These are Maui Scene's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"The Dictator" R, 1:23, Front Street Theaters, Maui Mall Megaplex and Kukui Mall.
Chris Rock and Thomas Lennon are among the cast of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”
Lions Gate photo
Actors Rihanna and Taylor Kitsch are shown in a scene from “Battleship.”
Universal Pictures photo
Sacha Baron Cohen rides into New York as General Aladeen, aka “The Dictator.”
Paramount Pictures photo
The Dictator is the latest comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen, co-starring Anna Faris, John C. Reilly, and Ben Kingsley. The story is about a fictional dictator, Haffaz Alladeen. The movie blurs the line between a "mockumentary" style movie and a fictional story of a dictator visiting the U.S. for the first time. Haffaz Alladeen (Cohen) is the hilariously bizarre dictator of the oil-rich African nation of Waadeya. As egotistical and ruthless as dictators come, Alladeen executes anyone who disagrees with him. He is also a Waadeyan Olympic Gold medalist, having won a variety of events including the 100 metre dash (where he shot all of his competitors). Movie viewers are treated to goofy laughs as The Dictator risks his life to ensure that democracy never comes to the country he so lovingly has oppressed. Larry Charles directs.
"What to Expect When You're Expecting" PG-13, 1:50, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Inspired by the perennial New York Times bestseller of the same name, What to Expect When You're Expecting is a heartfelt big screen comedy about five couples whose intertwined lives are turned upside down by the challenges of impending parenthood. A kaleidoscopic comedy as universal as it is unpredictable, What to Expect When You're Expecting finds humor and uplift in all the unexpected trials and triumphs of welcoming a child into the world. Stars Cameron Diaz, Matthew Morrison and J. Todd Smith. Kirk Jones directs.
"Battleship" PG-13, 2:11, Lahaina Cinemas and Kukui Mall.
Based on the classic Hasbro naval combat game, Battleship is the story of an international fleet of ships who come across an alien armada whilst on a Naval war games exercise. An intense battle ensues over sea, land and air. Those looking for big, loud sci-fi action will find plenty of it here. Three ships are left stranded inside a gigantic alien spaceship's force field during what was supposed to be a routine exercise between Japanese and American sailors off the coast of Hawaii. What do they aliens-known as 'The Regents'-want? Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker and Liam Neeson star. Recording artist Rihanna plays a plucky weapons specialist who scampers about the USS John Paul Jones making things go boom. Peter Berg directs.
"Dark Shadows" PG-13, 1:53, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall, Front Street Theaters.
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy... until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better and are in need of his protection. Director Tim Burton brings the cult classic series "Dark Shadows" to the big screen.
"The Avengers" PG-13, 2:38, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
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, ends tonight at 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, end tonight.
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, ends tonight.
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, ends tonight at 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, ends tonight at 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, ends tonight at 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, ends tonight at 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, Lahaina Wharf Cinemas. Ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex and Kukui Mall 4.
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, ends tonight.
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.
* Movie listings are subject to last-minute changes. Visit www.mauigateway.com/~rw/ movie/ for updates.