by Inlander Staff

The Amityville Horror -- In the latest Amityville Horror, you get to see it all. Where chairs rocked and doors slammed unprovoked in the 1979 version, this Amityville reveals all -- blood, guts, bullets, axes, drowning, murder, possession, bugs, creepy kids, ghosts and more evil than a packed clown car. While the story is mostly the same as the original, the scenes that were terrifying in the '79 version hardly cause a blink in this one (especially the "get out" scene). These are modern scares -- the kind you forget about within a few minutes of the end credits. (Leah Sottile) Rated: R

The Aviator -- Scorsese, DiCaprio, Hughes -- as in Howard -- are director, star and subject of this splendid look at three busy decades in the life of the industrialist, filmmaker and airplane nut. The script gives plenty of leeway for DiCaprio to show his acting chops. (ES) Rated PG-13

Are We There Yet? -- Ice Cube plays a would-be Romeo whose would-be girlfriend (Nia Long) is stuck working up in Vancouver, British Columbia. Hoping to impress Nia, Ice Cube offers to drive her kids from Portland to B.C. -- and as most of us Northwesterners already know, I-5 is no place to be with a carload of rowdy kids. Rated: PG

Beauty Shop -- Queen Latifah and her sassy crew aren't beyond working a few hair-related and/or interpersonal miracles in this Barber Shop spinoff. The Queen reprises her role as the sassy, booty-proud Gina, who opens her own salon as an "in yo face, sucka" to ex-boss Jorge (Kevin Bacon, looking like the love child of Kurt Cobain and David Spade). Rated: PG-13

Dear Frankie -- A supremely understated Emily Mortimer (Notting Hill) plays a single mother whose young, deaf son Frankie (Jake McElhone) believes his dad is a crewman on a cargo ship sailing around the world. Lizzie ghostwrites letters from Frankie's ideal father until the ship that he evidently sails on docks in Glasgow harbor, forcing Lizzie to hire a stranger to meet Frankie posing as the boy's parent. Although the story is objectively fraught with sentimental pitfalls, Dear Frankie is a sophisticated movie (by first time director Shona Auerbach) that carefully exposes the universal onion layers of familial bond without ever leaving fingerprints on the layers. (Cole Smithey) Rated: PG-13

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -- Terry Gilliam's interpretation of the Hunter S. Thompson classic seems nearly saturated with acid -- from the classic checking-into-the-hotel room scene to Benicio del Toro's weirdly undulating body throughout. Johnny Depp plays the Raoul Duke/Hunter S. Thompson character with as much straightness as you can in a movie like this. He's the bemused center around which all the nihilistic action swirls. Midnight Friday and Saturday at the Garland. (Sheri Boggs) Rated: R

Fever Pitch -- Peter and Bobby Farrelly just don't have the edge that's expected from them in this standard romantic comedy. Jimmy Fallon plays a baseball - make that Red Sox - nut who meets business analyst Drew Barrymore, who doesn't know what the term "foul ball" means. They're happy, they fight, they're happy, they fight, and in the background the Sox go nuts and break their 86-year-old curse. Too much extraneous material - some business about a pregnancy brings the film to its knees - and lots of sight gags. Not much else. (ES) Rated PG-13

Guess Who -- Big Bernie Mac is the future father-in-law, Ashton Kutcher is the future son-in-law who find many different ways to butt heads in this racially charged, yet fresh and funny updating of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. When Theresa (Zoe Saldana) brings this skinny white boy home, all kinds of comic possibilities come to light. (ES) Rated PG-13

Hitch -- Breezy romantic comedy gets a big boost here with Will Smith as the title character, a "date coach" for unsure men, and Kevin James as one of those men, who is shooting for the sky with a beautiful heiress (Amber Valletta). But the coach isn't having much luck with the ladies either. (ES) Rated PG-13

Ice Princess -- A high school senior science geek (Michelle Trachtenberg) discovers the sport of ice skating while doing a project on the aerodynamics of competitive skaters. It's a Disney film, but it doesn't have any of the usual formulaic plot turns. (ES) Rated G

Lewis & amp; Clark -- The IMAX folks have packed a lot into this vivid account of the two adventurers' travels across the American wilderness. Narrator Jeff Bridges does pretty much all the speaking, while actors play out the scenes. And those scenes are played out in breathtakingly beautiful settings. Unrated

Million Dollar Baby -- Clint Eastwood plays the crusty old boxing trainer, Hilary Swank is his enthusiastic young charge and Morgan Freeman is the wise observer. Swank's spunky Maggie must convince Eastwood's Frankie to become her teacher. She's really good, with great desire to match her moves. (ES) Rated PG-13

Miss Congeniality 2 -- Miss Congeniality 2 does the same exact thing as its predecessor: It transforms Gracie (Sandra Bullock) into a lip-gloss-wearing swan, has her parade through the movie doing sketch comedy in Prada and Chanel, solving crime by outsmarting her bosses and then saving the girl (the same girl as in the first movie). This tired sequel tries hard to be a chick flick about girl power, but it fails miserably. (Cara Gardner) Rated: PG-13

