Movie Capsules: Now showing

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

OPENING TODAY

Blackthorn (R, 98 min.) See review.

Studio on the Square.

Love Crime (Not rated, 104 min.) See review.

Studio on the Square.

SPECIAL MOVIES

Christmas in Connecticut (Not rated, 102 min.) The dinner-and-a-movie series continues with a 1945 favorite with Barbara Stanwyck as a famous food writer and Sydney Greenstreet as her publisher.

7 p.m. Sunday, Majestic Grille, 145 S. Main. "Christmas dishes" available along with regular menu. Call 522-8555.

It's a Wonderful Life (Not rated, 130 min.) Here's a rare chance to see Frank Capra's 1946 Christmas classic on the big screen, and enjoy it with an audience. Santa Claus will be in the lobby for an hour prior to the screening.

7 p.m. Thursday, Bologna Performing Arts Center, Delta State University, 1003 W. Sunflower Road, Cleveland, Miss. Admission: $5. Visit bolognapac.com or call (662) 846-4626.

The Metropolitan Opera: Rodelinda (Not rated, 250 min.) Presented live via satellite from New York, a filmed performance of Handel's 18th century saga of royal love and murder.

11:30 a.m. Saturday, Paradiso. Tickets: $20. Visit malco.com.

The Metropolitan Opera: Satyagraha (Not rated, 255 min.) A repeat screening of a filmed performance of Philip Glass' modern opera, inspired by the life of Gandhi.

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Paradiso. Tickets: $20. Visit malco.com.

Miss Representation (Not rated, 85 min.) Jane Fonda, Katie Couric and Rosario Dawson are among the participants in this documentary that examines the influence of the media on women's and girl's perceptions of themselves. A public discussion follows the screening. Sponsored by the Rhodes College department of anthropology/sociology and the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and presented by the college's Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Blount Auditorium, Buckman Hall, Rhodes College. Free. Call (901) 843-3470.

Street Days (Not rated, 89 min.) The problems of life in post-Soviet Georgia are explored in this 2010 "Global Lens" drama about a middle-age unemployed heroin addict in Tbilisi.

6 p.m. Wednesday, Meeting Room C, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar. Admission is free; children under 17 admitted with parent or guardian. Call (901) 415-2726.

The Trip (Not rated, 107 min.) A sort of improv-comedy travelogue in the form of a mock documentary, this simple yet irresistible film follows British chums/rivals Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as they ramble about the north of England, eating at swank restaurants and torturing each other with impersonations of Michael Caine and Woody Allen.

7 p.m. Thursday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Admission: $8, or $6 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.

The Ultimate Wave Tahiti: Viewers will learn how waves influence and shape our planet while they ride alongside champion surfer Kelly Slater as he challenges Tahiti's toughest wave. Runs through March 2. Tickets $8.25, $7.50 senior citizens, $6.50 children ages 3-12 and children under 3 free.

IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call (901) 320-6362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

Yojimbo (Not rated, 110 min.) Toshiro Mifune is a wandering ronin in this 1961 samurai masterpiece from director Akira Kurosawa, later remade as the Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western, "A Fistful of Dollars."

2 p.m. Saturday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Admission: $8, or $6 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.

NOW SHOWING

Abduction (PG-13, 106 min.) Taylor Lautner's on the run, and John Singleton's directing.

Bartlett 10.

Anonymous (PG-13, 130 min.) Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Arthur Christmas (PG, 100 min.) This digitally animated holiday bandwagon-jumper lacks the visual charm of the stop-motion Plasticine animation that is the signature of England's Aardman studios; otherwise, it's funny and clever and even moving, as might be expected from the company responsible for "Wallace & Gromit." James McAvoy lends his voice to the title character, Santa's youngest son, an earnest but clumsy lad whose "general aura of seasonal positivity" seems inadequate to the demands of a 21st century "North Pole Mission Control," operated with military efficiency by Santa's brawny No. 1 son, Steve (Hugh Laurie). Eventually, of course, Arthur's big heart proves more admirable than Steve's high-tech, when the boy brings a gift to an overlooked child with the help of an old-school sleigh, retired reindeer, his 136-year-old "Grandsanta" (Bill Nighy) and a gift-wrapping elf (Ashley Jensen). A scene in which zebras, elephants and other African animals float like balloons in the air after an accidental dusting of Santa's magic glitter is close to surreal poetry. Directed by Sarah Smith.

