Capsule descriptions and starred mini-reviews by The Commercial Appeal movie writer John Beifuss.
Quantum of Solace (PG-13, 107 min.) See review on Page 18.
Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema.
What Just Happened (R, 104 min.) See review on Page 23.
SNEAK PREVIEW SATURDAY
Bolt (PG, 96 min.) A canine TV star (voiced by John Travolta) thinks he's a real-life superdog in this Disney animated film. In 3D at the DeSoto.
Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso.
The Animation Show 4 (Not rated, 82 min.) "Psychotown," "Angry Unpaid Hooker" and "Western Spaghetti" are among the titles in this anthology of almost two dozen international animated short films (some of which are appropriate only for mature audiences), selected by Mike Judge ("King of the Hill"). The screening is sponsored by the On Location: Memphis International Film Fest.
7 and 9 p.m. Thursday, Studio on the Square. Admission: $8.50. Visit onlocationmemphis.org.
Getwell (Not rated, 65 min.) Directed by Patrick Sheehan and Gannon Weaver, this documentary examines the history, impact and evolving mission of Memphis' Church Health Center, which provides health care, child development assistance and related services for the growing numbers of uninsured people in the region.
7 p.m. Tuesday, Germantown Performing Arts Centre, 1801 Exeter Rd. Admission: free. A reception will follow. Visit eyelinefilms.org or churchhealthcenter.org, or call 272-7170.
The President's Analyst (Not rated, 103 min.) James Coburn plays a psychiatrist who becomes the object of an international manhunt after he abandons the title job in this well-regarded, Cold War-meets-Flower Power paranoid political satire from 1967, one of the few theatrical releases written and directed by TV specialist Theodore J. Flicker. Godfrey Cambridge co-stars as a "CEA" agent; Severn Darden is a Soviet spy.
7 p.m. Thursday, Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Admission: $7 for non-members. Call 761-5250.
Santa vs. The Snowman: This IMAX animated holiday feature tells the story of a snowman with issues who becomes Santa's friend; begins Saturday and runs through Dec. 31. Tickets: $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children ages 3-12; children under 3 are free. Call for show times.
IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 763-IMAX for general information or 320-6362 for reservations.
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure: Narrated by Liev Schreiber, National Geographic's film takes audiences on a journey into the relatively unexplored world of the "other dinosaurs," those reptiles that lived beneath the water. The film plays through March 6, 2009. Tickets: $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children ages 3-12; children under 3 are free. Call for show times.
IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 763-IMAX for general information or 320-6362 for reservations.
Tennessee Limousine Service Filmmakers Showcase (Not rated, 90 min.) Eleven old and new shorts created by local filmmakers will be screened, including "Happy Artistic Freedom Day," "Kung Fu Fighting" and "Morning Ritual."
7 p.m. Monday, Studio on the Square. Admission: Free. Visit malco.com.
The Who at Kilburn: 1977 (Not rated, 120 min.) This North London concert -- the second-to-last live performance for drummer Keith Moon -- was shot with six cameras on 35-millimeter film by director Jeff Stein for his documentary about The Who, "The Kids Are Alright"; the full show -- including such songs as "Can't Explain" and "Baba O'Reilly" -- has never been released to the public until now.
6 p.m. Sunday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Admission: $12 for non-members. Visit brooksmuseum.org or call 544-6208.
Appaloosa (R, 116 min.) Ed Harris' second directorial effort (after "Pollock") might be described as a routine Western, except that in the film-going culture of 2008, there's nothing routine about the pleasures of a well-made and entertaining movie about gunfighters, an evil rancher, a piano-playing saloon girl and hostile Apaches in the Old West. Harris (who also co-scripted, from a novel by Robert B. Parker) stars as honorable gunman Virgil Cole, whose longtime, semi-comic "bromance" with faithful sidekick Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) is this character-driven movie's central relationship; the lawmen spend much more screen time shootin' the breeze than shootin' up bad guys. Renée Zellwegger is the love interest whose situational morality frustrates Virgil; Jeremy Irons is the villain whose re-invention as a well-connected "respectable" citizen gives the film a subtle political edge.
