“Wider Angle” international film series continues with this dark comedy from Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (“Padre Padrone”) about a group of 14th-century friends who hide out in a country estate while the Black Plague ravages the countryside. 6 p.m. Wednesday, Meeting Room A, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave. Admission: free. Children under 17 should be accompanied by an adult. Call 901-415-2846. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (R, 90 min.) A bigscreen revival of the BBC sitcom. Ridgeway Cinema Grill. Alice Through the Looking Glass (PG, 113 min.) A return to Wonderland. Bartlett 10. Angry Birds (PG, 97 min.) The video game app inspires a computer-animated comedyadventure. Bartlett 10. Bad Moms (R, 101 min.) They’re engaged in “comedic self-indulgence,” and they include Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell. Cineplanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Desoto Cinema 16, Forest Hill 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Olive Branch Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-in. The BFG (PG, 117 min.) HHH Working from a 1982 children’s novel by the late Roald Dahl, director Steven Spielberg reunites with “E.T.” screenwriter Melissa Mathison to revisit the themes of their 1982 success, but with a revealing reversal: This time, the filmmakers seem to identify more with the wizened fantastical outsider (a sad-faced Big Friendly Giant, portrayed through motion-capture animation by Mark Rylance) than with the small child (an orphan, played by Ruby Barnhill) who becomes the initial-id’ed title character’s friend and savior. Like Spielberg and Mathison (who died in November at 65), the aging BFG is a veteran harvester and sower of dreams (literally, in the giant’s case) whose playful impulses are at odds with the mean-spirited aggression of his cruder, more gargantuan contemporaries (the other giants — the violent roll call includes “Gizzardgulper” and “Childchewer” — are cannibals who hunt human “beans”); unlike Spielberg, Dahl favored the weird over the reassuring, and the source material’s strangeness probably explains the movie’s relative box-office failure (just as it will assure its future cult status). Although it is a scrupulously designed marvel of studio tech, the film is at its most cinematic when the giant prowls nocturnal London, hiding in plain sight in shots that rely more on optical illusion than on special effects software; less subtle is the explosive comic flatulence (lifted from the book) caused by the giant’s “frobscottle,” a drink with bubbles that flow downward, as if to call our attention to the movie’s other “E.T.” reversals (the “monster” hides the child, rather than vice versa; the authorities welcome rather than pursue the monster, and so on). Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8. Café Society (PG-13, 96 min.) Woody Allen’s latest movie as a writer-director takes place in Hollywood in the 1920s, and its cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Steve Carell. Ridgeway Cinema Grill. Captain America: Civil War (PG-13, 147 min.) HHH Like guest star Ant-man (Paul Rudd) in his new Giant-man identity, this somewhat ungainly Marvel sequel almost collapses under its own weight; it’s as much a credit to the good will generated by the actors in previous films as to the juggling skills of brother directors Joe and Anthony Russo that the enterprise — crowded with at least a dozen heroes — holds our interest, even though its potentially provocative premise is no longer novel (as in “Batman v Superman,” the authorities want to control “enhanced people”), while its Captain America (Chris Evans)-versusIron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) freedom-of-choice debate becomes drowned out by the din of (extremely well-staged) special-effects battle. Stealing every chaotic scene is the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), a cool new hero whose costumewith-claws is the cat’s meow; less convincingly slung into the melee is Spider-man From left, Leslie Jones, Melissa Mccarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate Mckinnon star in a reboot of the 1984 classic “Ghostbusters.”