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

Colombiana (PG-13, 108 min.) Zoe Saldana.

Bartlett 10, Majestic.

Contagion (PG-13, 106 min.) Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Bartlett 10.

Courageous (PG-13, 130 min.) The faith values of four police officers are challenged.

CinePlanet 16, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Descendants (R, 115 min.) A certain contender for most of the major Oscars, the first film in seven years from director Alexander Payne ("Sideways") casts George Clooney as Matt King, a haole (white person in Hawaii) lawyer with royal Hawaiian blood who is facing two terrible deadlines: As trustee, he must determine what to do with his family's "huge parcel of virgin land," worth millions; and as husband, he has to decide when to pull the plug on his comatose wife. Payne -- whose other films include "Election" and "About Schmidt" -- specializes in depictions of aging white males in crisis; he's a humanist director who favors people over style and confrontations and conversations over set pieces, but he relies too much on storytelling crutches (Matt's voiceover narration is annoying and redundant). Beautifully shot on location, the film becomes more enjoyable and somehow even looser as its plot tightens (Matt learns his wife was having an affair), and the focus expands to Matt's relationship with his two daughters, a troubled teenager (Oscar-worthy Shailene Woodley) and an eccentric youngster (Amara Miller). The memorable supporting cast includes Nick Krause as an affable teen stoner named Sid, and Robert Forster as Matt's belligerent father-in-law.

Ridgeway Four.

Dolphin Tale (PG, 113 min.) Winter the dolphin, Harry Connick Jr.

Bartlett 10.

Dream House (PG-13, 110 min.) Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz.

Majestic.

Footloose (PG-13, 113 min.) Although this music-filled remake of the 1984 hit about a small town that has outlawed public dancing in the wake of a fatal teen car crash is extraordinarily faithful to its somewhat cornball source, writer-director Craig Brewer has made the "Don't Knock the Rock" premise relevant for a post-9/11 generation still struggling with its response to shocking trauma and injury: This time, the adults are not motivated so much by priggishness as by their genuine concern for their children, and the film becomes an examination of the dilemma faced by those in authority when they attempt to honor the dead and protect the living by inhibiting the rights and freedoms of those in their care.

CinePlanet 16, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Happy Feet Two (PG, 103 min.) Director George Miller's sequel to his 2006 Best Animated Feature Oscar-winner is a rather pointless and plotless disappointment, though it's not entirely flightless: a puffin named Sven (voiced by Hank Azaria) who passes himself off as a flying penguin becomes the idol of the otherwise unhappy Erik (Ava Acres), insecure son of the earlier film's now grown emperor penguin hero, Mumble (Elijah Wood). The digitally animated patchwork story also includes a warning about global warming, comedy with a pair of krill (voiced by Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, one of whom proclaims: "Goodbye, krill world!"); elephant seal action; and the expected but no longer novel penguin song-and-dance numbers, which borrow from such musical sources as Queen, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson. The movie gives a major role to Memphis kid rapper Lil P-Nut, who supplies the voice of a scene-stealing fat-and-fluffy kid penguin named Atticus, whose take on LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" ("Don't call it a comeback!") was a major part of the ad campaign.

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

The Help (PG-13, 137 min.) This adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's phenomenally successful best-seller about "colored" maids and their white employers in early 1960s Jackson, Miss., is not only superior to the novel but it may be the most surprising movie of the year: a wide-release studio film about race relations that adopts a liberation rather than plantation mentality by suggesting that nothing good can come of a system in which one race controls the destiny of another. It's also one of the funnier movies of the year, with more than a dozen indelible, distinctive characters.

Bartlett 10, Palace Cinema.

