Brief Encounters

AGENT CODY BANKS

Opens Fri., March 14 at Pacific Place and others

For parents to enjoy this movie, leave skepticism behind: Cody (Frankie Muniz) is a normal Seattle 15-year-old with homework and chores to do, but he's also part of the CIA's "Junior Secret Agent" program. (How is it legal to secretly recruit minors to fight terrorists? Never mind that.) Cody's enlisted to become the boyfriend of Natalie (Hilary Duff) to spy on her scientist father, who's working with a shady organization to develop "nanobots": minuscule robots that re-arrange molecules somehow. Urged on by his CIA handler (a buxom, scantily clad Angie Harmon), Cody runs through a standard-issue espionage plot that's one step up from Spy Kids (with crazy gadgets and adolescent woes) and one step below James Bond (world domination scheme, sports cars, serious babes, etc.). It's predictable at best, but the earnest young talent will allow you to laugh, walk out of the theater, then forget Banks instantly. (PG) ROSIE BOWKER

BLIND SPOT: HITLER'S SECRETARY

Runs Fri., March 14-Thurs., March 20 at Varsity

This documentary's subject says she thought her job would put her "in the center of information, [but] in fact, I was in a blind spot." Hired in 1942, 21-year-old Traudl Junge was too ignorant and apolitical to see Hitler for what he was, though now she blames herself and her nation. She does have insights, though. Hitler wasn't sexual with Eva Braun and never spoke of love ("I think he was never prepared to let himself go"). He refused to keep flowers, since he hated having dead things around. Junge's scariest stories concern Hitler's last days: "There were visions from Bosch . . . [people] were like lifeless puppets when the strings had let go." Folks made jokes: "Chin upwhile you've still got one!" Eva surreally wheedled Hitler to give her a statue from the garden; he said it belonged to the state. She threw a last champagne dance party, playing over and over a record ("Red Roses Tell You of Love") with Russian rocket-launcher accompaniment. After he popped the question, she proudly said, "Call me Frau Hitler! . . . I want to be a beautiful corpse, so I'll take poison." The only time Junge weeps is when she speaks of Goebbels' children having lullabies sung to them before Frau Goebbels had them killedfor their own protection. Junge learned one big thing: "The Germans are good at organizing." (PG) TIM APPELO

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