by INLANDER STAFF & r & & r & AUGUST RUSH & r & & r & An orphan boy (Freddie Highmore), the product of an unfortunate knocking-up between two young musicians, feels he might be able to find his parents if he believes enough in music. (LB) Opens Nov. 21. Rated PG
An ex-soccer player named Jose (Eduardo Ver & aacute;stegui), working as a chef in his brother's restaurant, falls in love with a waitress named Nina (Tammy Blanchard) after his brother fires her. He consoles her and she confesses that she's contemplating abortion. They wander New York as he tries to talk her out of it. (TLM) Rated PG-13
In Annie Hall, Woody Allen warned us all not to read it. Besides, the world of Anglo-Saxon warriors who slay dragons is so macho, there didn't seem to be any room for either 300-style special effects or babes. Well, Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express) is going to fix that. He's going to get Angelina Jolie to slither like a slimy seductress, and Sir Tony Hopkins to lend prestige, and John Malkovich to do his freaky-deaky dark wizard act again -- just as in Eragon. You could spend time trying to figure out Jolie's accent, or you could read Seamus Heaney's translation of the 1,200-year-old poem instead. (MB) Rated PG-13; also at IMAX.
Thought merging animation with live action had run its course after Cool World? Think again. Enchanted is Disney's apparently earnest attempt to mock its own fairy tale culture by taking some rather archetypal heroes and villains and exiling them into modern-day New York. Fish-out-of-water-iness ensues. Even if it's not as clever a satire as it would like, Enchanted has Amy Adams, and she's hot. (LB) Opens Nov. 21. Rated PG
Did director Oliver Stone tell truth to power? Or is he a conspiracy-theory wack job? The truth -- can we ever know what truth is? -- lies somewhere in the middle: Stone's 1991 film is beautifully shot and edited and successful as a movie (not documentary) that plays up to its viewers' paranoia. A marvelous cast -- Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison, Sissy Spacek as his wife, Gary Oldman as Oswald, Donald Sutherland in a Deep Throat role, Kevin Bacon as a male hustler -- casts genuine doubt on the Warren Commission report without fully answering the question, "Who shot JFK?" (MB) Director's Cut, Nov. 21 only, at the Magic Lantern. Rated R. Preceded by John Gaetano's film, America's Deceit.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA
He's not just crushing on her: Fiorentino has loved Fermina for 52 years. In a sensuous adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel (set in Colombia from the 1880s to the 1930s), Javier Bardem plays the romantic Fiorentino, who's pitted against Benjamin Bratt as the rationalist physician, Dr. Juvenal Urbino, the husband of Fermina (Giovanna Mezzogiorno). Director Mike Newell has filmed crime (Donnie Brasco) and fantasy (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). But can he produce a romantic epic? (MB) Rated R
MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM
The toy store of Edward Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) is full of magic, but only if you believe in it. When a mirthless accountant (Jason Bateman) drops by at Mr. M's request, all the toys play dead. Molly (Natalie Portman), the store's socially awkward manager, wonders why the need for an accountant nosing around -- until Magorium confesses he's retiring and leaving the store to her. Then things really get interesting: toy riots. (LB) Rated G
MY KID COULD PAINT THAT
This documentary examines the abstract paintings of 4-year-old Marla Olmstead and the controversy over whether she's a prodigy or a money-seeking manipulator. Olmstead's art received enormous publicity and generated thousands of dollars for her family. But did Mommy and Daddy paint Marla's pictures for her? (TLM) Opens Nov. 21. Rated PG-13
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
When Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the remnants of what looks like a drug deal gone bad -- lots of heroin, money and dead bodies -- he decides to take the money. Bad choice: That puts a psychopath (Javier Bardem) on his trail. And while Tommy Lee Jones' sheriff provides some help, Llewellyn has now plunged himself into a world in which everyday things -- a coin toss, a dog, a phone call -- turn lethal. Joel and Ethan Coen return to the violent black comedy of Fargo. (ES) Opens Nov. 21. Rated R
NO END IN SIGHT
A documentary about the descent of Iraq from a brutal dictatorship to a land of anarchy, told not by liberal pundits and armchair analysts, but by people, like Richard Armitage and Barbara Bodine, who were in charge of Iraq in 2003 -- the people who were actually there, on the ground, making suggestions and seeing those suggestions ignored time and again. (LB) Not Yet Rated