Originally created 08/19/04

Mini reviews


Movies are listed with theater locations through Wednesday. 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, see augusta.com/movies.


BENJI: OFF THE LEASH! (HHH, PG) Benji plays Puppy, a mongrel condemned to death by a cruel animal breeder, but rescued by 14-year-old Colby (Nick Whitaker) and befriended by a dog of the streets named Lizard Tongue (Shaggy). Augusta Exchange

GARDEN STATE (HHH R) Zack Braff plays a marginal Los Angeles actor (and full-time waiter) called home to New Jersey for his mother's funeral. Long a zombie because of pills prescribed by his psychiatrist father, he emerges from a fog to find a girl (Natalie Portman) who stirs feelings he didn't know he possessed. Augusta Exchange

OPEN WATER (HHH, R) The story of a couple who go scuba diving and surface to discover that a curious thing has happened: The boat has left without them. The horizon is empty in all directions. They feel very alone. Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis star. Augusta Exchange and Evans

THE EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING (R) This prequel sets the stage for all we've seen before, dealing with a youthful Father Merrin's first encounter with Beelzebub. Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans

WITHOUT A PADDLE (PG-13) Though short on laughs, this backcountry comedy is an amiable, inoffensive piffle that benefits from the warmly moronic camaraderie of stars Seth Green, Matthew Lillard and Dax Shepard. Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans


A CINDERELLA STORY (H, PG) Dreary, routine recycling of the Cinderella story, with Hilary Duff as a Valley Girl whose dad dies in an earthquake, leaving her with two evil stepsisters and an evil stepmom (Jennifer Coolidge). Augusta Exchange

ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (PG-13) Battle of the sci-fi monster franchises features lots of action and gross outs. Augusta Exchange, Aiken, Big Mo and Evans


Will Ferrell plays Ron Burgundy, an early 1970s anchorman in San Diego - a legend, especially in his own mind. Ends today at Evans

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (HHH, PG) Against all probability, a jolly comedy made from Jules Verne's wheezy high concept. Steve Coogan plays Phil

eas Fogg, who makes a bet and recruits a daring valet (Jackie Chan) to help him navigate around the world. Masters, Augusta Village

CATWOMAN (H, PG-13) After Halle Berry discovers corporate skullduggery and is killed, an Egyptian cat named Midnight breathes new life into her, and she becomes Catwoman with such remarkable self-composure that we never even find out how it feels to change your species. Augusta Exchange

COLLATERAL (HHH, R) A long night in the life of a Los Angeles cab driver (Jamie Foxx), hired by a killer (Tom Cruise) who keeps him at gunpoint. Augusta Exchange, Aiken, Big Mo and Evans

DE-LOVELY (HHH, PG-13) Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd in a surprisingly nuanced musical version of the life of Cole Porter and his wife, Linda Lee Porter. Augusta Exchange

DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY (HHH, PG-13) Vince Vaughn plays the owner of a bankrupt gym, and Ben Stiller is the manic owner of the multimillion-dollar muscle emporium across the street.

Augusta Village and Masters

GARFIELD: THE MOVIE (HHH, PG) Bill Murray's voice-over work finds the right balance for Garfield - between smugness and uncertainty, between affection and detachment. Masters and Augusta Village

HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE (HHH, R) Harold Lee (John Cho) is a shy Korean-American accountant. Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) is an Indian-American party animal. Their odyssey through the wilds of New Jersey is funny, oddball, goofy, affectionate. Ends today, Augusta Exchange

I, ROBOT (HH, PG-13) Disappointing adaptation of the famous Isaac Asimov stories about robots derailed by contradictions in the Three Laws of Robotics. Augusta Exchange and Evans

JOHNSON FAMILY VACATION (HH, PG-13) Cedric the Entertainer hits the road with his family to attend the annual family reunion in a genial but unfocused comedy that doesn't make much use of his sharp edges. Augusta Village

KING ARTHUR (HHH, PG-13) Darker and chillier than the usual Arthurian movie, with Clive Owen as a lean, hard-edged Arthur and Keira Knightley as Guinevere. Starts Friday, Masters and Augusta Village

LITTLE BLACK BOOK (PG-13) Talk-show producer Brittany Murphy interviews her commitment-shy boyfriend's old girlfriends. Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans

MAN ON FIRE (HH, R) Denzel Washington is a former terrorism expert, now depressed and an alcoholic, who gets a job as the bodyguard for a Mexican industrialist's family. Ends today, Masters

MEAN GIRLS (HHH, PG-13) Lindsay Lohan is home-schooled in Africa by her parents, who are anthropologists, and is a fish out of water when she lands in Evanston High School. Augusta Village

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (H, PG) Depressing comedy about a super nerd who is unpopular and happy to be left alone. Jon Heder stars as the hapless hero. Evans

SCOOBY-DOO 2 (HH, PG) Second edition of live-action version of cartoon favorite. Augusta Village

SLEEPOVER (H, PG) Alexa Vega, from Spy Kids, stars as a junior high schooler who competes in a scavenger hunt with the most popular girl in school (Sara Paxton). Lame, witless and recycled. Ends today, Augusta Village

SOUL PLANE (R) Snoop Dogg stars as the questionable Capt. Mack, who learned how to fly by taking lessons on a flight simulator while in prison. Augusta Village

SPIDER-MAN 2 (HHHH, PG-13) Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst bring real poignancy to Peter Parker's troubled love for Mary Jane. Augusta Exchange and Evans

STEPFORD WIVES (HHH, PG-13) The 1975 version tilted toward horror, but this remake is a barbed comedy, with lots of zingers in the dialogue. Masters and Augusta Village

THE BOURNE SUPREMACY (HHH, PG-13) Somebody still wants to kill Jason Bourne. The amnesiac with the amazing skills is framed for murder in Berlin and pursues his enemies from India to Italy, Germany and Russia. Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans

THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK (HH, PG-13) Vin Diesel re-creates his Pitch Black role, in which his ability to see in the dark proves useful for 26th-century galactic warfare. Augusta Village

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (HHH, PG-13) Global warming floods Manhattan and then freezes it, along with most of the Northern Hemisphere, as billions die, but the movie's characters survive. Masters and Augusta Village

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (HHH, R) Jonathan Demme's remake of the 1962 John Frankenheimer classic follows the original up to a point, but has some surprises. AUGUSTA EXCHANGE AND EVANS, ENDS TODAY AT AIKEN

THE NOTEBOOK (HHH, PG-13) Cuts between the same couple at two seasons in their lives. We see them in the urgency of young romance, and then we see them as old people, she disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer's. Augusta Exchange

THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT (H, G) Anne Hathaway has settled in as Mia, princess of Genovia, and faces a one-month deadline: Get married, or lose your right to the crown. Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans

THE VILLAGE (H, PG-13) M. Night Shyamalan strikes out in this turgid and anticlimactic thriller. Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans

THUNDERBIRDS (H, PG) Bill Paxton plays a billionaire who with his five sons runs a worldwide rescue operation from a secret island in the Pacific. Begins Friday at Masters and Augusta Village

VAN HELSING (HHH, PG-13) Hugh Jackman stars as the monster-hunting Dr. Van Helsing, in pursuit of Dracula and the Wolfman. Ends today at Augusta Village

YU-GI-OH! (PG) Big-screen version of popular television animated fare. Get your cards out. Augusta Exchange, Aiken and Evans

twentieth century foxThe iconic monsters from Predator (left) and Aliens face each other on Earth in a scene from Alien vs. Predator, which is set in an Aztec temple hidden under the Antarctic Circle.


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