These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"Immortals" R, 2:05, Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D and 2-D), Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Adam Sandler stars as “Jack and Jill” (they’re twins) in his new family-friendly comedy.
Columbia Pictures photo
The gods may have won their mythic struggle against the Titans eons ago, but King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has still declared war against humanity in this mythical Greek epic from the production team behind "300." It falls to the mortal Theseus (Henry Cavill) to beat Hyperion to the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens, to unleash the Titans and put the cosmos in order again. Tarsem Singh directs, this grand-scale, abs-and-sandals action co-starring Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans and John Hurt.
"Jack and Jill" PG, 1:46, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Adam Sandler plays both characters in the title of this family-friendly comedy. Jack is the normal, successful family guy Jill is his needy, passive-aggressive twin sister who makes her annual appearance for Thanksgiving dinner, then decides not to leave. Dennis Dugan, who directed Sandler and company when they filmed "Just Go With It" on Maui, once again directs a cast featuring Katy Holmes, Al Pacino and Regis Philbin as themselves with Sandler's buds David Spade, Nick Swardson, Norm MacDonald and Dana Carvey sprinkled among the supporting cast.
"J. Edgar" R, 2:17, Kaahumanu 6. (See review.)
"Anonymous" PG-13, 2:09, Kaahumanu 6.
Rhys Ifans gives a showy, sexy performance as England's 16th- century Earl of Oxford, the nobleman who actually wrote all those works credited to someone named William Shakespeare, in this epic bit of historical revision. Director Roland Emmerich, better known for blockbusters like "Independence Day" and "2012," gets into a more literary space to tell of the earl who had to hide his true identity because his writings exposed very real scandals and foibles in the royal court. He borrowed the name that would live forever on stages and in English classrooms from an illiterate, hedonistic lout. Vanessa Redgrave and her daughter, Joely Richardson, play Queen Elizabeth I at different times in her life with John Orloff providing the witty if convoluted script featuring many of the Bard's greatest hits, from soliloquies to one-liners.
"A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas" R, 1:45, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Forget eggnog. It's "winter wonderweed" that fuels Kal Penn and John Cho in this third installment of the Harold & Kumar franchise. "There's no place like stoned for the holidays" should be the carol sung by the boys, who begin the story by accidentally burning down a Christmas tree, and then getting more R-rated ridiculous as the plot takes one ludicrous turn after another. Neil Patrick Harris continues his scene-stealing ways in a cast also featuring Danny Trejo, Thomas Lennon, Elias Koteas, Patton Oswalt, Paula Garces and Dannell Ackles. Todd Strauss-Schulson directs, getting maximum mileage out of the 3-D effects. (See review.)
"Dolphin Tale" PG, 2:08, Kaahumanu 6..
Maui's Kris Kristofferson is part of the all-star ensemble in this heart-warming, tear-jerking, feel-good story directed at every member of the family. Young Nathan Gamble plays a school failure with no friends who accidentally gets involved with a dolphin trapped in a crab net. Freeing the creature entails removing its tail - leading a wonderful cast including Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman -to put the animal back together again. Charles Martin Smith leaves his iconic film credits as an actor behind to direct this heart-friendly fable based on a true story. Recommended.
"Footloose" PG-13, 2:08, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters.
Kenny Wormald steps into Kevin Bacon's dancing shoes to play the big-city high schooler who gets involved with a small-town Georgia preacher's daughter (Julianne Hough), putting him on a collision course with her dad (Dennis Quaid). The problem? He's gotta dance, but the town banned dancing after a tragedy it supposedly caused. "Hustle & Flow's" Craig Brewer directs this frequently scene-by-scene remake of the 1984 original, letting the dance moves tell the story as much as the words in the script. Miles Teller and Ray McKinnon co-star. It's dated but, thanks to the appealing performances and enduring themes of parents and their children, still touching. Recommended.
"The Ides of March" R, 138, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
George Clooney plays a presidential candidate in this topical drama he also directs and co-wrote. Ryan Gosling, in his third memorable role of the year, plays his idealistic press secretary surrounded by a dream cast featuring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Jennifer Ehle and Evan Rachel Wood as the intern who threatens all the spin-doctors' best-laid plans. The film is smart and captures the pot-boiling pressure and sexually charged chess game always going on behind the scenes in a political campaign. It also subconsciously registers frustration with the Obama administration from those who had such high hopes for it. But while almost all the film's performances are gems, the script could use a better third act to make up for the cynical aftertaste it leaves behind.
"In Time" PG-13, 2:04, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters; ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4.
Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried and Maui Film Festival honoree Olivia Wilde star in this futuristic drama set in a time when time, not money, is the currency of the realm. Wilde plays Justin's mother, but since no one ages past 25, it gets a bit confusing. The wealthy in this world can buy more time, or immortality if they've got enough cash, but the poor, like Timberlake have to scramble - especially when they get on the wrong side of the forces in control. Andrew Niccol directs a cast also featuring Johnny Galecki and Cillian Murphy.
