*** 28 Days Later -- When animal rights activists break into a research lab and release the wrong apes at the wrong time, the world is thrown into chaos. An experiment in rage results in a deadly virus that turns people into bloodthirsty maniacs, and the contagion rate is astonishing. A few survivors hook up to try to find other survivors. But they definitely look in the wrong place. This blackest of dark comedies from Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) is a combination end-of-the-world, zombie-road-trip movie. It looks low budget, but it's quite deliciously creepy and, at points, kinda disgusting. (ES) Rated R
American Wedding -- In the third and final (what? No more band camp?) installment, Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) need to get married. Fast. And not for the usual reason so much as the fact that Jim's granny is sick and she's eager to see him happily married. The guys reunite for both the wedding and one final night of boozy debauchery, planned by (of course) Stifler (Seann William Scott). Rated: R
* Bad Boys II -- From the director of Pearl Harbor, a different kind of sneak attack on cinema: a butchered body part-, butt- and necrophilia-obsessed, over-the-top comedy. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence each do their thing, but they can barely keep up with all the Maxim-style T & amp;A, not to mention the flying viscera. Rated: R (RP)
Bend it Like Beckham -- Jess (Parminder Nagra) wants to be a soccer superstar like her idol David Beckham. Her traditional Indian family wants her to lay off the soccer practice and take up her sari like a good future Indian bride. But Jess is growing up in London, her best friend loves soccer as much as she does and her new coach is a handsome lad (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Can Jess bend the rules and follow her dreams without upsetting her family? Rated: PG-13
* Bruce Almighty -- He's got the power, as the music in that trailer has been pounding into our heads for weeks now tells us. Jim Carrey, in full-on Ace Ventura mode, plays a perpetually dissatisfied newspaper reporter whose bitching and moaning attracts the attention of God (Morgan Freeman). Rather than smite the hapless mortal, or visiting a well-deserved plague of locusts upon him, God decides instead to give him the chance to see how he likes being God for a day. Turns out Jim would like it just fine, thanks. Rated: PG-13
*** Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle -- The girls (Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu) are back, and this time they're battling "fallen" angel Demi Moore. That is, when they're not also motocrossing, surfing, lap dancing, hurtling off the sides of Hoover Dam or clinging precariously to speeding cars. Bernie Mac replaces Bill Murray as Bosley's brother; John Cleese shows up as Lucy Liu's dad. If that's not silly enough for you, look for cameos by Bruce Willis, Jaclyn Smith and even those ubiquitous Olsen twins. Rated: PG-13
Coral Reef Adventure -- Think of it as a way to explore all 1,300 miles of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, but without the danger of those pesky shark attacks. With a strong conservation message throughout, viewers get the sense of swimming along with some of the world's top self-described "fish nerds" in search of new species. Not rated
**** Finding Nemo -- The Disney folks once again team up with the geniuses at Pixar for a funny, sad, frightening, wondrous animated story of Marlin, a single father clown fish trying his best to raise his son Nemo (it's a Disney film, so of course Mom was killed). But Nemo is caught in a collector's net and ends up in an aquarium, with dad and a ditzy blue tang in pursuit. Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres provide terrific voices and back-and-forth banter. Life in a dentist's aquarium results in much riotous fish talk about root canals. There's -- guess what? -- a happy ending. (ES) Rated G
*** -- Freaky Friday -- Fans of the original 1976 film (Jodie Foster, Barbara Harris) or the 1995 TV remake (Shelley Long, Gaby Hoffman) will be surprised at how fresh it still is this time around. Jamie Lee Curtis -- in one of her best roles -- and Lindsay Lohan (The Parent Trap) are the bickering mom and daughter who wake up to find they've switched bodies. So mom has to go to school, and young Anna checks in at mom's therapy practice. Funny situations, mostly in reactions from others, some slapstick and a message about parents and kids understanding each other. Sweet and a little wild. (ES) Rated PG
Johnny English -- Who better than Rowan "Mr. Bean" Atkinson to play a bumbling, quasi-incompetent agent in Her Majesty's Secret Service? John Malkovich plays his French jewel-thief nemesis, Pascal Sauvage; Natalie Imbruglia, his comely love interest. Rated: PG
