Brick Lane: An adaptation of Monica Ali’s novel about a Bangladeshi woman sent to London, at the age of 17, to marry a much older man. Tension between her husband, her homesickness and another man drives the story, but Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee) spends too much time inside her head, internalizing the movie’s struggle. PG13. 101 min. Bijou. See review this issue.
Chronicles of Narnia, The: Prince Caspian: When the Pevensie children find themselves back in Narnia, it’s just a year later for them — and 1300 years later for the magical land, now under the control of an evil foreigner. Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edmund (with help, of course) must help get the true king back on Narnia’s throne. PG. 144 min. Movies 12. (5/22)
Karate Kid, The: The 1984 classic about a Jersey boy transplanted to SoCal who learns to take control of his life via karate screens as part of Eugene’s Movie Night in the Park. 9 pm Friday, July 25, Churchill Park. Free.
Step Brothers: Just what the world doesn’t need: another Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy. This time, the two are immature fellows whose parents get married. They hate each other, and then they love each other, and then they have to save the family. And every single joke in the trailer falls flat. R. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
X-Files: I Want to Believe: Oh, Chris Carter. You give me a title like that and I just want to repeat it: I want to believe that this X-film, coming years after the last and apparently requiring no previous knowledge of the X-Files mythology, is going to be as good as it can be. Does it matter what it’s about? It’s got Mulder (David Duchovny)! And Scully (Gillian Anderson)! And paranormal stuff! Sold. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Baby Mama: When successful businesswoman Kate (Tiny Fey) finds that she can’t conceive the kid she wants, she hires Angie (Amy Poehler) as her surrogate. It’s a clash of personalities and more when Angie shows up on Kate’s doorstep. “An essentially sweet-natured picture that doesn’t go as far as it could,” says Salon.com. PG13. 96 min. Movies 12.
Dark Knight, The: Christopher Nolan’s second take on the alter ego of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), who has a new nemesis in the Joker (Heath Ledger, earning whispers of a posthumous Oscar nod), is both an enthrallingly entertaining summer action movie and a complicated moral tangle. With Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine and Aaron Eckhart. PG13.152 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. See review this issue.
Fall, The: In a Los Angeles hospital in the 1920s, an injured stuntman (Lee Pace) weaves a multi-layered fantastic tale for a young girl (Catinca Untaru). Director Tarsem (The Cell, but don’t hold that against him) filmed in countless locations around the world to create an unforgettably beautiful story about connection — and the way a story depends not only on who’s telling it, but who’s listening. R. 117 min. Bijou. (6/29)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall: The Apatow Onslaught continues with this romantic comedy about a guy (Jason Segel, who also wrote the screenplay) who tries get away from it all after his famous girlfriend (the fantabulous Kristen Bell) dumps him — only to find that she, and her strange new boyfriend, are at the same Hawaiian resort. With Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd and a lot of other funny people. R. 112 min. Movies 12. (4/24)
Get Smart: Steve Carell is newly promoted former CONTROL analyst Maxwell Smart, sent on a mission to save the world from agents of KAOS; Anne Hathaway is his sidekick (who one suspects may be slightly more competent), Agent 99. This adaptation of the 1960s TV show also gives us Terence Stamp as a baddie and The Rock as a superspy. PG13. 110 min. VRC Stadium 15.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: Director Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar for the harrowing Taxi to the Dark Side, takes on the story of the famous gonzo journalist via interviews with friends and collaborators, explorations of lesser-known parts of Thompson’s story, and the occasional reenactment. A definitive portrait and fascinating film. R. 118 min. Bijou. (7/17)
Hancock: Grumpy, drunken, superpowered Hancock (Will Smith, aka Mr. July) has a habit of wreaking considerable destuction when saving lives. But a PR guy (Jason Bateman) somehow shows Hancock that he does have a softer side. He can be better! At least I think that’s what he says in the ads. PG13. 92 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Happening, The: Are you willing to give M. Night Shyamalan another chance? His followup to Lady in the Water is about a couple (Mark Wahlberg and the very likable Zooey Deschanel) trying to survive after some sort of … er .. happening. From what I hear, it’s ecological in nature. Run! Global warming is chasing you! R. 91 min. Movies 12. (6/19)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army: “The world’s toughest kitten-loving hero from Hell” (Ron Perlman) — with sidekick Abe (Doug Jones, last seen as the Faun in director Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth) and love interest Liz (Selma Blair) — finds himself standing between an army of fantastic creatures and the world as we know it when an ancient truce is broken. PG13. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/17)
Horton Hears a Who: The Dr. Seuss classic gets the animated treatment from the creators of Ice Age, with Jim Carrey as Horton and Steve Carell as the mayor of Who-ville, the tiny world on a speck that Horton discovers and defends from his fellow animals, who think he’s gone nuts. G. 110 min. Movies 12.
