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by Inlander Staff


The Aviator -- Scorsese, DiCaprio, Hughes -- as in Howard -- are director, star and subject of this splendid look at three busy decades in the life of the industrialist, filmmaker and airplane nut. The script gives plenty of leeway for DiCaprio to show his acting chops. (ES) Rated PG-13





Because of Winn-Dixie -- There's a formula at work in this lonely-girl-and-her-dog movie, and it's sho'nuff gonna lead to a reconciliation. Winn-Dixie is predictable and sentimental, but that doesn't completely invalidate the value of Wayne Wang's movie. While Winn-Dixie will be suitably heartwarming for an older crowd, the preteen and younger crowd will like the burping dog. (Michael Bowen) Rated: PG





Be Cool -- The follow-up to Get Shorty is a big let-down, in that it introduces lots of promising stories -- all within the main plot of Chili Palmer (John Travolta) discovering a new performer -- but the script never bothers to develop any of them. Travolta still knows how to play a smoothie, but the film gets smothered under its supposedly hip weight. (ES) Rated PG-13





The Boogeyman -- Guess who's coming out of the closet? We don't know his name, but all the little kids like to sing "When you see him count to five, hope that you will stay alive." Barry Watson plays a troubled young man who returns to his childhood home to confront his demons -- both real and imagined. Rated: PG-13





Bride & amp; Prejudice -- In present-day India, Mrs. Bakshi is desperate to marry off her four daughters. Her eldest, Lalita, has an attraction/repulsion thing going on with a handsome but aloof English chappie named Will Darcy. Sound like Jane Austen's novel? But that's where the parallels end, because director Gurinder Chadra (Bend It Like Beckham) has turned Austen's P & amp;P into a Bollywood extravaganza filled with vibrant colors and pulsating choreography. (Cara Gardner) Rated PG-13





Constantine -- Keanu Reeves tries to break out of the Matrix mold with mixed results: He's as wooden as ever, but he gets to toss off some great one-liners. To solve a mystery, he has to go to Hell for answers. With shades of Wings of Desire and Chinatown. Better than Van Helsing but not as good as Hellboy. Rated R (Cole Smithey)





Cursed -- There were reputedly no screenings for this Wes Craven mishmash of werewolves, teenagers and Christina Ricci -- often a sign the studio has no faith in it. A brother and sister, still grieving the untimely death of their parents, get into a nasty car accident where somehow they get infected with the toothy/hairy/full-moon blues. Rated: PG-13





Finding Neverland -- A dramatic, yet kind of whimsical look at how J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp) was inspired to write the play Peter Pan -- by meeting a widow (Kate Winslet) with four young boys who definitely could use a father figure. (ES) Rated PG





Hitch -- Breezy romantic comedy gets a big boost here with Will Smith as the title character, a "date coach" for unsure men, and Kevin James (The King of Queens) as one of those men, who is shooting for the sky with a beautiful heiress (Amber Valletta). But the coach isn't having much luck with the ladies, and when his eyes pop over gossip columnist Eva Mendes, things get complicated. (ES) Rated PG-13





Hostage -- Looks like Bruce Willis is putting on the old Die Hard suit once again in an effort to shore up his sagging action-hero status. Here he plays a former LAPD hostage negotiator who has taken a job as the police chief of a sleepy suburban town. But now wouldn't you know it, a botched convenience store robbery forces him to rely on his old skills. Rated R





Hotel Rwanda -- This powerful and shocking film, recounting the horrific civil unrest in Rwanda a decade ago, has echoes of current events (in Sudan) that cannot be ignored. Don Cheadle, as the real life hotelier who saved literally thousands, carries the film on his slim shoulders with ease and turns in the finest performance of his career. (Marc Savlov) Rated: PG-13





The Incredibles -- This is a major departure from Finding Nemo in that all the characters are humans. One of them, Mr. Incredible is a former superhero who was forced to retire and is now in insurance, but misses his old life. (ES) Rated PG





The Jacket -- A Gulf War vet (Adrien Brody), badly injured, more emotionally than physically, has memory problems and is framed for a murder, then sent to a psychiatric hospital. Nasty experiments on his mind lead to flashes of his past, while he seems to be tripping around in space and time. There's lots of confusion, some bright and loud visual effects, but it's an intriguing story. (ES) Rated R





