Movie Capsules: Now showing

Capsule descriptions and starred mini-reviews by The Commercial Appeal movie writer John Beifuss.

OPENING TODAY

Adoration (R, 100 min.)

Ridgeway Four.

Bandslam (PG, 111 min.) A high school outcast and a popular girl unite to compete in a rock "battle of the bands."

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Photo with no caption

District 9 (R, 113 min.)

Forest Hill 8, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (R, 89 min.) Jeremy Piven as a used-car dealer.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Ponyo (G, 103 min.) The latest from Japanese animaster Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away").

Ridgeway Four, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema.

The Time Traveler's Wife (PG-13, 108 min.) See review on Page 22.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

SPECIAL MOVIES

Fried Green Tomatoes (PG-13, 130 min.) The Orpheum's "Chick Flicks" series concludes with this 1991 adaptation of Fannie Flagg's best-seller, with Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, a pre-"Weeds" Mary-Louise Parker and the denizens of "Whistle Stop, Alabama."

7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Orpheum, 203 S. Main. Admission: $6 per adult, $5 per senior or child (12 and younger). Visit orpheum-memphis.com or call 525-3000.

Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk: The latest IMAX documentary follows two environmentalists on a daring rafting ride down the Colorado River. Narrated by Robert Redford; music by Dave Matthews Band. Runs through Nov. 13. 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 320-6362 for tickets and reservations.

Memphis Rising -- Elvis Returns (Not rated, 100 min.) In this new feature from Santa Monica director M.Z. Silverman, the King (George Thomas) runs afoul of the mob and the law when he returns from three decades in outer space to stage a secret comeback at a Las Vegas impersonators' contest.

2 p.m. Saturday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; a talk with the filmmakers begins at 1 p.m. Admission: $5. Visit gtomemphis.com, or call 544-6208.

Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs: Follow researchers and explorers as they piece together archaeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies. The IMAX film plays through Nov. 13. Tickets: $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children ages 3-12; children under 3 are free. Call for show times.

Crew Training International IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 320-6362 for reservations and tickets.

Under the Sea: This new IMAX adventure transports you to some of the most exotic and isolated undersea locations on Earth, including South Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Coral Triangle islands of Papua, New Guinea, and Indonesia. Runs through March 5, 2010. Tickets: $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children ages 3-12; children under 3 are free. Call for show times.

Crew Training International IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 320-6362 for reservations and tickets.

The Wizard of Oz (G, 101 min.) The flying monkeys, the Lollipop Guild and friends of Dorothy make this 1939 classic an annual must-see. A costume contest precedes the film.

7:15 p.m. today at the Orpheum, 203 S. Main. Admission: $6 per adult, $5 per senior or child (12 and younger). Visit orpheum-memphis.com or call 525-3000.

NOW SHOWING

Aliens in the Attic (PG, 86 min.) Kids protect their home from funny-looking outer-space invaders.

Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema.

Angels & Demons (PG-13, 139 min.) Menacing clerics, skull-lined catacombs, branding irons, the ancient cult of the Illuminati and the gimmicky serial murder of four Roman Catholic cardinals -- these elements promise a good, goofy time at the movies, yet director Ron Howard's bloated followup to "The Da Vinci Code" is even more burdened than its dull predecessor with a desire to avoid risibility. But how unsilly can a movie be when it's about a conspiracy to blow up the Vatican with an antimatter time bomb?

Bartlett 10.

The Collector (R, 85 min.) Directed by Marc Dunston (a veteran "Saw" sequel scribe), this implausible, ultra-sadistic, efficiently single-minded Grand Guignol endurance test plays like something cooked up by a clever 14-year-old devotee of Bloody-Disgusting.com (in fact, the Web site is thanked during the end credits), as a burglar (Josh Stewart) with bad timing breaks into a home while the title maniac is inside, torturing the residents and booby-trapping the premises with razor blades, bear traps, trip wires and knife chandeliers. Painful.

Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Southaven Cinema.

