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by Inlander Staff & r & & r & The Ant Bully -- What is this film about? Well, apparently an ant. And a mean one. Apparently, some kid gets shrunken, lives with ants and helps them in their struggle against wasps. Apparently Tom Hanks thought it was a good idea. Rated PG





Barnyard -- Steve Odenkirk, of Kung Pow: Enter the Fist fame, helms the story of Otis, a cow who plays with the idea of revealing animals' biggest secret (that they're just like people). While the movie is being pitched as a wacky anthro animal romp, Odenkirk insists that there are serious themes afoot. Rated PG





Cars -- Like every one of the six previous features Pixar has delivered, Cars is smart, snappy, entertaining cinema. And like every one of those six previous features, it's grounded in fundamentally strong storytelling -- you know, the kind of thing that's not supposed to matter all that much any more in movies. It's funny, warm and charming, yes -- but it's also wise in a way that's almost enough to make you want to weep. (SR) Rated G





Descent -- Including a made-for-TV talkie of that name, there have been four films in the last three years called Descent. What are the odds? Sub-question: What are the odds that this film -- about a spelunking expedition that is cut murderously short by evil cave things -- will be any different than that other film about cave horror (The Cave)? Rated R





The Devil Wears Prada -- A strong, subtle (but not too subtle) and often comic performance by Meryl Streep as a magazine editor from hell almost saves this biting satire on the fashion industry. But a weak, one-dimensional portrayal of the new kid in town by ever-smiling Anne Hathaway mars the film. The beautiful people sure look good all gussied up in the newest styles, but they're almost all snakes, and there's hardly anyone to root for. (ES) Rated PG-13





Greece: Secrets of the Past -- Continuing their long tradition of making learning fun, the folks at IMAX bring us Greece, wherein you get to "see how the island of Santorini was formed and how the island's volcanic eruption, one of the biggest explosions in Earth's history, occurred. Follow a team of archeologists piecing together the puzzles of ancient history and learn how the field of archeology has progressed. Travel to Athens and see how computer graphic imaging can restore the Parthenon to its original glory. Trace some of our modern society's customs -- democracy, medicine, athletics and theatre back to their roots in the Golden Age of Greece." Unrated





John Tucker Must Die -- Homeboy's a star baller at his high school, and a freak naughty four-timing womanizer. Hot. But when his ladies happen to bump into each other and trade notes, well, that's when the film's title gains significance. Rated PG-13





Lady in the Water -- Apologists for M. Night Shyamalan have their work cut out defending yet another cinematic killjoy from the "auteur" whose high box office receipts do not reflect the ineptitude of his filmmaking skills. Inflated from an impromptu "bedtime story" that Shyamalan invented for his children, this is a hackneyed tale about a water nymph who resides at the bottom of a swimming pool. (CS) Rated PG-13





Miami Vice -- TV's Crockett and Tubbs, now played by Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx, jump to the big screen. They're still undercover detectives, but more business associates than friends. And Crockett's pastel wardrobe has turned dark and monochromatic. This is about a big-time drug operation they're trying to infiltrate, as well as about the women in their lives, one of whom is the lady friend of a global drug lord. Most of this is build-up toward payoff, but the latter is only in the last 20 minutes. Thick accents and grainy photography get in the way. Seek out the TV reruns instead. (ES) Rated R





Monster House -- This computer-animated film looks like it's for the kiddies, but has moments that are too intense for anyone 5 or younger. Everyone else will likely laugh and scream over the tale of a trio of kids who go up against a truly haunted house. (It has a mind of its own, and it can move.) Spectacular visuals, great performances, excellent accompanying music -- and a story filled not only with surprises but even with a little heart. (ES) Rated PG





Night Listener -- Being a radio host is interesting -- you talk to thousands of people in their cars, homes, kitchens, bedrooms, beds. It's easy to attach an imaginary face -- a best friend -- to the other end of that monologue. So this is going to happen to the Good Morning, Vietnam DJ, Robin Williams. Except that, instead of returning to his old role, he'll be creating an all-new DJ, this time one with relationship issues. He turns to his No. 1 fan, a little boy who might not really be a real boy. Rated R





Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest -- Cast, director and writers are back for the midsection of the raucous trilogy about Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), William Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). This time, everyone is after Sparrow, including the ghostly Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) who wants to, you know, swallow his soul. Great comic acting mixes with big-time adventure. Depp overdoes it to perfection, and all is set up beautifully for next year's conclusion, which will feature Keith Richards as Depp's dad. (ES) Rated PG-13





A Scanner Darkly -- Science fiction owes a lot to Philip K. Dick: Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall, Paycheck. (Granted, not all of them were gems.) A Scanner Darkly, adapted and directed by Richard Linklater, is another stylized look into Dick's paranoid imagination. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is an near-future undercover drug agent investigating his friends while addicted to a nasty drug called Substance D. Animated in the same manner as Waking Life, Scanner promises to be an excellent trip all its own. Rated R





Scoop -- Woody Allen's wacky new comedy-romance-murder-mystery (now there's a mouthful) unfolds in London, where the ghost of a dead journalist (Ian McCone) tries to help a living journalism student (Scarlet Johansson) solve a murder case from somewhere in the afterlife. She enlists the help of a patter-crazy American magician (Allen) who would rather do card tricks for rich British wankers. Allen, McCone and number one suspect Hugh Jackman are terrific. Johansson, though, doesn't have the chops for this kind of comedy; she's in over her head. (ES) Rated PG-13





Superman Returns -- The Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) has been away from Metropolis (and Earth) for five years on a personal journey. When he returns, Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) is still angry that he left without saying goodbye, and Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) is beginning an evil capitalistic plot. Director Bryan Singer (the first two X-Men films) mixes wild, effects-driven action with a story of great emotional proportions. The film, despite a couple of gaffes, is, um, super. (ES) Rated PG-13





Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby -- Will Ferrell finally gets a script (which he co-wrote) that's worthy of his comic talents. He plays the title character, a loose cannon on the NASCAR circuit who becomes a star, falls upon hard times, then must attempt a comeback. But he's up against a former partner (John C. Reilly), a smarmy French challenger (Sacha Baron Cohen), and a newly developed fear of speed. Lots of exciting racetrack scenarios and raucous humor. (ES) Rated PG-13





Wired to Win -- It's the Tour de France in grand Imax pseudo-scientific fashion. Follow racers through the grueling, 20-plus stage road race and watch, through the magic of computer graphics wizardry, how their brains react. Unrated





You, Me and Dupree -- You, Me and Dupree is a sitcom that subsists on Owen Wilson's ever-boyish projection of an innocence that has overstayed its welcome long into adulthood. As Dupree, Wilson plays the best friend to his pal Carl (played with easy humility by Matt Dillon). Carl and his newlywed wife Molly (Kate Hudson) live under the shadow of her possessive father Mr. Thompson (Michael Douglas), who doubles as Carl's real estate tycoon boss. A hilarious dinner table scene with the four main characters spikes the movie into a stratosphere of humor beyond its otherwise predictable restraints. (CS) Rated PG-13

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