The New Guy (PG-13) Painfully unfunny comedy about a high school dweeb who, under the dubious guidance of a crazy con, re-invents himself as the coolest kid in class. Stars DJ Qualls, Eliza Dushku, Zooey Deschanel and a string of pointless cameos by the likes of Henry Rollins, Gene Simmons, Tommy Lee and skateboarder Tony Hawk.
Ocean Men (PG) As beautiful and bombastic as a Wagner opera, this latest IMAX documentary tells the story of the friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) competition between two world-class athletes, each striving to dive to unimaginable depths without the aid of any sort of breathing apparatus. At IMAX Channelside. Call theater to confirm.
Panic Room (R) The latest from David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club) is a modern riff on such classic home-invasion exploitation films as Wait Until Dark and Lady in a Cage. A newly divorced mother (Jodie Foster) and her young daughter (Kristen Stewart) awaken to discover armed intruders lurking just outside their bedroom doors. Foster turns in another finely nuanced performance as the imperiled heroine, as does Forest Whitaker as the intruder with a conscience.
Scooby Doo (PG) A big-screen experience pretty similar to watching an old Scooby Doo cartoon on TV, only longer. Outside a very small handful of semi-hip inside jokes (including a drug reference or two), the live action movie of Scooby Doo is a pretty bland affair, whose target audience will consist of kids ages 3 to 7. Even older youngsters will begin to have problems with the predictable, middle-of-the-road nature of the movie — it's not competent enough to be taken at all seriously and not silly enough to have any actual camp appeal. The actors playing the Mystery Inc. gang all offer respectable impersonations (with Matthew Lillard, as Shaggy, being the standout), but the titular CGI pooch looks a little too weird and the plot is essentially just a 20-minute Scooby episode expanded to a numbing hour and a half. Highlights include a burping/farting contest between Shaggy and Scooby and a brief visit from Scrappy Doo, in which we learn he's really a full-grown canine with a glandular condition and a nasty Napoleonic complex. Also stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., Linda Cardellini and Rowan Atkinson. Opens June 14 at local theaters.
Space Station (PG) New Imax featurette documenting a pair of voyages to the international space station floating high above planet Earth. The multinational crews include a mix of American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts. At IMAX Dome Theater.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (G) An animated, all-American tale of freedom and bravery that's very nearly a kid-friendly remake of Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman's role being taken by a talking horse. The movie's equine protagonist is actually far more heroic than Hoffman's chameleon-like survivor, but both characters wind up serving as virtual tour guides on a condensed history of the Old West by passing back and forth between the Native American and white man's civilizations that defined the era.
Spider-Man (PG) Sam Raimi's big screen adaptation of Spider-Man is surprisingly faithful to Spidey's origins as an outsider superhero, even if the edges have been smoothed out a touch. The movie's first half lays the story out in a manner that has all the symmetry and primal oomph of modern myth, with Peter Parker spending most of the movie simply adjusting to his new powers (we don't even see Spidey in full costume until a full hour into the movie). Even though the second half of Spider-Man is infinitely more action-packed than the setup, the movie gives the distinct impression of slowing down as it progresses. The main reason the movie's second half suffers is due to the fundamental shift from characters to CGI-dominated action — and, frankly, some of the digital effects aren't quite up to the task. Also stars Kirsten Dunst and James Franco.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (PG) As enticing as anything George Lucas has ever done, Episode II is good enough to not only ease the pain of the fiasco otherwise known as Episode I, it quite nearly redeems it. The middle installment of Lucas' new trilogy is a big, juicy entertainment that manages to put into perspective everything that's come before and neatly set up what's to follow. The action sequences are among Lucas' most muscular and exciting to date, but the movie's narrative is surprisingly intriguing as well. There are problems here, to be sure — hokey dialogue, too many pandering, cartoony bit players, a romance that verges on kitsch, a grand finale battle royale that includes everything including the kitchen sink and just goes on forever — but it's a Star Wars movie, after all, and that's just part of the charm. Stars Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Lee.