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By The Inlander & r & & r & AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE COLON MOVIE FILM FOR THEATERS & r & The uninitiated won't be able to make sense of the random musings and wanderings of the Adult Swim cartoon's three main characters: a meatball, a milkshake and a carton of fries. Even diehards will scratch their heads at the bizarre, soap-opera-esque ending -- the culmination of a race to possess the Insanoflex, an exercise apparatus that grants its user ultimate power. Jokes sometimes fall flat, but seeing Karl pumped up like a muscled balloon should be worth the ticket price for fans. (JS) Rated R








ARE WE DONE YET? & r & Is this movie over yet? That's what I was asking myself after about 15 minutes of its relentless unfunniness. A remake of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, it features Ice Cube as a clueless buffoon who's suckered into buying a crumbling house, Nia Long as his pregnant and idiotic wife, and John C. McGinley as the smiling, overeager real estate agent. On all counts, a painfully bad movie. (ES) Rated PG








BLADES OF GLORY & r & Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) play figure skating rivals who get in a fistfight, earn lifetime bans, then must team up as the world's first all-male pair to continue skating. A movie about freakish effeminacy and close proximity between male testicles and male faces, Blades of Glory succeeds because it relies on situational discomfort, not homophobia, and because it doesn't take up too much of our time. (LB) Rated PG-13








DISTURBIA & r & Kale (Shia LeBeouf), under house arrest, without his broadband Xbox connection and totally iTunes-less, finds alternate ways of spending his summer. Like spying on his neighbors, one of whom seems to be a serial murderer. An initially clever, intriguing remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window for teen audiences becomes a listless slasher flick. (LB) Rated PG-13








FIREHOUSE DOG & r & "Now, a dog who needs a home, and a kid who needs a friend ..." comes the trailer's voice over. "No mom and a firefighter dad," comes the peanut gallery, a coquettish firefighter edited in to provide perspective, before the voice-over guy chimes back in, "... are about to find each other." Sometimes a trailer tells you literally everything you need to know. Kid, check. Dead mom, check. Harried, absentee father, check. Lost dog. Yep, they got everything. (LB) Rated PG








GRINDHOUSE & r & Tarantino and Rodriguez reach deep inside and bring out their exploitative best in their ferocious twin-bill homage to '70s sleaze films. Rodriguez's Planet Terror goes the zombie route, while Tarantino's Death Proof is all high-octane, high-speed car chases (and accompanying murders by Kurt Russell's way-over-the-top Stuntman Mike). The films are gory, funny and unforgiving. The fake trailers before and between them are indescribably outrageous. (ES) Rated R








THE HOAX & r & The story of Clifford Irving, who faked Howard Hughes' autobiography and almost got away with it, The Hoax is an uneven though successful look at an uneven though unsuccessful novelist and con man. (He's unsuccessful in the film anyway. The real Irving was pretty accomplished when he pulled his stunt.) Director Lasse Hallstrom doesn't know when to quit with the visual imagery and manic jump cuts, but the effect largely works, crafting Irving's lies out of the fabric of his truths. (LB) Rated R








HURRICANE ON THE BAYOU & r & Katrina can be discussed in human, social and political terms easily enough, in forums ranging from political roundtables to Spike Lee films. But Hurricane on the Bayou examines the hurricane as an ecological issue. Beginning as a documentary about the Mississippi Delta, the filmmakers end up turning their IMAX cameras on Katrina as an example of a worst-case scenario. The human and economic costs of ecological mismanagement are laid bare in 45 minutes. (MD) Not Rated; no deaths are depicted.








MEET THE ROBINSONS & r & Lewis is an orphan who wants to be an inventor. A shadowy figure lurking at his science fair, though, puts that desire in choppy waters and sends Lewis hurtling forward in time to confront his future. A cute, incoherent story about perseverance and self-confidence (hammered home in grating fashion and with a horribly self-serving Walt Disney epigraph), Meet The Robinsons will convince you that, no matter how big a loser you've been previously, you can achieve anything. Something the filmmakers will want to remember as they go looking for their next project. (LB) Rated G








