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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





Drumline -- A young hip-hop drummer from Harlem gets the chance to attend an Atlanta university on a marching band scholarship. He quickly becomes a star -- if you can indeed become a "star" in marching band -- but his success is marred by the jealousy of a senior who finds out he fudged his records and threatens to turn him in to the well-liked band director (Orlando Jones). Directed by Charles Stone III, famous for directing all those "Whassup!" commercials. (No kidding.) 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





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. Rated: R





Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets -- Director Chris Columbus returns, and he has 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. (ES) Rated PG





The Hot Chick -- Do we really need another Rob Schneider movie? Apparently the people in Hollywood who make these decisions have decided that we do, and thus, we have The Hot Chick. A popular-but-bitchy high school student wakes up one morning to discover that she's been turned into a 30-year-old man (Schneider). You can bet that in addition to all sorts of slumber party and locker room hijinks, our heroine/hero learns a thing or two about "being beautiful on the inside." Rated: PG-13





Maid in Manhattan -- While Wayne Wang doesn't do for Lopez what Steven Soderbergh did in Out of Sight, the Hong Kong-born director still brings an unlikely combination of romance and working class-verisimilitude to what could have been just another Pretty Woman wannabe. Lopez is a chambermaid at a ritzy New York hotel and a series of contrivances lead her into romance with dryly patrician politician Ralph Fiennes. Lopez is charming; Fiennes is surprisingly at ease on romantic comedy turf, and the entire film twinkles. (RP) Rated: PG-13





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 film. (RP) Rated: PG-13





Star Trek: Nemesis -- Yet another reason to long for the good old days of Kirk, Spock and Bones, as well as the early days of the Next Generation. This film just never takes off, with a muddled story about Captain Picard having been cloned, and his younger clone coming to get him and his ship and Earth. There are some good action sequences, but with the exception of always-dependable Patrick Stewart, the cast seems uninspired. The force fields go down, the ship is attacked, a main character dies (totally illogical for the story). This one goes where it's gone before. (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. Rated: PG (Michael Bowen)





The Two Towers -- This magnificent sequel to last year's magnificent original welcomes back most of the same characters (including a new, improved version of Gandalf), and features many new ones, with the CGI creation of the hideous, piteous and chilling Gollum standing out. This one is darker and more violent than the first, with a more intense and epic approach to the battle scenes. As Frodo and his pals continue on their mission, the perils multiply and the characters get more complicated. This is everything fans were waiting for, with one more coming a year from now. (ES) 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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