Movie Capsules: What's Showing

Capsule descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.

OPENING FRIDAY

Jobs (PG-13, 122 min.) See review elsewhere on gomemphis.com.

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

Kick-Ass 2 (R, 107 min.) Self-made teen superheroes Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) return.

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.

Lee Daniels’ The Butler (PG-13, 132 min.) See review elsewhere on gomemphis.com.

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

Paranoia (PG-13, 106 min.) Corporate skulduggery with Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman.

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

OPENING WEDNESDAY

The Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones (PG-13, 130 min.) A New York teenager (Lily Collins) battles demons in the latest post-“Harry Potter” would-be fantasy franchise-starter, inspired by the Young Adult novel series by Cassandra Clare.

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

SPECIAL MOVIES

Cria Cuervos (PG, 110 min.) Reality and fantasy collide in Spanish director Carlos Saura’s 1976 anti-Franco masterpiece about a girl coping with ghostly memories of her mother. Haunted by the past, the film is presented in conjunction with the exhibit “The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South.”

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

Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii (Not rated, 87 min.) A 40th anniversary screening of the landmark smash-hit television concert film, presented here in remastered high-definition.

7:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets: $37.50 to $97.50. Visit orpheum-memphis.com.

Great White Shark: Imax feature film takes a close look at this predator’s place in our imaginations and fears while exploring the shark’s reality and role at the top of the ocean food chain. Runs through Nov. 22. Tickets: $8.25; $7.50 senior citizens, and $6.50 for ages 3-12.

Imax Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 901-636-2362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

The Parade (G, 102 min.) The “Global Lens” series continues with this Serbian comedy-drama about a crime boss who agrees to provide a Belgrade gay pride parade with protection from skinheads and other violent homophobes.

6 p.m. Wednesday, Meeting Room C, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar. Admission: free. Call (901) 415-2726.

Rockshow (G, 133 min.) A concert film documenting the Paul McCartney & Wings “Wings Over the World” tour of 1975 and ’76, undertaken when McCartney was at the height of his post-Beatles popularity.

8:15 p.m. Saturday, Levitt Shell. Admission: free. Visit indiememphis.com or levittshell.org.

Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla (Not rated, 90 min.) A comedy concert film starring Sinbad, recorded live in his Detroit hometown.

8 p.m. Thursday, Paradiso. Tickets: $15. Visit malco.com.

Titans of the Ice Age: Go back to the beautiful and foreign frozen landscapes of North America, Europe and Asia 10,000 years before civilization. Imax film runs through Nov. 22. Tickets: $8.25; $7.50 senior citizens, and $6.50 for ages 3-12.

Imax Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 901-636-2362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

NOW SHOWING

Blackfish (PG-13, 83 min.) HHH Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s tense, heartbreaking documentary alleges that holding orcas in captivity at SeaWorld and other theme parks turns the sensitive marine giants into multi-ton time bombs likely to justify their once more common species I.D., “killer whale.” The central cetacean is 12,000-pound Tilikum, a SeaWorld star performer involved in the deaths of three people since 1991; a neurologist asserts that the trauma of confinement has given Tilikum a “psychosis.” The eyewitness testimonies, old film clips (sometimes shot by fans in the stands), news reports and excerpted coroner’s verdicts give the movie something of the aura of a police procedural, but this passionate polemic would be more persuasive with the input of more skeptics and naysayers: The manipulative music score and editorial choices — familiar from fiction films, television, public service advertisements and Fox News montages of President Obama — appeal more to the emotions than the intellect.

Studio on the Square.

Chennai Express (Not rated, 141 min.) A Bollywood romantic road-trip action-comedy, with songs.

