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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





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





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)





Glen or Glenda? -- "He loved women so much, he dared to dress like one!" would seem to be all the tagline you need for this 1953 Ed Wood classic. Glen (Ed Wood himself, although billed as "Daniel Davis") is engaged to Barbara, but Barbara doesn't know about his secret life as the pink beret-sporting, square-jawed "Glenda." Foxy! The dialogue is as plodding as Glenda's gait, but Wood's purportedly "serious" film is an unintentional howler. Showing at CenterStage at midnight on Saturday. (Sheri Boggs) Not Rated





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





Ice Princess -- A high school senior science geek (Michelle Trachtenberg) discovers the sport of ice skating while doing a project on the aerodynamics of competitive skaters. It's a Disney film, but it doesn't have any of the usual formulaic plot turns. The acting is generally good, except for an over-performance by Joan Cusack as the girl's mom. Some of it is surprisingly downright nasty, but most is just the right amount of cute. (ES) Rated G





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





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





National Treasure -- An absurdly plotted story has a third-generation treasure hunter (Nicolas Cage) believing that he's finally closing in on some long-lost glittery spoils from thousands of years past. The only problem now is that the supposed final clue is on the back of the very well protected Declaration of Independence, and he's not the only guy after it. (ES) Rated PG





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!





Racing Stripes -- Every animal of the Kentucky farm can chat with each other, including a visiting pelican named Goose, and they're all smarter than the people around them. But the plot of this live-action film hinges on a young zebra (voice of Frankie Muniz) who thinks he's a racehorse, and, of course, ends up in a major thoroughbred race. (ES) Rated PG





The Ring 2 -- The Ring 2 follows Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her son, Aidan (David Dorfman), who have recently moved to the Oregon Coast in an attempt to leave their nightmarish past behind. But before they get too far, that little black-haired brat, Samara, is back. This time, she wants a new Mommy -- and Rachel's looking like a great pick. Directed by Ringu's Hideo Nakata, this Ring is as much of a scare-fest as the first. If the first Ring made you fear your television, The Ring 2 will make you terrified of your bathtub. (Leah Sottile) Rated: PG-13





This Is Spinal Tap -- Before Best in Show, before A Mighty Wind, before even Waiting for Guffman, there was This is Spinal Tap. Rob Reiner's 1984 mockumentary follows washed-up heavy metal rockers (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer) on their underwhelming American tour. Behind-the-scenes bickering, over-the-top posturing and lines that beg to be repeated make this pastiche of big hair and rock excess an undeniable classic. "Big bottom, big bottom / Talk about mud flaps, my girl's got 'em!" Where else are you gonna find lyrics like that? (Sheri Boggs) Playing at the Garland on Friday and Saturday night at Midnight. Rated: R





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





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





Publication date: 03/24/04

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