Black Mass One of my favorite '90s rituals was hearing Johnny Depp explain which two celebrities he had gene-spliced to come up with his latest performance (Ed Wood was Ronald Reagan crossed with Charlie McCarthy, etc.) But now that that quirky-alchemist act has worn thin in most corners, his people are only asking us to accept that his performance as Whitey Bulger in Black Mass is Johnny Depp crossed with Whitey Bulger. Unfortunately, pre-release scuttlebutt has it that Depp may have had his artistic comeback stolen out from under him by his own supporting cast. Oh, well. Time to lighten the mood with some trivia: Did you know that "Whitey Bulger" is what Michael Fassbender calls his ding-dong? (R)
Captive Here's a timely contribution to the national conversation about race, religion and violence: Kate Mara stars in the "true" story of a white woman who used the lessons of Rick Warren's The Purpose-Driven Life to help her overcome an evil black assailant. See? Those big sillies in Charleston were just reading the wrong book! (PG-13)
Everest We've officially entered the season of feature films based on real-life events that were already explored in documentaries your uncle didn't see. In advance of the Man on Wire retread The Walk, we have Everest, the story of the 1996 climbing disaster that was previously chronicled in not one but two docs. "Oscar nom or it didn't happen," say costars Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal! (PG-13)
Grandma Remember when we couldn't admit Lily Tomlin was a lesbian? Now she can even play one! In Grandma, she's a feminist poet who's still reeling from the death of her girlfriend when her granddaughter recruits her into a desperate mission to come up with 600 bucks by day's end. The New York Times lauded Tomlin's "career-capping performance"; what, are they expecting her to die now? (R)
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Yep, they're still making these Hunger Games wannabes, and even timing them to grab a few bucks before the next plateful of Katniss gets dumped in front of our gluttonous faces. Maze Runner redux introduces us to one of the main villains of the series, the rodent-faced Rat Man (which, of course, is also what Scooby-Doo calls Ben Affleck). Ten weeks 'til Mockingjay Part 2! Too damn long 'til The Giver 2: Givin' It All He's Got! (PG-13)
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