(Tobey Maguire lookalike Tom Holland), restored to teenagedom so he can spin off into his own rebooted series. Bartlett 10. Captain Fantastic (R, 118 min.) After a long voluntary exile from mainstream society, a Pacific Northwest free spirit (Viggo Mortensen) must take his home-schooled brood of six children into the big bad outer world. Ridgeway Cinema Grill. Central Intelligence (PG-13, 114 min.) Starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Cordova Cinema, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8. The Conjuring 2 (PG-13, 133 min.) HHH Returning husbandand-wife ghostbusters Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) are among the sources of evil-exorcising uplift in this effective shocker from horror impresario James Wan, again dipping into the Warren “case files” of alleged reallife haunting. More earnest than the usual demon drama, the movie alternates cornball sentiment and hackneyed editorial choices with clever scare tactics. Wan knows how to use the frame to make audiences jump with frightened delight.. Bartlett 10. Finding Dory (PG, 103 min.) More finny fun from Pixar. Cineplanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cor-
dova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Paradiso, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8. Ghostbusters (PG-13, 116 min.) HHH Slimed from the moment it was announced by an online culture of sexist manchildren, this female-cast remake of the beloved 1984 hit is an overdue rebuke to the “fanbro” idiocracy but also a winning example of an “event” action-comedy, with Kristen Wiig, an atypically familyfriendly Melissa Mccarthy, a flirty Kate Mckinnon (her humor dada, her sexuality coded) and Memphis-born Leslie Jones (problematically, the only nonscientist in the group) as next-generation proton-packers. Director Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) allows the inevitable special-effects climax to stretch into tedium, and the script’s evocation of terror-anxiety feels unnecessary (the villain plants “ghost bombs” around the city, attracting the attention of Homeland Security), but the movie works wonderfully. The humor is often Marx Brotherslevel absurdist (especially when it involves the leering Harpo-esque Mckinnon, or Chris Hemsworth as the Ghostbusters’ hunky dimwit secretary); most of the call backs to the original film aren’t disruptive; and the lack of romantic subplots and jealousies is not just refreshing but inspiring.
HCineplanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Desoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic, Olive Branch Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Studio on the Square, Summer Quartet Drive-in, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8. Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (PG13, 107 min.) conservative conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’souza follows his 2012 “Obama’s America” with its inevitable sequel. Cineplanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Desoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8. Ice Age: Collision Course (PG, 94 min.) The fifth (!) entry in an animated series that seems to have lasted as long as the Pleistocene epoch itself. Cineplanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Desoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Olive Branch Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema. Independence Day: Resurgence (PG-13, 119 min.) ½ Dopey but watchable, the accidentally prophetic first “Independence Day” offered sneak attack from the sky and the strategic smashing of landmarks (the White House, blasted to smithereens, five years before the twin towers). Twenty years later, the movie’s apocalyptic paranoia is commonplace while its oneworld-united optimism seems quaint and naive. Bartlett 10. The Infiltrator (R, 127 min.) Undercover detective Bryan Cranston infiltrates the Escobar drug empire. Palace Cinema, Ridgeway Cinema Grill. Jason Bourne (PG-13, 121 min.) Reunited with director Paul Greengrass, Matt Damon again acts the role of America’s favorite amnesiac ex-assassin. Cineplanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Desoto Cinema 16, Forest Hill 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Olive Branch Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema, Studio on the Square, Summer Quartet Drive-in. The Jungle Book (PG, 105 min.) HHH ½ Dubiously described by most reviewers as a “live-action” adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s late-victorian story, this extremely entertaining and sometimes moving Disney episodic adventure features remarkably realistic animals, tropical foliage and exotic Asian landscapes. Bartlett 10. The Legend of Tarzan (PG13, 109 min.) HHH Directed by “Harry Potter” veteran David Yates and scripted by Adam Cozad and Memphis’ Craig Brewer, the first major live-action Tarzan movie in three decades rehabs the problematic and elides the indefensible aspects of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story about a white baby raised by apes who proves to be the natural lord of both jungle animals and black-skinned Africans; at the same time, the film embraces the seductive “noble savage” fantasy of a new century-old Western pop myth that — as with “Frankenstein,” “Moby Dick” and “King Kong” — offers endless, thorny avenues for sexual, racial, political and historical analysis Set in the 1880s, this “Legend” introduces the clothingconstricted John Clayton, Lord Greystoke (an appropriately lithe and sculpted Alexander Skarsgaard) at a meeting at Number 10 Downing Street, where the former Tarzan — eight years out of Africa — sips tea with splay-knuckled hands (“I grew up running on all fours”) while listening to condescending government reports on the Belgian Congo. Before long, Greystoke and his proudly modernwife, Jane (Margot Robbie), are on a mission that takes them back to Africa, where they shed their inhibitions (and clothes) while joining real-life reformer George Washington Williams