Neil Young: Heart of Gold (PG) Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ben Keith, Spooner Oldham, Rick Rosas. Rock and roll legend Neil Young takes to the stage for two nights at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, to showcase classic songs and tracks from his 2005 album Prairie Wind. With Young are some of the finest American musicians, including Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns, the Fisk University Jubilee Singers, Carl Gorodetsky and the Nashville String Machine and special guest vocalist Emmy Lou Harris. Director Jonathan Demme (Storefront Hitchcock, Stop Making Sense) returns to concert films to document this unique musical moment. 103 minutes. At the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema.
She's the Man (PG-13) Amanda Bynes, Lynda Boyd, Alex Breckenridge, Amanda Crew, David Cross. Teen romantic comedy. It's hard enough being the nerdy new guy on campus without also being the new girl on campus, who has fallen for the coolest guy on campus. Viola Johnson had her own good reasons for disguising herself as her twin brother Sebastian and enrolling in his place at his new boarding school, Illyria Prep. She was counting on Sebastian being AWOL from school, while he tried to break into the music scene in London. What she didn't count on was falling in love with her hot roommate, Duke. And then things get complicated. 105 minutes.
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (R) Steve Coogan, Roger Allam, Gillian Anderson, Elizabeth Berrington, Rob Brydon. Laurence Sterne's comic novel, considered by most to be unfilmable, gets the mockumentary treatment as we watch the very talented Steve Coogan play a stylized version of himself playing the foppish 18th century gentleman Tristram Shandy on the set of the big screen adaptation of the book. Did you get all that? Director Michael Winterbottom and the sprawling cast of major talents do a nice job presenting the egos, the ego clashes, the brushes with disaster and the general chaos just off the edge of the movie sets. Funny and engaging. 94 minutes. At the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema. - EJO
V for Vendetta(R) Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Roger Allam, Stephen Fry. Moderately entertaining, highly stylized mystery/drama with impressive art direction and a muddled, overly talky script that is reminiscent of 1984 and Batman Begins. V (Weaving, Neo's most bothersome adversary in The Matrix), his identity hidden beneath a Guy Fawkes mask and, I think, a Cleopatra wig, sets out to topple the fascist government of future-England with bombs and murder and poor Evey (Portman) gets dragged into his crusade. An adaptation of the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd (Moore had his name removed from the film), V for Vendetta offers bold visuals, sweeping movement, but little that will linger after you leave the theater. 131 minutes. - EJO
Why We Fight (PG-13) Graydon Carter, John S.D. Eisenhower, Chalmers Johnson, William Kristol, John McCain. Dwight Eisenhower coined the phrase "military industrial complex" in his legendary farewell speech, and writer/director Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger) takes it from there in this documentary about the only remaining superpower and its ever-growing war machine. There are few revelations here - Jarecki simply assembles his information and clips to provide a clear, disturbing explanation for why the government does what it does. Includes footage from Eisenhower and his son, along John McCain, Gore Vidal and a host of others. Winner, Grand Jury Prize (Documentary), 2005 Sundance Film Festival. 98 minutes. At Landmark Keystone Art Cinema. - EJO
Manderlay (NR) Bryce Dallas Howard, Danny Glover, Willem Dafoe, Isaach De Bankole, Udo Kier. From Dogville filmmaker Lars von Trier. In 1933, Grace (Howard) leaves Dogville with her gangster father (Dafoe) and his men. They drift into the South, passing through a small Alabama town. There, behind the gates of a tattered antebellum plantation, Grace is horrified to discover that slavery is still practiced. She demands that her father's henchmen seize the estate and free the slaves. Grace sees her duty: She will make up for the injustice suffered by the ex-slaves by staying on to see them through the first cotton harvest and teach them democracy. Her father leaves behind four of his gangsters, a lawyer and a warning that this is none of her business. 138 minutes. At Key Cinemas Beech Grove for one week only.
