by Inlander Staff **** Big Fish -- Tim Burton's newest fantasy is more down to earth than his recent films, but still maintains a magical, fantastical edge. A son (Billy Crudup) finally tries to get to know his elusive, story-spinning father (Albert Finney) when dad is on his deathbed. An amazing past is revealed, filled with circuses and strange towns and huge people and short people, and lots of love. The young Finney character is flawlessly played by Ewan McGregor. The film is enchanting, and yes, there is a big fish. (ES) Rated PG-13
Calendar Girls -- Aging Yorkshire wives and mothers go the Full Monty route when the husband of one is diagnosed with leukemia. The ladies set out to star in a tastefully photographed pin-up calendar, the proceeds of which will all be donated to cancer research. Based on a true story. Starring Helen Mirren, Julie Walters and Linda Bassett. Rated: PG-13
*** Chasing Liberty -- Glib yet witty, this Mandy Moore vehicle moves with a kind of knowingly manufactured efficiency. In the first of two First Daughter-centric movies this winter (Katie Holmes is in the other), much of the behind-the-scenes talent is from the UK, and there are dry touches that reveal it. Moore falls in the puppiest of love with an undercover, Brit-accented Secret Service agent who keeps tabs on her when she escapes from her handlers and gallivants through the back streets of Prague, then by train to Venice, by car through Austria, all the way to Berlin. Chasing Liberty may be the movie most proud of its European location work since The Bourne Identity. (RP) Rated: PG-13
My Baby's Daddy -- The only thing ooglier than the title is the premise: the girlfriends of three guy friends all get pregnant at the same time, forcing the boys to grow up and -- if the trailers are any indication -- make funny faces while changing diapers and wiping away infant spit-up. Rated: PG-13
*** The Singing Detective -- The sprawling six-hour BBC miniseries from the '80s is reduced to two hours, but the story is still splendidly told. A novelist (Robert Downey Jr.) being treated for a disabling skin disease suffers from feverish dreams that make his seedy book come alive around him. Fantasy and reality clash and merge; giddy musical sequences splash across the screen as the writer wonders if his wife is cheating on him. Wild, imaginative stuff, with a remarkable appearance by an unrecognizable Mel Gibson as Dr. Gibbons. At the Met. (ES) Rated R
**** Don't Miss It *** Worth $8 ** Wait For The Video * Save Your Money
& lt;i & Capsule reviews are written by Ed Symkus (ES) and Ray Pride (RP), unless otherwise noted. & lt;/i &
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The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.