Drag Me to Hell (PG-13, 99 min.) "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi returns to his "Evil Dead" roots -- while borrowing liberally from "Night of the Demon" and EC Comics (the story here barely justifies its feature length) -- for a scary, wacky, gooey and timely tale of a young bank officer (Alison Lohman) cursed by the gypsy (Lorna Raver) whose housing loan she denies. The sleeve inside the Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed advised: THIS RECORD SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD. Prints of this film must be stamped with a similar order: Much of the tension is created by ear-smashing NOISE, which isn't a cheat but a characteristically Raimiesque attempt to create a feeling of hell-on-Earth temporary insanity within the rattled viewer.

Bartlett 10, Majestic, Raleigh Springs Cinema.

(500) Days of Summer (PG-13, 95 min.) Hopping about as if at random through the improvised calendar of its title, director Marc Webb's film frequently rings true as it depicts the nice-while-it-lasted relationship between a romantic greeting-card copywriter (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and a free spirit named Summer (Zooey Deschanel) who says she doesn't believe in love. Like many recent youth-oriented, self-consciously "indie" romantic films, the movie's non-stop hipper-than-thou pop-culture references become annoying (are there really karaoke bars where you can sing to the Pixies and Lee Hazlewood?); but in this Age of Apatow, a shy and even gentlemanly lead male character is not just a novelty but a relief.

Ridgeway Four, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Funny People (R, 146 min.) Sex, conception, death: Writer-director Judd Apatow follows "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" with this messy, self-indulgent and apparently highly personal project (he casts his wife, Leslie Mann, and children in large supporting roles) about a wealthy but lonely comedian turned Hollywood superstar (Adam Sandler) who begins to reassess his life after he is diagnosed with cancer. The prickly narcissism of Sandler's character is intriguing (is the man-child of "Happy Gilmore" -- Apatow's former roommate -- really this unlikable?), but the movie only really comes alive when it abandons its capital-S Serious theme to focus on the competitive "friendship" of the struggling actor-roommates played by Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman.

Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

G-Force (PG, 88 min.) Have you ever wondered what a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced talking-animal movie would be like? Me, neither. But here's the answer: The Disney/Bruckheimer collaboration "G-Force," in which the car chases, explosions, transforming robot battles and "Mission: Impossible" suspense sequences are as intense as in an "adult" movie, except instead of Tom Cruise and Will Smith, the heroes are members of an elite squad of commando guinea pigs and insects, plus one star-nosed mole (nerdily voiced by Nicolas Cage). I would have been happier if the "black" guinea pig (Tracy Morgan) didn't get all the stereotypical comic-relief lines ("Pimp my ride," "That was off the huh-zook"), and if the female guinea pig (Penélope Cruz) wasn't obsessed with romantic mind games.; even so, longtime special effects supervisor-turned- debuting director Hoyt Yeatman has delivered a fairly amusing spoof of James Bond/comic-book superteam conventions. With Memphis' Chris Ellis as "the director of the FBI."

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic, Collierville Towne 16 (in 3-D), DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D), Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), CinePlanet 16 (in 3-D), Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (PG-13, 100 min.) Arrogant womanizer Matthew McConaughey learns a supernatural lesson.

Bartlett 10.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (PG-13, 120 min.) The cartoon inspired by the Hasbro "action figures" inspired this chuckleheaded but coherently staged action movie that overcomes the burden of its reported $170-million budget to be surprisingly fun. With its massive sets, lack of "Transformers"-style bathroom humor, comic-book heroes ("Heavy Duty" and "Snake-Eyes," to name two), male and female eye candy (when Rachel Nichols suits up for action, you notice that large breasts have been pre-molded onto her body armor), ninja duels and scenery-chewing villains (the juiciest is a mad doctor with a horribly burned face), the film harks back to the pulpy spirit of "Doc Savage" adventures and Roger Moore-era James Bond movies. The result is director Stephen Sommers' first likable film since "The Mummy" in 1999.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema.

The Hangover (R, 100 min.) Or: Dude, Where's My Bachelor? Sometimes tasteless, frequently hilarious, this "Superbad" with grown-ups (the dentist played by Ed Helms even resembles an adult "McLovin") chronicles several hours of irresponsible, occasionally criminal male conduct, as three best buds (Helms, Bradley Cooper and Justin Bartha) and a tagalong demented future brother-in-law (Zach Galifianakis) road-trip to Vegas for an overnight bachelor party; director Todd Phillips ("Old School") cuts from the pals' Jägermeister toast to the painful morning after in a destroyed hotel suite, where the evidence of debauchery includes a live chicken, a missing tooth, loss of memory, an Elvis jumpsuit, Mike Tyson's Bengal tiger, an unidentified baby and the absence of the bachelor himself.

Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso.

Hannah Montana: The Movie (G, 102 min.) Drawing from the traditions of Cinderella (the scullery maid who is really a princess) and Superman (the superbeing who pretends to be a "normal" person), the push-and-pull tension of the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana dichotomy provides the premise for this feature-length expansion of the hit TV show about a teen girl (Miley Cyrus) who enjoys the "Best of Both Worlds" through her secret life as a pop sensation. Deciding that his increasingly spoiled daughter needs a time-out for "Hannah detox," Miley's onscreen and real-life daddy, Billy Ray Cyrus, takes "the most popular teenager in the world" back to the family farm, where Miley regains her appreciation for Minnie Pearl collector's plates while also introducing the locals to a new "hip-hop" dance craze, "The Hoedown Throwdown."

Bartlett 10.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (PG, 153 min.) As the apparently physically mature "boy wizard" (Daniel Radcliffe) begins his sixth year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, there's not a house elf nor comical ghost in sight, and the most impressive magical creature onscreen, a giant spider, is dead. Voldemort's at the gates, so the palette is grim and the mood is somber; but Harry and his best friends, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), remain stalwart and true -- to each other, to the vision of author J.K. Rowling, and to fans' expectations for what has been a truly remarkable movie series. Director David Yates (returning from "The Order of the Phoenix") fumbles what should be the emotionally devastating death of a major character, but he does wonderful work with the cast, including the teenagers (now as interested in "snogging" as Quidditch); Jim Broadbent, as the new potions professor, Horace Slughorn; and the many other British character actors, who intone their lines with the sincere and intense glee of cats sucking a songbird's bones.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Southaven Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

The Hurt Locker (R, 131 min.) Wired like a ticking time bomb, director Kathryn Bigelow's stunner focuses on three soldiers in an Army bomb-disposal unit as they try to survive the final 38 days of their field rotation in the forbidding, alien environment of Iraq. A thoughtful nail-biter, the film inspires us to appreciate the precariousness and relative brevity of existence, as the soldiers' encounters with IEDs and wired-to-explode Iraqis become extreme representations of the tug between life and death that challenges each of us every day, however mundane and seemingly safe our environment. The movie is not without political content (a soldier's apology to a doomed Iraqi seems addressed to the entire country), but mostly it expresses genuine admiration for the professionalism -- the heroism, if you will -- of the soldiers. "Good job," one says to another, after a particularly intense situation has been resolved; as in a Howard Hawks movie, that is the highest praise possible.

Ridgeway Four.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (PG, 94 min.) Sid the Sloth (slurringly voiced by John Leguizamo) and the fanged rat-squirrel known as Scrat (the unluckiest cartoon character since Wile E. Coyote) are as amusing as ever, but this third computer-generated "Ice Age" forsakes action for ancient sitcom-style platitudes about the importance of "the herd" (family) until the characters finally break into a lost world of prehistoric reptiles.

Stage Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Imagine That (PG, 107 min.) Hey, kids! Nickelodeon, one of your favorite companies, has produced a movie with Eddie Murphy as a career-obsessed financial analyst, so you'll get to hear a lot of grownups in suits in grim offices talking about "specs" and "yields" and "pension funds" and "magnesium futures" and -- hey, kids! Wake up! As Murphy's 7-year-old daughter, who is able to forecast stock market trends when her security blanket becomes a magical "securities" blanket (a pun that seems to have inspired the entire project), Yara Shahidi is utterly charming.

Bartlett 10, Majestic.

