These are Maui Scene's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"Hit and Run," R, 1:40, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall, Lahaina Wharf Cinema Center.
Former getaway driver Charlie Bronson (Dax Sherpard) jeopardizes his Witness Protection Plan identity in order to help his girlfriend get to Los Angeles. The feds and Charlie's former gang chase them on the road. Created on a tiny budget, the lack of resources steers the story away from the action and toward the characters, who are wry, irreverent, even endearing. A good time was obviously had by the filmmakers and it rubs off on the audience. Screenwriter Dax Shepard tailors the rolls to suit the actors, including Bradley Cooper, Tom Arnold and Kristen Bell. Where "Hit and Run" lingers too long on inside jokes, it compensates with a free spirit that pulls viewers along for the ride. David Palmer and Dax Shepard direct.
"Premium Rush," PG-13, 1:31, Maui Mall Megaplex.
In Manhattan, a bike messenger picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop, who pursues the cyclist throughout the city. Realistic stunt action through the streets of New York translate to convincingly thrilling urban bike-chase sequences. Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in his first action lead role as the best of the Big Apple's speedster bicycle messengers. Last seen in "The Dark Knight Rises," Gordon-Levitt injured his forearm during filming when he crashed into the back window of a taxi. He later admitted it was his fault, for going "too fast." David Koepp directs the nail-biting action. Co-stars Michael Shannon and Dania Ramirez.
"The Odd Life of Timothy Green," PG, 1:41, Maui Mall Megaplex.
A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears. The movie, from novelist and filmmaker Peter Hedges, author of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and creator of Katie Holmes' lovely independent feature "Pieces of April," attempts to Disney-ize the family dysfunction territory he explored so well in those works. For this film, he adapts a short story by Ahmet Zappa (son of Frank Zappa). The cast is led by Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as the parents. Postcard images of rural America and lush colors that turn from verdant to autumnal as the story unfolds, make this movie pretty to look at.
"The Expendables 2," R, 1:44, Kukui Mall, Maui Mall Megaplex, Wharf Cinema Center.
Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat. The movie is full of '80s and '90s action movie stars, such as Sylvester Stallone (who is also one of the screenplay writers), Arnold Schwarzenegger, and JeanClaude Van Damme. Capping off the summer box office with explosive action, "The Expendables 2" offers the send-off that adrenaline junkies are seeking before the more sedate pace of fall releases. Simon West directs the loud and explosive action.
"ParaNorman," PG, 1:33, Front Street Theaters, Maui Mall Megaplex.
A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. Directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell spin an imaginative patchwork tale. Few movies so taken with death feel so rudely alive as this stop-motion animation. "ParaNorman" is a classic adolescent-misfit adventure. Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick and Christopher Mintz-Plasse star.
"Sparkle," PG-13, 1:56, Front Street Theaters, Kaahumanu 6.
Set in the 1960s, three sisters form a girl group and soon become Motown sensations, but fame becomes a challenge as the close-knit family begins to fall apart. Musical prodigy, Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), struggles to become a star while overcoming issues that are hurting her family. Salim Akil directs.
"Hope Springs," PG-13, 1:40, Front Street Theaters, Maui Mall Mall Megaplex.
After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship. The couple, Kay and Arnold Soames, are played by Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. With the children grown and their routines in ruts, the couple's relationship went sexless years ago. Thanks to the expert guidance of Dr. Bernard Feld, (Steve Carell), the Soames begin to reintroduce themselves to each other. Comic moments help to lighten the uncomfortable subject of naked adult intimacy and its discontents. David Frankel directs.
"The Bourne Legacy," PG-13, 2:15, Wharf Cinema Center, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall.
Tony Gilroy takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office. The writer/director expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films.
"The Campaign," R, 1:37, Maui Mall Megaplex, Kukui Mall, Closes tonight at Front Street Theaters.
In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center. As election day draws near, Brady and Huggins cast ethics aside to engage in mud-slinging, mirroring politics of today.
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days," PG, 1:34, Maui Mall Megaplex.
The formulaic but family-friendly series, based on the popular book, is back and it's business as usual. School is out and "Wimpy Kid" Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is ready for the days of summer. Greg hatches a plan to pretend he has a job at a ritzy country club - which fails to keep him away from the season's dog days, including embarrassing mishaps at a public pool and a camping trip that goes horribly wrong. Robert Capron and Devon Bostick costar. David Bowers directs.
"Total Recall," PG-13, 1:58, Kaahumanu 6, Kukui Mall.
A factory worker, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led. Even though he's got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Also stars Bokeem Woodbine and Bryan Cranstons. Len Wiseman directs.
"Step Up Revolution," PG-13, 1:54, Kaahumanu 6.
The colorful and vibrant streets of Miami set the dancing backdrop for this lively romp. Emily arrives in town with high aspirations of becoming a professional dancer. But soon she falls in love with Sean, a hottie who leads a dance crew in elaborate, cutting-edge flash scenes, called "The Mob." When a wealthy business man threatens to develop The Mob's historic neighborhood and displace thousands of people, Emily must work together with Sean and his pals to turn their performance art into protest art, and risk losing their dreams to fight for a greater cause. Stars Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman.
"The Watch," R, 1:57, Maui Mall Megaplex.
An all-star cast of some of the goofiest actors around includes Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill and Vince Vaughn, among others. The antics begin as the suburban dads form a neighborhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day ordinary Ohio family routines, only to find themselves defending the planet against an all-out alien invasion. This comedy and sci-fi film is directed by Akiva Schaffer, who is taking a break from Saturday Night Live for his second full-length movie.
"The Dark Knight Rises," PG-13, 2:04, Kukui?Mall, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face's crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy. Leading an all-star international cast, Oscar-winner Christian Bale ("The Fighter") again plays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. "The Dark Knight Rises" also stars Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle; Tom Hardy as Bane; Oscar winner Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") as Miranda Tate; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake. Christopher Nolan directs.
"Ice Age: Continental Drift," PG, 1:34, Kaahumanu 6.
Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world. Scrat's nutty pursuit of the cursed acorn, which he's been after since the dawn of time, has world-changing consequences-a continental cataclysm that triggers the greatest adventure of all for Manny, Diego and Sid. Stars Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo.
"Ted" R, 1:46, Maui Mall Megaplex.
John makes a Christmas miracle happen by bringing his one and only friend to life, his teddy bear. The two grow up together and John must then choose to stay with his girlfriend or keep his friendship with his crude and extremely inappropriate teddy bear, Ted. Seth MacFarlane, creator of TV's "Family Guy," is screen writer and director. He also stars in the movie with Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. Ted is MacFarlane's first attempt at writing and directing a live-action comedy.
"The Amazing Spiderman" PG-13, 2:16, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy, and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents' disappearance-leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner. Stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans. Marc Webb directs.
* Movie listings are subject to last-minute changes. Visit www.mauigateway.com/~rw/ movie/ for updates.