"Johnny English Reborn" PG, 1:41, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Rowan Atkinson returns in this sequel to his 2003 British spy parody. Consider Mr. Bean tripping into James Bond territory, and you'll get the concept. Johnny returns to the secret service after a few years away due to massively messing up his Mozambique assignment. His boss, Pegasus (Gillian Anderson), won't tolerate any more mistakes, which adds to the tension as he tries to crack a plot to assassinate the Chinese premier. Oliver Parker directs; Rosamund Pike and Dominic West co-star.
Killer Elite" R, 2:10, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex
Jason Statham plays a highly trained killing machine trying to get out of special-ops who is drawn back in for one last job after his mentor (Robert De Niro) is kidnapped by an Omani sheik. He has to exact revenge on the men who kidnapped the sheik's sons to secure De Niro's release, but he's got sinister Clive Owen on his tail to deal with first. Gary McKendry directs all the A-list talent engaging in head butts, pistol whippings, gut punches and other things they probably didn't learn in acting school.
"Margin Call" R, 1:49, ends tonight at Kukui Mall 4; opens Friday at Kaahumanu 6.
Right out of yesterday's headlines, and providing background history for the Occupy Wall Street protests, this star-laden drama is set against the collapse of an unnamed (read Lehman Brothers) investment firm. Kevin Space, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci star in this fascinating study of some very smart men making very wrong decisions as they realized their holdings were worthless unless they could find clueless clients to foist them upon. J.C. Chandor writes and makes his directoral debut, making all the financial stuff understandable and even fascinating but still inexcusable.
"Paranormal Activity 3" R, 1:39, Kaahumanu 6; ends tonight at Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
This third installment of the ultrasuccessful franchise once again lets the home furnishings and stationary security cameras do most of the "acting" to build the suspense. It's a formula that works well, turning minimal investments into maximum box office profits, without ever having to make much sense. This prequel features two teenage sisters who would grow up to be the hapless heroines of the earlier "Paranormal Activities"and the forces that sent them to the dark side. Katie Featherson and Sprague Graydon star with Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman sharing the directing duties. Based on the fundamental rule of suspense -what we can't see is scary indeed -the concept is showing its age and running out suspense in its third installment.
"Puss in Boots" PG, 1:45, Maui Mall Megaplex (2-D and 3-D), Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Mike Meyers' Shrek was always the least interesting thing about the "Shrek" franchise, so after Eddie Murphy's Donkey had his chance to shine, the greatest scene stealer of them all, Antonio Banderas' Puss, reigns atop the box office for the second week. This prequel reboots the series with energy, creativity and Banderas' charisma, flashing back from the kitty's life as a Spanish outlaw to his days growing up in an orphanage with his best friend, Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis). Joining forces with Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Puss has his work cut out for him dealing with everyone from trailer-trash Jack and Jill to the goose that laid the golden egg. While Banderas' Puss is at the top of his game and the production is full of derivative refences that will fly right over the kids' heads, audiences may find themselves leaving the theater not quite able to remember what just happened in the movie.
"Real Steel" PG-13, 207, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Hugh Jackman co-stars with a bunch of hardware as a former fighter who has turned manager now that robots have climbed into the ring to do the actual boxing. Learning to be a good dad to his troubled son (Dakota Goyo) proves as challenging as getting his pile-of-junk 'bot transformed into a title contender. Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Hope Davis and Kevin Durand co-star in this box office hit directed by Shawn Levy. Its formulaic script relies on the bots for the action, despite the fact that they've got neither brains nor hearts to make any of it make much sense.
"The Rum Diary" R, 2:00, Kaahumanu 6.
Johnny Depp once again channels gonzo journalist -and his late pal - Hunter S. Thompson in Bruce Robinson's adaptation of Hunter's autobiographical novel, written when Thompson was 22 in the early 1960s. It finds him in his pre-gonzo days, working for a dying newspaper in Puerto Rico run by exasperated editor Richard Jenkins. His "scoop" involves a sleazy, wealthy American developer (Aaron Eckhart), building a giant resort. Amber Heard nearly steals the show as the developer's fiancee, who, of course, becomes the object of the journalist's love and lust. Michael Rispoli and Giovanni Ribisi co-star.
"The Three Musketeers" PG-13, 2:05, Maui Mall Megaplex; ends tonight at Front Street Theaters.
It's Mortal Kombat with swords by men in plumed hats in this latest version of the cinematic staple directed by violent action master Paul W.S. Anderson. Logan Lerman, Matthew MacFadyen and Ray Stevenson head the cast, along with the director's wife and "Resident Evil" star Milla Jovovich in the story that has the musketeers down on their luck before being pressed back into service to stop a nefarious plot to engulf Europe in war.
"Tower Heist" PG-13, 2:08, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Front Street Theaters.
Failing financial fortunes provide the starting point for this rollicking comedy featuring Ben Stiller leading an all-star cast trumped by Eddie Murphy returning to "48 Hrs" form. Stiller plays the manager of an upscale Manhattan high-rise where penthouse-dwelling Alan Alda bears a striking resemblance to Bernie Madoff. When his ponzi scheme is revealed and he is put under house arrest in his penthouse, the victims turn out to include the staff of the building, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck and Tea Leoni co-star in the far-fetched plot that follows Stiller's "Oceans 11"-style plan to steal their money back. Murphy, as the petty criminal enlisted to lead the rag-tag amateur criminals, is of course better at talking the talk than walking the walk. Brett Ratner directs. (See review.)
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