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Photo courtesy A24 Films

'Uncut Gems' opens in Orlando this week 

Opening Wednesday, Dec. 25:
Little Women I'm not ashamed of having really enjoyed the 1994 film version of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel. I mean, it has everything – like a young Kirsten Dunst throwing epic shade, and Christian Bale dodging a bullet by getting to marry Samantha Mathis instead of Winona Ryder. This latest version has Greta Gerwig directing Saoirse Ronan and Emma Watson, among others, and promises updates that include a less linear narrative. But I don't know, man: I was told the reboot of Black Christmas was going to be a bold new take, too. Hollywood's going to have to do better than that if it wants to tear me away from my Samantha Mathis. (PG)

Spies in Disguise Doesn't it warm your heart when a guy directs a cute short and then gets hired to turn it into his first-ever feature film? Well, don't talk that way around Lucas Martell: His "Pigeon: Impossible" impressed the folks at Blue Sky Studios enough to make them greenlight a full-length version, but not enough to put him in the director's chair. He doesn't even get story credit on Spies in Disguise, In which a secret agent (voice of Will Smith) is inadvertently turned into a pigeon by a young scientist (Tom Holland). I guess it's some consolation that the movie has gotten decent notices since it had its premiere three weeks ago. Yeah, that'll give Martell some nice stuff to put in his portfolio while he's chasing down funds for his next short. (PG)

Uncut Gems I may be the only critic alive who preferred Adam Sandler before Punch-Drunk Love. So I don't know how to feel about him winning Best Actor from the National Board of Review for this crime thriller, which they also happened to declare one of the 10 best films of the year. For context: Little Women drew the same plaudit from both the American Film Institute and Time magazine. And Samantha Mathis and I both got a good laugh out of that between bong hits. (She still looks fabulous, by the way.) (R)

Opening Friday, Jan. 3:
The Grudge Once your holiday headache has subsided, you can test the permanent damage you may have done to your gray matter by trying to place this latest Grudge flick into its proper context. At various times, the studio has proclaimed it: a second remake of the Japanese original; a first reboot of the American remake; and a standalone film that happens to take place concurrently with one or more of them. Aaand there you go, reaching for the Chivas again. (R)

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