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by Inlander Staff & r & & r & Annapolis -- James Franco, fresh on the heels of playing a piece of petrified wood (aka the Arthurian hero Tristan), seems to be playing another hard, lifeless substance, this time one that poses as an underclassmen at the US Naval Academy. Tyrese Gibson, in the part he was born to play, is a rough-and-tumble (though physically perfect) drill sergeant who may or may not have a heart of gold. Rated PG-13





Big Mama's House 2 -- Before we learned he was reprising his role in the first Big Mama's House, then seeing a trailer recycling the same situations, sexual follies and fat jokes, we didn't think we could hate Martin Lawrence any more than we already did. We were very, very wrong. Rated PG-13





Brokeback Mountain -- Everybody's talking about "the gay cowboy movie," with Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as longtime lovers who try to keep the secret from their wives. Most folks are saying good things about Ang Lee's first film since Hulk. But the film runs too slow, and the story doesn't offer enough explanation of motivation. Beautiful scenery and a great performance by Michelle Williams really isn't enough. And Gyllenhaal's mustache looks ridiculous. (ES) Rated R





Capote -- Philip Seymour Hoffman owns this film. As Truman Capote, he deftly manages one of the most complicated egos I've ever seen on screen. Capote was a braggart, an egomaniac, a hedonist, an exploiter of people and, perhaps above it all, an incredibly insecure human being. Hoffman makes sure all these things are on display. The film itself takes place during the writing of In Cold Blood. The book made him America's most famous living writer, and also, the story goes, broke him. (LB) Rated R





The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe -- The C.S. Lewis novel has its charm and fantastical imagery intact, although, happily, the religious overtones are now undertoned. During World War II, four siblings are sent to the British countryside for safety, where they find a portal to another world: the wintry land of Narnia. They must come together as a unit, join forces with magical creatures and defeat a wicked queen (Tilda Swinton). Nicely done, for all ages. (ES) Rated PG





End of the Spear -- The story of how killing a bunch of missionaries eventually led a group of Ecuadorian aboriginals to stop their murdering ways. We're withholding judgment, but it seems pretty damned xenophobic and Anglo-centric. Rated PG-13





Forces of Nature -- Showcasing the awesome spectacle of earthquakes, volcanoes, and severe storms as we follow scientists on their quests to understand how these natural disasters are triggered. Narrated by Kevin Bacon! Unrated





Fun with Dick and Jane -- What do you do when the company you work for turns out to be run by a bunch of criminals? Newly unemployed Jim Carrey decides to join the fun, and turns to a life of crime to maintain his little slice of the American Dream. Also stars Tea Leoni and Angie Harmon. Rated PG-13





Glory Road -- Glory Road tells the story of the first all-black starting lineup of basketball players in a major-college championship game, at Texas Western College in 1966. The team was led by their groundbreaking yet humble coach Don Haskins (Josh Lucas, Undertow). Debut director James Gartner struggles with solidifying the film's socially explosive period aspects against the exacting demands of recreating a season's worth of hair-raising basketball games surging toward the 1966 NCAA tournament. (CS) Rated PG





Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -- Harry and friends return for another term at Hogwarts, and Harry somehow becomes a contestant in the dangerous and exciting Triwizard Tournament. Director Mike Newell and entire-series writer Steve Kloves add new dimensions to the story, with more emotional punch and some maturing (sexual awakening?) of the young wizards. This fourth installment is the most fun and the scariest. Brendan Gleeson steals the show as "Mad-Eye." (ES) Rated PG-13





Hoodwinked! -- It's the story of Little Red Riding Hood told from many different angles, none of which look very funny. Rated PG





King Kong -- Peter Jackson's dream remake of the fabled 1933 film lives up to expectations, though it's a bit long at three hours. But the story of the giant ape and the pretty blonde is told with excitement, humor, horror and some "romantic" longing. Visual effects are top of the line, from the T-Rex fight to Kong's trampling of New York City. Great screaming from Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow, and superb specialized acting from Andy Serkis as Kong. (ES) Rated PG-13





Last Holiday -- Queen Latifah is a penny-pincher, but when she's diagnosed with some terminal disease or another, she decides to live it up in the two or so weeks the doctors give her to live. LL Cool J ensues. Rated PG-13





Magnificent Desolation -- Only 12 people have walked on the moon, but now IMAX is proclaiming that you'll be number 13. You won't really be on the moon, just leaning back a little in your chair, gazing up at the moon's desolate vistas projected on a massive format screen. This is bound to be good. Tom Hanks produced it, and he doesn't put his name on bad movies. Unrated





The Matador -- Pierce Brosnan has gotten typecast big-time post-Bond. Luckily he's always found films with an interesting angle on the man-of-intrigue thing. Tailor of Panama was a good example. The Matador looks to be as well. Brosnan is an aging assassin who helps an out-of-sorts everyman (Greg Kinnear) get a job he really needs by killing off the other applicants. But then Brosnan blows a different hit, and suddenly he needs a favor of his own. Rated R





Match Point -- Woody Allen's best film since Sweet and Lowdown is a throwback to his Crimes and Misdemeanors period. It's about a burned-out tennis player (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) who meets and marries a beautiful and wealthy woman, with her family obligingly inviting him into the fold. But he can't keep his eyes (or anything else) off the fianc & eacute;e (Scarlett Johansson) of his brother-in-law. Things get messy, then unnerving, in Allen's unpredictable, terrific script. (ES) Rated R





Memoirs of a Geisha -- While they are startling initially, director Rob Marshall's images quickly begin to fall flat. Perhaps the gradual loss of this highly symbolic visual language pantomimes the crumble of Imperial Japan, which was symbol-rich itself. No, these uninspired later scenes more closely parallel the audience's realization that the visual grandeur of Geisha's first two acts hinted at a depth of narrative that just doesn't exist. (LB) Rated PG-13





Munich -- Based on the George Jonas book Vengeance, with a script by Tony Kushner, this gripping film tells of what happened after the murder of Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics. Eric Bana (Hulk) plays the leader of the Israeli Secret Service agents who are thrown together to hunt down the assassins. Spielberg at his serious best. (ES) Rated R





Nanny McPhee -- Emma Thompson gets ultra-ugly while Colin Firth stays super-repressed and painfully British in the precocious Nanny McPhee. Humans are comparing this to Mary Poppins -- and not just that dullard Gene Shalit. Rated PG





Rumour Has It -- A great idea -- a worrisome woman (Jennifer Aniston) discovers that her late mother and her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) were the character models for The Graduate, then tries to track down the guy (Kevin Costner) who the book/movie's "hero" was based on -- falls victim to some bad writing. The acting is good, though Aniston comes across as an unsympathetic dummy. (ES) Rated PG-13





Underworld: Evolution -- If we didn't have "turkey" rating here, I would label this sequel to Underworld a dog -- or is it a wolf? A big bad wolf? Kate Beckinsale returns as sultry but sullen Selene, a vampire who goes about killing werewolves over the centuries. But this time, she's dealing with flashbacks to the year 1202, as well as romantic entanglement with a modern-day hybrid of werewolf and human (Scott Speedman). The main problems include too much plotting, overuse of blood and utter incomprehensibility. (ES) Rated R





Walk the Line -- Biopics come in two distinct flavors, good and bad. The good are measured and unsensationalized, focusing on the person more than his or her celebrity, engaging and salacious as those might be. Walk The Line -- directed by James Mangold and starring Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash -- is one of the good ones. (LB) Rated PG-13

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