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By The Inlander & r & & r & THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM


The second sequel in the Bourne series takes everything up a couple of notches, while revisiting the same territory that made the first two films so good. Matt Damon returns as the amnesia-suffering former CIA agent, regularly chased and shot at by his own people, for reasons that are eventually revealed. But there's also trouble between members of the CIA camp (David Strathairn, Joan Allen) who dislike each other. With great chases, on foot and by car, a dazzling look at cities the world over, and a fantastic fistfight, this is an excellent addition to the Bourne film catalogue. (ES) Rated PG-13





DOLPHINS


Flipper has never been this big. But then again, he has yet to make his big screen debut at the IMAX. Greg MacGillivray's documentary reads like a children's book then transitions into a well-shot, insightful look into the everyday and global lives of the loveable sea mammals. The movie tags along with a group of researchers exploring the minds and patterns of more than 40 different varieties of dolphin. And all the while, the dolphins are hallowed by the voice of Pierce Brosnan (no Robert Redford, but not bad). (KM) Not Rated





HAIRSPRAY


There have been plenty of big, splashy musicals in recent years, but why are they always so grim? This one, about teens in Baltimore in the early '60s, is incredibly happy, and heck, John Travolta plays a 350-pound woman! It's about mother-daughter relationships, husband-wife relationships, times of racial change, all celebrated in catchy song and dance. Yes, there is such thing as a feel-good movie. (ES) Rated PG





HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX


The best Potter to date makes the previous, comparatively bloated entry almost forgettable. This streamlined version of the immense fifth book picks up with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) threatened with expulsion from Hogwarts for using his magic in public. The ever-sprawling story relies less on the friendships among him, Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Gint), and more on a transformation from fantasy to horror, with politics thrown in. Most of the regular cast is still around (one is killed off), and the newest member -- Dolores Umbridge -- provides actress Imelda Staunton with some of the best scenery-chewing in the series. (ES) Rated PG-13





HURRICANE ON THE BAYOU


Katrina can be discussed in human, social and political terms 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. (MD) Not Rated; no deaths are depicted





I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY


Two FDNY firefighters must pretend they're gay to keep their benefits. The reason that firefighters Chuck (Adam Sandler) and Larry (Kevin James) are pretending to be gay doesn't make much sense, but why should it? It's merely the entire plot. But the most important lesson of all is that Sandler and James are not themselves homosexuals. (BK) Rated PG-13





KNOCKED UP


A story about a slacker (of course) who gets an ambitious young entertainment reporter preggers, Knocked Up is a nice commentary on the current state of the family. Writer/director Judd Apatow's male characters are enthralling, especially Pete (Paul Rudd). His women lack multi-dimensionality but the casting choices (Katherine Heigl and Leslie Mann specifically) add depth and warmth. (LB) Rated PG





LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD


It's been a dozen years since Bruce Willis last played Detective John McClane, but the wait was definitely worth it. This time out he's attempting to save America from an attack on the vast computer networks that run it. The gimmick is that he's an analog cop in a digital world. But he's ably aided (both story- and acting-wise) by computer aficionado Matt Farrell (Justin Long). The action is spectacular and relentless, and the film carries a terrific sense of humor to go along with all the explosive mayhem. (ES) Rated PG-13





NO RESERVATIONS


The workaholic, humorless chef (Catherine Zeta-Jones) takes time off to become the guardian of her recently orphaned niece (Abigail Breslin). While she's out, the restaurant hires a happy, freewheeling chef (Aaron Eckhart) to cover for her. When she returns, he stays, and the story turns into a sort of emotional food fight, with him worshipping her, and her despising him. Too many story changes, without any explanations, spoil the broth. And everything comes out just as you think it will. (ES) Rated PG





RATATOUILLE


Brad Bird, the genius behind the animated films The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, returns with a Pixar film about a food-loving rat in Paris who turns out to be a great chef, and becomes the brains behind the new concoctions at a restaurant that's popular, but has seen better days. It has exquisite visuals, superb voice acting, and a lovely story about the importance of friendship and family. It's also a riot. (ES) Rated G





THE SIMPSONS MOVIE


The Simpsons Movie is just about as funny as four of the television episodes. So what's the point? Nostalgia basically, but with a bigger budget, higher stakes, larger scale, in-jokes galore... and, strangely, an actual plot. If nothing else, 18 years have taught Matt Groening and his team of 10 other writers the cynicism that builds when a beloved show runs a decade too long. It's exactly what we should have expected. That means, I guess it's all we could have honestly hoped. (LB) Rated PG-13





TRANSFORMERS


Autobots and Decepticons descend to Planet Earth to continue their longtime battle and search for a missing source of power. It's one of those good-versus-evil things. But Earth's occupants don't have much to do but get out of the way of these huge machines that can convert into cars, trucks and planes. Directed by Michael Bay. Much eye-popping devastation and unexpected humor. (ES) Rated PG-13





UNDERDOG


Have much fear ... Underdog is here. Or at least have a great deal of disappointment. The old TV cartoon has not made the smoothest of transitions to live action. Oh, there are some good visual effects, and there's plenty of rhyming dialogue, but the old-fashioned animated moving mouth business is tiresome, the story of a rocky father-son relationship is syrupy, and Simon Barsinister (Peter Dinklage) seems more irritated than evil. This is surprisingly unsophisticated Disney fare that's too safe, too bland. There is, however, a good performance from Patrick Warburton as Cad. (ES) Rated PG





WIZARD OF OZ


She's a hatchet-faced, middle-aged lady on a bike. There should be nothing scary about that in our blood-soaked culture where kids see 47,000 murders before dinner. And yet, you tell me you Midnight Moviegoer, when there's a quick cut to this grim woman pump, pump, pumping her ancient coaster bike down the road right at you, don't you jump a little bit? The Wizard of Oz still has powerful movie mojo packed into it. Judy Garland -- that's Judy Garland! -- as Dorothy passing out in an opium field. Despite what they'll say in the movie, "Pay attention to the man behind the curtain!" Good choice. (KT) Midnight Friday and Saturday at the Garland. Rated G

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