16 Blocks (R) Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse, David Zayas, David Sparrow. What seems like an easy job for a hump of a drunken cop (Willis) turns into a dramatic and predictable adventure on the mean streets of New York. While Willis - complete with a porno mustache - and Morse do a good job here and Mos Def is only somewhat annoying, the movie doesn't do much and pales in comparison to cop dramas we see every day on TV. - Jim Walker
Aquamarine (PG) Emma Roberts, Joanna "JoJo" Levesque, Sara Paxton, Jake McDorman, Arielle Kebbel. One for the girls. Following a violent storm, a beautiful and sassy mermaid named Aquamarine washes ashore and into the lives of two teen-age girls. After Aquamarine falls for a local, hunky lifeguard, she enlists the girls' help to win his heart. 109 minutes.
Brokeback Mountain (R) Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Linda Cardellini, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, Randy Quaid. The much ballyhooed "gay cowboy movie" is a sad, beautiful story of two young men tending sheep in 1963 Wyoming who have sex with each other one cold, liquor-laced night. So what does one cowboy say to the other on the morning after? Not much. "You know I ain't queer," Ennis mutters, to which Jack states, "Me neither." But the sex continues and turns to love, though they are unable to verbalize their feelings. Ang Lee (The Ice Storm) is a polite filmmaker, and he is perhaps a bit too polite with his adaptation of Annie Proulx's superb 1997 short story. Still, the production, packed with great acting (especially by Ledger and Gyllenhaal) in front of gorgeous scenery is a very good film, one of the best of 2005. 134 minutes. - EJO
Capote (R) Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins Jr., Chris Cooper, Bruce Greenwood, Bob Balaban, Mark Pellegrino, Amy Ryan. Capote focuses on the years Truman Capote spent writing his greatest book, In Cold Blood, the story of a murdered family in Kansas. Here we get to see the minutiae that made the man Capote a real piece of work. Philip Seymour Hoffman's Capote is as big a queen as Elizabeth II without any of the grace. As much of a character, even caricature, as Hoffman is in this movie, he somehow remains believable. Director Bennett Miller keeps scenes intense, slow and detailed, which balances out the large and sudden jumps in time. 98 minutes. - Lisa Gauthier
Caché (R) Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Lester Makedonsky. Completely befuddling yet beguiling entertainment. The film opens with a many-minutes-long, absolutely static shot of the exterior of their building, which we eventually discover is a surveillance videotape recorded by ... who knows. Georges and Anne (Auteuil and Binoche) watch the tape, mystified; subsequent tapes torque the enigma further as the content becomes more personal to Georges. Great fun puzzling over its mysteries, but don't work too hard; after all, the title is Caché, meaning "hidden." - Jim Poyser
Curious George (G) Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Dick Van Dyke. The beloved little monkey from the children's books gets his own movie. The filmmakers maintain the tone of the books nicely. Young children should have a good time, but grown-ups will likely be bored to tears once the initial warmth of nostalgia passes. 82 minutes. - EJO
Date Movie (PG-13) Alyson Hannigan, Adam Campbell, Jennifer Coolidge, Tony Cox, Fred Willard. Send-up of boy-meets-girl romantic comedies, from some of the creators of Scary Movie. The film is not being screened for critics, which is usually a very bad sign. But who knows, perhaps the film is so incredibly funny that the studio felt that reviews were unnecessary. 85 minutes.
Dave Chappelle's Block Party (R) Dave Chappelle, Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Dante "Mos Def" Smith, Talib Kweli. Acclaimed comic Dave Chappelle presents a Brooklyn neighborhood with a once-in-a-lifetime free block party. The combination of comedy and music was shot on location. In addition to Chappelle performing all-new material, the roster of artists includes Kanye West, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, the Roots, Cody ChesnuTT, Big Daddy Kane, and - reunited for their first performance in over seven years - the Fugees. 103 minutes.
Deep Sea 3D (G) Narrated by Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet. A corker, one of the best IMAX movies ever. Filmed over the course of a year, the production introduces viewers to an absolutely incredible array of undersea creatures. Remember the first time you saw the cantina scene in the original Star Wars? Welcome to the underwater version, only the life forms here are even weirder than the freaky denizens of that sci-fi gin joint. What you will see here is far more alien than anything George Lucas ever cooked up. And, thanks to some very effective 3D photography, these alien entities appear to be floating about as close to your face as this newspaper is right now. 40 minutes. At the IMAX Theater in the State Museum. - EJO
Eight Below (PG) Paul Walker, Jason Biggs, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, Connor Christopher Levins. Disney film about a pack of snow dogs (sans Cuba Gooding, Jr.) left to survive in Antarctica. Inspired by a true story, the film has a March Of The Doggies feel as they survive in the frozen tundra, while the humans, who had to leave their research facility in Antarctica due to really bad weather, try to find them. Paul Walker's performance is good, but he is still upstaged by eight little doggies. Also, these dogs don't talk nor are there tired uses of pop songs with the word "Dog" in the title. Disney must be saving those for their Shaggy Dog remake. 112 minutes - Matthew Socey
Failure to Launch (PG-13) Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Justin Bartha, Kathy Bates, Zooey Deschanel. Harmless formulaic romantic comedy. Thirtysomething Tripp (McConaughey) is still living with his parents. In desperation, they hire Paula (Parker) to coax/seduce their son out of the house. Guess what happens. McConaughey and Parker can do this kind of stuff in their sleep, which they more or less do. Bradshaw and Bates make an enjoyable set of parents, though. 97 minutes. - EJO
Final Destination 3 (R) Ryan Merriman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Texas Battle, Gina Holden, Dustin Milligan. A third round of Rube Goldberg-style deaths in the morbid horror series. This time, a high school student fails to stop a roller coaster ride that she predicted would cause the deaths of several of her friends. As a result, the Grim Reaper comes a calling once again. As Dead Teenagers Movies go, this is one of the more ingenious ones. The deaths are gruesome, but very imaginative and well-staged. 92 minutes. - EJO
Firewall (PG-13) Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Robert Patrick, Robert Forster, Alan Arkin. Generic action-thriller. Ford plays a computer security specialist at a Seattle bank who is forced to electronically rob his own company when his family is taken hostage by Eurotrash villain Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) and his band of thugs. It plays out like this: Smug, smooth-talking Bettany and his gang terrorize the family. Ford grimaces and seethes, but obeys for a while. Finally, he switches to action-hero mode and kicks major Eurotrash ass. The end. The film isn't awful; it's simply lame and redundant. 105 minutes. - EJO
The Hills Have Eyes (R) Aaron Stanford, Kathleen Quinlan, Vinessa Shaw, Emilie de Ravin, Dan Byrd, Tom Bower, Billy Drago, Robert Joy, Ted Levine. Update of the 1977 Wes Craven horror story of a family road trip that goes terrifyingly awry when the travelers become stranded in a government atomic zone. Miles from nowhere, the Carters soon realize the seemingly uninhabited wasteland is actually the breeding ground of a blood-thirsty mutant family ... and they are the prey. 105 minutes.
The Libertine (R) Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, Samantha Morton, Rosamund Pike, Richard Coyle. The Libertine highlights the underbelly of the Britocracy of centuries past. Adapted from the play by Stephen Jeffreys, the plot follows the dastardly debauchery of the Earl of Rochester (Depp). A hedonist who makes Oscar Wilde seem moralistic, the Earl spent his days and nights in beds, brothels and bars, awakening from drunken blackouts only to stumble to the nearest whorehouse. Yet this ravishing rake was also possessed of a predilection for poetry, and turned his escapades into acid-tongued witticisms that pepper the film. 130 minutes.
