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Movies On Maui

August 4, 2011
The Maui News
These are Maui Scene's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources. Opening Friday “The Change-Up” R, 1:12, opening Friday at Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters. When you’ve got Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman — two masters of deadpan improvisational comedy — bouncing off one another, you should theoretically let the cameras roll and follow them wherever they take you. Then add a screenplay from Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who wrote the original ‘‘The Hangover,’’ and you’re set. But the too-long film from director David Dobkin (‘‘Wedding Crashers’’) is all over the place in tone, veering awkwardly from some daring comic moments to feel-good sappiness and back again in hopes of redeeming some semblance of edginess. Here, Bateman plays Dave Lockwood, a successful Atlanta lawyer who is married with three kids. His childhood best friend, Reynolds’ defiantly single Mitch Planko, spends his days doing bong hits in his man cave and his nights bedding as many random women as possible. Each insists the other guy has the better life. After too many drinks one night, they wake up the next morning and poof! They’ve switched bodies, which leads to some predictable but amusingly executed fish-out-of-water scenarios. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” PG-13, 1:05, sneak preview at midnight tonight at Maui Mall; opening Friday at Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters. Silly humans. We’re so arrogant. We see a cute, cuddly baby chimp, assign all kinds of familiar characteristics to it and raise it with the loving playfulness we’d give our own children, only to find that the creature’s unpredictable and ferocious animal nature wins out in the end. If the documentary ‘‘Project Nim’’ didn’t serve as enough of a warning for us earlier this summer, now we have this blockbuster, which is sort of a prequel and sort of a sequel and sort of a reboot. Mainly, it’s a spectacle. Sure, it might be trying to teach us a lesson about hubris. But mostly it’s about angry, ‘roided-up chimps taking over and wreaking havoc. This is not a complaint, mind you. This seventh film in the ‘‘Planet of the Apes’’ series rises to such ridiculous heights, it’s impossible not to laugh out loud — in a good way, in appreciation. There’s big, event-movie fun to be had here, amped up by some impressive special effects and typically immersive performance-capture work by Andy Serkis (Gollum from the ‘‘Lord of the Rings’’ films). James Franco stars as the scientist whose drug tests to find a cure for Alzheimer’s lead to the birth of the super-smart Caesar. Freida Pinto and John Lithgow co-star; Rupert Wyatt directs. ***** Still playing “Captain America: The First Avenger” PG-13, 2:06, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters. The last Marvel Comics setup for next summer’s all-star blockbuster “The Avengers” finds Chris Evans starring as the World War II fighting hero. Evans brings an earnest dignity and intelligence to the role of Steve Rogers, a scrawny kid from Brooklyn with dreams of military glory. But scientist Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) sees something special in him and enlists him for a daring experiment. Through some high-tech injections, Steve is transformed into a supersoldier known as Captain America. But he isn’t the only one who’s juicing: Hugo Weaving plays the former Nazi leader Johann Schmidt, aka Red Skull, who’s formed his own splinter group and built some intimidating weapons. Tommy Lee Jones and Dominic Cooper co-star. Joe Johnston directs. “Cars 2” G, 2:07, Kaahumanu 6. 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. 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. “Crazy Stupid Love” PG-13, 1:57, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters. In “Crazy Stupid Love,” straight-laced 40-something Carl Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the American dream: Nice job, house, kids and marriage. But when Carl discovers that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), cheated on him and is seeking a divorce, his “perfect” life unravels. He started dating Emily in high school, so Carl is more than a little rusty in the single world. Now, he’s spending his nights sulking solo at a local bar until he is taken on as the wingman to handsome player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon co-star. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa direct. “Cowboys & Aliens” PG-13, 1:58, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. 2011 Maui Film Festival honoree Olivia Wilde stars alongside Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in the sci-fi Western “Cowboys & Aliens,” based on the 2006 graphic novel of the same name by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg. A stranger (Craig), with no memory of his past, stumbles into a New Mexico Territory desert town in 1875. He soon finds that the residents aren’t welcoming and the streets are controlled by iron-fisted Col. Dolarhyde (Ford). The desolate town — that’s already gripped in fear — isn’t prepared for the scary, sudden attack by marauders from the sky. Now, the stranger offers the only hope the city has to survive, and as he slowly regains memory, he realizes he possesses a secret that could give the town a chance to fight back. “Friends with Benefits” R, 1:47, Kukui Mall 4, Front Street Theaters and Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters. On the heels of Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher’s “No Strings Attached” comes a very similar premise exploring friends with benefits, i.e., hooking up without the heartache. Dylan (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis) think it’s going to be easy to add the “simple” act of sex to their friendship, despite what Hollywood romantic comedies would have them believe. They soon discover that getting physical always leads to complications. This romantic comedy is wooing certain critics, showing that some love stories shouldn’t be counted out. