These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"Battle: Los Angeles" PG-13, 2:11, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Amanda Seyfried (left) stars with Billy Burke and Virginia Madsen in “Red Riding Hood”
Warner Bros. photo
Allegedly inspired by unexplained events over Los Angeles some time ago, this sci-fi adventure pits of platoon of Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton against -ta da! -aliens from outer space. Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan lead the cast; Jonathan Liebesman directs.
"Cedar Rapids" R, 1:27, Maui Mall Megaplex.
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"Mars Needs Moms" PG, 1:43, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Like an even younger companion piece to "Battle: Los Angeles," this animated comedy revolves around a young boy named Milo (Seth Green), forced into action after aliens from Mars arrive on Earth to kidnap mothers and bring them home to their planet. Dan Fogler, Joan Cusack, Elizabeth Harnois, Mindy Sterling, Kevin Cahoon and Tom Everett Scott provide voices; Simon Wells directs and co-writes.
"Red Riding Hood" PG-13, 1:55, Maui Mall Megaplex and Kukui Mall 4.
As portrayed by Amanda Seyfried, the familiar heroine heads for the dark side of the woods in this fairy tale updated for the "Twilight" audience. It's a werewolf rather than a wolf making things dangerous for life in her medieval village. In ways the Brothers Grimm never imagined, she's torn between an arranged marriage with a wealthy villager and her attraction for a mysterious woodcutter. "Twilight's" Catherine Hardwicke directs a heavy hitting supporting cast that includes Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Shiloh Fernandez, Max Irons, Virginia Madsen, Lukas Haas and Julie Christie.
"Carmen 3D" PG, 2:55, screens at noon Saturday at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Bringing opera out of the concert hall and into the megaplex, this lavish three-hour production features a London Royal Opera House performance directed by Francesca Zambello, filmed under the direction of Julian Napier. With 3-D reportedly adding to the emotional impact as a gypsy who works in a cigarette factory (Christine Rice) casts her seductive spell on various suitors who don't take kindly to each other. Bizet provides the music. and the cast members provide the fire. It's in French with subtitles, but the audience will have no difficulty knowing what's going on.
"The Adjustment Bureau" PG-13, 2:01, Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters.
Matt Damon stars in this romantic political thriller adapted from a Philip K. Dick story. He plays a charismatic senatorial candidate who encounters the ballerina of his dreams (Emily Blunt), before finding himself pursued by a political team trying to keep them apart. George Nolfi directs and co-writes, pitting political forces against fate and love in a chase across modern Manhattan. Lisa Thoreson co-stars with Jon Stewart and Chuck Scarborough playing themselves.
"Beastly" PG-13, 1:35, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens and Mary Kate Olsen star in this fantasy romance that re-imagines "Beauty and the Beast." In this version, a young New York teen is turned into someone more hideous in a test of true love. Daniel Barnz writes and directs.
"Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son" PG-13, 2:02, Kaahumanu 6.
Martin Lawrence once again puts that red dress on -that very large red dress -reprising the role of FBI agent Malcolm Turner. This time he's got his stepson, Trent (Brandon T. Jackson), with him as they go into drag and into hiding in an all-girls performing arts school after Trent witnesses a murder. Jessica Lucas, Michelle Ang and Portia Doubleday co-star; John Whitesell directs.
"Drive Angry" R, 2:00, (3-D), Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Nicolas Cage plays a grandpa with attitude in this action-thriller that mixes and matches muscle-car chases and stunts with supernatural cultism in an adrenalized thrill ride that doesn't take itself too seriously. Cage plays a mysterious stranger looking for vengeance against the satanic cult that killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter. Amber Heard rides shotgun with William Fichtner as a mysterious "Accountant" on their tail. Patrick Lussier directs.
"Gnomeo & Juliet" G, 1:39, Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D).
Taking its cues - not to mention various plot devices, characters and lines from Shakespeare -this animated comedy avoids any sign of tragedy as it updates the Bard's most famous love story. The hero is a broken gnome (voiced by James McAvoy) glued back together who finds the love of his life (voiced by Emily Blunt). Michael Caine, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham and Ozzie Osbourne add voices to the mix with producer Elton John providing the music. Kelly Asbury directs, sharing the writing credit with the Bard.
"Hall Pass" R, 2:00,
Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters.
With Bobby and Peter Farrelly directing, it doesn't take Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis long to head for the R-for-raunchy side in this crude comedy. They play a pair of bored husbands given the supreme gift from their wives: permission to take a week off from their monogamous wedding vows. Imagine their surprise when they discover that their appeal falls well short of their fantasies at the same time their wives (Christina Applegate and Jenna Fischer) are having a lot more fun striking the same bargain. It's tops at the box office despite being an early front runner for worst movie of the year.
