by INLANDER STAFF & r & & r & SEX AND THE CITY & r & & r & The girls are back on the boulevard, along with their Manolo Blahniks, their cosmos and their fabulous fashions -- including wedding duds! Looks like the film version sticks close to the HBO formula, with Carrie narrating in voiceovers as the action unfolds. The story picks up about four years after the season finale with Carrie finally planning her dream wedding with Mr. Big. (And, yes, we finally learn his full name.) Ah, but all does not go according to plan. Meanwhile, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha face pregnancy, infidelity and fashion faux pas with dignity and friendships intact. Most of the behind-the-scenes originals from the series are back, including writer/director Michael Patrick King and fashionista Patricia Field. (AC) Rated R
The only thing "strange" about this film is that a studio gave it a green light. Lazy writing and flat, repetitive direction, along with actors who either scowl or scream (and others who never take their silly masks off) results in a horror film that's scary only because the sound is sometimes turned up too high. It's one of those "people trapped in an isolated house by maniacs" plots. Neither Liv Tyler nor Scott Speedman, as the victims, adds anything, and first-time writer-director Bryan Bertino needs to go in search of an original idea, or at least a story that's less stupid. (ES) Rated R
THE YEAR MY PARENTS WENT ON VACATION
A Brazilian film about a young boy coming of age against the political turmoil of 1970 Sao Paolo. When his left-wing parents are forced to go into hiding, Mauro must go live with his grandfather in what looks to be an old folks home for Hasidim. So he sets to work creating a social network in a diverse section of town. (LB) Not Rated
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.