Ridgeway Four, Collierville Towne 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (PG, 97 min.) If celebrity purebred Tinkerbell sees this live-action Disney release, there could be a putsch in Paris Hilton's purse: This isn't the heel-biting reboot of "Clueless" one might expect but an almost epic canine consciousness-raising comedy-adventure in which a pampered pooch sheds her designer doggiewear and recovers her ethnic identity -- and her ancient bark -- after a dognapping plot leaves her stranded in Mexico. ("I'm an heiress," she pouts, from her cage; "A hairless?" a fellow prisoner asks.) Drew Barrymore provides the voice of Chloe, the title dog, who learns chihuahuas are "tiny but mighty" -- a theme kids in the audience will embrace. Other animal voices are provided by George Lopez, Andy Garcia and Cheech Marin; Piper Perabo, Jamie Lee Curtis and Manolo Cardona are the lead humans. Raja Gosnell directed.
Stage Cinema 12, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.
Body of Lies (R, 128 min.) Leonardo DiCaprio bleeds and curses and emotes all over the hot Middle Eastern desert, but the movie he inhabits is a cold, clockwork mechanism, constructed with typical efficiency and confidence by director Ridley Scott ("Alien," "Gladiator") and screenwriter William Monahan (whose Oscar-validated "The Departed" tells a similar tale of forged identities and deceptions within a morally ambiguous culture of law-vs.-order professionals). DiCaprio is a tough C.I.A. agent; Russell Crowe is his Washington handler, a plump hardliner who issues lethal War on Terror orders over a cell phone while dropping his kids at soccer practice. The epigraph from W.H. Auden makes the movie that follows redundant: "Those to whom evil is done/ Do evil in return."
Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Collierville Towne 16, Palace Cinema.
Changeling (R, 142 min.) A 1920s Los Angeles true-crime story worthy of James Ellroy is staged with somber exactitude by director Clint Eastwood, with a muted Angelina Jolie -- iconically presented as a red-lipped saint in a cloche hat -- in a role that Joan Crawford would have swallowed whole: Jolie plays a mother who transforms into a protofeminist symbol of righteousness after being branded a typically "emotional" woman by the police, the psychiatric establishment and even the mayor, who all conspire to cover-up the disappearance of her young son.
Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso.
The Dark Knight (PG-13, 152 min.) A lavishly produced drama about hard moral choices, "The Dark Knight" is "The Godfather" of superhero movies -- or, at least, "The Departed." Director Christopher Nolan's ambitious, superior follow-up to "Batman Begins" makes a grim joke out of the idea that it was inspired by a series of so-called "comic" books. The only laughter in the film is the halting, psychopathic chuckle of the Joker, and our pleasurable reaction to his histrionic, terroristic glee is tempered by our awareness that we are watching the last complete screen performance of the late Heath Ledger, who spends at least one moment in the film in a body bag. Occupied by gangsters, thugs, cops, politicians, lawyers and two opposed, outrageous obsessives ("You complete me," the Joker tells Batman, in a parody of romantic confession), this is an epic crime film that has more in common with the gangster movies, noirs and gritty police thrillers of decades past than with the typical DC or Marvel adaptation of today.
The Duchess (PG-13, 110 min.) Keira Knightley is Georgiana Spencer, the Duchess of Devonshire and great-great-great-great aunt of Princess Diana, in this tale of Whigs and especially wigs set in the stately manor homes of 18th-century England. Viewers are expected to note the parallels between the Duchess and the late Diana: Like her future niece, the frequently miserable Georgiana apparently was a renowned beauty, an "empress of fashion" and an independent thinker trapped in a loveless marriage of convenience to an ultra-important and ultra-rich stick in the mud (Ralph Fiennes) who preferred another woman (Hayley Atwell). Unfortunately, the tightly corseted title noblewoman in director Saul Gibb's story is less interesting than the tightly wound aristocrats who bedevil her.
Eagle Eye (PG-13, 118 min.) Programming the Star-Spangled Banner to be a trigger for violent "regime change" in the U.S. is a diabolically intriguing notion. Unfortunately, by the time "Eagle Eye" and Francis Scott Key's anthem reach their climax, viewers will have lost interest in this paranoid, Steven Spielberg-produced action-drama, which smothers its promising Big Brother-Is-Watching-You premise beneath blankets of narrative implausibility and incoherent shaky-camera action. Reuniting with his "Disturbia" director, D.J. Caruso, Shia LaBeouf stars as an innocent young copy-center clerk recruited for a crime wave by a mysterious voice that seems to have God-like control of the nation's technology. This cautionary tale about the perils of high-tech interconnectivity might seem more sincere if the movie ever stopped trying to indoctrinate us into being good consumers with its incessant product placement.
Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.
The Express (PG, 130 min.) Rob Brown is Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.
