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"Hearts In Atlantis"; "Don't Say A Word"; "Zoolander"; "The Princess and The Warrior"

Quick Flick

!B! "Hearts In Atlantis"!B! "Don't Say A Word"!B! "Zoolander"!B! "The Princess and The Warrior"

Movies are rated out of a possible 5 popcorns.

"Hearts In Atlantis" — Despite an A-list cast and an Oscar-winning scripter, this latest Stephen King adaptation requires a commitment from the viewer. One must have both the time and the mind-set to allow this studiously paced coming-of-age tale work its sweet magic. Anthony Hopkins is his inscrutable best here as the mysterious stranger who comes into the small-town life of a lonely 11-year-old boy (Anton Yelchin) stuck with a bitter, single-parent mom (Hope Davis) who's ill-equipped to raise anything, much less a sensitive, challenging child teetering on the brink of adolescence. Young Bobby needs someone special in his life. The performances are the movie's greatest draw, followed closely by its moody look. Filmed in and around Central Virginia and the Valley, "Hearts In Atlantis" isn't quite on a par with King's other coming-of-age tale, "Stand By Me," but given time, it casts its own fragile spell.

"Don't Say A Word" — This taut thriller about the kidnapping of a little girl has everything it needs except a heart. Michael Douglas is perfectly suited as shrink Nathan Conrad, who's got the equally perfect upscale Manhattan life complete with younger wife and precocious daughter. But that perfect existence is shattered when the doctor becomes the key to unraveling an age-old international double cross. As the villain of the piece, Sean Bean is quite the unfeeling obsessive who'll stop at nothing to get what's his. The cat-and-mouse dance between Douglas and Bean escalates nicely, as the former races against time to save his daughter's life. While never lacking for tension, tonally and emotionally "Don't Say A Word" remains a tad too frosty.

"Zoolander" — Ben Stiller co-writes, directs and stars in this goofy and clever sendup of the world of modeling. He's top male model Derek Zoolander, whom we meet on the eve of the Slashie Awards (as in "actor-slash-model") where he's going for an unprecedented multiple repeat win in the Male Model of the Year category. But the dimwitted Derek is worried; his competition is the upstart Hansel (Owen Wilson). Most of the movie's silly fun comes from watching Stiller and Wilson compete. Helping raise the comic ante is Will Farrell's outrageous turn as fashion designer and megalomaniac Mugatu. Zany sight gags and laugh-out-loud moments abound in this entertaining and wild walk down the runway.

"The Princess and The Warrior" — As their follow-up to the popular "Run Lola Run," actress Franka Potente and writer-director Tom Tykwer have fashioned a much longer, though somewhat less enthralling, thriller about love and fate. A handsome thief (Benno Furmann) feels responsible for the near-death of a nurse (Potente), who's hit by a truck when the driver is distracted by watching Furmann being chased by two men he's just robbed. After playing her mysterious benefactor for months while she recovers, fate once again steps in. This time Potente walks in on a botched robbery and ends up saving his life, by hiding the criminal in the psyche ward where she works. More explicit and possessing a darker soul than Tykwer's "Lola," this tale of two lost souls also feels slightly derivative.

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