"I Am Number Four" PG-13, 2:05, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Adapted from Pittacus Lore's best-selling sci-fi novel, the story follows a teen alien (Alex Pettyfer) trying to blend into high-school anonymity to evade pursuers trying to destroy him and his fellow visitors from another planet. Having super powers helps. The title refers to his place on the hit list. Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron and Callan McAuliffe co-star; D.J. Caruso directs.
"Just Go With It" PG-13, 2:12, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.; opens Friday at Front Street Theaters.
Filmed at the Grand Wailea last spring, this romantic comedy stars Adam Sandler as a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who pretends to be married to avoid making real commitments with the women he dates. Finally finding Miss Right (Brooklyn Decker), his ruse backfires, forcing him to enlist his office assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his soon-to-be-divorced wife, after he takes her and her kids on a Maui vacation. Some 500 Mauians show up in supporting roles with the Valley Isle providing familiar backdrops. Nicole Kidman, Nick Swardson and Dave Matthews co-star, along with musicians Hapa and Led Ka'apana. Dennis Dugan directs.
"Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" (3-D), G, 2:00, Kaahumanu 6.
Go on tour with the young music sensation in this 3-D concert filmed at performances in 2010. You'll be surrounded in the audience by the tween-age fans of the boyish sex symbol, whose co-stars include Boys II Men, Miley Cyrus, Sean Kingston, Ludacris, Jaden Smith, Usher and more. Directed by Jon Chu, there's also behind-the-scenes humor and old photos and home movies illuminating Justin's path to the top.
"The King's Speech" R, 1:58, Kukui Mall 4; ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
The big winner Oscar night with well-deserved statues for screenplay, direction, best actor and best picture. With Colin Firth leading fellow Oscar nominees Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, the wonderful historical drama tells of England's future King George VI, whose path to the throne is detoured by personal demons and debilitating speech impediment, and the treatment he receives from an unconventional Australian speech therapist. Superb performances laced with great humor make the film both inspiring and fun, even with the menace of Herr Hitlet preparing for war on England's doorstep reminding us of the grave matters at hand. It's the rare case of a feel-good movie that makes you feel smarter, too. Recommended!
''Rango'' PG, 1:47, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Johnny Depp reteams with "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinsky for this wiggy, offbeat Western comedy that has more in common with"High Noon," "Chinatown" and Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns than with your usual cartoon. Unrelently clever in both dialogue and visual effects, it features a would-be actor who happens to be a lizard, who somehow becomes the sheriff of the Old West town of Dirt. Not only does he have to solve the mystery of who's stealing the town's water, but he has to prove himself an archetypical hero in the process in a script that will go right over the kids' heads, but will provide nonstop diversions for film fans. Isla Fisher, Alfred Molina, Ray Winstone, Stephen Root, Claudia Black, Abigail Breslin and Ned Beatty provide voices for the ragtag co-stars. Recommended.
"Sanctum" R, 1:48. ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex
An expedition mapping vast, mile-deep caves in Papua New Guinea encounters freak conditions that add to the dangers in this genre adventure piece directed by Australian Alister Grierson and produced by "Avatar" auteur James Cameron. Richard Boxburgh plays the cold-fish expedition leader, Rhys Wakefield plays his kinder-hearted son with Ioan Gruffudd and Alice Parkinson co-starring. Cameron, a fan of subterranean action ever since "The Abyss," tries out his 3-D techniques in this new realm, keeping the audience guessing which cast member will be next to go in the endless fight with the forces of nature.
"Take Me Home Tonight" R, 1:53, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Topher Grace and Anna Faris play brainy but underachieving twins, heading the cast in this homage to John Hughes comedies of the '80s. The slightly raunchy but mostly good-hearted romp takes place a a wild Labor Day weekend party where silly things happen. Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Chris Pratt, Michael Biehn and Michelle Trachtenberg co-star; Michael Dowse directs.
"Unknown" PG-13, 2:08, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4.
Although he is one of the most noble movie stars of our time, Liam Neeson is more fun as the greatest action hero since Matt Damon wandered into Bourne territory. Neeson is back in "Taken" mode as an American biologist in Berlin for a conference who barely escapes a harrowing car accident, spends four days in a coma in a hospital, then returns to find his wife (January Jones) pretending she's not his wife and Aidan Quinn claiming to be him. Once again, despite the reserved demeanor Neeson shows he's not the kind of guy to mess with, mixing his intelligence and nuance as an actor with a no-nonsense, no-regrets, no-prisoners approach to evening the score with whoever does him wrong. Diane Krueger is an able partner in all the action with Frank Langella, Bruno Ganz and Sebastian Koch co-starring and Spain's Jaume Sollett-Serra directing. Although the plot has some holes that reveal themselves after rethinking it all, the film still provides a fun-filled, adrenalized ride with Neeson shining once again as an action figure with a brain, a heart and a soul. Recommended.