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

The Conjuring (R, 112 min.) HHH America’s stealth auteur, James Wan (“Saw,” “Insidious”) directs unpretentious, inexpensive, stylistically consistent horror movies that spook audiences and scare up enormous profits; he embraces the genre’s tropes — creepy dolls and puppets, loud music cues, figures lunging from shadows — and demonstrates why they continue to unnerve. Inspired by (supposedly) true events, this Amityvillesque chiller set in 1971 casts Patrick Wilson and the impeccable Vera Farmiga as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, asked to examine a haunted farmhouse occupied by a working-class couple (Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) and their five daughters. The ghostly buildup of the first half is more powerful than the anticlimactic exorcism of the final act; still, this modest, effective thriller deserves its success, while Taylor merits a horror-movie Croix de Guerre for putting herself through Wan’s demonic wringer.

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

The Croods (PG, 98 min.) HH½ The 3D animation is state of the art.

Bartlett 10.

Despicable Me 2 (PG, 98 min.) Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his minions return.

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

Epic (PG, 103 min.) A teenage girl discovers a hidden world.

Bartlett 10.

Elysium (R, 109 min.) HHH½ Like much purposeful science fiction, Neil Blomkamp’s follow-up to “District 9” is not so much a vision of another world as an exaggerated picture of our own. The writer-director has taken note of the growing gap between the world’s have and have-nots and made it literal by imagining a “diseased, polluted and vastly overpopulated” slum of a future Earth that has been abandoned to the so-called 99 percent while the privileged 1 percent lives in security and luxury on the ring-shaped orbiting “habitat” of Elysium, a green, clean place of classical music and almost magical health care, protected by a stern pantsuited Defense Secretary (Jodie Foster) who shoots down the “illegals” in “undocumented” ships who try to infiltrate her Year 2154 paradise. Bald and buff, Matt Damon is the sympathetic “Metropolis”-esque industrial wage slave who returns to his outlaw ways after receiving a death-sentence dose of on-the-job radiation and being outfitted, crucifixion-style, with a strength-enhancing “exo suit” by Earth’s rebels; his increasingly violent clash with a brutal special ops agent (Sharlto Copley) distances the film from its beautifully realized dystopian setup, in favor of the dull routine of “blockbuster” action-violence and an unconvincing “happy” ending.

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

Fast & Furious 6 (PG-13, 130 min.) HH Vin Diesel.

Bartlett 10.

Fruitvale Station (R, 85 min.) HHHH In the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict, writer-director Ryan Coogler’s feature debut arrives with the immediacy of a news dispatch and the urgency of a tent-revival sermon. A compassionate portrayal of the last day in the life of a 22-year-old black man, the film reclaims the humanity of victims transformed into political symbols and provides context for black America’s distrust of the so-called justice system — a distrust that dismays those who think it was the news media and not George Zimmerman’s bullet that “injected race” into the Martin killing.

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

Grown Ups 2 (PG-13, 101 min.) HH Jettisoning the earlier film’s egregious schmaltz for an overload of (literal) gags involving vomit, loaded diapers and a CG urinating deer, this Happy Madison remedial-school version of “This Is 40” is as insane and dumbfounding and worthy of WTF mock-cult status as “The Room” or “Manos, Hands of Fate,” even if it did earn $42 million on 3,491 screens its first weekend.

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

The Heat (R, 117 min.) Slobby Melissa McCarthy and uptight Sandra Bullock are an “odd couple” of cops.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Internship (PG-13, 128 min.) Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson seek jobs with Google.

Bartlett 10.

Iron Man 3 (PG-13, 128 min.) HHH Terrorist and anxiety attacks prove equally dismaying to Marvel’s superheroic “man in a can” in this witty, satisfying sequel, directed and coscripted by Shane Black, who previously guided star Robert Downey Jr. through the similarly clever private-eye pastiche “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” This time, the world — and zillionaire inventor Tony Stark (Downey) — must contend with the Osama-esque face of terrorism, the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), and a vengeful bio-inventor, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce); the good guys include a precocious 10-year-old Tennessee boy (Ty Simpkins) who helps Tony demonstrate he’s a man of steel even outside his armor. Marred only by the excess fireworks (complete with excess Iron Men) of its overextended action finale.

Bartlett 10.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (R, 75 min.) A standup comedy concert film, shot at Madison Square Garden.

