These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"African Cats" G, 1:29, Kaahumanu 6.
The Disneynature label marks another Earth Day with this tale of two cat families -one lion, one cheetah - living on opposite sides of a river in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Samuel L. Jackson provides the narration and Keith Schaley and Alastair directed this two-year project that plays out like a real-life version of "The Lion King."
"Tyler Perry's Madaea's Big Happy Family" PG-13, 2:01, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Tyler Perry once again goes into drag and plays all the parts on both sides of the camera in his latest slice-of-life-in-the-black-community dramedy. Tough-love matriarch Madea has to go into action when her niece receives devastating health news. Loretta Devine, Cassi Davis, Shannon Kane, Isaiah Mustafa, Natalie Desselle and Rodney Perry co-star.
"Water for Elephants" PG-13, 2:16, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson make romantic sparks as director Francis Lawrence's adaptation of Sara Gruen's best-seller lumbers onto the screen. Set in the Great Depression, he plays a young veterinarian who winds up caring for the animals in a traveling circus starring the horseback-riding Witherspoon. Their attraction for one another is inevitable, which doesn't please her sadistic husband (Christoph Waltz), who takes out his displeasure on both his wife and the circus' elephant star. (It's all acting and special effects; no real animals were hurt in filming, the studio is quick to point out.).
"Gasland" 7 p.m. Friday at the Historic Iao Theater. Music by Joel Katz at 6:30 p.m. Presented by Maui Tomorrow (244-7570, maui-tomorrow.org), free, with donations accepted.
In conjunction with Earth Day. "Gasland" documents the largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history. Part verite' travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown, Gasland is a cross-country odyssey with unexpected humor, uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination, according to a release.
"Do Something Real Film Festival" Kukui Mall 4, 6 nightly, Friday through April 28.
Whole Foods Market is celebrating Earth Day with this series of screenings spotlighting food, environment and community service. The schedule includes "Planeat" (Friday) about the medical and environmental benefits of eating vegetables; "On Coal River" (Saturday) depicting the human costs of coal- and strip-mining; "Lunch Line" (Sunday), following six children in Chicago who set out to improve the school lunch system; "Bag It" (Tuesday), exploring our cultural love of plastic products; "Urban Roots" (Wednesday), in which a group of Detroiters fulfill a vision of locally-grown sustainable food; and "Vanishing of the Bees" (April 28) exploring the collapse of bee colonies.
"Arthur" PG-13, 2:05, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
It's all Russell Brand all the time at the movies as the British party boy follows his vocal star turn in "Hop" with this remake of the Dudley Moore classic. Brand plays a maturity-impaired billionaire who's arranged-marriage plans to dragon lady Jennifer Garner are rearranged when he falls in love with the lovely but poor Greta Gerwig. Helen Mirren changes the gender of the original John Gielgud role to play his tough-love nana. TV's "Modern Family's" Jason Winer makes his big-screen directoral debut, scoring at the box office, but falling well short of the heart or humor of the original.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid:?Rodrick Rules" PG, 1:36, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Wimpy is the new cool in this sequel to 2010's surprise hit based on the "Wimpy Kid" novels by Jeff Kinney. Starting 7th grade, Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) has to deal with school, his geeky - yet endearing - friends and his parents's efforts to make him bond with older brother and chief tormentor, Rodrick (Devon Bostick). David Bowers directs the family-oriented fun, that's pretty wimpy itself en route to a laugh or two.
"Hanna" PG-13, 1:54, Maui Mall Megaplex and Kukui Mall 4.
Part fairy tale heroine, part 16-year-old killing machine, young Saoirse Ronan fascinates in the title role. She grows up in isolation in the frozen north where former CIA operative Eric Bana teaches her to hunt, fight and speak many languages. It helps her when she comes back to civilization in territory familiar to watchers of the "Bourne" series. Joe Wright nimbly directs a cast co-starring Cate Blanchett, Olivia Williams and Jessica Barden. Recommended.
"Hop" PG, 1:34, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4.