Madea's Family Reunion (PG-13) Tyler Perry, Boris Kodjoe, Jenifer Lewis, Tangi Miller, Cicely Tyson. Written and directed by Tyler Perry, and based on Perry's stage play, this film reminds viewers that God can help you through any situation and family can be counted on. Madea, played by Perry, known for her aggressive and violent characteristics, becomes a foster parent to an adolescent that doesn't have a family and needs guidance. Madea doesn't disappoint her fans with her motherly love - but she still breaks out a few punches to keep the audience laughing. The film combines black history, comedy, drama and sneak peeks into the family of Madea. Perry's stage play, Madea Goes to Jail, is currently at the Murat (see page 18). 122 minutes. - TaShaya Robertson
The Pink Panther (PG) Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles, Jean Reno, Emily Mortimer. There was no reason for this movie to have been made. It does nothing new, nothing very funny and insults the intelligence of the audience. But it's still No. 1! The movie also serves, quite crassly, as a huge product placement for Beyonce Knowles. If you're in the mood for The Pink Panther, save some money and go rent one from the original series. If you're in the mood for Steve Martin or Kevin Kline, rent one of their good, old movies. If you're in the mood for Knowles, listen to one of her CDs. - Jim Walker
Roving Mars (G) A giant-screen IMAX visualization of an amazing story that is still going on. On the surface of the planet Mars right now - right this very second - there are two manmade robotic vehicles capable of navigating the rocky surface. Powered by solar panels, they explore the red planet, sending information back to eager scientists on Earth. Steve Squyres, lead science investigator at the NASA/Jet Propulsion laboratory, provides commentary for the 40-minute Disney film, recounting the fascinating story of the building, launching, landing and tasks of the space rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The film uses extensive computer animation to present the travels of the separately-launched rovers. Especially fascinating are segments depicting the separation stages following the launches and the complicated - and quite cool - landing procedures. 40 minutes. At the IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum through June 8. - EJO
Second Chance (PG-13) Michael W. Smith, Jeff Obafemi Carr, J. Don Ferguson, Lisa Arrindell Anderson. Ethan Jenkins (Smith) and Jake Sanders (Carr) are pastors who come from very different backgrounds. Well-to-do Ethan is comfortable in his music ministry at media-savvy suburban mega-church The Rock, while street-smart Jake ministers to the gang members, teen mothers and drug addicts of the urban Second Chance. When the two men are suddenly thrown together in a tough neighborhood and forced to work side by side, they are put to the test. Can the faith they share overcome the prejudices that divide them to give themselves and a struggling urban church a second chance? 102 minutes.
The Shaggy Dog (PG) Tim Allen, Kristin Davis, Robert Downey, Danny Glover, Zena Grey, Spencer Breslin, Jane Curtin. Tim Allen transforms back and forth between father to family dog in this update of the Disney 1959 comedy of the same name. The original wasn't very good and neither is this one. Want to see Allen hoist his leg at the urinal? Want to see dogs sniff his butt? Me neither. 99 minutes. - EJO
Transamerica (R) Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Fionnula Flanagan, Elizabeth Pena, Graham Greene, Burt Young, Carrie Preston. Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives shines as a preoperative transsexual forced to take a cross-country road trip with a sullen 17-year-old (Zegers) who has no idea that the woman behind the steering wheel is his father. First-time feature writer-director Duncan Tucker lays it on a bit thick (Note to the filmmaker: Too many quirky characters in one place can wear out the viewer.) and he stretches credulity awfully thin, even by road movie standards (wait until you see how long it takes Toby to figure out who Bree really is), but his missteps are easy to forgive. Transamerica is a sweet, tender and funny look at two people trying to find out where they fit in the scheme of things. 103 minutes. - EJO
Ultraviolet (PG-13) Milla Jovovich, Cameron Bright, Nick Chinlund, William Fichtner, Duc Luu. In the distant future, the government wages war against a subculture of disease-modified humans, in whom speed, strength and intelligence are magnified. In the midst of this turmoil a woman finds herself the protector of a 9-year-old boy targeted for death. 85 minutes.
The World's Fastest Indian (PG-13) Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Lawford, Bruce Greenwood, Paul Rodriguez, Diane Ladd. Burt Munro (Hopkins) never let the dreams of youth fade. After a lifetime of perfecting his classic Indian motorcycle, Burt set off from the bottom of the world (New Zealand) to test his bike at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. With all odds against him, he set a new speed record and captured the spirit of his times. Munro's 1967 world record remains unbroken and his legend lives on today. 127 minutes.