Barbershop 2: Back in Business (PG-13) Kevin Rodney Sullivan. Opens Friday, February 6, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.
Catch That Kid (PG) Bart Freundlich. Someone at Fox was paying attention to the success of Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids and Harald Zwart's Agent Cody Banks -- but only to the crude formula. So take one Danish film (Klatretøsen, a.k.a. Catch That Girl) about kids on a mission, remake it in America and hire a hot indie director, and you get Catch That Kid. Problem is, not all indie directors are alike, hence the bizarre hiring choice of Bart Freundlich, a director known for meandering comic dramas about young men with father issues. Twelve-year-old Maddy (a game and appealing Kristen Stewart) needs $250,000 to obtain experimental surgery for her dad (Sam Robards), who suffers from a mysterious paralysis related to a climbing accident about a decade earlier. That neither his injury nor the process needed to cure it is ever described or explained in the slightest is but one symptom of the general lackadaisical feel of the film; that Freundlich is unable to generate much suspense from the bank robbery Maddy proceeds to commit is another. Opens Friday, February 6, at multiple locations. (Luke Y. Thompson)
Miracle (PG) Gavin O'Connor. Opens Friday, February 6, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.
The Weather Underground (unrated) Sam Green and Bill Siegel. It all seems so unlikely these days -- the notion that an unjust foreign war waged by a corrupt president, against all logic and in the face of popular opposition, would drive large numbers of people to anarchy. But remember, they didn't have Fox News back then, just unsightly images of burned Vietnamese children with their intestines falling out. You get to see some of that footage herein, as directors Sam Green and Bill Siegel adroitly deliver the context of the underground revolutionaries/terrorists the Weathermen and intersplice all of that with contemporary footage of the surviving members, many of whom gave it up when they approached the age of 30. Green and Siegel ultimately seem to make the point that the ends do not justify the means, whether it's radical leftists bombing government buildings or the FBI trampling on the Constitution while trying to capture them. If you lived through the period, much of the content will not be new, but today's would-be revolutionaries need to get a good look at their predecessors in action. Opens Friday, February 6, at the Tivoli. (Luke Y. Thompson)