Movie Capsules: What's Showing

Capsule descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.

OPENING FRIDAY

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (PG-13, 113 min.) See story on Page 10 and review on Page 11.

Studio on the Square.

Grown Ups 2 (PG-13, 101 min.) More adolescent hijinks with middle-aged Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade.

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.

Love Is All You Need (R, 116 min.) See review on Page 15.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Pacific Rim (PG-13, 131 min.) See review on Page 12.

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.

Unfinished Song (PG-13, 93 min.) Even the original General Zod (Terence Stamp) can act cute when you pay him to play a grumpy pensioner in a film aimed at the “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” crowd.

Ridgeway Four.

OPENING WEDNESDAY

Turbo (PG, 96 min.) A snail dreams of winning the Indy 500 in the latest DreamWorks Animation release.

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).

SPECIAL MOVIES

Beijing Flickers (Not rated, 96 min.) Left behind by Happiness (his dog) and the Chinese economic boom, a self-destructive young man careers through the modern Beijing youth underground. Directed by Zhang Yuan.

2 p.m. Sunday, Meeting Room C, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar. Call (901) 415-2846.

Grease (PG-13, 110 min.) A “singalong” version of the 1978 rock musical, to help moviegoers harmonize with greaser John Travolta, sweet Olivia Newton-John and the teens and teachers at Rydell High.

7 p.m. Thursday, the Orpheum, 203 S. Main. Admission: $7, or $5 for Indie Memphis members and kids 12 and under. 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 oceanic 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 showtimes, tickets and reservations.

Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest ‘86 (Not rated, 115 min.) The 2013 season of the Indie Memphis outdoor Concert Film Series begins with this July 27, 1986, behind-the-Iron Curtain performance by Freddie Mercury and Queen.

8:40 p.m. Thursday, Levitt Shell. Admission: free. Visit indiememphis.com or levittshell.org.

Jim Esposito Double Feature: Sleeping Cat Studio of Memphis presents two new short comedy-dramas written by and starring Jim Esposito: “The Outskirts of Heaven,” set in an auto repair shop, and “Radio News,” about a group of misfits — including lounge singer Elbis Parsley (the late Robert Pate) -- trapped in a photo studio by the zombie apocalypse.

7 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Studio on the Square. Admission: free.

Josh Groban: All That Echoes — Artist Cut (Not rated, 100 min.) A new edit of a concert film shot during the singer-songwriter’s February performance at New York’s Lincoln Center.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Paradiso. Tickets: $15. Visit malco.com.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (PG, 93 min.) The computer-animated zoo crew joins a struggling circus.

8:16 p.m. Central Park, The Avenue Carriage Crossing, Collierville. Admission: free. Visit shopcarriagecrossing.com.

The Metropolitan Opera: La Traviata (Not rated, 150 min.) An encore presentation of a recent production of Verdi’s masterpiece, filmed live onstage in New York.

7 p.m. Wednesday, Paradiso. Tickets: $12.50. Visit malco.com.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins (PG, 94 min.) Uptight citydweller Jim Carrey inherits six lovable if flightless arctic fowl. Part of the Malco “Kids Summer Film Fest” to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and other institutions.

10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Cordova Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, Stage Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16. Admission: $2. Visit malco.com.

No (Not rated, 88 min.) A hip young ad executive (Gael García Bernal) in 1988 Chile reluctantly agrees to head a campaign aimed at defeating longtime dictator Augusto Pinochet in this fact-based drama, an Oscar nominee this year for Best Foreign Language Film.

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

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (R, 100 min.) The monthly screening of the ultimate audience-participation sci-fi rock ’n’ roll musical cult classic.

11:30 p.m. Friday, Evergreen Theatre, 1705 Poplar. Tickets: $10. Visit rockyhorrormemphis.com.

Shrek (PG, 90 min.) The hit 2001 fairy-tale spoof about an unjolly green ogre (voiced by Mike Myers).

10 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, CinePlanet 16. Admission: free. Visit mycinematimes.com.

Sightseers (Not rated, 88 min.) A caravan holiday tour turns into a killing spree for a misfit couple in this alternately droll and gory 2012 British horror-comedy.

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

The Sound of Music (G, 174 min.) The 1965 smash hit musical is presented in a “singalong” version with on-screen lyrics to help audience members accompany Julie Andrews and the rest of the Von Trapps. A renowned barbershop quartet, Decades, performs at 6:30 p.m.

