JUST OUT: Hearts in Atlantis
TUESDAY: Don't Say a Word, Hardball and O
FEB. 26: Bones, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, 13 Ghosts, The Musketeer and Megiddo: The Omega Code 2
MARCH 5: Riding in Cars With Boys and The Last Castle
MARCH 12: Zoolander, Heist, Sexy Beast, Lia, The Wash and Joy Ride
MARCH 19: Training Day, Bandits, Focus and Donnie Darko
MARCH 26: K-Pax, Life as a House, Iron Monkey, Our Lady of the Assassins, Original Sin and Bread and Tulips
VIDEO REVIEWS Here are reviews from Roger Ebert and other critics of some recent video releases:
HEARTS IN ATLANTIS (***, PG-13, 101 minutes) Rarely does a movie make you feel so warm and so uneasy at the same time; Stephen King's story evokes the mystery of adolescence, when everything seems to be happening for the very first time. Anton Yelchin is Bobby, a kid whose life changes when a mysterious man named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves in upstairs.
CAPTAIN CORELLI'S MANDOLIN (**, R, 127 minutes) Nicolas Cage plays an Italian army officer who leads a small force in the occupation of a picturesque Greek island where the doctor's daughter (Penelope Cruz) blindsides him with love. She is engaged to a Greek partisan (Christian Bale) but likes this dreamy Italian. Meanwhile, the Germans turn up and make things dicey for everyone.
GHOST WORLD (****, R, 111 minutes) Thora Birch (American Beauty) stars as a recent high school grad stuck in an ironic quandary: She sees through the phoniness surrounding her but lacks a game plan for change. Then she meets an odd bird - a 40ish, eccentric record collector (Steve Buscemi), who, she observes, is "the exact opposite of all the things I hate." The movie doesn't collapse into a formula love story but keeps its edge as these two problematic characters negotiate the minefields of everyday life.
MAZE (***, R, 97 minutes) Rob Morrow plays a painter who has Tourette's syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. His best friend (Craig Sheffer) is a doctor who volunteers to work in Burundi, not realizing that his girlfriend (Laura Linney) is pregnant. That leaves the artist to be the partner in childbirth classes, and of course the two are drawn together, in a story with a predictable structure but a sweetness and care that are touching.
ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE (*** 1/2 , PG, 95 minutes) In 1914, a submarine expedition finds the lost continent and unleashes a titanic underwater battle. Michael J. Fox voices the hero; James Garner is the tough expedition leader; Don Novello does Father Guido Sarducci's voice as an explosives expert; and Cree Summer is Princess Kida of the underwater land. No song-and-dance numbers with cute sidekicks; it's more in the action tradition of Japanese anime.
THE CURSE OF THE JADE SCORPION (** 1/2 , PG-13, 103 minutes) Woody Allen is an insurance investigator, and Helen Hunt is the hated office-efficiency expert. During an office party they're hypnotized by David Ogden Stiers, for nefarious reasons of his own, in a comedy with the look of a classic film noir.
BUBBLE BOY (PG-13, 84 minutes) Sweet-faced Jimmy Livingston (Jake Gyllenhaal of October Sky) has reached puberty living in a plastic bubble because of an immune deficiency. Jimmy yearns for pretty girl next door Chloe (Marley Shelton), who considers him her best friend. When Chloe gets engaged to an arrogant airhead, Jimmy escapes from home, encased in his bubble, and attempts to trek from California to New York to stop the wedding.
KISS OF THE DRAGON (***, R, 98 minutes) Jet Li stars as a Chinese cop assigned to a murky case in Paris. He discovers that a French police inspector (Tcheky Karyo) is behind a criminal network and gets inside info from a hapless hooker (Bridget Fonda), who is essentially the inspector's captive.
ROCK STAR (** 1/2 , R, 110 minutes) Mark Wahlberg stars as a Pennsylvania copy-machine repairman who sings in a heavy-metal tribute band and is picked as the substitute for the lead singer of the band he idolizes. Jennifer Aniston is his loyal girlfriend, and Timothy Spall is the wise, cynical band manager. Based on a true story, convincing in its details, yet somehow lacking juice and joy.
AMERICAN PIE 2 (***, R, 100 minutes) Same characters, one year older, spending a summer in a cottage on Lake Michigan. Jim (Jason Biggs) is still sexually inexperienced; Jim's dad (Eugene Levy) is still all too supportive; Stifler (Seann William Scott) is still a sex machine; Stifler's mom is still a topic of great discussion; and horrible things still go wrong in the most embarrassing ways.