Opening in Orlando: ‘Focus,’ ‘The Lazarus Effect,’ ‘Maps to the Stars’ 

click to enlarge 'The Lazarus Effect'

'The Lazarus Effect'

Focus: Putting a novel spin on years of speculation, Will Smith recently divulged that his marriage "has died countless times." Hey, Will, I know just what you're talking about: I die a little every time I have to watch your wife on Gotham. While we wait for Fish Mooney to finally get her much-deserved rest with the fishes, we can amuse ourselves by hunting for unintentional symbolism in Focus, in which hubby Will plays a con man whose career is threatened by a woman from his past. Those femme fatales ... they make you die countless times. Writer/directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have had a hand in everything from Bad Santa to Cats & Dogs to I Love You Phillip Morris, which means there's no telling what direction their latest could go in. Just like marriage! In IMAX, for no reason in particular. (R)

The Lazarus Effect: In this hipster take on the Frankenstein myth, a group of university researchers let themselves in for a world of hurt when they try to reanimate the dead. (See, this is the sort of collegiate catastrophe Scott Walker is working so hard to prevent.) The movie's cast includes millennial faves like Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, Olivia Wilde and Evan Peters – the latter of whom knows a thing or two about going all Karloff from that Coven season of American Horror Story. (Does this mean we'll be getting a Freaks reboot in 2016? Sarah Paulson for Best Actress, with her other head for Best Supporting!) (PG-13)

Maps to the Stars: Give yourself a gold star if you recognize "Maps to the Stars" as one of the episode titles from Bruce Wagner's masterpiece miniseries Wild Palms. Two decades later, Maps to the Stars the movie revisits several of the fixations Wagner exercised in both Palms and his subsequent feature film, I'm Losing You, including Hollywood dynasties, child stardom, chemical dependency, institutionalization and ghostly visitations. Having sicko icon David Cronenberg direct Wagner's script is almost a no-brainer, since those story elements I just named could practically pass for Cronenberg's weekend-chores list. I'm honestly stoked for this one, and so is anybody you know who has ever had to temporarily forfeit his legal decision-making power to the state. (R)


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