her father is taken ill. Malkovich plays the flashy dressing and eccentric but effective trainer she hires to make a contender out of the horse they call "Big Red" in order to save the stable. James Cromwell, Margo Martindale, Nelson Ellis and Otto Thorwarth co-star; Randall Wallace directs.
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.
"442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity" Unrated, 1:38, ends tonight at Kaahumanu 6. 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.
"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, ends tonight at 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.
"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.
"Devil" PG-13, 1:35, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at 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 in this exercise in claustrophobia.
"Easy A" PG-13, 1:47, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. "Zombieland's" terrific Emma Stone finds a star-vehicle worthy of her talents and charm in this high school comedy about a girl who accidentally starts a 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, ends tonight at 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. "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy directs, bringing 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.
"Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole" (3-D) PG, 1:55, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4. 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.
"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.
"Resident Evil: Afterlife" R, 2:00, Kaahumanu 6. 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.
"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 the brilliant script, not only about Facebook's birth, but about all the litigation that followed. Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Josh Pence, Rooney Mara and Justin Timberlake co-star under the skilled direction of David Fincher, who makes computer hacking and filing legal depositions the stuff of high drama and box-office rewards. Recommended (See review on Page 2).
"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, ends tonight at 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, record the whole thing and post 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 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; ends tonight at 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.