Kinsey -- Liam Neeson has the title role in this examination of the formative years and the specialized career of the researcher who checked out the sex lives of Americans in the '50s. Besides working himself to the bone in collecting data, data and more data, Kinsey, along with his wife (Laura Linney) and associates, also did a little, you know, experimenting -- some early free love. But the film doesn't try to be titillating, it's just telling a story, and the story, despite good acting, turns out to be kind of mundane. (ES) Rated R





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. Unrated





Man of the House -- Five bouncy college cheerleaders witness a murder and veteran FBI agent Tommy Lee Jones has to go undercover as an assistant coach in order to protect their safety. Cedric the Entertainer blows out the seat of his pants, and Tommy Lee Jones gets the obligatory slumber party/let's-give-the-grumpy-old-guy-a-makeover scene. Rated: PG-13





Meet the Fockers -- In Meet the Parents, Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) asks, "What sort of people name their son Gay M. Focker?" In this sequel, he finds out. In fact, the kind of people are Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand, and the Byrnes are off to meet the Fockers before their daughter marries Gay forever. Rated: PG-13





Million Dollar Baby -- Clint Eastwood plays the crusty old boxing trainer, Hilary Swank is his enthusiastic young charge and Morgan Freeman is the wise observer. Swank's spunky Maggie must convince Eastwood's Frankie to become her teacher. She's really good, with great desire to match her moves. Eastwood's film traces her comet-like rise. (ES) Rated PG-13





Mystery of the Nile -- The cinematography is gorgeous, but this isn't one of IMAX's best efforts. Pasquale Scaturro and Gordon Brown are to be commended for successfully completing a previously impossible feat -- running the entire Nile River -- but the whole thing starts to feel like an episode of Survivor. Still, it's pretty to watch and carries a few IMAX moments. Not Rated





The Pacifier -- Vin Diesel plays a Navy SEAL who fails to protect a scientist and now must take care of the scientist's five kids. Watch him change diapers, trip over toys in the driveway, rebuff sullen teens and commandeer the Romanian nanny (Carol Kane)! It's James Bond meets Cheaper by the Dozen!





Robots -- The makers of Ice Age return with a computer-animated fable about a na & iuml;ve young robot (the good guy) heading for the big city to make it as an inventor, but clashing with a money-hungry industrialist (the bad guy). The story is clich & eacute;-ridden, the general sound is headache-inducing, most of the acting is flat (though Greg Kinnear is good) and the script desperately wants to be hip. (ES) Rated PG





Pooh's Heffalump Movie -- Originally slated to be straight-to-video, this one pulls a big bait-and-switch: Disney advertises the menacing mastodons of Pooh's golden era, but the film delivers just another cute character. The film offers up a nice message, but it's hard not to feel like Disney is simply cashing in. RATED: G (Ted McGregor)





Rock 'N' Roll High School -- One of the most unlikely rock 'n' roll movies ever made is also one of the best. Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) was produced by Roger Corman, directed by rock fanatic Alan Arkush and featured -- of all the bands in the world to choose from -- the Ramones. It's a classic confrontation between mindless authority and the rebellious nature of youth as a group of student rockers battle their school's oppressive administration with the help of the Ramones. The film is hilarious, with great teen leads, an even better supporting cast and an incredible rock soundtrack. The Ramones attempt acting and fail tremendously -- yet the band's concert at the end of the film is electrifying. Midnight Friday and Saturday at the Garland (Mike Corrigan)





Sideways -- Miles (Paul Giamatti) and Jack (Thomas Haden Church) are two pals who go on a West Coast wine-tasting tour, just before Jack is to get married and Miles is to find out if his novel is being published. They both meet women on the road (Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh), and the film jumps back and forth between vibrant comedy and emotional distress. (ES) Rated R





The Wedding Date -- Kat (Debra Messing) is a girl in trouble, and we don't mean in the diapers-and-surprise way. Nope, trouble is a sister's wedding where your ex is a groomsman. Kat does what any sensible woman in such a predicament would do -- she hires the best damn male escort in all of Manhattan. Rated: PG-13





Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Ape -- The Worst Midnight Movie Series Ever continues with this 1963 tale of a mad scientist who harvests human brains but finds that his "donors" keep dying on the operating table. Looking for stronger stock, he discovers that lady wrestlers are more stable and darn purdy besides. He sends his half-human/half-ape manservant Gomar on collection missions and the whole thing ends in a showdown between Gloria Venus and Golden Rubi vs the evil Vendetta. This is a classic mishmash of Mexican pop culture, B-movie vixendom and a purportedly atrocious rock 'n' roll score. Midnight Saturday at CenterStage Not Rated.





Publication date: 03/17/04

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