Originally created 11/15/02

Mini reviews


Movies are listed through Thursday with theater location. Reviews without star ratings are from critics other than Roger Ebert. Listings are subject to change. Call theaters for times. For an online movie guide, check out augusta.com/movies.


FRIDA (*** 1/2 , R) The story of Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek), a passionate artist who struggled through lifelong pain to create extraordinary paintings, and yet was overshadowed during her lifetime by her husband, the famous and equally tempestuous Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina). Evans.

HALF PAST DEAD (1/2 *, PG-13) Mindless action flick with Steven Seagal that's like an alarm that goes off while nobody is in the room. It does its job and stops, and nobody cares. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (****, PG) An adventure that's darker and scarier than anything in the first Harry Potter movie, but also richer: It's brimming with invention and new ideas, and Hogwarts School seems to expand and deepen into a world large enough to conceal unguessable secrets, as Harry and his friends investigate a hidden chamber that may contain a monster and keys to old secrets. The characters from the first film are joined by Kenneth Branagh as a conceited professor, Miriam Margolyes as a biology teacher with a hilarious scene, and Jason Isaacs as the odious father of the odious Malfoy. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.


8 MILE (***, R) Eminem's debut film, a faithful reflection of his myth. His character Rabbit lives on the black side of town, where he finds acceptance from a posse of homies, especially from Future (Mekhi Phifer), who emcees the rap contests Rabbit performs in. Eminem proves that he can act, but not that he can smile. With Kim Basinger as his slattern mother and Brittany Murphy as his maybe girlfriend. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER (**, PG-13) Mike Myers is back in quadruple roles in a spy spoof with funny sequences, but the movie as a whole seems a little tired. Augusta Village.

BROWN SUGAR (***, PG-13) Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan are professionals who think hard about their decisions, in a movie that is billed as a hip-hop romance, but contains little music and is more thoughtful than the ads make it sound. Aiken, Augusta Exchange and Masters.

FEMME FATALE (****, R) A sexy thriller from Brian De Palma that coils back on itself in seductive deception. Rebecca Romijn-Stamos stars as an elegant jewel thief who steals $10 million in diamonds at the Cannes Film Festival, double-crosses her criminal partners, and then gets entangled with a paparazzo (Antonio Banderas). Augusta Exchange and Evans.

GHOST SHIP (**, R) The crew of a salvage boat finds an ocean liner that has been lost for 40 years. It represents a treasure - or perhaps death. Augusta Exchange.

I SPY (**, PG-13) Retread of the 1960s TV series with Eddie Murphy as a boxer and Owen Wilson as a spy who recruits him in order to get next to a villain (Malcolm McDowell) who has stolen an invisible spy plane, which is, the movie says, "in the hands of the evildoers." Murphy and Wilson are funny in their scenes together, but the spy-and-action plot brings the movie to a halt every time the stars stop riffing. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Big Mo, Evans and Masters.

[filtered word]: THE MOVIE (R) Johnny Knoxville takes his inane stunts from MTV to the big screen. Augusta Exchange and Masters.

KNOCKAROUND GUYS (***, R) Barry Pepper plays a Mafia heir who persuades his father (Dennis Hopper) to let him handle a job, and then discovers that his trusted friend (Seth Green) has lost a bag of money in a small Montana town. Mr. Pepper and friends Vin Diesel and Andrew Davoli fly out to retrieve it, attracting the attention of a corrupt and greedy sheriff (Tom Noonan). Augusta Village.

LIKE MIKE (***, PG) Bow Wow stars as a 14-year-old orphan who gets a pair of basketball shoes with the initials MJ written inside. When he wears them, he discovers, he's like Michael Jordan. Augusta Village.

LILO AND STITCH (*** 1/2 , PG) Animated comedy from Disney about a hostile alien creature named Stitch who is adopted as the pet of a little girl named Lilo. Augusta Village.

MEN IN BLACK II (* 1/2 , PG-13) This sequel creates a new threat for the MIB, but recycles the same premise, which is that mankind can defeat an alien invasion by assigning agents in Ray-Bans (Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones) to shoot them into goo. Augusta Village.

