Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man (Hugh Jackman) in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand. australiamovie.com
Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin, the ex-Special Forces operative who specializes in high-risk deliveries. Starring: Jason Statham, Francois Berleand and Robert Knepper. Rated PG13
Kate and Brad (Witherspoon and Vaughn) find themselves socked in by fog on Christmas morning and have to postpone an island vacation. They’re forced instead attend four relative-choked festivities. Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn and Mary Steenburgen. Rated PG13
A computer-animated fantasy epic about a teenager’s struggle to unite two warring nations. Things get complicated when Delgo falls for the princess of his enemy race, the Nohrins. He finds trouble and intrigue he never could have imagined. Starring the voice talents of: Freddie Prinze, Jr., Val Kilmer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Anne Bancroft, Chris Kattan, Eric Idle, Michael Clarke Duncan and Louis Gossett Jr. Rated PG
His life changed history. His courage changed lives. In 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to be voted into public office in America. From senior citizens to union workers, Harvey Milk became, before his untimely death in 1978, a hero for all Americans. Milk’s platform was and is one of hope–a hero’s legacy that resonates in the here and now. Pegged to be up for prime awards consideration. Starring: Sean Penn, Allison Pill, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, James Franco. Rated R
NOTHING LIKE THE HOLIDAYS
It’s Christmastime and the members of the Rodriguez family are converging at their parents’ home in Chicago to celebrate the season and rejoice in their youngest brother’s safe return from combat overseas. For Jesse (Freddy Rodriguez), coming home has rekindled feelings for an old flame, although she can’t seem to forgive him for leaving. In the course of one eventful week, traditions will be celebrated, secrets revealed and familiar bonds are re-affirmed with the healing power of laughter. Rated PG13
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
A contemporary reinvention of the 1951 science fiction classic, renowned scientist Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) finds herself face to face with an alien called Klaatu (Keanu Reeves), who travels across the universe to warn of an impending global crisis. Helen must find a way to convince the entity who was sent to destroy us that mankind is worth saving – but it may be too late. Starring: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly and Kathy Bates. dtessmovie.com
Will Smith delivers a powerhouse performance as Ben Thomas, a deeply troubled CIA agent on the edge. He’s close to suicide because of his role in an auto accident that claimed the lives of seven people. He finds a reason to live, and to atone, when he falls for Emily, who wants to help him deal with his grief. Starring: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Michael Ealy and Robinne Lee. Rated PG13
Jim Carrey stars as Carl Allen, a man who signs up for a self-help program based on one simple principle: say yes to everything…and anything. Also starring Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Rhys Darby, John Michael Higgins,Danny Masterson and Terence Stamp. Rated PG13 yesisthenewno.warnerbros.com
TALES OF DESPEREAUX
Once upon a time, in the faraway kingdom of Dor, there was magic in the air, laughter aplenty and gallons of mouthwatering soup. Despereaux (Matthew Broderick) is a brave mouse who is banished to the dungeon for speaking with a human. Tiny and graced with oversized ears, Despereaux was born too big for his little world. In this tale of bravery, forgiveness and redemption, one small creature will teach a kingdom that it takes only a little light to show the truth. Featuring the voices of Matthew Broderick, Ben Falcone, Emma Watson, Tony Hale and Dustin Hoffman. Rated G
Adam Sandler stars as hotel handyman Skeeter Bronson, whose life is changed forever when the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to mysteriously come true. He attempts to take advantage of the phenomenon, incorporating his own aspirations into one outlandish tale after another, but it’s the kids’ unexpected contributions that turn Skeeter’s life upside down.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
“I was born under unusual circumstances.” And so begins “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” adapted from the 1920s story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who is born in his eighties and ages backwards: Set in New Orleans from the end of World War I in 1918, into the 21st century, following his journey that is as unusual as any man’s life can be. Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Kimberly Scott, Jason Flemyng, Taraji P. Henson Rated PG13 www.benjaminbutton.com
MARLEY & ME
John Grogan and his wife Jenny move to a Florida, buy a house and adopt a Labrador puppy they name Marley. Marley quickly becomes a rollicking force of nature in their lives. Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as a couple who adopts the badly behaved but much-loved dog.