Hugo (PG, 127 min.) Advertised as a children's adventure, Martin Scorsese's first 3D feature might more accurately be described as a love letter to cinema, set in the city of storybook romance, Paris. Even the movie's clockwork automaton is motivated by a symbol of love: It is brought to life by a key shaped like a Valentine's heart. Asa Butterfield stars as Hugo, a young 1930s orphan who lives in hiding in a bustling train station, where he tends the great clocks; aided by a precocious, booksmart girl (Chloë Grace Moretz), he uncovers a mystery involving a toymaker (Ben Kingsley) and a real-life master of cinematic invention and special effects, Georges Méliès, a stage magician turned filmmaker who marvels that the movies represented "a new kind of magic" -- a statement that endorses Scorsese's decision to embrace the spirit of Méliès and explore the new magic of digital 3D. A plea for film preservation as well as a demonstration of smart 3D composition (Scorsese uses the illusion of depth to draw viewers into the image, rather than causing them to flinch from the screen by flinging objects at the camera), the movie is filled with references to silent cinema, including painstaking re-creations of scenes from Méliès shorts that represent a true expression of devotion, from one filmmaker to another. The cumulative impact of the movie is surprisingly powerful, and even uncanny. It's also something very rare: a celebration of past achievement that doesn't succumb to nostalgia. "Time hasn't been kind to old movies," one character laments; with this adaptation of Brian Selznick's illustrated novel, Scorsese does what he can to make amends, not only by paying his respects to the past but demonstrating that the artform Méliès loved continues to thrive.

Collierville Towne 16 (in 3-D), Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D), Stage Cinema (in 3-D).

The Ides of March (R, 101 min.) The fourth feature directed by George Clooney follows a bright young political strategist (Ryan Gosling) and his picture-perfect candidate (Clooney, who else?) on the primary campaign trail, where their idealism and integrity inevitably slough away, like snake skins, to be replaced by the parasites of compromise and corruption. As one expects from Clooney, the performances are top-notch, and the craft and technical aspects of the film are impeccable; but this adaptation of Beau Willimon's stage play has nothing new to say about the political marketplace. ("None of this is about the democratic process," one character says. "It's about getting our guy in office." No duh.) The movie is worth seeing, however, because its ideas are worth discussing (should revelations of sexual misbehavior be a campaign killer?), and because its supporting cast is a hoot: Watching pros like Philip Seymor Hoffman, Marisa Tomei and Paul Giamatti swirl their dialogue around in their mouth like oenophiles savoring a wine is a real pleasure.

CinePlanet 16, Cordova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Immortals (R, 110 min.) The most unpretentious -- or should that be ridiculous? -- film yet from style-drunk director Tarsem Singh ("The Cell," "The Fall") is also his most enjoyable, a Cuisinart-blended shot of Greek mythology and ultraviolent 3D digital effects that choke the viewer with unrelenting and impractical decor and design. (The gods of Olympus dress like extras from a silent Soviet science-fiction movie.) Mickey Rourke is evil King Hyperion; the next screen Superman, Henry Cavill, is heroic Theseus; Freida Pinto is a virgin oracle; and old-timer John Hurt and hunky Luke Evans are different aspects of Zeus.

CinePlanet 16 (in 3-D), Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), DeSoto Cinema 16, Forest Hill 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic, Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D), Stage Cinema.

In Time (PG-13, 110 min.) Justin Timberlake is on the run in a future society where the wealthy can become immortal.

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Paradiso.

Jack and Jill (PG, 91 min.) Not since Max Baer donned ringlets and petticoats to portray Jethrine Bodine on "The Beverly Hillbillies" has a drag act been as ghastly as the one perpetrated by Adam Sandler in this alternately tasteless and schmaltzy comedy about a privileged Hollywood adman (Sandler) who ultimately learns to love his obnoxious, awkward sister (also Sandler, wearing a long black wig, so he resembles a Bronx Cher worthy of a Bronx cheer). Chewing the scenery the way an escaped pit bull chews the mailman's carotid, Al Pacino adds life to the project by playing himself; he becomes not just smitten with the female Sandler but -- even more distressingly -- ensnared by the movie's shameless hucksterism, dancing and rapping in a faux commercial for an actual fast-food franchise. The biggest surprise is the cameo by Johnny Depp, who attends a Lakers game with Pacino; in other words, the news just got worse for NBA fans: If you want to see some pro ball this season, you might have to go see "Jack and Jill." Directed by longtime Sandler crony Dennis Dugan.

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

J. Edgar (R, 137 min.) Like the ultimately unknowable subject of this ambitious biopic, director Clint Eastwood has spent almost his entire adult being regarded as an icon of law enforcement and often violent justice, and he understands the tension between private life and public image. Convincingly potraying a paranoid septuagenarian as well as an enthusiastic young champion of scientific crime investigation, Leonardo DiCaprio is impressive as longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover; Naomi Watts is his loyal secretary, Helen Gandy, while Armie Hammer is FBI associate director Clyde Tolson, who may have been Hoover's lover. (Eastwood and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, an Oscar-winner for "Milk," confront this issue without obsessing over it; even so, "Hoover" is, in part, an unusual love story.) Presented as Hoover's recollections of his career, the movie touches on such milestones as the Lindbergh kidnapping and the Kennedy assassination; the bleached, high-contrast cinematography by Tom Stern suggests the impenetrability of Hoover's shadow world, while the unreliability of Hoover's credibility as the narrator of his own story makes this yet another of Eastwood's confrontations with America's proud yet contradictory national history, as previously examined in such films as "Unforgiven" and "Flags of Our Fathers."

Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Paradiso, Studio on the Square, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain (R, 89 min.) A comedy concert and documentary.

Majestic.

Killer Elite (R, 116 min.) Jason Statham, Robert DeNiro.

Bartlett 10.

Like Crazy (PG-13, 90 min.) Los Angeles college students Anton Yelchin -- a "furniture design" major -- and Felicity Jones -- a would-be journalist from England on a temporary student visa -- fall in love but aren't quite ready to cope with the stress of overseas separation in this earnest but uncompelling look at young romance from writer-director Drake Doremus. With its thrifty mumblecore-esque presentation (intimate camerawork, abrupt edits, improvisational behavior, lack of insistent musical score), the movie means to distinguish itself from such glossy Hollywood romances as "Going the Distance" with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, which also examined long-distance love; but it often seems more slothful than authentic, as if it didn't want to do the heavy lifting -- narrative twists, witty remarks -- required of commercial films. Winner of this year's Grand Jury Prize in Drama at the Sundance Film Festival, the beautiful-looking movie was shot with a tiny, handheld and inexpensive Canon EOS 7D camera; the result is a wonderful advertisement for the camera, but also a reminder that so-called indie authenticity can be as phony as a computerized special effect.

Studio on the Square.

Margin Call (R, 107 min.) Kevin Spacey, Zachary Quinto.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Moneyball (PG-13, 133 min.) A shaggy-haired, crinkle-eyed Brad Pitt plays failed major-leaguer turned harried Oakland Athletics' general manager Billy Beane in this enjoyable but not entirely successful attempt to wrest a feel-good underdog sports movie out of the geeked-out content of "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game," a 2003 nonfiction best-seller by Michael Lewis (author of "The Blind Side").

CinePlanet 16, Cordova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Muppets (PG, 109 min.) "As long as there are singing frogs and joking bears... the world can't be such a bad place after all." That's the hopeful philosophy of a pleasant felt-and-foam Muppet-sized individual named Walter (voiced and enacted by puppeteer Peter Linz) in this valiant and worthy Disney attempt to revive the late Jim Henson's distinctive creations for a generation of kids perhaps more familiar with Kim Kardashian and Snooki than with Kermit and Piggy. Co-scripter and über-Muppet fan Jason Segel stars as Walter's best friend and unlikely brother; the duo's physical differences aren't remarked upon except in a rather brilliant existential song, in which the brothers ask themselves: Am I a man? Or am I a Muppet?" The plot finds the brothers encouraging Kermit to round up the old gang -- Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, and so on -- to put on a fundraising show to save the dilapidated Muppet Theater from being torn down by a greedy oilman (Chris Cooper); the premise provides a framework for jokes, slapstick and musical numbers, which demonstrate that Henson's live-action puppety ethos remains irresistible. Directed by James Bobin ("The Flight of the Conchords"), the movie is so steeped in nostalgia and the fear of obsolescence that sometimes it's almost melancholy (the Muppets are told they're no longer "relevant" in a "hard, cynical world"); as a result, it may appeal more to adult fans than to child initiates.

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

My Week with Marilyn (R, 101 min.) Sort of like "Me and Orson Welles" but with a more curvaceous title celebrity, this impeccably produced and thoroughly entertaining backstage show-business yarn examines a few days in the presence of greatness through the eyes of a starstruck young man, Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), who parlays a job as gofer on the tense set of Laurence Olivier's 1957 production, "The Prince and the Showgirl," into a short-term one-sided love affair with "the most famous woman in the world," Marilyn Monroe. Michelle Williams brings depth and compassion to her performance as Hollywood's tragic blond bombshell, and her sincerity invests the entire film with a sort of grandeur. The impressive cast includes Kenneth Branagh (and a prosthetic chin) as Olivier, whose classical professionalism was at odds with Monroe's "method" training; Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike; Julia Ormond as Olivier's wife, Vivien Leigh; Zoë Wanamaker as Monroe's on-set acting coach, Paula Strasberg; and Emma Watson -- in her first post-"Harry Potter" grownup role -- as a clever "wardrobe girl." Directed by Simon Curtis and scripted by Adrian Hodges, working from a pair of Clark's memoirs.

