These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
Oscar winner Jeff Bridges has fun with science, co-starring with himself in “Tron: Legacy.”
Walt Disney Studios photo via AP
"Fair Game" PG-13, 1:46, Kaahumanu 6.
Naomi Watts and Sean Penn star in this political drama inspired by the real events in the lives of former CIA analyst Valerie Plame and her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson. "The Bourne Identity's" Doug Limon directs this hard-hitting look at how politicians really play hardball in Washington.
"The Fighter" R, 1:55, Maui Mall Megaplex and Kukui Mall 4.
Inspired by a true story of a gritty Boston boxer and his last shot at being a contender, this hard-hitting drama has won Golden Globe nominations for star Mark Wahlberg, supporting actors Christian Bale and Amy Adams, director David O. Russell and for itself as best drama.
"How Do You Know?" PG-13, 2:16, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
"As Good As It Gets" writer-director James L. Brooks tries to tap into romantic-comedy gold with this mismatched pairing of Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd. She plays a professional softball player cut from the team, trying to decide what comes next, and whether to chase it with Rudd's harried corporate executive and a ditzy ball player played by Owen Wilson. Jack Nicholson co-stars as Rudd's short-tempered father.
"Tron: Legacy" PG, 2:21, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Oscar or not, Jeff Bridges returns to special-effects land in this sequel to the original foray into what might happen if you crossed humans with nonhumans. Bridges co-stars with a computer-generated younger version of himself as his villainous adversary in the nonstop effects set on and off "the Grid" of the future. Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde co-star; Joseph Kosinski directs.
"Yogi Bear 3-D" R, 1:55, Maui Mall Megaplex (in 3-D and 2-D) and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Dan Aykroyd provides the smarter-than-average voice of the title character and Justin Timerlake gives voice to trusty sidekick Boo Boo in this computer-generated update on the old TV series. Their mission is to save Jellystone Park from the mayor's plan to close it. There's even a computer-generated documentary film crew on hand to cover the proceedings. Anna Faris and Tom Cavanaugh co-star; Eric Breviq directs.
"127 Hours" R, 2:14, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Riding the crest of the announcement that he will co-host this year's Oscars with Anne Hathaway, James Franco delivers his own Oscar-worthy, Golden Globe-nominated performance as adventurer Aron Ralston. Directed by Danny Boyle, who's still savoring his own Oscars for "Slumdog Millionaire, the title refers to the time period Aron spent pinned under a bolder and the extraordinary measure he had to take to free himself. (It's unofficially known as "the arm movie" -be warned, it's not for the squeamish.) Kate Mara, Amber Tamblyn, Sean Bott, Koeman Stinger and Treat Williams co-star in a tour-de-force performance as a resourceful, unlikely hero by an actor whose time has come. Recommended.
"Burlesque" PG-13, 2:14, Kukui Mall 4, ends tonight at Kaahumanu 6, and Front Street Theaters.
Big-voiced Christina Aguilera shines in her debut as an actress, playing a small-town girl who heads for Hollywood to wow the world with talents in this splashy, brassy musical for the holidays. It doesn't hurt to have Cher starring as the resident diva in the "Showgirls"-style goings-on. Stanley Tucci, Kristin Bell, Eric Dane and Cam Gigandet co-star, working something like a story in amidst the mirror-ball, bump-and-grind musical numbers. Steven Antin writes and directs this surprise Golden Globe nominee for best musical or comedy. Rated PG-13 (go figure), it's an entertaining product of a mindset where naughty is a more potent concept than explicit, teasing is the point, and melodrama is as subtle as it gets That's more than enough, when you've got screen-filling talents like Aguilara and Cher in front of lots of long-legged ladies doing their thing. Recommended.
