The Alamo -- Forget the Alamo. Only the most devoted of Texas history buffs should bother to be irritated by this slashed-down epic that seems not to have any special reason for hanging around. With Billy Bob Thornton as Davey Crockett, Jason Patric as Jim Bowie and Dennis Quaid as General Sam Houston. (RP) Rated: PG-13
Catch That Kid -- It's a sorrow to report that with the fairly godawful Catch That Kid, director Bart (Mr. Julianne Moore) Freundlich is just as tonally incomprehensible a director of kiddie-techno diversions as he is of his own inconsequential child-of-privilege maundering, like The Myth of Fingerprints and World Traveler. A ridiculously slack attempt at kinetic heist thrills for the younger set, Kid lacks the giddy invention and simple glee of Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids franchise. (RP) Rated: PG
Ella Enchanted -- Gail Carson Levine's retelling of Cinderella -- Ella Enchanted -- was one of the most compelling and delightful books for young adult readers to come out of the 1990s. Cursed by her fairy godmother's gift of "complete obedience" at birth, young Ella (Anne Hathaway) has more than the usual need for wreaking a little teenage rebellion. Deliverance comes in the form of Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy), the promise of whose love drives Ella on a journey to break the spell of a lifetime. Also starring Cary Elwes and Eric Idle. Rated: PG
The Girl Next Door -- Nope, this isn't one of those raunchy high school kid films with loudness and nudity as its highlights. It's a surprisingly witty twist on that kind of movie. There's Matt (Emile Hirsch), the boy next door to the house-sitting Danielle (Elisha Cuthbert), and this boy is amazed that the girl is taking an interest in him. His interest goes in a different direction when he finds out she's a porn star. And when her producer, Kelly (Timothy Olyphant), makes the scene, things get dangerous. The film is mostly comic, Danielle is mostly a tease, multiple plot turns make it fun for all. (ES) Rated R
Johnson Family Vacation -- Family vacation... family vacation... where have we heard those words before? That's right, Cedric the Entertainer follows in the legendary steps of the Griswolds, except he's headed to Missouri from California, and there's no Grandma strapped to the roof of the car. Vanessa Williams plays his estranged wife; Bow Wow, Solange Knowles and Gabby Soleil play his three precocious kids. Rated: PG-13
IMAX Nascar -- For those of us who are always late to something, everyday is Nascar. For the rest of you, there's IMAX Nascar. Kiefer Sutherland is your personal pit boss on this up-close and personal look at life behind the wheel. With in-car footage reaching 180 miles an hour, a 12,000-watt sound system and five stories of heart-stopping racetrack action, you'll be sore from kicking the seat in front of you, trying to squeal on the brakes. Not Rated.
The Whole Ten Yards -- This superfluous sequel to Howard Deutsch's The Whole Nine Yards is riotously unfunny, and may be one of the most unnecessary follow-ups of all time. Bruce Willis' beefy hitman is now a hausfrau who seems to be a severe Atkins diet victim; the capable Amanda Peet is a study in compensatory overacting; the rest is just numb. Also starring Matthew Perry and Natasha Henstridge (RP) Rated: PG-13
Publication date: 04/08/04