Bartlett 10.

The Lone Ranger (PG-13, 149 min.) HHH As off the rails as its out-of-control locomotives, this inventive, irreverent and eccentric epic spoof/critique of the manifest destiny of America and its movies ignores Clayton Moore while embracing the unholy Mad magazine cinephilia of the animated “Rango,” the previous Western collaboration between star Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski, whose brazen robbery here of $225 million in production funds from Disney would give Butch and Sundance pause. A tall tale narrated by an ancient, wizened Tonto (Depp), the movie is stuffed to bursting with ideas (visual and otherwise), anti-authoritarian attitude and almost apocalyptic incident (fanged rabbits attack, a man’s heart is eaten); it might have made for a true neo-Spaghetti Western if not for the necessity of transforming its central avenger (Armie Hammer) into the more or less expendable Lone Ranger, whose authority is undercut by the deadpan Tonto at every turn.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Man of Steel (PG-13, 143 min.) HHH As an epic movie “event” and attempt by director Zack Snyder (“Watchmen”) and producer Christopher Nolan (the “Dark Knight” trilogy) to galvanize DC Comics into a legitimate big-screen rival to Marvel, the first sobersided Superman movie is a smash success; as a coherent film, it’s problematic.

Bartlett 10.

Monsters University (G, 118 min.) HHH½ A prequel to 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.”

Collierville Towne 16.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (PG, 106 min.) A second adventure inspired by the fantasy book series by Rick Riordan.

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).

Planes (PG, 92 min.) This airborne “Cars” spinoff is a production of DisneyToons, not Pixar, so expect to be amused, not stunned.

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), Summer Quartet Drive-In.

The Purge (R, 85 min.) HHH A state-of-the-art home security system and an exclusive gated address provide insufficient protection when an all-American family (led by father Ethan Hawke) is besieged by psycho thugs in this effective horror-thriller.

Bartlett 10.

Red 2 (PG-13, 116 min.) HHH Directed with snap by Dean Parisot (“Galaxy Quest”), this witty followup to 2010’s DC Comics-inspired sleeper hit succeeds largely on the charm of its wily veteran cast, with top comedy honors going to John Malkovich as Marvin Boggs, a paranoid ex-“black ops” agent whose impersonation of a corpse represents about the only relief from a repertoire of pulled faces that Art Carney might envy. Other returning “Retired, Extremely Dangerous” operatives include Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and Paul Cox; Mary-Louise Parker also is back, as Willis’ girlfriend, the lone non-spy/non-assassin of the cast. Newcomers include Anthony Hopkins (a “da Vinci of death” weapons scientist) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Willis’ “kryptonite”).

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

R.I.P.D. (PG-13, 96 min.) HH Based on a Dark Horse comic book series and immediately DOA at the box office, this dopey “Men in Black” rip-off imagines a supernatural Rest In Peace Department of deceased law officers, tasked with keeping Earth safe from restless menacing ghosts known as “Deados”; Ryan Reynolds is the newly departed Boston cop recruited to be an RIPD rookie and teamed with a long-dead Wild West lawman named Roycephus Pulsipher, played by a goofy Jeff Bridges (already parodying his turn in 2010’s “True Grit”).

CinePlanet 16, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Smurfs 2 (PG, 105 min.) HH “It’s in my face!” complained a young girl new to 3D at the Memphis preview for this film; child, we feel your pain. CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic, Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso, Stage Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Star Trek Into Darkness (PG-13, 132 min.) HHH Director-fanboy J.J. Abrams’ follow-up to his franchise-reviving 2009 “Star Trek”is a super-glossy spectacle of bludgeoning action and emotion — moment to moment, it’s as entertaining, rousing and visually impressive as any recent science-fiction action epic.

Bartlett 10.

