Short reviews of movies playing throughout the Tampa Bay area.

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ENVY (PG-13) It was only a matter of time before somebody came up with the bright idea of teaming Ben Stiller and Jack Black, and that moment is here. Stiller plays a guy consumed with jealousy when his neighbor and former friend (Black) becomes wildly successful. Also stars Christopher Walken and Rachel Weisz. Opens April 30 at local theaters. (Not Reviewed)

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (R) The new movie from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) is a wistful tale about the end of a love affair. It's also a wicked black comedy/sci-fi yarn that deconstructs its own narrative through an almost maddeningly complex structure that inevitably mirrors the workings of the human mind itself. Two lovers, Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslett), end their relationship and, through some strange (but, in accordance with the movie's own wacko logic, totally mundane) procedure, have each other wiped from their memories. It's here that the bulk of Eternal Sunshine unfolds, within Joel's brain during the erasing process, as his memories play out, mutating into ever more wildly exaggerated forms before finally folding in on themselves, then withering and disappearing. Director Michel Gondry pulls out all the stops depicting what goes on inside Joel's brain, assaulting the viewer with a relentless barrage of audacious effects, ultra-rapid edits and all other manner of edgy, convoluted flourishes. Not all of it works, of course, but there are moments of considerable beauty and insight, not to mention a couple of awfully funny bits. Also stars Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson and Elijah Wood. 1/2

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (R) Careful kids, the title of this teen comedy shouldn't be taken at face value (wink, wink). A straight-arrow boy's dream comes true when he and his new, seemingly innocent neighbor fall in love. Then he discovers she's an ex-porn star! Stars Emile Hirsch and Elisha Cuthbert. (Not Reviewed)

GODSEND (PG-13) Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos star as a couple who clone their dead son, only to find that little Version Two has brought along some dark secrets with him. Also stars Robert De Niro. Opens April 30 at local theaters. (Not Reviewed)

GOODBYE, LENIN! (R) In the late '80s, an East German hausfrau and passionate Party supporter falls into a coma, sleeps right through the Fall of Communism, and then wakes up in the brand new, Capitalist wonderland of a newly reunited Germany. The rub is that, in order to spare her poor heart any undue shock, the woman's son and daughter manufacture an elaborate illusion in which it appears that the radically changed world in which mama now lives is exactly the same as it was. An unusually entertaining and enlightening blend of comedy, pathos and social observation, Wolfgang Becker's Goodbye, Lenin! fully lives up to the promise of its almost absurdly rich premise. Although its core story is small and intimate, the film details some of the 20th century's most pivotal moments, albeit in a manner that's as casual as it is crucial. Becker's movie manages to be politically smart and emotionally resonant (particularly regarding mother-love) without tugging on our heartstrings too violently. Stars Katrin Sass, Daniel Bruhl and Chupan Khamatova.

HELLBOY (PG-13) As Michael Mann can tell you from his experience directing The Keep, nothing quite beats the combination of Nazis and the supernatural. Hellboy does Mann one better, throwing lots of slimy, Lovecraftian monsters and undying super-assassins into the mix. Based on the Dark Horse action-fantasy comic about crime-fighting demons, Hellboy may remind some of X-Men or Men in Black and others of Ghostbusters with very sharp teeth. Director Guillermo Del Toro (Blade II, Cronos, The Devil's Backbone) brings his own distinctive vision to the project, however, creating a world rich in atmosphere, humor, humanity and an imagination that occasionally borders on the nightmarish (although things also often veer in the other direction, toward unabashed silliness). The nominal star is Ron Perlman, at home again under a ton of bright red makeup that makes him look like a big surly monkey with horns. The real star, though, is Del Toro, who is increasingly beginning to look like one of contemporary cinema's few genuine poets of the fantastic. The movie's rated PG-13 but it's a hard PG-13, by the way, so parents of small kiddies be warned. Also stars Selma Blair, John Hurt, Jeffrey Tambor and Rupert Evans.

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