Julie & Julia (PG-13, 124 min.) An old-fashioned star vehicle of the highest order, director Nora Ephron's fact-based saga about the drama of (a) cooking and (b) blogging would be flat as a soufflé without egg whites if not for the charm of its lead actresses, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, who are in almost every scene, although never together. Streep is the warbly, big-boned Julia Child in the 1950s, before she became TV's "French Chef"; Adams is Julie Powell in 2002, who earned an online following by chronicling her attempt to cook all 524 recipes in Child's famous cookbook in 365 days. Jumping back and forth in time to follow the progress of its culinary heroines as they "reinvent" themselves through food, the movie lacks conventional drama and conflict -- and is none the worse for those absences. In fact, Ephron stumbles only when she tries to make her recipe nutritious as well as delicious; story elements involving McCarthyism and marital stress are as unnecessary as the promise of vitamins on a box of Frosted Flakes.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Lonely Street (R, 88 min.) An Albuquerque "two-bit gumshoe" named Bubba Mabry (Jay Mohr) is hired by a reclusive client who proves to be the 70-something Elvis Presley in this sub-Elmore Leonard comic murder mystery, adapted by debuting writer-director Peter Ettinger from a novel by Steve Brewer. The movie, which has the look and feel of a TV pilot (but with profanity), is redeemed by actor Robert Patrick's amusing yet dignified and respectful interpretation of the aged but fit Elvis as a man who's given up drugs and fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches for wheat grass shooters and Tai Chi.

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Monsters vs. Aliens (PG, 94 min.) Like all DreamWorks Animation features, this colorful homage to the science-fiction B-movies of the 1950s relies overmuch on nonsequitur pop-culture jokes, worn-out comedy crutches (TV weathermen sure are vapid!) and celebrity voices. But the central "monster" and heroine, Susan (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), who's hit by a meteorite on her wedding day and grows to be a friendly update of Allison Hayes in 1958's "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," is a character with real, um, weight. The action set pieces -- especially a battle with a giant egg-like alien robot on the Golden Gate Bridge -- are spectacular.

Bartlett 10.

My Sister's Keeper (PG-13, 109 min.) Abigail Breslin stars as a young girl who sues her parents (Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric) for "medical emancipation" so they will stop using her blood, marrow and other body parts as donor material for her older sister (beautifully played by Oscar-worthy Sofia Vassilieva), an angelic, even wise teenager whose life has been a constant struggle with leukemia.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (PG, 105 min.) As Amelia Earhart, Amy Adams adds plenty of welcome "moxie" (and a tight pair of aviator's britches) to an extraordinarily busy but simple-minded scenario that finds security guard-turned- infomercial magnate Ben Stiller traveling to Washington when his New York living-exhibit pals (Owen Wilson as a cowboy, Steve Coogan as a centurion, etc.) are relocated to the Smithsonian, where an evil pharaoh (Hank Azaria) with a Karloffian lisp plans to take over the world

Bartlett 10.

Obsessed (PG-13, 109 min.) Director Steve Shill's race-baiting "Fatal Attraction" revamp isn't the nonstop camp hoot one would hope for, but it's good, trashy fun: Almost 100 minutes of exploitation foreplay that builds to a cathartic catfight in which McMansion-dwelling wife/ mother Beyoncé teaches a psycho "skinny-ass" white skank (Ali Larter) not to steal another fine black man (in this case, the Beyoncé character's husband, business executive Idris Elba). Another movie that demonstrates it's bad feng shui to place a glass coffee table beneath a chandelier beneath an attic that can't even support the weight of a blond wearing little more than the whipped-cream bikini she sported in "Varsity Blues."

Bartlett 10.

Orphan (R, 116 min.) Didn't Vera Farmiga learn her lesson in her previous kid-from-hell horror flick, "Joshua"? This time, the woman who may be the world's finest actress plays a melancholic classical pianist who introduces a 9-year-old adopted Russian orphan into her privileged household; the results are alternately predictable and outrageous, as the preternaturally possessed but spooky Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman, in a tour-de-force performance) demonstrates a need for a straitjacket as well as for eyebrow tweezers. Stylishly directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (the weird 2005 "House of Wax"), the film is distinguished by a loony plot twist and by its sympathetic treatment of characters, especially children.

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.

A Perfect Getaway (R, 97 min.) A couple (Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich) on a remote jungle trek in Hawaii learn there's trouble in paradise: a newlywed-murdering maniac is on the loose. David Twohy's modest but twisty B-thriller is elevated by nice character touches, witty writing and its tropical setting. (It's refreshing to see people menaced in the sunshine, for a change.)