7 p.m. Friday, the Orpheum, 203 S. Main. Admission: $7, or $5 for Indie Memphis members and kids 12 and under. Visit orpheum-memphis.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; to an era where humankind shared the frozen tundra with woolly beasts. 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 showtimes, tickets and reservations.

NOW SHOWING

After Earth (PG-13, 100 min.) HH S Directed by humbled auteur-turned-hired hand M. Night Shyamalan, this science-fiction adventure is not another of Will Smith’s star vehicles but a showcase for 14-year-old son Jaden Smith, who treks across a monster-stalked, forest-primeval future Earth while his famous space ranger dad, immobilized by a broken leg, spends the movie in a wrecked spaceship, barking orders.

Bartlett 10.

The Bling Ring (R, 90 min.) HHH½ Sofia Coppola’s fifth feature is another of the director’s portraits of the affluent, young, privileged and attractive — in this case, a real-life Southern California teenage clique that for months burglarized the unprotected homes — and designer-stocked walk-in closets — of such Hollywood Hills celebrities as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. For ringleader Rebecca (Katie Chang), sidekick Marc (Israel Broussard), clueless Nicki (Emma Watson, trading her familiar Hermione Granger English accent for a Valley Girl whine) and friends, the burglaries are not just shopping sprees but immersive experiences — field trips to a lifestyle they envy and covet.

Ridgeway Four.

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 (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 East (PG-13, 116 min.) HH Smart and statuesque Brit Marling — the more or less unchallenged blond glamour goddess of indie cinema — re-teams as writer-star with writer-director Zal Batmanglij, her collaborator on “Sound of My Voice” (2011), for another story about the undercover investigation of a possibly sinister cult. .

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Epic (PG, 103 min.) A teenage girl discovers a hidden world of tiny warriors and talking slugs when she is shrunk to bug-size.

Bartlett 10.

Fast & Furious 6 (PG-13, 130 min.) HH Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

CinePlanet 16, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

42 (PG-13, 128 min.) HH½ The Western and the musical may be all but dead, but the relatively recent “civil rights” genre thrives: Americans apparently still crave periodic reassuring re-enactments of racial progress — alternately inspiring and shameful episodes of history coated with the honey glaze of nostalgia (those clothes! those cars! those houses! those brave, pious, dignified people!). Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, this is a square, upbeat chronicle of No. 42, Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman), when he broke the color barrier in 1947 as a rookie with the Brooklyn Dodgers, “discombobulating” racists with his stoicism and athleticism. The theme is more dramatic than the action; as seen here, insults, beanballs and threatening letters represent the extent of Robinson’s adversity. The movie acknowledges the economic impetus for bringing “Negroes” into baseball, but ultimately presents the desegregation of the sport as a moral imperative, mandated by Dodgers owner Branch Rickey (the usually dour Harrison Ford, channeling Burgess Meredith and enjoying himself tremendously). With Lucas Black as shortstop Pee Wee Reese, Christopher Meloni as manager Leo Durocher, John C. McGinley as broadcaster Red Barber and Andre Holland as Robinson’s “Boswell,” pioneering black sports writer Wendell Smith.

Bartlett 10.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (PG-13, 110 min.) HH Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis.

Bartlett 10.

The Hangover Part III (R, 100 min.) H½ Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper.

Bartlett 10.

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

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.

Identity Thief (R, 111 min.) HH Melissa McCarthy.

Bartlett 10.

Iron Man 3 (PG-13, 130 min.) HHH Terrorist and anxiety attacks prove equally dismaying to Marvel’s superheroic “man in a can” in this witty, satisfying sequel.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

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

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

The Kings of Summer (R, 95 min.) Teenage friends decide to build a house in the woods and live off the land in this indie coming-of-age comedy.

Ridgeway Four.

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 American (and movie) history 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 the in-denial executives at Disney would give Butch and Sundance pause. (The Verbinski/Depp “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels were no less confused, bloated and gonzo, for all their surprising popularity.) A tall tale narrated — in a framing device lifted from “Little Big Man” — by an ancient, wizened Tonto (Depp), identified in a museum exhibit as “The Noble Savage,” the movie is stuffed to bursting with ideas (visual and otherwise): In antiauthoritarian 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. The repeated references to life “out of balance” suggest a word association between Kemosabe and “Koyaanisqatsi” (itself a Hopi Indian term), the once hip 1982 environmental lament; in “Ranger,” the corruption, violence and perversity of the nation’s westward expansion represent a sinister capitalist-sponsored chaos that temporarily gives way to the stunning orchestration of the film’s lengthy, bravura action finale, a coherent and exhilarating Keaton-inspired dual train chase scored to the 1812 Overture (the music is Verbinski’s lone acknowledgment of the potency of the original 1930s radio hero.) Overall, this is the year’s most fascinating “failure” to date, and a cult classic in the making.

