Big Stone Gap Ashley Judd plays an Appalachian spinster whose social profile takes a sudden upturn. Hey, remember when you could say "spinster"? Well, the movie is set in 1978, so that kinda makes it OK, sorta. Related question: Remember Ashley Judd? (PG-13)
He Named Me Malala Prequels and sequels to Disney movies usually suck, but tell me you've never wondered how Simba's dad navigated his own ascension to the throne. That's what we'll learn in He Named Me Mufasa, the thrilling story of ... no? OK, try this one on for size: Foodies who love learning about the history of their favorite dishes will salivate over He Named Me Marsala, in which ... still no, huh? Shit! Why is it so hard to make a joke about this movie? Ah, screw it. Let's just dwell on the horrifying novelty of kids getting shot in the head simply because they dared to go to school, and then thank our lucky stars it could never happen here. (See? Should have laughed while you had the chance!) (PG-13)
Pan I swore off Joe Wright movies after his lousy Pride & Prejudice, but I guess there are some people out there who might be interested in his explanation of how Peter Pan became Peter Pan. I mean, they're probably the type of people who like hearing how magic tricks are performed and insist on taking backstage tours of everything, but they're out there. (Sometimes, they make it to grad school and write term papers about "demystifying" stuff.) As far as I'm concerned, there's only one retconned origin story worth a damn, and that's Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. And you, Mr. Wright, are no Rankin-Bass. (Alert to your mother: Contains Hugh Jackman.) (PG)
Steve Jobs Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire advanced the proposition that a single person's financial windfall should make you forget all about the institutionalized poverty he left behind, and Aaron Sorkin's script for The Social Network was based on the idea that entrepreneurship works better when it isn't in the hands of stupid people who are under the age of 40. So I don't know what to expect from their collaborative portrait of fallen Apple Steve Jobs. On the one hand, Jobs is enough of an icon of look-the-other-way capitalism that Boyle might have his face tattooed on his inner thigh; on the other, the movie only charts Jobs' accomplishments up to the age of 43, which should pin the needle on Sorkin's "get off my lawn" meter. Now, as for star Michael Fassbender: Shouldn't he be in a movie about Wang? (R)
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