Movie Capsules: Now showing

Kenny Wormald plays Ren and Julianne Hough plays Ariel in Craig Brewer's remake of the 1980s teen cult  classic 'Footloose.'

K.C. Bailey/Parkamount Pictures

Kenny Wormald plays Ren and Julianne Hough plays Ariel in Craig Brewer's remake of the 1980s teen cult classic "Footloose."

Kenny Wormald plays Ren and Julianne Hough plays Ariel in Craig Brewer's remake of the 1980s teen cult  classic 'Footloose.'

K.C. Bailey/Parkamount Pictures

Kenny Wormald plays Ren and Julianne Hough plays Ariel in Craig Brewer's remake of the 1980s teen cult classic "Footloose."

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

OPENING FRIDAY

Higher Ground (R, 109 min.) See review 12

Ridgeway Four.

Johnny English Reborn (PG, 102 min.) Rowan "Mr. Bean" Atkinson is a bumbling secret agent.

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

The Mighty Macs (G, 102 min.) A fact-based stand-up-and-cheer Cinderella story about the women's basketball teams at tiny Immaculata College in the 1970s. Carla Gugino plays the coach.

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

Paranormal Activity 3 (R, 84 min.) The prequel to the two previous installments of faux found-footage fright.

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

Snowmen (PG, 86 min.) See review.

Palace Cinema.

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

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), Majestic, Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D), Raleigh Springs Cinema, Stage Cinema (in 3-D), Studio on the Square, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

The Way (PG-13, 121 min.) Emilio Estevez directs his father, Martin Sheen, in this uplifting travelogue about a privileged Californian who makes a life-changing pedestrian pilgrimage, from France to Spain.

Ridgeway Four.

SPECIAL MOVIES

Ghostbusters (PG, 105 min.) A final Halloween-week chance to catch the 1984 horror-comedy classic on the big screen.

7 p.m. Thursday, Paradiso. Tickets: $10, or $6.50 for kids. Visit malco.com.

Hubble: This IMAX film explores the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope and its impact on our understanding of the universe. Runs through Nov. 11. Tickets $8.25, $7.50 senior citizens, $6.50 children ages 3-12; children under 3 free.

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

Little Town of Bethlehem (PG-13, 75 min.) This documentary traces the family history and lives of three men -- a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew -- who become determined to help end the Middle Eastern conflict that has torn their homelands apart. Director Jim Hanon will take part in a panel discussion after the screening, which is part of this weekend's Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking.

7:30 p.m. Friday, University Theater, Christian Brothers University. Admission: free.

The Man Who Fell to Earth (R, 139 min.) David Bowie portrays an ill-fated humanoid alien in this 1976 art/science-fiction classic, remastered to its original vibrancy. Memphis filmmaker and Bowieologist Mike McCarthy will introduce the movie.

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

Monsters vs. Aliens (PG, 94 min.) A "50-foot woman" (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), a blob (Seth Rogen) and a humanoid cockroach (Hugh Laurie) are among the stars of this DreamWorks animated feature, shown as an outdoor "Screen on the Green" presentation.

6:20 p.m. Friday, The Avenue Carriage Crossing, Collierville.

Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland (Not rated, 134 min.) Canadian rock trio Rush performs the entire 1981 album "Moving Pictures" plus 20 more songs in this concert film.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Paradiso. Tickets: $10. Visit malco.com.

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, 2012. Tickets $8.25, $7.50 senior citizens, $6.50 children ages 3-12; children under 3 free.

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

NOW SHOWING

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

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

Bad Teacher (R, 89 min.) Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake.

Bartlett 10.

The Big Year (PG, 100 min.) Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are bird watchers.

Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Paradiso, Stage Cinema.

Captain America: The First Avenger (PG-13, 124 min.) Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving.

Bartlett 10.

Cars 2 (G, 112 min.) Voices of Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine.

Bartlett 10.

