These are Maui Scene's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"The Avengers" PG-13, 2:38, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Iron Man, portrayed by Robert Downey Jr., left, and Captain America, portrayed by Chris Evans, are shown in a scene from “The Avengers.”
AP Photo / Disney
The hype has been building for years and it couldn't possibly be more deafening at this point. After a series of summer blockbusters that individually introduced Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America, all these characters come together alongside several other friends and foes in "Marvel's The Avengers." And with director and co-writer Joss Whedon, they couldn't be in better hands. He's pulled off the tricky feat of juggling a large ensemble cast and giving everyone a chance to shine, of balancing splashy set pieces with substantive ideology. Stuff explodes in beautifully detailed 3-D.
"The Five-Year Engagement" R, 1:64, Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters.
The writing team of Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel are aware of the typical pitfalls of the romantic comedy genre, but just as they did with "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," they have crafted another charming story with "The Five-Year Engagement." The comedy charts the ups and downs of an engaged couple's relationship. Tom (Jason Segel) proposes to Violet (Emily Blunt). She says yes, but as the title implies, there are going to be some roadblocks along the way to these nuptials. The movie also stars Chris Pratt. Nicholas Stoller directs.
"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" PG, 1:28, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals, Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) for the Pirate of the year Award in this family-friendly animation. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Despite his shortcomings as an extorter of wealth on the high seas, the Captain's crew remain loyal to him and don't mind their descriptive monikers: Pirate With A Scarf (Martin Freeman), the Pirate With Gout (Brendan Gleeson) or the Surpisingly Curvaceous Pirate (Ashley Jensen) - a pirate that no one seems to have pegged as a female, despite her obviously fake beard. The screenplay by Gideon Defoe is based on his book "The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists." Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt direct.
"Safe" R, 1:34, Front Street Theaters and Maui Mall Megaplex.
Mei (Catherine Chan) is a 12-year-old girl whose memory holds a priceless numerical code. She finds herself pursued by the Triads, the Russian mob and corrupt NYC cops. Coming to her aid is an ex-cage fighter named Luke (Jason Statham) whose life was destroyed by the gangsters on Mei's trail. Luke discovers Mei is no ordinary girl, but an orphaned math prodigy forced to work for the Triads as a "counter." Realizing he's the only person Mei can trust, Luke tears a swath through the city's underworld to save an innocent girl's life. Chris Sarandon also stars. Boaz Yakin directs.
"The Raven" R, 1:51, Kaahumanu 6.
When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's works, a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) joins forces with Poe (John Cusack) to help him from making his stories a reality. Alice Eve plays Poe's girlfriend in this period piece set in 1849. She is abducted and buried alive by the killer who challenges Poe to solve clues left on corpses to find her before it is too late.
"Chimpanzee" G, 1:33, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Tim Allen is the human providing the narration for this already acclaimed Disney documentary about a 3-year-old chimp separated from his troop who is then adopted by a fully grown male. Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield share the directing duties, and shared the challenges of getting the amazing footage in the wild. They were working in conjunction with the Jane Goddall Institute in this touching, instructive and illuminating adventure for the whole family.
"The Lucky One" PG-13, 1:56, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theatres.
Zac Efron stars in this moody romance adapted from the latest best-seller by Nicholas (bring hankies) Sparks. He plays a Marine vet convinced the photo of a beautiful girl (Taylor Schilling) he found in a fierce battle zone saved his life in three Iraq tours of duty. But when he shows up in her scenic North Carolina town, complications -and trouble expressing his true feelings -add lots of obstacles to their path to true love. Blythe Danner, Jay R. Ferguson, Joe Chrest and Riley Thomas Stewart co-star; Scott Hicks directs.
"Think Like a Man" PG-13, 2:17, Maui Mall Megaplex and Kukui Mall 4.
In adapting Steve Harvey's funny best-seller to the screen, the producers left out the first half of the title: "Act Like a Lady." That's the premise for the comedy as a group of girlfriends including Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson and Jennifer Lewis buy the book and use its advice to keep their men in check until the men (including Chris Brown, Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy and Terrence Jenkins) catch on and try to turn the tables. Tim Story directs.
"21 Jump Street" R, 2:05, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Picking up where Johnny Depp left off 25 years ago, Jonah Hill co-stars with Channing Tatum in this big-screen version of the TV series about a pair of young cops who go back to high school undercover to bust drug rings and cure other social ills. Hill, who also produced and co-wrote the script, finds just the right odd-couple chemistry with Tatum as the "brothers" - one a brain, one a jock -wind up switching class schedules by accident. Ice Cube plays their hot-headed chief and Brie Larson, Dave Franco (James' kid brother), Rob Riggle, Jake Johnson, Nick Offerman and a certain celebrity to be named later co-star under the direction of Phil Ord and Christopher Miller.