PATHFINDER & r & A lousy movie about "barbarians" on one hand and "savages" on the other. Six hundred years ago, pre-Columbus, Vikings came to North America and started killing. Then they left, leaving behind a single Nordic child (whom the Indians name Ghost). Then they came back and did more killing. This time, though, they have Ghost to contend with. The film tries to capture certain modern mytho-fantasy elements in the Vikings, making them monstrous, bloodthirsty and graphic novel-esque, but the tone and cinematography don't match. There's an Indian sled chase scene, for God's sake. Ghost rides a Viking shield like a metal saucer. Not funny, just bad. (LB) Rated R








PERFECT STRANGER & r & Halle Berry looks great, but acts bland in a twisty but tepid "thriller" in which she's a journalist who likes to bring down powerful men. Her newest target is ad man Bruce Willis, who likely cheated on his wife, then had to get rid of the "evidence." Willis is pretty good, as is Giovanni Ribisi as a computer wizard. But the ridiculous plotline(s) go spinning out of control to an absurd series of endings. (ES) Rated R








THE REAPING & r & Hilary Swank makes a lot of unconventional film choices. Some pay off wonderfully (Boys Don't Cry, The Gift). Others fail spectacularly (The Core). The Reaping could have easily fallen into either category, given the plot (ten plagues of Egypt descend upon rural Louisiana). It's going great through the first five plagues, with director Stephen Hopkins creating a sense of creepy unease, conspiracy and menace. Then, as the plagues get more flashy, and the computer graphics kick in, it all goes to crap. (LB) Rated PG-13








REDLINE & r & The working title for street racing blockbuster The Fast and The Furious was "Redline." Fitting, then, that Redline would seem to have the same premise. Drive cars fast, win money, land women. The only difference seems to be the stakes. Hoping to match the gritty street racing of Fast and the Furious with the bling factor of MTV's materialism triumvirate of Cribs, Pimp My Ride and My Super Sweet 16, they've made the racers millionaires. Exciting, eh? (LB) Rated PG-13








ROVING MARS & r & The sound alone is deafening, and juxtaposed with Phillip Glass' crystalline musical score, the roar of a rocket pushing the rovers into space is impressive. As are the sights and sounds of the parachute test in a giant wind hangar. But this short IMAX film loses focus -- is it trying to recreate the surface of Mars with the help of CGI animation, or is it examining the space program? (MD) Rated G








SHOOTER & r & Mark Wahlberg is the former Marine ace who's screwed by the government, gets out -- and then is brought back so he can be screwed again. Michael Pena is the brand-new FBI agent who realizes that the ex-Marine on the run has been set up, but then he starts asking the wrong questions of the wrong people. Excellent action, a thoughtful script, and a gaggle of great supporting performances (Levon Helm is a scene-stealer as an arms expert) push this way beyond your standard revenge film. (ES) Rated R








SLOW BURN & r & The Vulcan chick from Enterprise is playing an assistant DA in Slow Burn. That's some range, girl. Nora Timmer (Jolene Blalock, the one-time Vulcan) is a hard-nosed district attorney accused of killing a man in her home. Mayoral candidate Ford Cole (Ray Liotta) has to figure out guilt or innocence before the cops do. (LB) Rated R








300 & r & The Greek-versus-Persian battle of Thermopylae comes to bloody, eye-popping life in the CGI celebration of the Frank Miller graphic novel. Fierce and noble King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his band of 300 men face off against the uncountable hordes of the bratty King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro). Themes of diplomacy versus war arise, but once the swords come out, there's no escaping the cartoonish violence. (ES) Rated R








TMNT & r & This might not exactly please you Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles purists. It's computer-generated, so it looks pretty, but also looks action-heavy and funny-lite. Worse, it centers on a battle with some "tech-industrialist" named Max Winters who has no connection to the original plots. On the plus side, there's hot ninja chick Karai from the original comic. Another plus is that it seems to start after the end of the second live action film, ignoring the regrettable existence of the third film that sent the turtles to colonial Japan. (LB) Rated PG








WILD HOGS & r & Four middle-aged friends, sick of their jobs, bored with their lives and generally having nothing to look forward to, take a cross-country motorcycle trip. Four essentially backboneless suburbanite dudes frequenting biker bars? You can be sure there'll be a little love and a whole lot uh learnin'. (LB) Rated PG-13

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