Colombiana (PG-13, 108 min.) Catlike Zoe Saldana is Cataleya (named for an orchid), a vengeful Bogota orphan turned cold-blooded unstoppable killer.

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Contagion (PG-13, 106 min.) A plague threatens the Earth and an all-star cast -- Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and many more -- in director Steven Soderbergh's creepy cautionary tale about a modern world in which the "viral" menaces include Internet rumors as well as deadly diseases.

CinePlanet 16, Cordova Cinema, Forest Hill 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Stage Cinema.

Courageous (PG-13, 130 min.) The faith values of four police officers are challenged in the latest Christian-themed film from Sherwood Pictures ("Fireproof") and distributor Affirm Films (the Memphis-made "The Grace Card").

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

Cowboys & Aliens (PG-13, 118 min.) Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford.

Bartlett 10.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (PG-13, 118 min.) Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling.

Bartlett 10, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Debt (R, 113 min.) Helen Mirren, Tom Wilkinson.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Dolphin Tale (PG, 113 min.) Now a celebrity at Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, Winter the bottlenose dolphin plays herself in this intelligently crafted family film, which demonstrates that an injury or disability need not diminish the quality or value of an individual's life, even if that individual breathes through a blowhole on the top of her head. Produced by Fred Smith's Alcon Entertainment company, the movie might be called the first cetacean biopic as it recounts the marine mammal's rescue and rehabilitation at a coastal animal hospital..

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), Majestic, Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D), Stage Cinema (in 3-D).

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (R, 100 min.) Director Troy Nixon's remake of a famously spooky 1973 ABC Movie of the Week is an effective if overthought horror tale about the creepy "little things" that scuttle along baseboards, under beds and through air ducts -- not rats and roaches, in this case, but evil ugly fairies with a literal hunger for children's teeth. Leaving teethmarks of his own is producer/co-writer Guillermo del Toro; as in "Pan's Labyrinth," he connects a vulnerable child's yearnings to the attractions-turned-terrors of the supernatural realm.

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Dream House (PG-13, 110 min.) New homeowners Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz learn they need to replace the word "dream" with "haunted."

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

Drive (R, 103 min.) A movie with style and rubber to burn, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's action-suspense stunner is a candidate for the best film of the year, even when it becomes too pleased with its own remorseless coolness -- with the action-painting blossoms of blood and the acousticophiliac squish of heel to face that characterize its ultraviolent final act.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

50/50 (R, 100 min.) Real-life best friends Seth Rogen (actor/producer) and Will Reiser (writer/producer) collaborated on this sincere, honorable and compromised attempt to construct a feel-good cancer movie for dudes and their dates, in contrast to the women-centric disease-of-the-week weepies of Hollywood's past (dubbed "griefsploitation" by one Variety reviewer). Inspired by Reiser's struggle with and triumph over cancer, the film casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a nice, cool, good-looking guy who loses none of his attractiveness despite his illness (Roger Ebert calls this "Ali MacGraw's Disease"); Rogen is his lovable-lug buddy, who exploits his pal's condition to gain sympathy and hook up with babes at singles bar.

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema.

Final Destination 5 (R, 92 min.) Contrary to rumor, Death never takes a holiday, as demonstrated yet again in this ultragory exercise in audience manhandling that begins with a spectacular high-tension bridge collapse that totally justifies the 3D surcharge.

Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D).

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. ("If we can't have braless wet women here in Bomont, the terrorists win," jokes comic-relief sidekick Miles Teller, referencing his home town's lack of wet T-shirt contests.) "You deal with your pain in extremes," a woman (Andie MacDowell) tells the minister (Dennis Quaid) whose grief-motivated crusade is responsible for the town's legislatively enforced conservatism, and this softspoken line offers a key to Brewer's filmography: All the director's movies (most expressionistically, "Black Snake Moan") are about people who deal with their pain in extremes, and the films' plots chronicle the consequences of the characters' unorthodox coping mechanisms. The bright cast includes Kenny Wormald as the Kennedyesque "Yankee" newcomer to town and Julianne Hough as the "rebel child" preacher's daughter whose sad confession -- "I have been so lost" -- places her in the company of Brewer's other lost heroines: the huckster, the hooker, the sex addict and even the smear-faced Halloween clown of "$5 Cover."