"American Reunion" R, 2:08, Maui Mall Megaplex.
It's been 12 years since Jason Biggs did things Betty Crocker could never have dreamed of with "American Pie." Now the gang - ranging from Alyson "Band Camp" Hannigan to Sean William "Stiffler" Scott are back for their high school reunion. They're older -but don't bet on them being any more mature. Eugene Levy is back as dad joining other no-longer so-young cast members including Mena Suvari, Chris Klein, Tara Reid, Eddie Kaye Thomas, John Cho and Jennifer Coolidge as Stiffler's Mom. Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg direct.
Cabin in the Woods" R, 1:50, Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters.
The breakout hit at Sundance, this very original sendup of the horror genre surpasses the hype, keeping audiences guessing whether it will scare them or make them laugh from one tense moment to the next. Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Fran Kranz and Kristen Connolly play the college party animals who wind up in the film's title. Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford represent the older generation as managers at a nearby research lab. "Lost" and "Cloverfield" writer Drew Goddard makes his directoral debut, with geeky mogul Joss Whedon producing.
"The Hunger Games" PG-13, 2:22, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Continuing its record-setting roll at the box office in its fourth week, writer-director Gary Ross' adaptation of the first of Suzanne Collins' trio of best-sellers is a hit with critics and social observers as well as its target teen audience. "Winter's Bone" Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence seems born to play Katniss Everdeen, a bow-and-arrow warrior in a futuristic world where North America has become a post-apocalyptic tyranny. The annual "Games" choose a male and female teen from each of 12 districts to duel to the death on the ultimate in reality TV shows, providing entertainment for the masses. Twinkly-eyed Woody Harrelson is the secret weapon in the strong, eccentric supporting cast also featuring Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland. While the themes strike uncomfortably close to home, it's the performances by Lawrence and company that make the film resonate powerfully. Recommended.
"Mirror Mirror" PG, 2:01, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Julia Roberts as the evil queen gets top billing, and steals most of the thunder from Snow White (Lily Collins) in this comically skewed retelling of the fairy tale. Armie Hammer and Nathan Lane head the supporting cast, raising the obvious question, what happened to the dwarfs? Director Tarsem Singh uses the Brothers Grimm as a starting point before taking things in a more contemporary film direction.
"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" PG, 1:41, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D and 2-D).
Decades ago, a visionary cartoonist named Theodor Geisel - better known to the world as Dr. Seuss -imagined a world with no trees and no regard for the rest of the environment, either. Danny DeVito gives voice to the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming figure at the center of this strange new world in this animated family-oriented fantasy. Zac Efron voices the 12-year-old youth who sets out to find an actual tree to bring back to win the heart of his honey (Taylor Swift).
"Journey 2: Mysterious Island" PG, 1:44, ends tonight at Kukui Mall.
Dwayne Johnson flexes his acting prowess, playing father figure to Josh Hutcherson on a mission to a strange realm of small elephants and other mind-boggling phenomena to try to find Josh's missing dad. Joining up with cute tour guide Vanessa Hudgens and her helicopter-piloting dad, Luis Guzman, they find out how the island got its name, which provides ample opportunities for the superhero formerly known as The Rock to demonstrate how lovable an action figure can be. Michael Caine co-stars; Brad Peyton directs.
"The Raid: Redemption" R, 1:41, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
Members of a SWAT Team have the tables turned on them after they are trapped by a mobster and his army of thugs in a slum tenement. Iko Uwals, Ananda George and Ray Sahetapy star; Gareth Evans writes and directs the mayhem.
"Titanic 2012" (3-D) PG-13, 3:14, ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.
After going deeper than any human to Mariana Trench at the bottom of the seafloor, filmmaking giant James Cameron is back on the surface to relaunch his 1997 blockbuster. Winner of 11 Academy Awards, earner of $1.84 billion in international box office sales, the new version once again plays out the star-crossed romance between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio but adds a new co-star: 3-D technology. While everyone already knows the story isn't going to turn out any better this time, this is one of those movies that needs to be seen on the really big screen. And with Cameron's perfectionistic genius at the helm, it's probably worth a fresh look, just for the new bells and whistles.
"The Three Stooges" PG, 1:47, ends tonight at Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Sean Hayes is Larry, Will Sasso is Curly and Chris Dimantopoulos is Moe in this ill-advised update of ridiculous behavior for a new millennium. The plot has them trying to save an orphanage but winding up instead stumbling into a murder plot and a reality TV show. While it seems somewhat irreverent getting the new guys to play the real guys, directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly have never let good taste or decorum get in their way in a string of raunchy and sometimes hilarious comedy hits. Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Hudson co-star, but to no avail.
* Movie listings are subject to last-minute changes. Visit www.mauigateway.com~rw/ movie/ for updates.