Thesse 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
"Larry Crowne" PG-13, 1:54, opens Friday at Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters.
“Bumblebee” is a bad ’bot in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
Paramount Pictures photo
Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts team up again, banking on their likability (and the fact they must like working together) in this light-hearted comedy directed and co-written by Hanks and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding's'' Nia Vardalos. He plays a big-box store downsized into a midlife change that starts with signing up at the local community college. Wouldn't you know it? -Julia Roberts is his professor! Gugu Mbatha-Raw co-stars.
"Midnight in Paris" PG-13, 1:34, opens Friday at Maui Mall Megaplex and reopens Friday at Kukui Mall 4.
Owen Wilson steps into the Woody Allen role, bringing his own more laid-back neuroses to the role of a writer in Paris with his fiancee Rachel McAdams. Allen stays behind the camera writing and directing, but sending Wilson into his own fantasy of going back to the City of Light in its golden age where he gets to hang out with folks like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali and Gertrude Stein. Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Corey Stoll and Tom Hiddleston co-star in this affable crowd pleaser at the Cannes Film Festival that has its writer-director returning to peak form.
"Monte Carlo" PG, 2:04, opens Friday at Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy and Leighton Meester star in this week's teen-princess fairytale comedy playing three young Americans whose disappointing Paris vacation takes a turn for the better when one of them is mistaken for a spoiled British heiress. The next thing they know, it's welcome to Monte Carlo! Cory Monteith, Andie MacDowell, Brett Cullen and Amanda Fairbank-Hynes co-star in the teen-targeted tale directed and co-written by Thoma Bezucha.
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" PG--13, 2:48, opened Wednesday at Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D and 2-D), Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Eccentric A-listers Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey and the voice of Leonard Nimoy join Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Tyrese Gibson in the next round of battle against those shape-shifting robots in this third installment of the franchise. Michael Bay once again directs the mayhem, er, action on a grand, noisy scale, using the 1960s moon race - complete with archival footage of JFK, Richard Nixon, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mr. Spock -as a backdrop. Rose Huntington-Whiteley is the new addition to the cast, replacing recent Maui Film Festival honoree Megan Fox, who reportedly got fired from the project but is still making headlines for what she did before she left.
"Bad Teacher" R, 1:47, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Cameron Diaz is terrific as the authority-defying, rule-breaking troublemaker in this classroom - not such a good thing since she's the teacher. That's the gag in this one-joke comedy of the booze-swilling English teacher at a Chicago middle school, who's only in it for the money so she can get breast implants and land a rich husband. Her version of teaching her students requires nothing more than showing them education-themed movies like ''Stand and Deliver.'' Jason Segel, Lucy Punch, Phyllis Smith and Justin Timberlake co-star; Jake Kasdan directs from a smart, cynical script that makes audiences laugh, even though they know they're not supposed to. (See review.)
"Beginning of the Great Revival" NR, 2:04, ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4.
John Woo, Andy Lau and Wei Tang head the cast in this epic look at the birth of the Communist Party in China in the early 1900s. Directed by Sanping Han and Jianxin Huang in Chinese with English subtitles, it's part of Kukui Mall's ongoing Spotlight Asia series.
"Cars 2" G, 2:07, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Owen Wilson once again returns to the driver's seat (well, actually he is the driver's seat and the rest of the vehicle) as Lightning McQueen, who leaves Route 66 behind to compete in an international grand prix this time around. Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, John Turturro and Emily Mortimer add their voices and John Lassiter directs, working in a spy spoof and a message about alternative fuel in this Pixar-Disney hybrid designed to sell both tickets and toys to its young audience -that zoomed to the top at the box office this week.
"Bridesmaids" R, 2:05, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Kristin Wiig brilliantly co-writes and leads the ensemble in this raunchy and neurotic but warm-hearted comedy that proves the Judd Apatow formula works just as well for female characters as it does for guys -the gross-out jokes just involve different parts of the anatomy. Wiig's character starts the movie by losing her Milwaukee bakery and her boyfriend. The invitation to be the maid of honor at her best friend's (Maya Rudolph's) wedding provides a distraction from her nervous breakdown, until she finds herself competing for the role with the bride's new best friend, Rose Byrne. Melissa McCarthy is a scene-stealer amidst the strong supporting cast directed by Paul Feig. Recommended.
"Green Lantern" PG-13, 2:09, Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D and 2-D) and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas (3-D).
