These are Maui Scene's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman" PG-13, 1:35, Kaahumanu 6.
Babydoll, played by Emily Browning, becomes a mistress of mayhem in “Sucker Punch.”
Warner Bros. Pictures photo via AP
The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman, a Chinese martial arts comedy mashup, charts the journey of three misfits as each encounters a mystical blade. The Butcher, a simple man frustrated with love, the Chef, a handsome loner obsessed with avenging the death of his family, and the Swordsman, the son of a legendary warrior consumed by the desire to eclipse his father, soon find that the blade possesses power to change the fate of its owner. Almost as quickly, the men also discover the cleaver's double edge: Its great power yields even greater danger. Directed by newcomer Wuershan, the film stars Kitty Zhang, Masanobu Ando, Lu Xiaoye and Swanson Han.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" PG, 1:36, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Wimpy is the new cool in the sequel to 2010's suprise hit - an all-new family comedy based on the best-selling follow-up novel by Jeff Kinney. Kinney's "Wimpy Kid" series has sold 42 million books so far, and the "Wimpy" followers are growing. In the sequel, Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) starts 7th grade with more than just the challenge of dealing with school, which is hard enough for his group of geeky - yet endearing - friends. Greg faces his parents' misguided attempts to have him bond with his older brother and chief tormentor, Rodrick (Devon Bostick). Sibling strife and humor ensue in a story that will have young and old everywhere cheering for - and relating with - the not-so-cool kids. David Bowers direct.
"Sucker Punch" PG:13, 1:09, Kukui Mall 4, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Pretty girls weilding samurai swords in virtual warfare could be every teenage boy's dream. "Sucker Punch" makes the dream come true, at least onscreen, by following Babydoll (Emily Browning) and four other young girls (Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung) in a battle against their captors, which blurs the lines between a perilous dream world and an even darker reality. Punches, kicks, gunfights, mascara and midriffs abound in the tale of freedom found within the depths of imagination - a message that finds approval with possibly more than just the Comic-Con crowd. Zack Snyder directs.
"Carmen 3D" PG, 2:55, screens at noon Sunday and at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday 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.
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.
"Battle: Los Angeles" PG-13, 2:11, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
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.
"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.
"Cedar Rapids" R, 1:27, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Ed Helms continues his journey from the TV screen to movies playing a sweet but naive insurance salesman who does a lot of growing up in a hurry at the big convention in this offbeat comedy's titular city. The "Hangover" co-star plays leading man to a distinguished supporting cast including John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Sigourney Weaver, Thomas Lennon and Rob Cordry. Alia Shawkat 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.
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, ends tonight at 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 superpowers 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.
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.
"The King's Speech" R, 1:58, Kaahumanu 6.
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!
"Limitless" PG-13, 2:00, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Bradley Cooper plays a dead-end aspiring writer who turns his life around after happening onto a magic pill. Before he knows it, he's smart, rich, famous and hooked. It turns out the path to the top has a slippery slope heading down on the other side. Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro head the supporting cast, directed by "The Illusionist's" Neil Burger.
"The Lincoln Lawyer" R, 2:14, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Matthew McConaughey brings his Southern drawl and natural swagger to the role of a confident L.A. defense attorney in this action drama. The title refers to his car -a Lincoln Continental -that doubles as his office. The star's charisma is reportedly in high gear in the script that fills his life and career with moral dilemmas in and out of the courtroom. He's backed by a first-rate supporting cast including Ryan Phillipe, John Leguizamo, Frances Fisher, Michael Pena, Marisa Tomei and William H. Macy. Brad Furman directs.
"Mars Needs Moms" PG, 1:43, Kaahumanu 6; ends tonight at 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.
"Paul" R, 2:01, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Seth Rogen provides the voice of Paul, an actual visitor from outer space who's been held in a secret government program since 1947 but makes a break for freedom with a pair of English comic book nerds (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). The zany pair behind the zombie comedy "Shaun of the Dead" pay skewed winking tribute to all the sci-fi classics, along with silly Americans, co-starring with Kristin Wiig, Jane Lynch, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader and Joe Lo Truglio. Greg Mottola directs.
''Rango'' PG, 1:47, Maui Mall Megaplex 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.
"Red Riding Hood" PG-13, 1:55, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at 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.
"Unknown" PG-13, 2:08, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
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 ride with Neeson shining once again as an action figure with a brain, a heart and a soul. Recommended.
* Times in the movie ads are subject to change on the weekend. For up-to-date movie time changes visit www.mauigateway.com/~rw/movie/online.