Adapted from the Will Eisner’s graphic novels this tells the story of The Spirit as he tracks the coldhearted killer The Octopus while facing a bevy of beautiful women all trying to seduce, love or kill the masked crusader. The Octopus kills anyone unfortunate enough to see his face and he plans to wipe out the entire city. Starring: Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes, Sarah Paulson, Jaime King, Paz Vega Rated PG13
The story of a young couple trying to find fulfillment in an age of conformity. Trapped in a world of encoded convention, they dream without faith, as lies and self-deceptions build to explosive consequences. Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, David Harbour and Michael Shannon. Rated R
Based on the true story of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and the daring and ingenious plot to eliminate one of the most evil tyrants the world has ever known. He has hopes that someone will find a way to stop Hitler before Europe and Germany are destroyed. Realizing that time is running out, he decides that he must take action himself and von Stauffenberg is thrust from being one of many who oppose Hitler to the one who must kill Hitler himself. Starring: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Carice Van Houten, Thomas Kretschmann, Eddie Izzard and Terence Stamp Rated PG13 valkyrie.unitedartists.com
Special Movie Showings
Christmas on Mars
On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27 Fuel will be showing The Flaming Lips trippy sci-fi film, Christmas on Mars . Flaming Lips member Steven Drozd plays Major Syrtis, a man who tries to lift spirits in the colony by arranging a Christmas pageant to celebrate the impending birth of the first baby on the planet. Unfortunately the man Syrtis chooses to portray Santa commits suicide and a vital part of the space station has malfunctioned, and its inhabitants fear that their days are numbered. Syrtis also suffers from a series of hallucinations, mostly involving oversized vaginas. But the sudden appearance of a green-skinned alien, played by Coyne, changes everything. Fuel, 1037 Park St. Info: 425-3835.
Jacksonville Film Festival Film at MOCA
Jacksonville Film Festival films are being shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. On November 27 there will be a Special Thanksgiving Day Presentation of Trail of Tears : Cherokee Legacy America’s most shameful episode of ethnic cleansing is the subject of this excellent documentary. In 1838, some 16,000 Cherokee Indians in the Southeastern United States embarked-in exchange for their homelands-on a mandatory march along what came to be known as the “trail of tears,” moving 800 miles west to Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) to join other relocated tribes, a horrific journey that resulted in the deaths of thousands (nearly a quarter of the people). Trail of Tears combines interviews with eminent historians and re-enactments filmed on-location in six different states. The final film in the series being shown on December 4th will be Cracker – The Last Cowboys of Florida. Filmed over a course of three years, we see that the life of the Florida cowboy is changing, disappearing before our very eyes. This film captures the beauty of the old ways, many of which have not changed in hundreds of years, with the drama of encroaching civilization. It’s a beautiful and important film documenting America in the throes of change. Films begin at 8 pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art located at 333 N. Laura Street. Cost is $6 for Members; $8 for Non-Members.
Dec. 8 – Monthly meeting of Jacksonville’s chapter of The International Laurel & Hardy Appreciation Society
Movies to be screened at the meeting: the silent L&H short subject “Big Business” (1929), the 1992 documentary “Laurel & Hardy: A Tribute to the Boys,” hosted by Dom DeLuise and featuring celebrity commentary. Pablo Creek Library, 13295 Beach Blvd. 6:30 to 8:15 pm. Info: 246-0312 or leaveemlaughingtent.com
Dec. 11 – White Christmas
Not Just for Baby Boomers Film Series Celebrate the holidays with this long-time favorite. Enjoy terrific dancing and old standards like “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” and the immortal “White Christmas.” Set in the early 1950s, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen play successful entertainers who take their song and dance acts to a Vermont inn for Christmas. But because there is no snow, there are hardly any guests. When the men learn that the innkeeper is the beloved general from their years in World War II, they call for help from their old outfit, who remind us that Christmas is about giving. Directed by Michael Curtiz. 1954. 120 minutes. Not Rated. Enjoy free showings at 5:45 pm in the Main Library’s Hicks Auditorium. Info: 630-1741 or jpl.coj.net.