Ryan Reynolds is the latest hunk to morph his casual charisma into superpowers in this special-effects adventure based on character born in DC Comics. He starts the film as haphazard Hal, but after a spaceship crashes in his neighborhood, he winds up with a tight green suit and a ring with special powers. Blake Lively plays his sexy boss in peril and Peter Sarsgaard is his arch nemesis with Tim Robbins co-starring. Martin Campbell directs.
"The Hangover Part II" R, 1:57, Kaahumanu 6; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters.
The silver screen's answer to the morning after the morning after reunites Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis for another bachelor party on the eve of Helms' latest wedding. Director and co-writer Todd Phillips recycles many of the how-low-can-you-go raunchy gags from the first film, moving the action to Thailand where a smoking, drug-dealing monkey outshines his human co-stars in the brains department.
"Kung Fu Panda 2" PG, 1:45, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas (2-D).
Jack Black's portly panda Po has evolved from the under-bear of the first film to the Dragon Warrior in this colorful, cinematic animated 3-D sequel. His mission this time is to keep things is to rescue his Chinese domain from the nasty, canon-wielding Peacock (Gary Oldman) and to discover his roots in the process.. He's once again mentored by Dustin Hoffman and aided by Tigress (Angelina Jolie) and the rest of his celebrity-voiced posse of critters (Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and David Cross), crossing paths with other animals voiced by Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Haysbert, Michelle Yeoh and others. Jennifer Yuh Nelson directs.
"Mr. Popper's Penguins" PG-13, 1:52, Kaahumanu 6, ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Jim Carrey plays a successful Manhattan real estate developer whose life changes when he receives boxes full of penguins from his late dad, whose travels included a visit to Antarctica just before his death. Along with the cute if uncouth table manners, you know they're going to teach him some things about reconnecting with his loved ones before they're through. Ophelia Loviband, Carla Gugino, Madeline Carroll and Maxwell Perry Cotton co-star along with the little birds; Mark Waters directs.
"Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides" PG-13, 2:16, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Johnny Depp brings rascally Capt. Jack Sparrow back for the fourth installment of the fantastically successful film franchise inspired by a Disneyland ride. This time he's onboard with the always interesting Penelope Cruz as his old flame, Angelica. Ian McShane plays the buccaneer in charge, the dastardly Blackbeard, who's on a desperate mission to find the fountain of youth after a prophecy that he's going to die in two weeks. En route, out on the bounding main, they encounter zombies and mermaids, among other things. Geoffrey Rush co-stars as old foe-turned-ally Barbarosa. Rob Marshall
"Super 8" PG-13, 2:07, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Modern action master J.J. Abrams directs this homage to the guy who invented the modern action blockbuster, Stephen Spielberg, in this sci-fi thriller. Spielberg serves as producer for the tale that reverts back to his own childhood, revolving around a group of small-town kids (Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths and Elle Fanning) who witness strange goings-on in the old hometown. Reminiscent of "E.T." and Spielberg's other early work, it explores themes of youthful loneliness and attempts to touch reality with a camera but never loses the adrenaline rush of the action.
"Thor" PG-13, 2:10, Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D and 2-D).
Norse mythology makes its contribution to the Marvel Comics superhero franchise with hunky, funny Australian actor Chris Hemsworth in the title role, and Shakespearean veteran Kenneth Branagh directing a cast also featuring Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. Branaugh adds Shakespearean shadings to the story in which Thor defies his father, Odin, and starts liking the humans he encounters on earth more than the deities he comes from. Stellan Skarsgaard and Kat Dennings co-star with the epic-scale action and special effects. It's smarter, funnier and classier than your typical superhero epic, having taken its hammer to making its mark at the box office. Recommended.
"X-Men: First Class" PG-13, 2:27, Maui Mall Megaplex.
It's not easy being a mutant as this prequel to the hit movie series demonstrates. The bright young cast is led by James McAvoy as Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbinder as his best friend but eventual arch rival, soon to be named Magneto. Jennifer Lawrence, January Jones and Rose Byrne co-star as their superprodigies in a plot beginning in the '40s and culminating in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis. Kevin Bacon is along as the arch adversary, with Oliver Platt also co-starring. Matthew Vaughn directs, adding lots of '60s visual style and sly humor to the action, with Brian Singer, director of the first two "X-mens," producing.
* 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/