Mystery of the Nile -- The cinematography is gorgeous, but this isn't one of IMAX's best efforts. Pasquale Scaturro and Gordon Brown are to be commended for successfully completing a previously impossible feat -- running the entire Nile River -- but the whole thing starts to feel like an episode of Survivor. Still, it's pretty to watch and carries a few IMAX moments. Not Rated

National Treasure -- An absurdly plotted story has a treasure hunter (Nicolas Cage) believing that he's finally closing in on some long-lost glittery spoils from thousands of years past. The only problem now is that the supposed final clue is on the back of the very well protected Declaration of Independence. (ES) Rated PG

The Pacifier -- Vin Diesel plays a Navy SEAL who fails to protect a scientist and now must take care of the scientist's five kids. Watch him change diapers, trip over toys in the driveway, rebuff sullen teens and commandeer the Romanian nanny (Carol Kane)! It's James Bond meets Cheaper by the Dozen! Rated: PG

The Ring 2 -- The Ring 2 follows Rachel (Naomi Watts) and her son, Aidan (David Dorfman), who have recently moved to Oregon in an attempt to leave their nightmarish past behind. But before they get too far, that little black-haired brat, Samara, is back. This time, she wants a new Mommy. (Leah Sottile) Rated: PG-13

Robots -- The makers of Ice Age return with a computer-animated fable about a na & iuml;ve young robot (the good guy) heading for the big city to make it as an inventor, but clashing with a money-hungry industrialist (the bad guy). The story is clich & eacute;-ridden, the general sound is headache-inducing and the script desperately wants to be hip. (ES) Rated PG

Sahara -- If the filmmakers behind Sahara were hoping to instill in their audiences the same sensations -- the blurred vision, the deadening thirst and above all, the fear of never escaping -- that one might experience while trapped in the desert, they've succeeded. Based on the novel by Clive Cussler, Sahara's incoherent plot includes treasure hunters, sexy World Health Organization doctors, evil West African despots, plague, quasi-European bad guys, toxic dumps and exploding vehicles. It also feels even longer than its stated run time of 127 minutes. Matthew McConnaughey plays the machismo-drenched hero Dirk Pitt; Penelope Cruz and Steve Zahn gamely tag along as his sidekicks. (SB) Rated: PG-13

Sin City -- The coolest movie of the year is also the most visionary and the most violent. There's also loads of wild action, a stunningly stylized look, and a perfect adaptation of Frank Miller's twisted graphic novel into an insane film. There are three intertwining stories about the denizens of the title locale, with Bruce Willis as a retiring cop, Benicio Del Toro and Clive Owen as bitter, dangerous enemies, a whole gaggle of very tough hookers (Rosario Dawson, Devon Aoki, and more). Don't overlook Mickey Rourke in a career-high role as the big bruiser Marv. (ES) Rated R

Teenage Caveman -- This ridiculous 1958 cheapie by Roger Corman stars Robert Vaughn (before his Man from U.N.C.L.E. days) as the titular prehistoric teenager. He looks more like 30 and has about a quart of Brylcreem in his carefully managed caveman hairdo. But man, he's got the same angst surging through his blood that torments today's youth, which ultimately drives him to defy the elders of his primitive clan and cross the river into the "Burning Plains" where all manner of terror awaits him in the form of a creature that kills with a touch and 20th century animals with horns glued to their heads fighting to the death in miniature dioramas. You might need your own Tom and Crow along for this one. And watch for that surprise ending. Midnight Saturday at CenterStage (Mike Corrigan) Not Rated.

Terror of Tiny Town -- Whereas Tod Browning's Freaks portrayed little people with dignity and respect, The Terror of Tiny Town is pure exploitation. Even in 1938, filmmakers had to have been smoking something funny while concocting this squirm-inducing, diminutive spoof on westerns. The plot, such as it is, goes like this: Evil gun-slinging, cattle-rustling midget Bat Haines ("The Villain") rides in on his Shetland pony to terrorize the good tiny people of Tiny Town. Inspired by good guy fast draw, Buck Lawson ("The Hero"), the townspeople join forces to defeat Haines -- with predictably wacky consequences. (Mike Corrigan) Not Rated. Playing at CenterStage Saturday night at midnight.

The Upside of Anger -- The Upside of Anger is a gratifyingly bittersweet and bracingly dark comedy-drama. It's a stellar showcase for Joan Allen, the fierce, funny, shamelessly transfixing center of this haphazardly constructed yet rich drama of abandonment, denial, bargaining and acceptance. Kevin Costner is goofy/great as her drunk/buzzed neighbor; the sexy, crackling slow burn of their courtship is marvelous fun. With Keri Russell, Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood. (RP) Rated: R

Publication date: 04/21/04

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