MINORITY REPORT (****, PG-13) Steven Spielberg is a master filmmaker at the top of his form, working with a star, Tom Cruise, who generates complex human feelings even while playing an action hero. Set in 2054, it stars Mr. Cruise as the chief of the Department of Precrime, which uses precognitives to stop crimes before they are committed. Augusta Village.

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (***, PG) Warm-hearted slice of life about a 30ish Greek-American woman from Chicago (Nia Vardalos) who meets Mr. Right (John Corbett) - but he's not Greek! Augusta Exchange and Evans.

RED DRAGON (*** 1/2 , R) Anthony Hopkins returns in the second film version of the first Thomas Harris novel about depraved psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. In an early scene, he is still in civilian life, until an encounter with an FBI agent (Edward Norton). Years later, Norton is recruited to track down another serial killer (Ralph Fiennes), and Lecter gets involved. Augusta Village.

SPIDER-MAN (**, PG-13) Imagine Superman with a Clark Kent more charismatic than the Man of Steel, and you'll understand how Spider-Man goes wrong. Tobey Maguire is pitch-perfect as the socially retarded Peter Parker, but when he becomes Spider-Man, the film turns to action sequences that zip along like perfunctory cartoons. Augusta Village.

SWEET HOME ALABAMA (***, PG-13) Reese Witherspoon is charming in a thin retread of that old plot where the big-city girl returns to her small town and discovers that down home is best. Augusta Exchange and Evans.

SWIMFAN (PG-13) Thriller about an elite high school swimmer whose life is turned upside down by an obsessive admirer. With Jesse Bradford, Erika Christensen, Shiri Appleby and Dan Hedaya. Augusta Village.

THE FOUR FEATHERS (**, PG-13) Skilled update of the same imperialist swashbuckler that's been made into six earlier films. Heath Ledger stars as a British soldier, circa 1875, who resigns his commission out of love for a woman, and is sent a box of white feathers signifying he is a coward. To prove himself, he ships out to the Sudan, disguises himself as an Arab, and becomes a free-lance commando helping his former regiment. Augusta Village.

THE MASTER OF DISGUISE (*, PG) Dana Carvey plays multiple roles in a movie that is like a party guest who thinks he is funny and is wrong. Augusta Village.

THE RING (**, PG-13) Newspaper reporter and single mom Naomi Watts learns of a video that kills those who watch it within seven days. Her investigation, also involving her young son (David Dorfman) and his father (Martin Henderson), leads into gruesome and dread discoveries, followed by tedious explanations and flashbacks just when we think the movie must finally be over. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans, Masters.

THE SANTA CLAUS 2 (***, G) Tim Allen is back as the divorced dad who suddenly found himself assigned to be Santa Claus. Now a new loophole has been discovered in his contract: He has to get married in 28 days or lose the suit. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Big Mo, Evans and Masters.

THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE (***, PG-13) Jonathan Demme's remake of Charade, with Thandie Newton in the Audrey Hepburn role. She plays a young widow in Paris who attracts unsavory characters because of the fortune her late husband is said to have stolen from them. Augusta Village.

TIME CHANGER (PG) A Bible professor from the 1890s travels forward in time and is displeased with what he sees. With Gavin MacLeod, D. David Morin and Hal Lindon. Augusta Exchange.

THEATERSAIKEN MALL, 300 Eastgate Drive, (803) 641-0000AUGUSTA EXCHANGE 20, Wheeler Road at Bobby Jones Expressway, 667-9713AUGUSTA VILLAGE, 1323 Augusta West Parkway, 860-4990BIG MO DRIVE-IN, U.S. Highway 1, Monetta, S.C., (803) 685-7949EVANS 12 CINEMAS,Belair Road at Washington Road, 869-1269MASTERS 7 CINEMAS,2824 Washington Road, 736-4444PAL THEATER,134 W. Broad St., Louisville, Ga., (912) 625-9998PASTIME THEATER,Sandersville, Ga., (478) 625-9998THOMSON TWIN CINEMA, Main Street, (706) 595-7317


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