Originally created 05/16/03

Mini reviews



THEATERS, RATINGS

Movies are listed with theater location through Thursday. 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.

JUST OUT

DOWN WITH LOVE (***, PG-13) Renee Zellweger writes a feminist best seller, and Ewan McGregor plays the author who thinks he can seduce her and write an expose. The movie has the look of a 1960s Rock Hudson-Doris Day comedy (it even has Tony Randall in a supporting role), and watches the battle of the sexes as it is waged in the New York publishing world. True to the formula, but with a twist, it's a comic charmer. Augusta Exchange and Evans.

MATRIX RELOADED (*** 1/2 , R) The second installment in the trilogy shows the buried human city of Zion for the first time, furthers the progress of Neo (Keanu Reeves) from geek to Christ figure, and introduces the Architect (Helmut Bakaltis), who says he is the designer of the Matrix. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Big Mo, Evans and Masters.

ONGOING

A MAN APART (**, R) Vin Diesel stars as a DEA cop, Larenz Tate is his partner, and the cartel kingpin (Geno Silva) has Diesel's wife (Jacqueline Obradors) killed - so this time, it's personal. Just like every other time this exhausted plot has been recycled. Augusta Village.

A MIGHTY WIND (** 1/2 , PG-13) A new mockumentary by Christopher Guest, whose Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show define the genre. This time his subject is a reunion concert by three less-than-great acts from the 1960s folk revival. Augusta Exchange.

ABOUT SCHMIDT (*** 1/2 , R) Jack Nicholson plays Warren Schmidt, a man without resources. Recently retired and widowed, he has no interests, no curiosity, no joy. Having lived a buried corporate life in the bowels of an insurance company, he begins to try to live when it is almost too late. Pal.

ANGER MANAGEMENT (**, PG-13) Adam Sandler plays a mild-mannered guy named Dave Buznik, who just got a promotion and is in love with Marisa Tomei. Through bizarre misunderstandings, he is misdiagnosed as a person filled with rage, and assigned to therapy with the famed specialist Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson). Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE (**, R) Jet LI and DMX in a movie that makes a sincere attempt to one-up previous cop-crook-buddy-sex-chase-caper-martia l-arts thrillers by exaggerating all the usual elements. But it's on autopilot and overdrive at the same time: It does nothing original, but does it very rapidly. Augusta Village.

DADDY DAY CARE (*, PG) Eddie Murphy and Jeff Garlin star as the operators of a cut-rate day-care center that could only terrify parents in the audience, although it may look like fun for their children. Anjelica Huston is the villainess, running a competing facility that actually looks like a much better school. Goes through the motions of comedy, but without inspiring laughs. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

DELIVER US FROM EVA (**, R) Gabrielle Union plays Eva, oldest of the four Dandridge sisters. After the untimely death of their parents, Eva took on the task of raising the girls, and has never been able to stop giving the orders, not even now that they're grown up. This so annoys her sister's men that they pool $5,000 and pay LL Cool J to seduce Eva and get her to move out of town. Augusta Village.

FINAL DESTINATION 2 (* 1/2 , R) Inferior retread of the earlier film, in which characters who are doomed to die are saved - only to find they owe a life to death. Augusta Village.

HOLES (*** 1/2 , PG) Kids at a desert juvenile detention center spend all day digging holes. Their strange imprisonment was first told in an award-winning novel for young adults by Louis Sachar, and now he writes the screenplay for an original, intriguing film directed by Andrew Davis (The Fugitive). Talented young actors, led by Shia LaBeouf and Khleo Thomas, are joined by Jon Voight, Sigourney Weaver, Tim Blake Nelson and Patricia Arquette. Augusta Exchange, Evans and Pastime.

IDENTITY (***, R) On a dark and stormy night, 10 travelers are stranded in a fleabag motel with the dippy manager - and one by one they begin to die, in a movie that straddles the Agatha Christie and slasher genres. With John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John C. McGinley, Rebecca De Mornay, Alfred Molina and Jake Busey. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

KANGAROO JACK (PG) Jerry O'Connell and Anthony Anderson star as two best friends asked to deliver an important package to a mysterious man in Australia. The friends wind up pursuing a marsupial into the outback to retrieve the package. Augusta Village.

LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (***, PG-13) Director Peter Jackson's film is a visionary epic with mastery of its special effects, and it has a triumph in the character Gollum, completely computer generated but cheerfully ingratiating and loathsome at the same time. Augusta Village.

MALIBU'S MOST WANTED (** 1/2 , PG-13) Jamie Kennedy stars as "B-Rad," the son of a millionaire political candidate who poses as a gangsta rapper. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Big Mo and Masters.

NATIONAL SECURITY (PG-13) Martin Lawrence's rebellious behavior gets him kicked out of the police academy and into a security job where his overzealousness uncovers a smuggling operation. Steve Zahn and Eric Roberts co-star. Directed by Dennis Dugan. Augusta Village.

OLD SCHOOL (*, R) Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn, who clock in at an average age of 34, abandon their adult lives to return to campus and run a series of party houses at which they can meet hot chicks. Formless, witless, not funny, except for a few good scenes and some nice work by Mr. Ferrell as a compulsive nudist. Augusta Village.

PIGLET'S BIG MOVIE (G) Lovable animated creature feels unappreciated; his friends team up to show how much they love him. Augusta Village.

SHANGHAI KNIGHTS (***, PG-13) A period-Western-kung-fu comedy with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson that, like its predecessor Shanghai Noon (2000), bounds from one gag to another like an eager puppy. Augusta Village.

TEARS OF THE SUN (***, R) Bruce Willis plays a Navy Seal who is assigned to airlift some U.S. nationals, and ends up leading a mission doctor (Monica Bellucci) and her patients through the jungle ahead of rebel troops. It's a question of who can walk faster or hide better, and it works - up until the routine action ending. Augusta Village.

THE HUNTED (*** 1/2 , R) Tommy Lee Jones plays a civilian who trains Army special forces to track and kill; Benicio Del Toro is a student who has gone off the rails and is killing hunters in Oregon. As Mr. Jones tracks Mr. Del Toro, the movie stays close to their immediate physical experience, in sequences that are not action so much as the hard, physical work of chasing and fighting. Augusta Village.

THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE (**, PG) Teen TV star Hilary Duff stars as a junior high graduate who goes on the class trip to Rome and meets an Italian pop idol who says she is a dead ringer for his estranged singing partner. She sneaks away from the trip, sees Rome from the back of his scooter, and ends up singing a duet with herself (don't ask) on Italian TV. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

X2: X-MEN UNITED (***, PG-13) The second in the series is better than the first, with several sequences of skilled visual invention, but the story exists entirely in its moments. The civics lesson this time involves the right to privacy, as the superheroes battle the Mutant Registration Act. How you register a mutant who can teleport or shape-shift is not explained. With Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen and Brian Cox. Aiken, Augusta Exchange, Evans and Masters.

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) 685-7949 EVANS 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