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

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. To inject new life into an old, even Mosaic parable, the filmmakers chronologically fracture the familiar events of the infant Kal-El’s journey from doomed (and here overconceptualized) Krypton to Kansas (where Diane Lane as Ma Kent easily takes acting honors from Amy Adams as the underwritten if Pulitzer Prize-winning Lois Lane).

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

Monsters University (G, 118 min.) HHH½ A prequel to 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.,” the 14th Pixar feature film lacks the grandeur and ambition that characterize the company’s most impressive work but succeeds absolutely as a clever, beautifully rendered “Revenge of the Nerds” campus comedy and origin story for the friendship of high-energy walking eyeball Mike Wazowksi (voiced by Billy Crystal) and his shaggy bearlike friend, Sulley (John Goodman).

CinePlanet 16, 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.

Much Ado About Nothing (PG-13, 107 min.) HHH Joss Whedon leaves Stan Lee for Shakespeare in this black-and-white staging in contemporary dress of the Bard’s “merry war” of a romantic comedy, shot in the downtime between blockbusters in the director’s own Santa Monica home. Whedon occasionally missteps (why include jarring flashbacks of sexual activity when the plot mechanics pivot on archaic notions of a “maiden’s” purity?), but overall the movie is a delightful celebration of Shakespeare’s rapier wit. The eloquent insults and jibes are delivered with aplomb by a no doubt grateful cast that includes Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz and Nathan FIlion, veterans of such past Whedon creations as “Buffy,” “Angel,” “Dollhouse,” “Firefly” and “The Avengers.”

Ridgeway Four.

Mud (PG-13, 130 min.) HHH With references to Mark Twain, “Robinson Crusoe” and even “The Andy Griffith Show,” the third and most elaborate feature to date from Arkansas writer-director Jeff Nichols has the feel of a classic, although it’s perhaps not enthralling enough to be one.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Now You See Me (PG-13, 116 min.) HH½ Celebrity magicians Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco pull off various “impossible” heists and capers while being dogged by detective Mark Ruffalo, Interpol agent Mélanie Laurent and magic debunker Morgan Freeman in this slick, sparkly thriller/puzzler from director Louis Leterrier (“The Transporter”).

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

Olympus Has Fallen (R, 117 min.) HH½ America is emasculated when terrorists knock the tip off the Washington Monument during an attack on the nation’s capital; lucky for us, he-man Gerard Butler, cast as a Secret Service agent in need of redemption, is nearby.

Bartlett 10.

Pain & Gain (R, 130 min.) Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Anthony Mackie are bodybuilders turned kidnappers.

Bartlett 10.

Peeples (PG-13, 95 min.) HH½ Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington.

Bartlett 10.

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

Collierville Towne 16, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

This Is the End (R, 107 min.) HHH½ Juvenile in attitude but “adult” in language and visual content, this vulgar, violent ejaculation of the id earns its R rating and then some as it depicts the end of the world with such drug-addled, potty-mouthed, over-the-top (decapitation) and below-the-belt (castration) enthusiasm that it also might signal Armageddon for a certain type of boys’ club comedy. Directed and written by the longtime team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the movie embraces the ingenious shorthand self-indulgence of a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “Road” picture by casting Rogen, Jay Baruchel, an ex-wielding Emma Watson and other mostly comic actors as cartoonish versions of themselves, trapped by the end of days in the absurd party mansion of James Franco, where the provisions are more or less limited to a Milky Way and a porno mag.

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

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 right-wing traitor-terrorists take over the White House.

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.

World War Z (PG-13, 116 min.) HH½ The spectacular set-piece highlights — the antlike swarms of zombies attacking the Jerusalem wall, the lethal traffic jam in Philadelphia, the airplane attack — were revealed in the trailers; what’s left is nothing that hasn’t been done much better many times before by Romero, Danny Boyle, even AMC. More inspired by than adapted from the episodic “oral history” novel by Max Brooks, the movie borrows the book’s globe-trotting structure to follow U.N. troubleshooter Brad Pitt on the quest for a cure for a zombie pandemic that has restricted noninfected humanity to a few precarious outposts; the disease is spread by bite, but the movie — hungry for the mass all-ages audience admissible with a PG-13 rating — is almost blood-free, for all its chaos.

CinePlanet 16 (in 3-D), 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, Studio on the Square.

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