"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Trader" PG, 2:08, Maui Mall Megaplex (in 3-D and 2-D), Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
The youngest of the Pevense siblings, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes), return to the magical, allegorical land of Narnia accompanied by their annoying cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) in this third adaptation of books in the beloved series by C.S. Lewis. The title stems from the sailing ship that carries them back, where they grapple with dangers and temptations in this allegorical realm presided over the noble lion Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson). Anna Popplewell, William Moseley, Ben Barnes and Tilda Swinton co-star. Michael Apted directs.
"Due Date" R, 1:50, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis are the odd couple stuck together for the road trip from hell in this screwball comedy from "The Hangover" director Todd Phillips. Downey plays the high-strung, uptight one trying to get home from Atlanta to L.A. in time for the birth of his first child. Galifianakis is the loose cannon who thinks he's going to be a star once he gets to Hollywood. There's also a dog, and a can with Zach's father's ashes in the back seat, all adding to the mayhem. Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, Danny McBride, RZA and Matt Walsh co-star.
"Faster" R, 1:38, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Dwayne Johnson is a furious ex-con on a mission of vengeance in this adrenalized action adventure. Billy Bob Thornton is the cop on his trail as he carries out a series of executions of the gang members who killed his buds and sent him to jail in the first place. George Tillman Jr. directs the nonstop carnage co-starring Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Carla Gugino and Maggie Grace.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," PG-13, 2:23, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
As actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have grown into the roles of Harry, Hermione and Ron, the tone of their adventures has gotten darker. This first of the two-part conclusion to the series brings Harry into the final conflict with his unspeakable nemesis, Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), in a fight to the finish. David Yates directs this epic, if frightening, latest installment, which backs the young stars with performances by superb series regulars Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Imelda Staunton, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, newcomer Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon in flashbacks.
"Love and Other Drugs" R, 2:07, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas; opens Friday at Front Street Theaters.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway take their clothes off a lot in this Golden Globe-nominated romantic comedy set in the '90s. He plays a charming pharmaceutical salesman of a new drug called Viagra, and she portrays the free spirit who makes him wonder if there might be better things in life than his wayward ways. Oliver Platt, Hank Aaria, Gabriel Macht, Judy Greer, George Segal and the late Jill Clayburgh co-star; Edward Zwick co-writes and directs. It's breezy if slight, entertainment, diluting the story with unnecessary sidetrips, but still leaving plenty of room for the stars to share their lovable chemistry.
"Megamind" PG, 1:51, 3-D, Kaahumanu 6.
After the megasuccess of "Despicable Me," here comes another animated comedy starring the villain. Will Ferrell gives voice to the brainy bad guy who finds life is boring after offing his nemesis, Metro Man (Brad Pitt). Concocting new adversary, Tighten (Jonah Hill), he experiences a fresh challenge when his creation turns out to be worse than he is, forcing him to become the hero after all. Tina Fey co-stars and steals whatever scene she's in, and David Cross, Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller and his kids are among those providing voices, along with the film's director, Tom McGrath, who guided the project to two weeks atop the box-office charts.
"Morning Glory" PG-13, 1:42, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Rachel McAdams stars in this charming lightweight sendup of the world of morning network TV shows. She plays the endlessly optimistic young producer of "Daybreak," a show stuck in fourth place in the ratings due to numerous problems including ridiculously wrong chemistry between its anchors played by Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford. Diane is fine for the light-news beat, but Ford, as a pompous, once legendary newsman, never breaks out of his scowl at finding himself in this position. The writing is witty, the tone light and there's romance with fellow producer Patrick Wilson to keep McAdams preoccupied. "Notting Hill's Roger Michell directs, and Jeff Goldblum co-stars, peeling the covers off "happy news," but making the film's audience happy in the process.
"The Next Three Days" PG-13, 2:02, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
The mild-mannered married lives of Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks are upended when she is accused of murder, and then is convicted in court, loses her appeals and is sent to the state penitentiary. Although his career as a Prius-driving community college English professor wouldn't seem to prepare him for the task, Crowe sets about devising a plan to break her out, enlisting guidance from hardened-criminal-turned-author Liam Neeson. "Crash" Oscar winner Paul Haggis directs.
