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By Inlander Staff


8 Mile -- There's a reason that Eminem is so popular on the hip-hop scene: He's good at what he does. And he's also quite good, it turns out, at acting, here playing a slightly less edgy version of himself in director Curtis Hanson's (L.A. Confidential) formulaic story of young men and women trying to their make dreams come true in ratty Detroit. Rapping bookends the film, and there's some in between, but most of this is a people story, not a music one. Violence does pop up, but it isn't exploited. (ES) Rated: R





Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights -- If there's one thing Adam Sandler likes, it's making up crazy voices. And in this animated, not-really-for-kids feature, he gets to take on not one but three. Davey is a 33-year-old whose partying lifestyle has gotten him in trouble with the law. He's given a choice: community service or go to jail. Opting for the former, Davey finds himself helping out as an assistant referee for youth basketball (which is where the other two voices come in to play). Rated: PG





Analyze That -- Directed by Harold Ramis. The sweetest laughs in Analyze That, the sequel to Ramis' super-successful 1999 Billy Crystal-Robert DeNiro vehicle, come out of pure hostility. That, and the pure crystal comedic timing of Lisa Kudrow. (RP) Rated: R





Bowling For Columbine -- Documentarian and savage satirist Michael Moore points his cameras and his tough questions at the subject of guns in America. Starting with the massacre at Columbine High School, he goes on to look at murder and suicide rates, at how K-Mart makes bullets available to the masses, at vigilante-type militia groups, and, in one case, how you can get a free gun by opening a bank account. Funny, frightening, thought-provoking. (ES) Rated R





Die Another Day -- The James Bond pictures always seem from another time, or more properly, of no time at all, divorced from the era of the Ian Fleming novels and from the other movies of any given year. What's freshest about this installment is that Pierce Brosnan is given the chance to draw on the darker side of his personality, and the game voluptuousness of Halle Berry as his partner in smirk, Jinx. Other than a testosterone-fest of a fencing match, however, there's nothing much new here. (RP) Rated: PG-13





The Emperor's Club -- Sounding more than a bit like Dead Poets Society, this is based on Ethan Canin's short story, "The Palace Thief," and features Kevin Kline as a no-nonsense professor whose life is changed by a new student (Emile Hirsch) with a will as strong as his own. Rated: PG-13





Empire -- Victor Rosa (John Leguizamo) is a New York drug dealer who wants to straighten up and leave his life of crime behind. Having socked away a tidy sum of money, he's on the edge of realizing his dream when he meets an investment banker (Peter Sarsgaard) who gives him what appears to be a wildly profitable tip. Next, with his savings gone and his life in ruins, Victor sets out on a trail of vengeance. Also starring Isabella Rossellini and Denise Richardson. Rated: R





Extreme Ops -- Dude.... It's like one of those Mountain Dew commercials come to life. In the Austrian alps, a group of filmmakers inadvertently captures a Serbian war criminal on film, rather than the extreme sports nuts they were supposed to be filming for a commercial. Now these attractive young folks must run, ski, snowboard, sky dive, base-jump and whitewater river-raft for their lives! Rated: PG-13





Frida -- Salma Hayek plays the gifted-but-troubled painter, Frida Kahlo, whose life -- and mostly her loves, including husband Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), Leon Trotsky (Geoffrey Rush) and numerous female lovers -- is chronicled in this elegant biopic. Also starring Ashley Judd (as Tina Modotti) and Edward Norton (as Nelson Rockefeller). Rated: R





Friday After Next -- The third film in the hit series again teams up Ice Cube with Mike Epps (who replaced Chris Tucker after the original) and centers on the problems caused when the two cousins are robbed at home, then must find jobs to pay the rent and throw a Christmas party. Sex is on the mind of practically everyone here, with raunchy humor and slapstick visuals nestling together in a script that hits and misses evenly. But all ends well, and no doubt there will be yet another sequel. (ES) Rated: R





Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets -- Director Chris Columbus returns, running things smoothly, if a little long in some scenes. But thankfully, he's loosened up, keeping in more of the second book's dark edge. So amid the terrific visual effects and the story of Harry and pals searching out a possibly deadly secret at school, there's a solid sense of menace and some truly frightening stuff (kids over 8 should be fine). A great comic performance from Kenneth Branagh helps out. Richard Harris is wonderfully creaky as Dumbledore. The late actor will be sorely missed next time. (ES) Rated PG





Jackass: The Movie -- Why is this film a box office hit? Because it's funny -- in a naughty, totally juvenile way. Grown men putting their bodies in harm's way, just to prove they're willing to do insane stunts, or just to really annoy unwitting people in a deranged homage to Candid Camera. I had to turn away from the vomiting, defecating and paper-cutting scenes. And about half of the visual gags fell flat. Yet I was laughing out loud in the dark, quite often. Great beginning, great ending. (ES) Rated R





My Big Fat Greek Wedding -- This is the slobbo American version of Four Weddings and a Funeral, getting no marks for subtlety but laughs from those of us who can laugh at the idea of an obnoxious ethnic family getting into the marital spirit. (RP) RATED: PG





The Ring -- Naomi Watts' first feature since Mulholland Drive finds her in cute little boots, eager to scream at the complications in this remake of a Japanese smash hit that bore two sequels. Unfortunately, "supernatural" here is another word for "incomprehensible." Rated: PG-13 (RP)





Santa Clause 2 -- Eight years after the original Santa Clause, Tim Allen finally reads the fine print on his contract and realizes he either needs to find a Mrs. Claus or he's out of a job. While he's out conducting auditions, his stand-in is wreaking havoc back at the North Pole. All we want to know is, doesn't it seem a little early to be releasing a holiday film? Rated: G





Solaris -- Absence makes the heart grow fonder; fantasy forgives; desire embellishes. Sentiments like these lie at the heart of Solaris, Steven Soderbergh's marital drama in a science-fiction setting. It's more "Scenes from an Intergalactic Marriage" than a revisiting of Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's novel, with Soderbergh's usual take on female-male relationships: They're essentially parasitic. (RP) Rated: PG-13





Sweet Home Alabama -- Despite some terrific acting from Josh Lucas, as a nice redneck fella whose wife walked out on him years before, and competent acting from Reese Witherspoon, as the nasty wife who has since reinvented herself as a proper New Yorker, this story is just too flimsy. (ES) RATED: PG-13





Treasure Planet -- The team that brought you The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules now animates the buried-treasure-hunt classic by Robert Louis Stevenson, fusing the worlds of spacers and swashbucklers. There's some commentary on fathers and sons, but it's kept light, and much joy in how the animators have filtered the world of pirates through a Star Trek mentality. The windsail-rocket and lunar space port sequences are just awesome enough to lure little buccaneers back into the world of reading. Rated: PG (Michael Bowen)





They -- Wes Craven presents his latest scary/oogly flick, and this time it has to do with a young grad student whose night terrors are linked to the nightmares she -- and several others -- suffered in their footie pajama days. Could it be that the "things that go bump in the night" are not only real, but want something? Chances are, it's not milk and cookies. Rated: PG-13





& lt;i & Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted. & lt;/i &





Follow these links for movie times and tickets at & lt;a href= "http://www.movietickets.com/house_detail.asp?exid=amc & amp;house_id=6584 & amp;.submit=Search " target= "_blank " & & lt;font size= "2 " & AMC & lt;/font & & lt;/a & & r & and & lt;a href= "http://www.regalcinemas.com/cgi-bin/theatre_search/getResults.cgi?zip=99202 & amp;submit=Search%21 " target= "_blank " & & lt;font size= "2 " & Regal & lt;/font & & lt;/a & & r & .

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