ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Tim Burton and some impressive CGI animation join forces in this intricate and engaging take on Lewis Carroll's classic. Alice Kingsley (Mia Wasikowska) is now a dreamy, glassy-eyed 19-year-old who panics when she finds herself publicly pressed to accept a marriage proposal. As she runs away to clear her head, she chases after a rabbit and falls through an oddly familiar hole. At its heart is a girl learning to face life's challenges on the road to womanhood. (Emma Brodie)
At the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Wheeler Auditorium Sept. 18 at 2
ALPHA AND OMEGA
Humphrey (voiced by Justin Long) and Kate (Hayden Panettiere) are kid buddies in their wolf pack until Kate goes off to alpha training to become a future pack leader. Humphrey is an omega; his pack role is merely comic relief. The two classes traditionally never mix, but when Humphrey and Kate find themselves relocated from their Canada home to a park in Idaho to "repopulate," Humphrey shows he can be more than a joke as he helps Kate get home to fulfill her responsibility of marrying a rival pack's male alpha. Yeah. The best kids movies succeed in two arenas: creating a convincing, aesthetically pleasing fantasy world and filling that fantasy world with likeable, flawed characters and deep emotional plugs. Alpha and Omega, unfortunately, misses the mark on both. (Laura Dattaro)
See citypaper.com/film for full review. Opens Sept. 17.
At last, Hollywood delivers a hymn to engineers, to guys whose idea of a fashion statement, at least in 1970, was making sure the color of their pocket protectors matched that of their clip-on neckties. In Ron Howard's recounting of the nearly doomed moon mission, it's the men down at Mission Control in Houston who are the real heroes. Oh, sure, the astronauts-Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and Bill Paxton-deserved plaudits for keeping their cool when the trip went haywire, but it was the men with the slide rules who confronted problem after problem head on and found solutions that the trio of flyboys could implement in space. That happy ending here is a tribute to good old-fashioned Yankee ingenuity, reminding us of an era when we still thought America could do anything it wanted to. (Jack Purdy)
At Towson University's Van Bokkelen Hall auditorium Sept. 20 at 7:30
Emma Stone stars in
director Will Gluck's very, very loosely updated riff on
The Scarlet Letter
set among a high school's mean girls. Amanda Bynes, Cam Gigandet, and Patricia Clarkson co-star.
Opens Sept. 17.
Filmmakers Richard Chisolm, David Grossbach, and Sheila Kinkade screen excerpts of their documentary-in-progress about Baltimore City Schools' director of food and nutrition Tony Geraci. After the screening, Geraci, Hampstead Hill Academy principal Matt Hornbeck, and participating students talk about implementing Geraci's school food reforms.
At the Creative Alliance at the Patterson Sept. 18 at 5:30
Mélanie Laurent stars in director Radu Mihaileanu's comedy-drama about a misfit symphony that masquerades as the Bolshoi during a trip to Paris.
Opens Sept. 17 at the Charles Theatre.
M. Night Shyamalam presents this horror/thriller/somethingorother directed by Drew and John Erick Dowdle, the filmmaking team of brothers behind the 2008 remake
. If the trailer can be trusted, some people get trapped in a high-rise elevator, after which all kinds of creepy and scary hell breaks loose. The upside: lit by veteran DP Tak Fujimoto, so at least it should look interesting.
Opens Sept. 17.
LEAVES OF GRASS
Leaves of Grass
Edward Norton applies his still-formidable acting prowess to a Patty Duke effect as Bill and Brady Kincaid-the former an upright, uptight professor of classical philosophy moving up the Ivy League ladder, the latter his fast-drawling good ol' boy identical twin who stayed back in rural Oklahoma to grow superpotent hydroponic weed. Norton's dual performances don't gel, but that's really the least of the movie's problems. (Lee Gardner)
For full review visit citypaper.com/film. Opens Sept. 17 at the Charles Theatre.
Ben Affleck directs and co-stars in an adaptation of Chuck Hogan's 2007 novel
Prince of Thieves
, a Boston-set crime yarn about four blue-collar, Irish-American pals who grow up together and start robbing banks, then get imperiled when one of them starts to fall for a bank employee at a place they knocked over. Co-starring Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Rebecca Hall, and Titus Welliver.
Opens Sept. 17.