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

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (PG-13, 130 min.) Daniel Radcliffe, Ralph Fiennes.

Bartlett 10.

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, played by relative newcomers (Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain) and Oscar-validated veterans (Sissy Spacek, Cicely Tyson).

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Palace Cinema, Ridgeway Four, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

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.

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

I Don't Know How She Does It (PG-13, 90 min.) Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

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

DeSoto Cinema 16, Majestic, Paradiso.

Killer Elite (R, 116 min.)

Cordova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Summer Quartet Drive-In, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Lion King (G, 89 min.) The animated Disney classic returns, rejiggered for 3D.

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

Mr. Popper's Penguins (PG, 95 min.) Jim Carrey, waterfowl.

Bartlett 10.

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") about the development of a statistical-analysis approach to baseball management known as "sabermetrics."

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

Real Steel (PG-13, 127 min.) Inspired as much by "Rocky" as by Rock'em Sock'em Robots, this canny crowd-pleaser is set in the year 2020, but it scavenges its buffed and retooled spare parts not just from the Mattel aisle at Toys "R" Us but from a vast and ancient junkyard, overflowing with all the shamelessly manipulative hokum and staged public violence of eras past. Based "in part" (according to the credits) on a 1956 short story by Richard Matheson, the film represents an ingenious welding of the state-of-the-art effects and boy-and-his-robot relationship of the "Transformers" films with the hoary sentiment of the tough guy-reformed-by-cute kid movies that have been a staple of motion pictures since the silent era.

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.

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

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Stage Cinema.

Shark Night 3D (PG-13, 91 min.) "Huge Teeth and Teenie-Weenie Bikinis," summarized the headline on the New York Times review; unfortunately, there's not quite enough of either in this nonetheless diverting genre fishing expedition from director David R. Ellis, who certainly has a flair for titles with bite: He also helmed "Snakes on a Plane."

Majestic.

The Smurfs (PG, 103 min.)

Bartlett 10.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (PG, 89 min.)

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic.

Straw Dogs (R, 110 min.) It's Ole Miss vs. Harvard, Jaguar vs. pickup, classical music vs. Molly Hatchet and Southern California egghead vs. Deep South redneck in this redundant remake of Sam Peckinpah's controversial 1971 masterpiece by writer-director Rod Lurie, who transplants the action from the Cornish countryside to rural (and fictional) Blackwater, Mississippi. Lurie (who shot his previous movie, "Nothing But the Truth," in Memphis) tries to eliminate the more problematic elements of Peckinpah's film, particularly in reference to the wife character, but in the process he loses what made the original such a transgressive, unsettling and mysterious landmark of screen violence; what's left is a sometimes poorly motivated glossy rape-assault horror-suspense-revenge movie, with no more hold on the public imagination than the remake of "The Last House on the Left."

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

The Thing (R, 103 min.) John W. Campbell's classic 1938 science-fiction short story, "Who Goes There?," already has inspired two great movies titled "The Thing," in 1951 and 1982. This remake in prequel disguise adds absolutely nothing of interest to director John Carpenter's masterpiece of alien invasion and Antarctic paranoia, but it succeeds as a genre fan-pleasing showcase for gruesome human/monster shapeshifting and other digital horror effects. Lost within the embrace of fur-lined parkas and extraterrestrial tentacles, the actors -- including Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton -- hardly register. Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

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

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG-13, 157 min.)

Bartlett 10.

What's Your Number? (R, 106 min.) Anna Faris, Chris Evans.

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Zookeeper (PG, 101 min.) Kevin James.

Bartlett 10.

© 2011 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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