HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE (PG-13) See review
IL DIVO (NR) See review.
THE MERRY GENTLEMAN 2 stars (R ) See review.
BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (1993) 3 stars (PG) Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy) tries to uncover the identity of a murderous vigilante known as the Phantasm, who targets Gotham City's powerful criminals, including the Joker (Mark Hamill). Up until Batman Begins, this stylist, Art Deco-influenced animated feature was the first film that showed more interest in Batman as a character than his various villains. A big-screen spin-off of "Batman: The Animated Series" from such creators as Bruce Timm. Comic Book Film Fest. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, Suite 240, University Center. July 17-23. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft. — Holman
ADORATION 3 stars (R) An orphaned Canadian teenager (Devon Bostick) delivers a personal account of his parents' involvement in an act of attempted terrorism, but nothing is as it seems. The Sweet Hereafter director Atom Egoyan can be enormously effective at presenting an initial enigma and gradually revealing the truth and different layers of meaning, and the nuanced performances from Bostick and Arsinée Khanjian give the film a rich emotional texture. Adoration's themes of online communities, digital imagery and terrorism prove comparable to the work of novelist Don DeLillo, who also explores the lives of contemporary North Americans alienated by the powerful forces of modernity. — Holman
ANGELS & DEMONS 2 stars (PG-13) In Rome, a Harvard symbologist (Tom Hanks) and a young physicist (Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer) race the clock during a papal election, a hostage crisis and the countdown until a stolen speck of antimatter could wipe out Vatican City. This follow-up to The Da Vinci Code features a faster pace yet a less compelling historical conspiracy. It’s hard to get the sense that Hanks, director Ron Howard or anyone else involved in the production felt passionately about the material, except maybe for the set designers and art directors. Who would guess that Angels & Demons would have more corpses than Wolverine and more technobabble than Star Trek? — Holman
AWAY WE GO 3 stars (R) "The Office's" John Krasinski and "Saturday Night Live's" Maya Rudolph play an unmarried bohemian couple who travel across the continent to pick out a place where they can raise their unborn child. Written by the husband-and-wife novelist team of Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, the comedy's structure emulates the Ben Stiller comedy Flirting with Disaster as the couple encounter broadly comedic bad parents in other cities, most memorably Maggie Gyllenhaal as a feminist who takes attachment parenting to a kooky new level. Director Sam Mendes takes a change of pace from Revolutionary Road's portrait of a hellish marriage, but the film's scruffy charms barely conceal its lack of substance. — Holman
BIG MAN JAPAN 3 stars (PG-13) This cuckoo-bananas riff on Japan’s giant monster genre offers a mockumentary of Sato (director Hitoshi Matsumoto), a depressed Tokyo resident who we eventually discover is the latest in a line of superpowered national guardians. The film’s deadpan realism gives way to intentionally cheesy fight scenes whenever Sato jolts himself with electricity and fights mind-bogglingly surreal monsters. The film contains intriguing themes of dysfunctional families and superhero satire, although the faux-documentary form unravels and the last 10 minutes take an utterly insane turn seemingly designed to baffle the audience. — Holman
BRUNO 3 stars (R) Austrian fashion journalist Bruno (Sacha Baron Cohen) criss-crosses the world in his quest to become famous and ambush unsuspecting straight guys with dildos and discussions of anal bleaching. In his follow-up to his 2006 uber-hit Borat, Cohen presents essentially the same set-up and structure, but comedic lightning fails to strike twice. Bruno elicits just enough laughs to be worth seeing, but the character's not nearly as endearing as Borat, and such hot-button topics as gay marriage, homosexual conversion and "don't ask, don't tell" score fewer political points than you'd expect. — Holman
CHÉRI 2 stars (R) Michelle Pfeiffer reunites with her Dangerous Liaisons screenwriter Christopher Hampton and director Stephen Frears (who found renewed acclaim with The Queen) for another period piece that sets love at odds with sex. Pfeiffer plays Lea, a wealthy, retired French courtesan who falls unexpectedly in love with Chéri (Rupert Friend), the callow son of Lea’s frenemy (Kathy Bates). In this adaptation of two short stories by Colette, Pfeiffer looks great and finds the humor as well as the pathos in her role, but Chéri the character comes across as so spoiled and one-dimensional that he seems unworthy of her attention, let alone having the movie named after him. — Holman
DEPARTURES 3 stars (PG-13) An unemployed cellist (Masahiro Motoki) secretly takes a job at a “casketing firm,” a Japanese profession that entails the ritualistic preparation and display of the deceased before burial. The latest Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Departures offers farcical plot points yet maintains a serious tone as the former cellist discovers a new calling and makes peace with his absent parents. The film has plenty of charm and offers a fascinating glimpse at another culture’s way of death, but pales in comparison to such fellow Oscar nominees as The Class and Waltz With Bashir. — Holman
In the latest 'Emory Looks at Hollywood' episode, Judith Evans Grubbs, Emory Professor of Roman…
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I saw this headline before watching the movie yesterday, but this movie was way better…