Incredible Hulk, The: Edward Norton slips into the torn pants recently worn by Eric Bana in this reinvention of the Hulk franchise. Norton’s Hulk is trying to find a cure, but warmongers want to use his powers for evil. With Tim Roth and Liv Tyler. PG13. 114 min. Movies 12. (6/26)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: It’s the only mainstream movie opening this weekend! It’s got Harrison Ford and Cate Blanchett and Shia LeBoeuf and sassy Raiders of the Lost Ark dame Karen Allen! Also, it takes place 19 years after the underrated third film in a world facing the possibility of nuclear annihilation. That’s about all I’ve got. That and a big plastic Indy whip. PG13. 124 min. Cinemark. (5/29)
Journey to the Center of the Earth: Brendan Fraser stars as a less-than-traditional scientist who finds himself leading his nephew and a friend into the center of the earth, where there’s … another world! In 3D, which makes all those falling rocks and underground dinosaurs even more exciting. PG. 89 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadiium 15.
Kung Fu Panda: Jack Black — or at least his voice — stars as Po the Panda, a waiter whose love for kung fu serves him well when it turns out there’s a prophecy about him saving the world from some powerful enemies. With the voices of Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. PG. 88 min. Cinemark.
Made of Honor: Even Dr. McDreamy, Patrick Dempsey, as the guy who figures out too late that he’s in love with his best friend (Michelle Monaghan) isn’t enough to make this look anything but embarrassing. PG13. 101 min. Movies 12.
Mamma Mia!: Get the song outta my head! Oh, too late. Anyway, the giant hit Broadway musical becomes a giant film starring Meryl Streep as the mother whose daughter (Amanda Seyfried of Veronica Mars) wants to find out who her father is: Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan or Stellan Skarsgard. Oh, and there’s some Abba. PG13. 108 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Meet Dave: Eddie Murphy stars as a spaceship that looks like a man — but is manned by a whole lot of very small people (including, of course, a mini-Eddie Murphy). They’ve been promoting this one with a giant Eddie Murphy head that gets driven around L.A. I just can’t approve of that. PG. 90 min. Movies 12.
Nim’s Island: Moppet-of-the-moment Abigail Breslin stars as Nim, a girl who lives with her scientist father (Gerard Butler) on an island and has a literary heroine whose life is rather similar. When Nim’s father disappears, life brings Nim and her favorite author together to find him. With Jodie Foster. PG. 95 min. Movies 12.
Space Chimps: Animated flick involving, um, space chimps. They’re sent into space to visit an inhabited planet, only to find themselves stuck there with the planet’s tyrannical leader. I just can’t seem to muster much enthusiasm for this one. G. 81 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
Speed Racer: Here it comes, here comes … the Wachowski Brothers’ color-saturated, whiz-bang take on the oddball Japanese cartoon that some of us never understood when we were children. Emile Hirsch stars as Mach 5 racer Speed; Matthew Fox (as baddie Racer X), John Goodman, Christina Ricci and Susan Sarandon round out the cast. PG. 129 min. Movies 12.
WALL-E: The latest from the geniuses at Pixar is about a lonely trash-cleaning robot on what’s left of Earth. A sleek robot named EVE discovers, when she visits the deserted planet, that WALL-E’s figured out something important, so off to the stars (and the humans) she races, a besotted WALL-E in pursuit. “One of the best movies of the year,” said Richard Roeper. G. 97 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15. (7/3)
Wanted: This disasatrously bad Angelina Jolie-starring assassin flick is directed by Timur Bekmanbetov, who was behind the underseen Night Watch. Jolie and Morgan Freeman are part of the Fraternity, a secret society of assassins; the usually delightful James McAvoy is the whingy former office drone who gets recruited after his father is killed. R. 110 min. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
What Happens in Vegas: Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher star as a couple that gets rather spontaneously wed in Vegas, then realizes they hate each other — only to wind up stuck together when he puts her quarter in a slot machine and hits the jackpot. PG13. 99 min. Movies 12.
Bijou Art Cinemas
Bijou Theater 686-2458 | 492 E. 13th
VRC Stadium 15 342-6536 | Valley River Center
Movies 12 741-1231 | Gateway Mall
Cinemark 17 741-1231 | Gateway Mall