Australia: Land Beyond Time (PG) The film takes us Down Under to the flattest, driest continent on earth, immerses us in parched, otherworldly landscapes and introduces us to tons of incredibly odd and supremely adaptable animals — from cute koalas and feisty dingoes, to an endless variety of bizarrely shaped lizards, to the amazing and little-understood kangaroo. Animal lovers will want to pounce on this one.
Bad Company (PG-13) More a failed genetic experiment than an actual motion picture, Bad Company is a pathetically clumsy attempt to graft not just two completely different genres, but two actors who should never have appeared in the same film. The wisp of a plot of this lazily scripted sub-generic spy movie — something about terrorists attempting to detonate a nuclear weapon in the U.S. — is really just an excuse to allow Anthony Hopkins and Chris Rock to share screen time. Also stars Gabriel Macht and John Slattery.
The Bourne Identity (PG-13) Matt Damon plays an amnesiac who also just happens to be a world-class fighter, linguist, escape artist — in fact, he pretty much possesses all the skills of a top-notch spy/sleuth/assassin. Complicating matters is the fact that, even as he tries to reclaim his memory, Damon's being hunted by the ultimate bad guys who appear to be his old bosses — our old pals, the CIA. Bourne Identity is basically an action movie, but it's an overly murky one that lacks a real sense of urgency or purpose.
Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (PG) An extremely (and probably unintentionally) bizarre hybrid of a movie in which documentary-like sequences featuring cable TV personality Steve Crocodile Hunter Irwin uncomfortably coexist with a brainless Hollywood comedy about bumbling CIA agents trying to retrieve a fallen satellite in Australia.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (PG-13) Written and directed by Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise), produced by Bonnie Bruckheimer (Beaches) and adapted from a couple of Rebecca Wells novels much cherished by a sizable, almost exclusively female audience, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a consummate chick flick, but not a particularly good movie. The movie spends the better part of two hours alternately skewering and romanticizing its central character — a self-centered, substance-abusing mother played as a young woman by Ashley Judd and as an aging matron by Ellen Burstyn — and then resolves all the complicated issues between the woman and her daughter in a final rush of unrepentant mush.
Enough (R) This film completely screws up a premise that cries out for a serious celluloid treatment. Director Michael Apted and screenwriter Nicholas Kazan (who penned Reversal of Fortune in another lifetime) aren't interested in exploring such an explosive topic as wife-beating; they're more interested in dolling up star Jennifer Lopez and letting her kick ass in an obvious finale that can be predicted even by those who haven't seen the tell-all trailer.
The Fluffer (R) A gay porn star who's actually straight finds himself in the middle of a lopsided sex triangle that consists of his stripper girlfriend and the obsessed young man who lands a gig as the porn star's fluffer. If you're not sure what a fluffer actually is, it's probably better not to ask. Stars Scott Gurney, Michael Cunio and Roxanne Day.
Halloween Resurrection (R) The studio decided not to have any advance screenings of this eighth and latest edition of the Halloween horror franchise, and that's not good news for anyone hoping that this movie is going to be anything other than sheer crap. Stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks. Opens July 12 at local theaters.
Hey Arnold! The Movie (PG) The nice little kid with the big, football-shaped head from the Nickelodeon cartoon gets his very first feature-length movie — and with any luck, it'll be his last. Hey Arnold! The Movie is bland, lifeless stuff about a couple of kids playing spy games in order to save their neighborhood from being bulldozed to make way for a new megamall.
Insomnia (R) Unlike Memento, the movie that unfolded in reverse and put director Christopher Nolan on the map, the filmmaker's new project propels its story forward in a relentlessly linear manner. Insomnia is one of the darker films you'll see this year, but it's also one of the brightest, with the movie taking place in Alaska during that time of year when the sun hovers in the sky for 24 hours a day. Al Pacino stars as a cop who makes some very bad decisions and then becomes so sleep-deprived that he is unable to tell when he's crossed the line from good guy to bad guy. Even at his most dislikable, Pacino's character is just a little too easy to like, and never quite makes the transformation from wise, folksy hero cop to the reptilian Anti-Serpico that would have made this a much creepier and more interesting movie. Also stars Hilary Swank, Robin Williams, Maura Tierney and Martin Donovan.