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

The Proposal (PG-13, 108 min.) A romantic comedy with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Public Enemies (R, 143 min.) More a reverie of romantic banditry and paean to movie love than rat-a-tat-tat gangster yarn, director Michael Mann's dreamlike crime film -- condensed from Bryan Burrough's definitive nonfiction history -- imagines the Depression-era "Golden Age of Bank Robbers" as the final, sputtering flame of American lone-wolf integrity and contrariness, extinguished by a lethal squall of FBI bullets and the windstorm profit margins of modern organized crime. Shot in crisp but sometimes jarring hi-def the violence is intermittent and -- to Mann's credit -- far from cathartic.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Star Trek (PG-13, 127 min.) Director J.J. Abrams' megabudget reboot of the beloved science-fiction franchise rushes along at warp factor 12, crowding its story with an impressive amount of characterization and action as it introduces new actors (Chris Pine is Kirk, Zachary Pinto is Spock) in youthful Starfleet-recruit versions of the roles made famous by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and others in the 1966-69 TV series. The result is fun and ingenious, but like most of the 10 previous movies, it doesn't approach the quality of the best television episodes of "Star Trek" or "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (R, 106 min.) According to reports, the cast and crew of this remake of a 1974 thriller about a hijacked subway car were required to attend New York Transportation Authority safety classes before production started, because much of the shooting was to take place on location, on active train tracks. But why bother with such realism when a couple of minutes into your movie you're going to reveal that your bad guy is John Travolta, looking "street" in a wool cap, a leather jacket, a pistol neck tattoo, a diamond ear stud and a Village People mustache?

Majestic.

Terminator Salvation (PG-13, 115 min.) It's crabby human freedom fighters vs. even crankier Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots of all models and makes (hey, fanboys, dig those literally electric eels!) in this appropriately mechanical fourth film in the series, programmed for maximum blockbuster efficiency by the director who calls himself McG. Essentially, this is a grim and gritty war movie, airlifted and updated from 1940s Europe to America in 2018, complete with ambushes in bombed-out city streets, ego clashes among resistance fighters, Holocaust references of dubious tastefulness, and a final-act secret infiltration of the enemy's headquarters.

Bartlett 10.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (PG-13, 151 min.) Director Michael Bay's instant megahit sequel to 2007's "Transformers" is tinnitus with pictures. It's like sticking your face inside an electric can opener and your finger in a wall socket -- and those are the good parts. The state-of-the-art rock-'em, sock-'em giant robot mayhem is, as expected, impressive; what's not impressive is the racial stereotyping ("Skids" and "Mudflap" are illiterate Autobots with gold teeth who speak in African-American slang) and the warmongering (with its desert climax, this apologia for the Iraq War -- one evil Decepticon shouts "Jihad!" -- suggests Barack Obama is an appeaser and a coward). The disconnect between the scary hyper-realism of the in-your-face effects and the juvenile, even infantile and cartoonish content of the story and gags (a robot farts out a parachute) is unnerving.

Stage Cinema, Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Southaven Cinema.

The Ugly Truth (R, 96 min.) If romantic comedies -- or "chick flicks," as they're now rather revealingly labeled -- are aimed at women, why do they always seem to let men off the hook? Director Robert Luketic's predictable if potty-mouthed opposites-attract sitcom of a romcom is yet another film that exploits the particularly heinous fantasy that a woman who puts her faith in a rotten man will be rewarded when she exhumes the heart of gold beneath the lumpen clay of his golem exterior, while the happy-go-lucky male is under no obligation to alter his crude and insulting behavior. Without even trying, he's sure to attract a beautiful and smart professional woman like "control freak" TV producer Katherine Heigl to be his rescuer, especially if he's as ruggedly charming as "über-moron misogynist" talk-show host Gerard Butler.

Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PG-13, 109 min.) Reprising his scene-stealing (scene-slashing?) role from three previous films, Hugh Jackman is the title mutton-chopped mutant, a surly Canadian with retractable adamantium claws and an intractable personality who -- even in his pre-"X-Men" days -- attracts trouble the way Magneto attracts metal. As pure pulp entertainment, it works.

Bartlett 10.

© 2009 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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