Lara Croft Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life -- Angelina Jolie returns in all her pouty-lipped badditude, and this time the tomb she's raiding is called the Cradle of Life. Although the Cradle of Life contains that famous little item of Greek mythology known as Pandora's Box, Lara (who obviously must have been skipping her humanities classes) invades tombs from Kenya to Hong Kong. Hmmm. Cradle of Life? Temple of Doom? Pandora's Box? Ark of the Covenant? Lara Croft? Indy Jones? Must just be a coincidence. Rated: PG-13
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen -- And how much more extraordinary can you get than such legendary literary figures as Allan Quartermain, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and Captain Nemo? Based on the popular graphic novel series, League is set in Victorian England, where someone is plotting world domination. Quartermain (Sean Connery), Jekyll/Hyde (Jason Flemyng) and Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah) join forces to find and destroy this very bad individual. Rated: PG-13
** Legally Blonde II -- Everything would be wrong about this movie if Reese Witherspoon wasn't returning as spunky Elle Woods. Her performance is still a delight, but the plot, in which Elle goes to Capitol Hill and takes on Congress, doesn't provide enough material for Witherspoon, and comic geniuses Bob Newhart and Jennifer Coolidge. Rated: PG-13 (MD)
**** Lewis & amp; Clark -- The IMAX folks have packed a lot into this vivid account of the two adventurers' travels across the American wilderness. Narrator Jeff Bridges does pretty much all the speaking, while actors play out the scenes. And those scenes are played out in breathtakingly beautiful settings, spellbinding on the giant screen. Much of the story gets into details of important characters -- such as Indian guide Sacagawea -- who were left out of our history books. (ES) Unrated
*** Pirates of the Caribbean -- Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush vie for the scenery-chewing award in this rousing, adventurous, comical and slightly scary tale of the ghostly ship, the Black Pearl, with its crew of very strange mates. Captain and pillaging crew are searching for a piece of gold that will lift a curse. Depp is the inept hero pirate, Orlando Bloom is the hero blacksmith, Rush is the villain, Keira Knightley is the sassy lass. (ES) Rated PG-13.
*** Seabiscuit -- A horse is not a horse, of course, of course. Seabiscuit was a washed-up loser when he was discovered by trainer Tom Smith (Chris Cooper) in the mid-1930s. When "Team Seabiscuit" came together - Smith, owner Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges) and jockey Red Pollard (Tobey Maguire) -- a national folk hero came into being. Gary Ross's (Pleasantville) film looks at these characters, points out their many foibles, intertwines their lives and adds a grand dose of excitement on the thundering track. (ES) Rated: PG-13
Spy Kids 3D: Game Over -- Everyone returns, including Floop (Alan Cumming) in a cameo, as one of the young agents (Carmen) gets caught in a virtual reality game, presided over by an evil Sylvester Stallone. Get out your 3-D glasses. Rated: PG
**** S.W.A.T. -- S.W.A.T. talks the talk, and S.W.A.T. walks the walk. What should have been a stultifying, unnecessary TV-show remake has wit and grace to spare -- if you're into the wit and grace of an intelligently crafted action picture, that is. Directed by Clark Johnson. (RP) Rated: PG-13
*** Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines -- The machines do indeed rise near the end of the second sequel to The Terminator. But unlike the attack of the clones near the end of you-know-what, this film works well, with plentiful supplies of action and entertainment. Big Arnold is back, again protecting John Connor (Nick Stahl), along with unwilling accomplice Kate Brewster (Claire Danes), this time from the new and improved killer cybernetic organism, the T-X (supermodel Kristanna Loken). An insane car chase is accompanied by deadly mayhem, visual gags, and lots of Arnold one-liners. (ES) Rated R
** Top Speed -- Plenty of dizzying excitement is in store in the new IMAX film that focuses on a trio of athletes and one car designer who want to go faster and faster, and then go even faster. The large-screen format is terrific when these folks are zipping along the track or riding through wide-open spaces. But the gist of the film -- why attaining top speed is so important to them -- is never adequately discussed. Too much time was spent making it all look good; not enough was dedicated to making it something to think about. (ES) Unrated
**** Don't Miss It *** Worth $8 ** Wait For The Video * Save Your Money
& lt;i & Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted. & lt;/i &
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The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.