These are Maui Scene's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"30 Minutes or Less" R, 1:23, opens Friday at Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Ex-besties Aziz Ansari (left) and Jesse Eisenberg are their own ticking time bombs when the volatile duo faces flamethrowers, crime and other fiascos in “30 Minutes or Less,” opening Friday.
Sony-Columbia Pictures photo via AP
From "Zombieland" director Ruben Fleischer comes this action-comedy that packs powerhouse actors Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson. But whether "30 Minutes or Less" can deliver a punch, or punch line, will be left up to a jury of audiences over the coming weeks. Nick (Eisenberg) is a small-town pizza delivery guy whose mundane life collides with the big plans of two wanna-be criminal masterminds (McBride and Swardson). The duo kidnaps Nick and forces him to rob a bank. With mere hours to pull off the heist, Nick enlists the help of his ex-best friend, Chet (Ansari). As the clock ticks, the two face police, hired assassins, flamethrowers - and the most tumultuous of them all: their relationship.
"Final Destination 5" R, 1:35, opens Friday at Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahiana Wharf Cinemas.
Some movies just won't die. "Final Destination 5" is the fifth - yes, fifth - sequel to the film that follows ill-fated individuals who can't escape death's sinister agenda. This same darkness is unleashed after one man's premonition saves a group of co-workers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse. But the unsuspecting souls were never supposed to survive, and in a race against time, the doomed group tries to discover a way to escape. In the end, viewers may be left wondering how the "Final Destination" sequels have survived this long, other than to depict Spike TV's "1,000 Ways to Die"-type scenarios.
"Glee:?The 3D Concert Movie" PG, 1:40, opens Friday at Maui Mall Megaplex.
For the Gleeks out there, this big-screen opportunity will be hard to miss. Get an up-close-and-personal experience during a concert with stars from the multigenerational TV phenomenon. Well, sort of. The film - in theaters for two weeks -is being displayed only in 3D, so fans can get a taste of the singing, dancing and sacrasm, just like attending and documenting a real performance. "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" includes the castmates' live concerts, with a few fan testimonials. Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz, Harry Shum Jr., Chord Overstreet and Ashley Fink star. Kevin Tancharoen directs.
"The Help" PG-13, 2:17, opened Wednesday at Kaahumanu 6 and Kukui Mall 4.
In the 1960s, three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From the improbable alliance of Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny, a remarkable sisterhood emerges, igniting the courage to transcend the lines that define the women - and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed. Starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. Tate Taylor directs.
"Captain America: The First Avenger" PG-13, 2:06, Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4.
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.
"The Change-Up" R, 1:12, 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.
"Crazy Stupid Love" PG-13, 1:57, Maui Mall Megaplex 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, Maui Mall Megaplex.
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]; ends tonight at 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.
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" PG-13, 1:05, 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.
"The Smurfs" PG, 1:42, Kaahumanu 6 (3-D and 2-D); ends tonight at 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.
"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, ends tonight at 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.
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