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by Inlander Staff


Auto Focus -- Director Paul Schrader's look at the life and dark times of Bob Crane -- the man who starred in Hogan's Heroes -- is aided by a spot-on performance by Greg Kinnear in the lead. But the story itself is continually fascinating. Crane, happily married, became a TV star, then developed a sexual addiction, which led to a secret life involving pornography. He met a nasty end, and the film starkly suggests what might have happened. Willem Dafoe costars. (ES) Rated: R





Ghost Ship -- Despite a fantastically staged opening segment, in which the wealthy passengers of an ocean liner are wiped out, the rest of the film -- about a salvage crew that stumbles upon the ship decades later -- doesn't hold up. Come to think of it, this is a remake of the 1952 film Ghost Ship. (ES) Rated R





I Spy -- A funny Eddie Murphy movie: there's a high-concept pitch. With I Spy, Owen Wilson's sly wake-and-bake lassitude makes an ideal comic foil to Eddie Murphy's banty-rooster cockiness; there are two scenes I won't describe where the pair are nothing less than comedic helium. Opening with an avalanche scene that seems like XXX-lite, I Spy is zingy studio product until you get Wilson, as a second-tier spy hotshot and Murphy, as a champion boxer who refers to himself in the third person, in the same room. (RP) Rated: PG-13





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





Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie -- Whales prefer krill and plankton over asparagus and carrots, but that's not stopping the folks who make Veggie Tales from using salad ingredients to tell the Biblical tale of Jonah. Rated: G





Knockaround Guys -- Young stars (Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Seth Green) join with vets (Dennis Hopper, John Malkovich, Tom Noonan) when some sons of the Brooklyn Mob go to retrieve a bag of money that's been lost in Montana. Lots of villains, idiots and would-be criminals. (ES) Rated R





Moonlight Mile -- In the distant but musically insistent 1970s, Jake Gyllenhaal mourns the death of his girlfriend for all too long, remaining in the lives of her parents, Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon. Gyllenhaal remains charming, but kind of a one-note hottie. From writer/director Brad Silberling (City of Angels), based on events in his own life. (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





Punch-Drunk Love -- Anyone who accused Paul Thomas Anderson of getting into a rut with Boogie Nights and Magnolia has some tongue-biting to do now. This one is different, not only from those films but from everything else, too. Adam Sandler delivers an edgy, inward performance as a lonely small business owner who errs by calling a phone sex service just as he meets a terrific woman (Emily Watson). From there, it's kind of tough to figure what else this is about. Very offbeat, for both Sandler and Anderson. (ES) Rated: R





Red Dragon -- Hannibal Lecter stays behind bars -- where he's most scary -- for much of Red Dragon. Anthony Hopkins still dominates the film -- not an easy task when surrounded by the likes of Ed Norton (as a detective hunting a killer called "The Tooth Fairy") and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (as a sleazy reporter). Rated: R (Marty Demarest)





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





Signs -- The newest outing from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable) focuses on what happens when crop signs -- the flattening of farm fields into huge, bizarre shapes -- start popping up all over the world. The focus is on a small, troubled family, headed by former reverend Mel Gibson. (ES) Rated: PG-13





The Skins -- Smoke Signals director Chris Eyre returns with this story of a Lakota Sioux family affected by the Vietnam War. A tribal policeman, Rudy, attempts to understand his older, unemployed and alcoholic brother Mogie, who returned from Vietnam a changed man. Rated: R





Spirited Away -- Spirited Away is the year's best film. When her parents are transformed into swine, Chihiro is trapped in a mystical bathhouse where the spirits of things like radishes and rivers come to cleanse themselves of their encounters with humans. The visuals may be the greatest ever committed to film, and Chihiro is heart-rendingly credible. This is not a children's film that adults will also enjoy -- everyone will be transported. In English. Rated: PG (Marty Demarest)





Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams -- The gadgets are every bit as entertaining as the casting in this sequel, which this time pits Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) against a pair of archrival spy kids (Emily Osment and Matt O'Leary). Steve Buscemi plays the mad scientist keeping them all on his island of genetic experiments. RATED: PG





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





The Transporter -- Jason Statham plays a former mercenary who now lives on the French Riviera and hires himself and his BMW out as a delivery service: any package, no questions asked. Rated: PG-13





The Truth About Charlie -- Jonathan Demme takes a crack at remaking Stanley Donen's Charade with mostly good results. The Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn roles now go to Mark Wahlberg and Thandie Newton, and the zippy story of murder and missing money looks and feels great in today's Paris. (ES) Rated: PG-13





Tuck Everlasting -- The Natalie Babbitt novel for young adults comes vibrantly to life on the screen, telling of wealthy but unhappy Winnie, taking a walk in her family's woods one day and stumbling across Jesse, one of the sons in the mysterious and rustic Tuck family. A charming, philosophical fairy tale. (ES) Rated: PG





The Tuxedo -- Jackie Chan's newest is a film that should have been made with another actor. Not because he's bad in it, but it's about a guy with no fighting skills. The problem is that Chan can fight, and nothing here is believable. (ES) Rated PG-13





White Oleander -- The enormously popular Oprah book makes its transition to the big screen with Alison Lohman starring as Astrid, a troubled 14-year-old whose mother, Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer), has been sentenced to life in prison for poisoning her ex-boyfriend. As Astrid moves from foster home to foster home, she discovers that her mother still keeps a frightening degree of control over her. 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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