Ridgeway Four.

Paranormal Activity 3 (R, 84 min.) A prequel to a prequel, this third and least persuasive film in the low-budget faux found-footage fright franchise adds few new scares.

DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Puss in Boots (PG, 90 min.) The scene-stealing swashbuckling "Shrek" feline (voiced by Antonio Banderas) makes the most of this starring-role spinoff, teaming with rival/romantic interest Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) and treacherous Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) to steal the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs. Unlike most digital cartoon features, this is an utterly unpretentious film devoted almost entirely to comedy and action, with little moralizing; as usual for a DreamWorks production, the animation is stunning. Directed by Chris Miller ("Shrek the Third").

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

Real Steel (PG-13, 127 min.) Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo.

Majestic, Summer Quartet Drive-In, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13, 105 min.) James Franco.

Bartlett 10.

The Smurfs (PG, 103 min.)

Bartlett 10.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (PG, 89 min.) Austin-based writer-director- do-it-yourselfer Robert Rodriguez reboots his eight-years-dormant "Spy Kids" franchise with surprisingly entertaining loosey-goosey results; even the sadly inevitable surfeit of puke and poop jokes that accompany the introduction of an infant "Spy Baby" are inoffensive. Now-adult former spy kids Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara return, but the stars are Mason Cook and Rowan Blanchard as a young brother and sister who help their spy mother (Jessica Alba) defeat the time-stealing Tick Tock (Jeremy Piven). The message for kids and parents: Don't miss spending time together, or it will vanish before you know it. The movie originally was released in both 3D and "4D," aka "Aroma-Scope": Viewers were given scratch-and-sniff cards, so they could follow their noses throughout the "scentsational" action. (Remember John Waters' "Polyester," in "Odorama"? Or 1960's "Scent of Mystery," in "Smell-O-Vision"?)

Bartlett 10.

Take Shelter (R, 120 min.) Writer-director Jeff Nichols delivers a movie born from the atmospheric pressure of the uneasy national mood -- from the sense that danger is lurking around every corner, and disaster is imminent. Human storm front Michael Shannon -- a brooding, intense screen presence that occasionally thunders and explodes -- stars as a working-class husband in rural Ohio haunted by apocalyptic nightmares -- or premonitions? -- of deadly storms and oily rain. "I'm afraid something might be coming," he warns his wife (Jessica Chastain). "Something that's -- not right." With this film, the Little Rock-born Nichols (brother of Memphian Ben Nichols, of the rock band Lucero) not only fulfills the promise of his debut feature, "Shotgun Stories," but establishes himself as a major American director. The details are just right, especially in the story's sympathetic recognition of the economic pressures that threaten families with more regularity than any natural disaster; this may be the first movie I've ever seen in which the hero asks: "What's the co-pay?"

Ridgeway Four.

The Three Musketeers (PG-13, 111 min.) The producer of the "Resident Evil" series puts the 3D into D'Artagnan.

Bartlett 10.

Tower Heist (PG-13, 104 min.) Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy.

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

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 (PG-13, 118 min.) While certain political groups try to push through "Defense of Marriage" legislation and "personhood" amendments, moviegoers and readers vote by the millions in favor of a series that approves of marriage between human and non-human, and that suggests that a vampire or werewolf can be just as worthy of love as a conventional "person." Yet this first chapter of the conclusion of the "Twilight" series also conveys a "pro-life" message, as virgin-no-more Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) insists on carrying to term the bloodsucking, life-threatening half-vampire baby in her belly, the result of her bed-shredding honeymoon with hooded-eyed Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). The fourth film inspired by Stephenie Meyers' best-sellers and the first directed by Bill Condon ("Gods and Monsters," "Dreamgirls") is the dullest to date, spending its first hour on the wedding (with fetishistic attention to the lace of Bella's dress) and honeymoon, before introducing a bit of conflict via the shape-shifting clan of shirt-challenged Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who -- unlike Meyers and the series' swooning fans -- seems to understand the contradiction in the insistence that coldblooded undeath is just another lifestyle choice.

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

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (R, 90 min.) Now, THIS is why they invented 3D.

Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Paradiso.

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