(Now showing at 1, 4, 7 and 9:55 p.m. daily at the Mall 3 in Glenwood Springs and 12:15, 3:15, 6:15 and 9 p.m. daily at Movieland in El Jebel)
Some of the same sorts of revelations about the evolution of Darth Vader that give “Star Wars: Episode III ” Revenge of the Sith” a sense of geeky adolescent wonder surface in this prequel, too: the joy of discovering how Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) develops the Batcave, the Batsuit and the Batmobile. But except for a few quips from the formidable supporting cast ” including Michael Caine as an ideal Alfred the butler and Morgan Freeman as Bruce’s equivalent of Q from the James Bond films ” “Batman Begins” is suffocatingly self-serious. It’s hard to tell that “Batman Begins” began with Christopher Nolan, the mastermind behind “Memento,” one of the most inventive films in recent memory. PG-13 for intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements. 137 min.
(Now showing at 12:30, 3:15, 7 and 9:30 p.m. daily at Movieland in El Jebel)
The brew that sisters Nora and Delia Ephron ultimately created reeks of antic desperation, though it features a solid cast in Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. In adapting the ’60s sitcom for the big screen, the Ephrons (Delia as director/writer and Nora as writer) have come up with a conceit that’s admirable in its attempt at innovation: An updated version of “Bewitched” is in the works, with a real-life witch playing Samantha. In execution, though, the premise feels too cutesy ” as does the performance from Kidman, who is more than capable of comedy (see “To Die For”) but is too substantial an actress for the dippy-fluffy routine she’s got working here. It doesn’t help that she and Ferrell, as the actor playing Darren, have zero chemistry with each other, despite their individual appeal. PG-13 for some language, including sex and drug references, and partial nudity. 95 min.
(Showing at 12:15, 3:15, 6:15 and 9:15 p.m. daily at Movieland in El Jebel)
“People are sentimental, you know,” says Paul Giamatti as Jim Braddock’s persuasive boxing manager. “Some people are sentimental.” Director Ron Howard is one of them. It’s a trait that hampered him in some of his earlier films (“Cocoon,” “Parenthood”) but one that he learned to temper with “A Beautiful Mind,” and in the process earned Oscars for best picture and best director in 2002. Howard has brought back that film’s sense of emotional balance here ” though he goes a bit gooey toward the end ” along with its star (Russell Crowe) and screenwriter (Akiva Goldsman). So as you would expect, it’s flawlessly crafted, superbly acted and intelligently written. Braddock was a real-life prizefighter who came from behind to serve as a symbol of hope during the Depression. PG-13 for intense boxing violence and some language. 138 min.
(Now showing at 1:45, 4:30, 7:15 and 9:45 p.m. daily at the Mall 3 in Glenwood Springs and 12:45, 3:15, 6:15 and 9 p.m. daily at Movieland in El Jebel )
In the canon of recent scary movies of Japanese origin ” or J-horror flicks, for those of you in the know ” “Dark Water” is more deeply disturbing than the laughable remake of “The Ring” or “The Grudge,” which was oddly antiseptic. The difference here is the pedigree: It’s flawless from top to bottom. Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly and Tim Roth are among its stars. Brazil’s Walter Salles (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) is the director. Affonso Beato (“All About My Mother”) is the cinematographer. Longtime David Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti composed the score. Connelly plays a mother who moves with her young daughter to a creepy, leaky apartment building, where strange things start happening. PG-13 for mature thematic material, frightening sequences, disturbing images and brief language. 104 min.
(Now showing at 8 p.m. at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale)
No summary available. Not rated.
(Now showing at 7 and 9 p.m. daily, and 1 and 3 p.m. weekend matinees at Springs Theatre in Glenwood Springs and 12:30, 3:30, 6:45 and 9:15 p.m. at Movieland in El Jebel)
Unlike the dark themes of other comic-book tales, this Marvel Comics adaptation aims for a good old goofy time. It succeeds on the goofy part, presenting a shallow tale that has a few laughs but no real drama. Less a movie than an anecdotal collection of slapstick action, “Fantastic Four” carries the silliness to such a degree you practically expect campy flashes of “Thwap!” and “Kapow!” a la the 1960s “Batman” TV show. The movie stars Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Chris Evans as mutated astronauts who use their superpowers to fight a villainous fellow mutant (Julian McMahon). PG-13 for sequences of intense action, and some suggestive content. 106 min.
(Now showing at 12:15, 2:45, 6:15 and 8:45 p.m. daily at Movieland in El Jebel)
The new “Love Bug” comedy is a harmless bit of roadside litter, offering a few cute moments with the plucky Volkswagen Beetle and a fresh dollop of slapstick for children unfamiliar with the 1969 original and its sequels. Disney remake queen Lindsay Lohan stars as a woman from a proud line of NASCAR racers, including her dad (Michael Keaton) and brother (Breckin Meyer). A trip to the junkyard brings Herbie, now a rustbucket but as wily as ever, into her life. Lohan and a mechanic pal (Justin Long) fix up the little white bug, and Herbie ends up in a showdown with a vainglorious NASCAR champ (Matt Dillon). G. 101 min.
(Now showing at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 p.m. matinee Sunday at the Rifle Theatre)
If Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have indeed become an off-screen couple and transformed into a singular entity known (at least on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”) as Brangelina, who could blame them? After watching this movie, in which Pitt and Jolie co-star as married assassins, it would seem physically impossible for any human being with eyes and a pulse to resist falling in love with either of them ” or both of them at the same time. They’re frighteningly beautiful individually and have insane amounts of combustible chemistry together. But director Doug Liman’s film isn’t just a romance and it isn’t just a comedy, though the banter is sufficiently snappy and the pacing is crisp. At its core, this is a big, mindless action movie ” a high-tech “The War of the Roses.” PG-13 for sequences of violence, intense action, sexual content and brief strong language. 110 min.
(Now showing at 1, 4, 7 and 9:40 p.m. daily at the Mall 3 in Glenwood Springs and 12:45, 3:45, 6:45 and 9:30 p.m. daily at Movieland in El Jebel )
The update of H.G. Wells’ alien-invasion classic went on the fast-track late last summer, when a narrow window opened in Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s schedules. The rush job they delivered shortchanges story, character, design and even execution on some of the colossal special-effects sequences. As a divorced, undependable dad, Cruise alternates through a succession of explosive action scenes and uninspired exchanges with his two screeching and moaning kids (Dakota Fanning and Justin Chatwin). Tim Robbins co-stars as a semi-demented survivalist who enters the movie with jarring abruptness and departs just as suddenly. PG-13 for frightening sequences of sci-fi violence and disturbing images. 116 min.
(Showing Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale)
No summary available. G. 83 min.
” The Associated Press
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