Dark Knight, The: It’s so hard not to add “returns” to the end of that title, but this isn’t an adaptation of the fantastic Frank Miller comic. Rather, it’s 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). With Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine and Aaron Eckhart. PG13.152 min. Cinemark. 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. See review this issue.
Labyrinth: You remind me of the babe. What babe? The ’80s babes who will turn up at this movie in the park knowing every word the fantastic story of Sarah (Jennifer Connolly), who accidentally wishes her baby brother (Toby Froud, who you can often see all growns up at Faerieworlds) into the hands of the Goblin King (David Bowie in some seriously tight pants). 9 pm Friday, July 18, at Sladden Park. Free.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Forbidden Kingdom: When an American teenager finds a lost relic of the legendary Monkey King, he also finds himself sent back in time to join a band of warriors fighting to free said king. The important bits? Jackie Chan and Jet Li costar, and Wo Ping (Crouching Tiger; The Matrix) handles the fight sequences. Awesome. PG13. Movies 12.
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. Cinemark. VRC Stadium 15.
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. See review this issue.
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. VRC Stadium 15. (5/29)
Iron Man: The first major summer flick (summer? Huh?) stars Robert Downy Jr. as Tony Stark, a wealthy industrialist who devises a suit that gives him the superheroic ability to take down baddies who misuse his destructive technology. Awesome. With Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard and Gwyneth Paltrow. PG13. VRC Stadium 15. (5/8)
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.
Kit Kittredge: American Girl: The insanely popular book series comes to life in the form of perky young Abigail Breslin, who stars as aspiring reporter Kit Kittredge, who needs to save her family’s home and prove that the baddies behind a string of robberies aren’t who the cops think they are. G. 101 min. Cinemark.
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. VRC Stadium 15.
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.
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. VRC Stadium 15.
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.
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