Russell Brand tones down the outrageousness to star as an Easter Bunny on the run in this cute blend of live action and animation targeted at family audiences. He doesn't want to follow his dad into the Easter Bunny business, it seems, and enlists reluctant human James Marsden as his ally in the rainbow-hued tale full of warm, fuzzy co-stars. Tim Hill directs.
"Insidious" PG-13, 1:42, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne play a couple who move into a charming old craftsman with their three young children only to discover way too late that they've got company. "Saw" director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell play all the haunted-house cards in the deck skillfully, making the audience very uncomfortable before the relief of the final frame.
"Limitless" PG-13, 2:00, Maui Mall Megaplex;
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 the other side. A guilty pleasure, the film interweaves two cautionary tales -about drug dependency and striking bargains with the devil - but is fun anyway. Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro head the supporting cast; Neil Burger directs.
"The Lincoln Lawyer" R, 2:14, Maui Mall Megaplex.
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 in high gear in the script full of moral dilemmas in and out of the courtroom. Ryan Phillipe, John Leguizamo, Frances Fisher, Michael Pena, Marisa Tomei and William H. Macy co-star. Brad Furman directs.
''Rango'' PG, 1:47, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Johnny Depp reteams with "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinsky for this wiggy, offbeat Western comedy. Unrelentlessly clever in 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 also has to prove himself an archetypical hero 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.
"Rio" G, 1:36, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Colorfully perched atop the box-office charts is this wacky love story of two exotic birds set against the sensual setting of Rio during Carnaval. Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg lovingly head the vocal cast also featuring George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, will.i.am and Tracy Morgan. The script is witty and warm-hearted with Brazilian director adding lots of knowing detail to his love letter to his homeland. The 3-D animation adds to the overall effect, which is to delight young and old alike. Recommended.
"Scream 4" R, 1:58, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Original cast members Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Mary McDonnell in a cameo reunite with director Wes Craven for this fourth installment of horror-comedy. "Howl" is more like the target response in this mix of slasher blood and laughs, many of them self-referential based on the lore and legacy the horror franchise has spawned. Campbell plays the celebrity victim who has turned her initial run-in with Ghostface into a lucrative career, Cox is the still obnoxious journalist chasing the story and Arquette is the doofus cop on the case. Emma Robert, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell provide fresh meat for the cleaver.
"Soul Surfer" PG, 2:00, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Bethany Hamilton's inspiring true story, well-known in Hawaii where it continues to take place, comes to the screen with AnnaSophia Robb playing the surfing heroine. A 2003 attack by a
14-foot tiger shark may have taken her arm, but not her spirit, as she was back in the water a month later competing in a professional surfing contest. Now 21, she still is. Carrie Underwood plays Bethany's youth group leader in this story that also touches on the deep faith of the Hamilton family. Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt co-star as dad and mom; Sean McNamara directs and co-writes.
"Source Code" PG-13, 1:33, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters; opens Friday at Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Jake Gyllenhaal is the latest action hero to find himself dazed and confused in this sci-fi action thriller directed by Duncan Jones. He plays an Army captain decorated for his service in Afghanistan who wakes up on a commuter train traveling with beautiful Michelle Monaghan, who acts like she knows him better than he knows her. And that's only the beginning of the brain-tickling puzzle as the brings the audience along on his time-warping mission to figure out who he is and what's going on. Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright co-star. Recommended.
"Sucker Punch" PG:13, 1:09, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Pretty girls weilding samurai swords in virtual warfare take the screen, led by Babydoll (Emily Browning) and four other young girls (Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung) in a battle against their captors. Punches, kicks, gunfights, mascara and midriffs abound in the tale of freedom found within the depths of imagination. Zack Snyder directs.
"Your Highness" R, 1:57, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
James Franco and Danny McBride ride the Pineapple Express back to the Middle Ages to play slackers in shining armor in this stoner comedy. Their mission is to rescue the ravishing but abducted Zooey Deschanel from the clutches of bad sorcerer Justin Theroux, with some help from ye olde archer babe Natalie Portman. Gordon Green directs, throwing in raunchy anachronisms and drug jokes wherever possible.
n 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.