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” PG-13, 2:10 Maui Mall Megaplex [3-D and 2-D], and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. Just as Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) grow up, the audience is forced to grow up, too, and say a sobering yet satisfying goodbye to the well-loved stars in the much-anticipated, final adventure of the Harry Potter film series. In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends here. But thankfully, the memories with Harry, Hermoine and Ron will live on in the hearts and minds of lifelong fans. “Horrible Bosses” R, 1:53, Kaahumanu 6; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day play three guys who hate their bosses enough to want to kill them in this raunchy buddy comedy. Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston play the bosses, following the lead of “Bad Teacher” into gleeful, silly inappropriate silliness. The “perpetrators” aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are as they pursue their murderous schemes, but their banter adds to the film’s happy, irreverent tone and the direction of Seth Gordon. “Midnight in Paris” PG-13, 1:34, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex. Owen Wilson steps into Woody Allen’s wardrobe, 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, brilliant crowd pleaser at the Cannes Festival that has its writer-director returning to peak form. Recommended! “The Smurfs” PG, 1:42, Kaahumanu 6 (3-D and 2-D) and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. Blue is the new black. Pint-sized blue toons are making their 3-D debut when “The Smurfs” hits the big screen. The 1980s NBC cartoon series, affectionately known for its flat animation, simple illustration and good versus evil tales, is given 21st century life, thanks to Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the Smurfs out of their village through a portal, they’re forced out of their world and into ours — landing in the middle of New York’s Central Park. Stuck in the Big Apple, and measuring about three apples high, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel finds them. Neil Patrick Harris, George Lopez and Katy Perry provide vocals. Raja Gosnell directs. “The Tree of Life” PG-13, 2:18, ends tonight at Kaahumanu 6. Turn off the sound and it’s exquisite, picturesque and artistically stunning. Turn on the sound and it’s a poetic exploration of how nature and spiritual grace not only shape our lives as individuals and families, but all life. Known for his direction in “Badlands,” “Days of Heaven” and “The Thin Red Line,” director Terrence Malik employs his signature imagery to tell an impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s with “The Tree of Life.” The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. If you think the synopsis is deep, just wait till you’re sitting in the theater. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” PG--13, 2:48, Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D and 2-D). 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 join the 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 got fired from the project but is still making headlines for what she did before she left. “Winnie the Pooh” G, 1:08, Maui Mall Megaplex. On the opposite end of complicated, “Winnie the Pooh” is simply 100 percent pure, honey-coated satisfaction. The soothing childhood favorite emerges amid the over-complicated wham-bam special effects of animated films, action movies and other summer wannabes. Pooh ambles unhurriedly through his days, enjoying his life and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood at his own pace, just as author A.A. Milne would’ve wanted it. “Winnie the Pooh” is naturally geared toward the little ones, with its cuddly characters and soft watercolor strokes, but not at the expense of adults’ enjoyment. Grown-ups may find themselves even more engaged with the funny, zany adventures of Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and pals. Jim Cummings, Craig Ferguson and Bud Luckey provide vocals. “The Zookeeper” PG, 1:57, Maui Mall Megaplex. Kevin James gets out of the mall cop business to become a zookeeper, with the same lovably inept results. This time, the animals in the zoo take matters in their own hands, er paws, to get his romantic life in order and keep him on the job. Rosario Dawson, Leslie Bibb, Ken Jeong and Donnie Wahlberg co-star; Frank Coraci directs. * Times in the movie ads are subject to change on the weekend. For up-to-date movie time changes, visit ~rw/movie/

Article Photos

If only the humans would stop monkeying around: James Franco shares a moment with Caesar the chimp in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” which offers a lesson on the hubris of humankind.
Twentieth Century Fox photo via AP



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