now in theaters
ALICE IN WONDERLAND Tim Burton’s uninspired foray into Wonderland features some nice character design and choice work by a cast of mostly British actors, but that’s it. As a sequel to the Lewis Carroll books, not an adaptation, it features an older Alice (Mia Wasikowska) and a lame Lord of
the Rings-style plot. But most surprising, the visual style is dim, drab, and muddy. Screens in 2-D. Rated PG. 108 minutes. Regal North, Santa Fe. (Robert Benziker) THE ART OF THE STEAL Don Argott’s engrossing documentary examines the struggle to control the Barnes Foundation and its peerless paintings, valued in the billions. Among the players are the cantankerous tycoon who built the collection, questionable philanthropists who want to control it, and local politicians who use it as a stepping-stone. This opinionated film tells only one side of the story, but it tells it in spellbinding fashion and leaves viewers pondering big issues about art, greed, and legacy. Not rated. 101 minutes. The Screen, Santa Fe. (James M. Keller)
BABIES Going on the assumptions that everybody loves babies and that infants are an inherently interesting subject, Babies documents roughly the first year in the lives of four children: Bayar in Mongolia, Mari in Tokyo, Ponijao in Namibia, and Hattie in San Francisco. Director Thomas Balmès captures critical developmental moments, and his film looks lovely. But it quickly begins to feel like someone else’s extended home movie — only with better camerawork and lighting. It’s sweet and cute, but it’s not compelling cinema. Rated PG. 80 minutes.
Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. (Laurel Gladden)
THE BACK-UP PLAN Jennifer Lopez returns to the spotlight with this comedy about approaching middle age and finding out that things haven’t exactly gone as planned. She plays a woman who opts for artificial insemination and then meets the man of her dreams (Alex O’Loughlin). Rated PG-13. 98 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Dream Catcher, Española; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)