Maui movie theaters opened their Christmas presents early this week for the holidays break. These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
New this week
"Little Fockers" PG-13, 1:30, opened Wednesday at Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Matt Damon plays a Texas Ranger in a race to catch a criminal in 'True Grit.'
Paramount Pictures photo via AP
Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are still engaging in wanton behavior in “Little Fockers”
Universal Pictures photo via AP
Everyone's back for another Focker family reunion in the third installment of this comedy franchise starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro, with Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo and Jessica Alba providing support. The family has grown to include a pair of twin sons/grandsons, but their cute presence has done little to assuage DeNiro's gruff ex-CIA agent's conviction that Stiller's male nurse is still a hardly adequate match for his daughter. Like a real family reunion that goes on way too long, the Paul Weitz-directed antics reportedly take the low road trying to find the humor in vomit, enemas, erectile dysfunction and the like.
"True Grit" PG-13, 1:50, opened Wednesday at Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters. Shows at 8 tonight in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle Theater as part of the Maui Film Festival's FirstLight screenings.
See review on Page 7.
Times in the movie ads are subject to change on the weekend. For up-to-date movie time changes visit www.mauigate way. com/~rw/movie/ online.
"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn TrEader" PG, 2:08, Maui Mall Megaplex (in 3-D) 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.
"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 two boxing Boston brothers boxer and one's last shot at being a contender, this hard-hitting drama has won Golden Globe nominations for star Mark Wahlberg, supporting actors Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, director David O. Russell and for itself as best drama. For all the blood, sweat and tears attending the boxing-movie genre, what sets it apart are its wonderfully drawn characters and their often volatile, sometimes funny and ultimately lovable flaws. Recommended.
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," PG-13, 2:23, Kaahumanu 6.
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.
"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.
"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. 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 the unbelievably gorgeous 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 sort that soon have guys with guns chasing them through the canals. 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 ways of to spend two hours at the movies than just getting lost in their close-ups, not to mention, Venice in the background.
"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 onto the Grid. The original 1982 story explored the still-new interface between humans and the cyberwords they were creating on computers. This one deals with the consequences as young Garrett Hedlund goes seeking his missing computer-engineer father (Bridges) in the virtual world he created. The Zen-quoting Bridges co-stars with a computer-generated younger version of himself as his villainous adversary, but it's the amazing vehicles, lighting and other nonstop effects that drove the film to the top of the box-office charts. Olivia Wilde co-stars; Joseph Kosinski directs.
"Yogi Bear 3-D" PG, 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 Timberlake 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.