by Inlander Staff & r & & r & The Break-Up & r & It's a sexy mess when Brooke and Gary break up but refuse to move out of the condo they share. Gary's slovenly buddies, played by Jason Bateman (!) and John Favreau come to his aid while Brooke's ambiguously gay brother Richard comes to hers. Lines like "go see ... my personal waxer at the spa. Ask her for the Telly Savalas" have us cautiously optimistic. Rated PG-13

Cars -- Like every one of the six previous features Pixar has delivered, Cars is smart, snappy, entertaining cinema. And like every one of those six previous features, it's grounded in fundamentally strong storytelling -- you know, the kind of thing that's not supposed to matter all that much any more in movies. It's funny, warm and charming, yes -- but it's also wise in a way that's almost enough to make you want to weep. (SR) Rated G

The Da Vinci Code -- If there's one thing we like more than sadomasochistic arch-conservative albino assassins, it's sadomasochistic arch-conservative albino assassins trying to cover up Christianity's darkest secret: that Jesus and Mary Magdalene made babies together. Such a bizarre and wonderful coincidence, then, that Dan Brown would write almost that exact book and Ron Howard (breaking from his usual routine of edgeless heartstring-tuggers) would direct the screen adaptation. Rated PG-13

The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift -- You want action? You won't see much more of it, short of a sci-fi special effects extravaganza. This kicks into gear -- literally -- in the opening minutes, with a tale of a troublemaking fast driver (Lucas Black) who's given a choice: Go to jail or go to Tokyo to live with his dad ... which he does, only to get caught up with the Mob and even wilder street races and chases. Lots of adrenaline. (ES) Rated PG-13

Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties -- America's most recognizable intellectual property is back, and this time -- as Garfield plays out The Prince and the Pauper -- it's an insult to Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and our intelligence. Let's face facts: An innocuous cat built to be a marketing empire is never going to make good film. Ever. Rated PG

Greece: Secrets of the Past -- Continuing their long tradition of making learning fun, the folks at IMAX bring us Greece, wherein you get to "see how the island of Santorini was formed and how the island's volcanic eruption, one of the biggest explosions in Earth's history, occurred. Follow a team of archeologists piecing together the puzzles of ancient history and learn how the field of archeology has progressed. Travel to Athens and see how computer graphic imaging can restore the Parthenon to its original glory. Trace some of our modern society's customs -- democracy, medicine, athletics and theatre back to their roots in the Golden Age of Greece." Unrated

An Inconvenient Truth -- The film humanizes Al Gore, which allows a film about our impending death to global warming to transcend the statistics-and-cute-animals mire of most environmental documentaries. But Gore, the non-android, plays a supporting role here, as narrator of the world's biggest psychological conflict: America's better judgment versus her destructive vices. It's a fine, simple film, and an entertaining one. Let's hope somehow it'll be a mindset-changing one, too. (LB) Rated PG

The Lake House -- An interesting idea gets turned into a mess of a movie, running out of steam a third of the way in, then plodding on to a sentimental ending. Too bad, because the story of Kate (Sandra Bullock) and Alex (Keanu Reeves), sharing a long distance and very romantic letter-writing relationship -- even though he's in 2004 and she's in 2006 -- should have been Twilight Zone-intriguing, But despite good acting, the film is pedestrian and repetitive, and nothing is ever made -- or explained -- of its quirkiness. (ES) Rated PG

Nacho Libre -- Roly-poly Jack Black plays a friar and cook in a Mexican monastery by day, and the masked wrestler of the title by night. A side plot gives him a terrible crush on a nun. The film, directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) has hilarious moments to spare, but it's also quite sweet without being sappy. And Black, along with some actual masked pros, puts on some cool wrestling moves. (ES) Rated PG

The Omen -- There's bad news at the Vatican Observatory at the beginning of this remake of the cheesy but memorably creepy 1976 film about the rise of the son of Satan: According to some nerve-wracked astronomer-priest, the positioning of a large, blazing comet is signaling that we're on the eve of Armageddon. But that's nothing! It also seems (we find out later in the film) that the Church has been infiltrated by men who are not only rooting for, but are paving the way for, the ascension of the anti-Christ. There's also good news to go along with this. The remake is far better than anyone could have hoped. (ES) Rated R

Over the Hedge -- There are so many computer-generated animals on studios' slates this year, it's almost unbelievable. Over the Hedge has a genuine chance of being the best of this breed, though that's not saying very much at all. As unspoiled Mother Earth is bulldozed to make way for suburban sprawl, woodland creatures must survive by, you know, stealing from the humans. Think of it as an anthropomorphized National Geographic special. Rated PG

A Prairie Home Companion -- Watching the film adaptation of Garrison Keillor's popular, old-timey radio show is likely to be about like seeing it live. Set in St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater, it's the story of a radio variety show struggling to compete in the television age. All the familiar characters are there -- Guy Noir (Kevin Kline), Dusty and Lefty (Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly) -- and Keillor himself. This time, you get a backstage pass, to watch the spectacular ensemble fret over the imminent closure of the show. Rated PG-13

RV -- "We watch TV in four separate rooms and IM each other when it's time to eat," says despondent dad Robin Williams. The solution to familial fragmentation, in his mind, is a long-ass RV trip. Lessons will be learned, cars will be rolled. Rated PG

Wired to Win -- It's the Tour de France in grand Imax pseudo-scientific fashion. Follow racers through the grueling, 20-plus stage road race and watch, through the magic of computer graphics wizardry, how their brains react. Unrated

X-Men: The Last Stand -- The Last Stand suffers from a muddled plot and falls short of the laser focus that X2 had. The proliferation of subplots and internecine soap-opera stuff ends up burying the main thrust of the film underneath a pile of weepy people problems, but the film also provides developments far more momentous than petty hormonal drama. (DW) Rated PG-13

Book and Brew @ Heritage Bar & Kitchen

Thu., Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m.
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