"Red" PG-13, 2:06, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Actors more used to snagging prestigious film awards like Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Richard Dreyfuss join Bruce Willis in "Die Hard" territory for this action-comedy that casts them as former CIA agents now on the agency's hit list. With Mirren and Freeman adding class and Malkovich pushing things in a wiggy direction, Willis dispenses his trademark cool-under-fire wisecracks as the bullets fly. Amidst all that star power, Mary-Louise Parker turns out to be the movie's secret weapon, with Karl Urban and 93-year-old Ernest Borgnine co-starring under the direction of Robert
"Stone" R, 1:45, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Edward Norton as a crafty jailed criminal plays cat-and-mouse with Robert De Niro as a straight-arrow parole officer, using his wife, Milla Jovovich, as bait in this tense drama directed by John Curran. A parole hearing provides the setting, and the fireworks, as these two great actors move into uncharted psychological territory, with the possibility of a big explosion never far away. "Stone" is one of those movies that doesn't evaporate once you leave the theater. Instead it stays with you in nagging, haunting, troubling ways more or less the same effect Norton, not to mention Jovovich, have on buttoned-down De Niro. Frances Conroy makes it a quartet of superb performances of uncomfortably familiar human realities in a movie that's got more on its mind than you might expect. Recommended.
"Tangled" PG, 1:55,Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D and 2-D) and Front Street Theaters (2-D).
"Repunzel" gets the Disney treatment in this family-friendly animated musical comedy that's topping the box-office charts. Mandy Moore gives voice to the heroine, stolen away as a baby and locked in a tower by evil Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) until her hair grows long enough for a rogue in the vicinity (Zachary Levi) to come up and see her sometime. Once on solid ground, they set off on a series of adventures that give new meaning to the term "big hair." Byron Howard and Nathan Greno direct, with Disney stalwart Alen Menken providing the tunes.
"The Tourist" PG-13, 1:45, Kaahumanu 6..
In Venice, Midwestern math teacher Johnny Depp is trying to mend his broken heart, but runs into Angelina Jolie instead. That would be workout enough for his emotions, even if she didn't turn out to have some pretty serious secrets of the kind that have guys with guns chasing them through the canals and via other forms of land transportation. In the supporting ranks behind the A-list romantic chemistry are Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff and Rufus Sewell. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck directs. Despite what critics may have said, the film won Golden Globe nods for its stars and itself in the comedy field. The story is light and fluffy, true, but the stars know a thing or two about chemistry - and there are lots of worse things to do at the movies than just look at their faces or Venice in the background.
"Unstoppable" PG-13, 1:38, ends tonight at Kaahumanu 6 and Kukui Mall 4.
One million tons of steel. 100,000 lives at risk. 100 minutes to impact. And only two men have any chance of stopping the looming disaster. Denzel Washington and Chris Pine star in this adrenaline-fueled drama inspired by true events. Frank, a veteran train engineer, and a young conductor named Will race the clock to thwart an unmanned runaway train carrying toxic chemicals as it barrels toward a densely populated area where a spill could decimate the town. Strap in for high-speed action that makes you look differently at locomotives and the power that's packed in the missile-looking machine. Rosario Dawson, Jessy Schram, Kevin Dunn and Elizabeth Mathis co-star in thisrace against time directed by action master Tony Scott.
"The Warrior's Way" R, 1:55, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters.
East meets West in this stylized Western that brings a ninja assassin to the rustic town of Lode, which happens to be full of circus performers. The fantastical setting invites comparisons to Sergio Leone Westerns and Akira Kurosawa samurai epics. Don-gun Jang plays the action figure, Kate Bosworth plays the sassy gal who has to learn some of his techniques, with Danny Huston as the dastardly villain and scene-stealing Geoffrey Rush co-starring. Sngmoo Lee writes and directs all the slightly surreal, often confused but sometimes amusing mixed metaphors.