Still Mine (PG-13, 102 min.) HH½ Michael McGowan’s expertly wrought, impeccably produced, low-energy movie takes full advantage of the ornery authority and distinctive Thomas Hart Bentonesque physiognomy of its septuagenarian star, James Cromwell, in a rare — perhaps unprecedented — lead role. Cromwell is real-life Canadian Craig Morrison, a fiercely independent, law-abiding farmer and expert carpenter who discovers even the wide open spaces of New Brunswick are plagued by pesky government pedants, who interfere with his attempt to build a cozy one-story home for himself and his wife (Genevieve Bujold), to replace the sprawling farmhouse that has become too much for an increasingly frail woman battling the early stages of dementia. Morrison’s battle with small-minded bureaucracy imposes a rather conventional narrative framework on a movie that is more rewarding for its lovely sense of place, which the actors inhabit with conviction, and for its compassionate portrait of a loving, very old couple in the twilight of their years.

Ridgeway Four.

Turbo (PG, 96 min.) A snail dreams of winning the Indy 500.

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

2 Guns (R, 109 min.) HHH A pair of undercover agents (Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg) become reluctant allies after they attract the violent interest of the DEA, a Mexican druglord (James Edward Olmos) and a rogue Navy Intelligence officer (James Marsden) in this unpretentious actioner, elevated by the wry likability of its star duo. Riffing on Don Siegel’s “Charley Varrick” (1973) and the “anti-buddy” films of Walter Hill (“48 Hrs.”), director Baltasar Kormákur keeps the pace and patter loose and lively; the result is almost refreshing — a run through a sprinkler on a summer movie-season lawn cluttered with junked blockbusters. Adapted from the graphic novel series published by Boom! Studios.

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

The Way, Way Back (PG-13, 103 min.) HH½ Sam Rockwell is the Bill Murray character here, the laid-back, deadpan, somewhat irresponsible but of course good-hearted manager of Water Wizz, a Massachusetts oceanfront attraction; with apparently nothing better to do, he becomes a tolerant guru of cool and conveniently available summer mentor to 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James), an almost autistically awkward youth on a Fourth-of-July beach house vacation with his loving but insecure mother (Toni Collette) and her overbearing, vaguely menacing new boyfriend (played with change-of-pace coldness by Steve Carell), who — in a believably humiliating detail — grades Duncan as a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Ridgeway Four.

We’re the Millers (R, 110 min.) Pot dealer Jason Sudeikis and stripper Jennifer Aniston form a fake family to elude the Feds.

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

White House Down (PG-13, 132 min.) HH A tough but lovable would-be Secret Service agent (Channing Tatum) with a plucky young daughter (Joey King) helps an Obamaesque “academic” of a president (Jamie Foxx) become a reluctant action hero after terroristic right-wing traitors take over the White House.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Wolverine (PG-13, 129 min.) HHH½ Donning the Blacula sideburns and adamantine claws of the surly Marvel Comics mutant for the fifth time, Hugh Jackman appears entirely at home in his character’s tortured skin in this superior, even adult Marvel Comics adaptation, which plays almost like a straight gangster/yakuza thriller for much of its length, until the obligatory climactic superhero/supervillain dust-up between the Wolverine and a massive CG robot, the Silver Samurai. The Japanese setting adds novelty and beauty (Ross Emery’s cinematography is Oscar-worthy); the World War II Nagasaki back story is ingenious; and the supporting characters — including Rila Fukishim as a cute martial artist and Svetlana Khodchenkova as the poisonous Viper — are intriguing. Director James Mangold (who shot much of his Johnny Cash biopic, “Walk the Line” in Memphis) deserves credit for his coherent compositions, and for drawing on the traditions of Kurosawa as well as Chris Claremont and Stan Lee.

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

World War Z (PG-13, 116 min.) HH½ U.N. troubleshooter Brad Pitt is on the quest for a cure for a zombie pandemic that has restricted noninfected humanity to a few precarious outposts.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

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Comments » 1

DouniaWarne writes:

It happens many times that reviews of some movies are very nice but when we watch them we don't like it and vice-versa, this is one of the reason I do not trust on it.

http://www.office-bargains.com

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