Majestic, Summer Quartet Drive-In.
The Family That Preys (PG-13, 111 min.) The fourth feature from writer-director Tyler Perry.
Fireproof (PG, 122 min.) Kirk Cameron is a troubled firefighter in this Christian-themed film.
Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.
Ghost Town (PG-13, 103 min.) British comic actor Ricky Gervais (the original BBC version of "The Office") stars as a misanthropic dentist whose near-death experience makes him the reluctant ally of a tuxedoed ghost (Greg Kinnear) who doesn't want his Egyptologist widow (Téa Leoni) to become involved with another man. A superstar screenwriter ("Jurassic Park," "Spider-Man"), David Koepp saves some of his best work for his own infrequent directorial efforts; "Ghost Town" is his third feature (after "The Trigger Effect" and "Stir of Echoes"), and it's a movie that seems like it could have been written for Howard Hawks or Billy Wilder or any of the expert comedy directors of the past. It's witty and romantic, in the tradition of "Topper," "Blithe Spirit" and other supernatural farces from cinema's so-called golden age, when the term "adult" meant "sophisticated."
Hancock (PG-13, 93 min.) Will Smith is the reluctant title "superhero," a surly and seemingly homeless drunken amnesiac whose destructive heroics make him a pariah until an eager public relations professional (Jason Bateman) tries to rehab his image. Ambitious, clever and peculiar, the film is compromised by low comedy, a pandering soundtrack and the timidity of a studio unwilling to transform the most bankable star in movies into a morally bankrupt character; further sabotaging the story's potential is Peter Berg's annoying shaky-camera, faux-documentary direction.
The Haunting of Molly Hartley (PG-13, 86 min.) A new kid in school (Haley Bennett) must cope with the supernatural as well as with high-school cliques and a crush-worthy hunk (Chace Crawford, of "Gossip Girl").
Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (G, 112 min.) Zac Efron and his fellow Wildcats stage a musical, and Disney execs light a victory cigar: this low-budget sequel -- the first in the series to get a theatrical release -- earned $42 million its opening weekend. A "Singalong" version is at the Paradiso.
Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema 12, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.
The House Bunny (PG-13, 98 min.) Anna Faris is a fired Playboy bunny who helps a group of misfit sorority girls find their inner Wonder Woman, or at least their outer Wonderbra.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (PG, 93 min.) As a traditional "flat" film, this Jules Verne-inspired spelunkfest is an implausible, amusing and somewhat old-fashioned Saturday matinee-style, kid-friendly adventure. But in 3D, even a sink drain's point-of-view shot of Brendan Fraser brushing his teeth is a knockout. Fraser plays a volcanologist who -- accompanied by his teen nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and a pretty mountain guide (Anita Briem) -- discovers that Verne's 1864 novel isn't science fiction but a fact-based guide to a subterranean world-within-a-world of carnivorous plants, prehistoric monsters, bioluminescent birds, and giant mushrooms and other objects that look cool when they're made to appear 3-D onscreen.
Kung Fu Panda (PG, 88 min.) From its stylized opening dream sequence to its beautifully rendered if more familiar-looking CGI animal characters, this parable about a dream-chasing panda named Po (voiced by Jack Black) is the most visually stunning cartoon yet from DreamWorks Animation (home of the "Shrek" franchise). It's also the studio's most consistently entertaining release, functioning as an affectionate homage to classic Hong Kong martial-arts cinema as well as a fuzzy-wuzzy comedy-with-uplift for small fry. The Zoo's Who supporting cast of warriors includes a snow leopard named Tai Lung (Ian McShane), who may be the scariest cartoon villain since the George Sanders-voiced Shere Khan in Disney's "The Jungle Book."
Lakeview Terrace (PG-13, 111 min.) Former "art film" specialist Neil LaBute apparently wanted to get back on the commercial horse after his disastrous remake of "The Wicker Man"; the result is this efficient, button-pushing thriller in which disturbed cop Samuel L. Jackson rolls out the unwelcome wagon for his new neighbors, a mixed-marriage couple played by Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington. A polished, self-conscious heir to such unapologetic grindhouse race-baiters as 1977's "Fight for Your Life," the movie asks viewers to examine their own attitudes about racial issues while they're also steeling their nerves for the next shock.
Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.
The Longshots (PG, 86 min.) Keke Palmer is an 11-year-old girl on a peewee football team.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (PG, 89 min.) More computer-animated fun with Alex the lion, Marty the zebra and the rest of the zoo's who.
Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema.
Max Payne (PG-13, 100 min.) Mark Wahlberg is a DEA agent and Mila Kunis is a vengeful assassin in this video game adaptation.
Stage Cinema, Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Southaven Cinema, CinePlanet 16.
Mirrors (R, 112 min.) Thanks to talented director Alexandre Aja ("High Tension"; the 2006 "The Hills Have Eyes"), this supernatural mystery about an ex-cop (Kiefer Sutherland) threatened by sinister forces that travel through the looking glass is more stylish and spooky than it has any right to be. (It's yet another remake of an Asian horror movie -- in this case, 2003's "Into the Mirror," from Korea.) Instead of a typical haunted house, the ground zero for ghosts here is a burned-out luxury New York department store, making this yet another thriller with post-9/11 associations.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (PG-13, 90 min.) Hip high school kids Michael Cera and Kat Dennings share a wild Manhattan night.
Stage Cinema 12, Palace Cinema.
Nights in Rodanthe (PG-13, 97 min.) Richard Gere and Diane Lane in a romantic drama.
Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema.
Pride and Glory (R, 125 min.) This efficient if overwrought addition to the evergreen movie tradition of boys in blue behaving very, very badly casts Edward Norton as a brainy detective who discovers his brother-in-law (Colin Farrell) is the head of a rogue corps of corrupt cops. The violence is often brutal, and the F-bombs fall like snowflakes; unfortunately, director Gavin O'Connor (who co-wrote the script, with Joe "Narc" Carnahan) seems to think this adult content requires dark and murky "realistic" photography, in which almost every shot is leached of color except for that cold, movie-familiar shade of dead-skin blue.
Forest Hill 8, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Cordova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.
Quarantine (R, 90 min.) The latest faux-documentary "trembly-cam" (thanks, New York Times) horror movie chronicles the increasingly desperate fight for survival of a TV reporter (Jennifer Carpenter) trapped in an apartment building where the rabies-infected residents are turning into homicidal maniacs. Despite the Cronenbergian themes, director John Erick Dowdle's film (a remake of a 2007 Spanish thriller called "[Rec]") is relentless and singleminded: It just wants to scare you, and it succeeds.
Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema.
Rachel Getting Married (R, 114 min.) It's no coincidence that Anne Hathaway's character, a former junkie and fashion model, arrives at her pregnant sister's wedding "nine months clean," a gestation period that has given birth to -- what? "I'm Shiva the Destroyer, and your harbinger of doom for this evening," she announces, before launching into an awkward and self-centered buzzkill of an alleged "toast" at the wedding rehearsal dinner (which drags on so long it seems to unfold in real time). For director Jonathan Demme (working from a script by Jenny Lumet), this ensemble effort, set over a single weekend in a large family home in dysfunction junction, Connecticut, is a return to the serious drama, dark comedy and emotional chaos of his earlier films ("Something Wild," "Married to the Mob"); it's also something of a reunion, as Demme recruits such past collaborators as Roger Corman, Sister Carol and Robyn Hitchcock. The wedding weekend itself is presented, with a blend of sincerity and irony, as a generous, even aggressive ideal of multicultural hipness (the bridesmaids wear saris, and the wedding march is played on electric guitar); "This is how it is in heaven," announces the groom's mother. Maybe, but Demme shoots in a handheld shaky-cam style that gives the film the voyeuristic vibe of a hellish home movie.
Studio on the Square.
RocknRolla (R, 114 min.) Writer-director and soon-to-be-ex-Madonna husband Guy Ritchie revisits the underground London crime-and-grime scene he chronicled in "Revolver," "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," with similarly frantic results. The complicated plot -- involving double-crossing mobsters, a missing painting and a junkie rock star -- is little more than an excuse for the colorful slang, the comic violence and the scenery-chewing star turns (Gerard Butler is a veteran crook known as "One Two"; Tom Wilkinson is a pigeon-toed crime boss; Thandie Newton is a treacherous accountant). The result is a patchwork of set pieces, held together by a WEVL-ready soundtrack featuring songs by The Sonics, The Clash, Wanda Jackson and others.
Role Models (R, 99 min.) Reprobate salesmen Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd are sentenced to mentor kids in a sort of "Big Brother" program. Directed by David Wain ("Wet Hot American Summer").
Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema.
Saw V (R, 95 min.) Hey, Jigsaw, good to see you again -- oops, sorry, you're just a guy wearing a mask made from the skin of Jigsaw's face. My mistake.
Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Southaven Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.
The Secret Life of Bees (PG-13, 110 min.) Director Gina Prince-Bythewood's 1960s tale of forgiveness, sisterly solidarity and a child's need for love is set in the South. Boy, is it ever: When widower Paul Bettany wants to punish his 14-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning), he makes her kneel on a pile of hard, uncooked grits, poured straight from the box. No wonder the girl and her housekeeper (Jennifer Hudson) seek refuge in the almost magically life-affirming household of three cultured and eccentric sisters, played by Sophie Okonedo, Alicia Keys and symbolic queen bee Queen Latifah, who dispenses honeyed words along with the apian nectar produced in her hives. Some will find the honey served here too thick and cloying, but many moviegoers will find solace in the story's redemptive themes, adapted from Sue Monk Kidd's best-seller.
Ridgeway Four, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Southaven Cinema, CinePlanet 16.
Soul Men (R, 103 min.) A dream cast and a wonderful premise are squandered in this conflicted road comedy, a flawed salute to the legacy of Stax that now, sadly, also represents a tribute to the memory of two of the film's stars, Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes (the movie is dedicated to "Two Real Soul Men"). Mac and Samuel L. Jackson are perfectly cast as a pair of forgotten old soul singers who head to Harlem for a memorial concert honoring their late frontman (John Legend); the road-trip format enables director Malcolm D. Lee to pull several classic songs from the Memphis soul catalog and to shoot some scenes on Beale Street and at The Peabody. (Memphis' The Bo-Keys, a band that includes veteran Stax musicians, provides backup for some performances, produced by Bo-Keys leader Scott Bomar.) Unfortunately, the inspirational, PG-13-style themes about reconciliation and forgiveness don't jibe with the film's crude sexual humor, proctology jokes and nonstop profanity; the misbegotten result is a "family film" that's unfit for kids.
Forest Hill 8, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.
Traitor (PG-13, 110 min.) Is U.S. special operations officer Don Cheadle a terrorist? FBI agent Guy Pearce wants to know.
WALL-E (G, 103 min.) WALL-E the robot may be battered and obsolete, but "WALL-E" the movie is a marvel of state-of-the-art technology -- perhaps the most brilliantly designed, beautifully executed and technically accomplished feature yet from Pixar Animation Studios. The company's boldness has advanced with its achievements in special effects: Director Andrew Stanton's film asks viewers to find enjoyment in a story that spends its first half hour on an all but dead and silent future Earth that apparently is inhabited only by a cockroach and the lonely 700-year-old title robot, who continues to perform programmed duties that are futile and pointless. The first act of "WALL-E" is as melancholy as a Ray Bradbury short story or an eco-disaster science-fiction film from the 1970s; although the robot's Chaplinesque pantomime continues, the noisier second half of the film is a more traditional Pixar action-comedy, as WALL-E returns with a "female" space probe robot, EVE, to a mothership of blobby, consumption-obsessed Earth refugees in need of inspiration.
The Women (PG-13, 114 min.) In director George Cukor's 1939 adaptation of the Clare Boothe Luce play, gold digger Joan Crawford luxuriates in a tub that appears to have been designed by Aphrodite and Poseidon during ancient Greece's Art Deco phase; in this remake, Eva Mendes bathes in a rectangle that might have been installed by Home Depot. Writer-director Diane English's update lacks wit as well as style; you'll think "TV" rather than "MGM." The game, no-males-allowed all-star cast includes Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, Candice Bergen and Meg Ryan, who asks: "What do you think this is, some kind of 1930s movie?" If only.
Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (R, 102 min.) Longtime platonic friends Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks find more than financial salvation when they embark on the title enterprise in this characteristically sweet and crappy (literally, unfortunately) romantic comedy from writer-director Kevin Smith, who probably made this movies just so he could riff on the idea of "Star Whores," a porn spoof of his beloved "Star Wars" franchise. The likable lead actors somehow make the unconvincing premise and occasionally gruesome "frankness" work; Smith helps us sympathize by conveying a real sense of the harshness of the Pittsburgh winter. The supporting cast includes Smith regulars Jason Mewes and Jeff Anderson ("Clerks"); retired porn star Traci Lords; and Brandon (the new Superman) Routh and Justin Long as gay lovers. (Incidentally, Memphis is one of the cities where local theater owners have removed the reference to the "title enterprise" from newspaper ads, which refer to the movie as simply "Zack and Miri.")
Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema.