Mila Kunis in Jupiter AscendingJUPITER ASCENDING

After months of previews in the wake of its delayed release, the big-budget sci-fi spectacle Jupiter Ascending - originally scheduled for summer 2014 - finally landed this past weekend. And with its opening, a question can now be asked: Was there any point at which Warner Bros. executives seriously considered pulling the plug on writers/directors/siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski's epic stinker? Maybe when Channing Tatum was cast as a human/wolf hybrid with a blond goatee and pointy ears? Or when an incensed Russian beat the hell out of his son with a throw pillow? Or when, for the performer's first scene, the Wachowskis handed Mila Kunis an all-too-symbolic toilet brush?

Jennifer Connelly and Russell Crowe in NoahNOAH

Like most of you, I'd presume, I've known the biblical story of Noah's Ark since early childhood. And also, presumably like most of you, I've always kind of wondered how Noah was able to construct a floating vessel big and sturdy enough to carry "two of all living creatures, male and female" through 40 days and 40 nights of torrential downpours and Earth-engulfing floods. But with the release of Darren Aronofsky's Noah, the answer to the question of "Who built the Ark?" has finally been provided, and - who woulda thunk it? - apparently we have Frank Langella and Nick Nolte to thank.

Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugTHE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

The first great sequence in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - and, sadly, one of the few truly great sequences in Peter Jackson's second (or fifth, if you'd rather) J.R.R. Tolkien installment - is an escape scene. At its start, hobbit protagonist Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf companions sneak out of the Elven dungeon cells in which they've been imprisoned, and hope for clean getaways by stashing themselves in empty wine barrels and floating down a nearby river. Sounds simple. And it might have been if it weren't for the rapids, and the waterfalls, and the whizzing arrows, and the savage orcs, and Orlando Bloom gingerly bouncing atop our heroes' heads.

Andy Serkis in The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyTHE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

In all honesty, I was a little bored by Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey before the movie even started. A nearly three-hour fantasy adventure with a colon in the title based on (one-third of) a beloved J.R.R. Tolkein title? A tale of dwarfs and elves, and a kindly old wizard played by Ian McKellen, concerning a perilous trek across New Zealand? An epic narrative involving an innocent's coming of age, and inanimate objects that prove surprisingly ambulatory, and a shriveled schizophrenic with bulging eyes who mourns the loss of his "Precious-s-s-s"? Haven't we all been here before? And beyond securing gazillions of dollars for New Line Cinema, was there really any need to go back?

Billy Unger, Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, and Kristin Bell in You AgainFriday, September 24, 11:30-ish: I attend a morning screening of You Again, and pretty much know what I'm in for as soon as the Touchstone Pictures logo appears: a brightly lit, jauntily scored, aggressively manic entertainment with plenty of "heart" and no laughs whatsoever. (I half-expect a Tim Allen cameo, but instead get a Dwayne Johnson cameo, which probably should've been more expected.)

Alex O'Loughlin and Jennifer Lopez in The Back-up PlanTHE BACK-UP PLAN

"All right. Let's hear your pitch."

Paul Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard in Lady in the WaterLADY IN THE WATER

A mysterious publicity campaign used to work in M. Night Shymalan's favor; the less you knew about his forthcoming movies, the more you wanted to see them. Now, however, a lack of pre-release information on a Shymalan project seems less about building suspense than trying to quarantine bad buzz, and, in the case of Lady in the Water, with good reason.

This might be the most hysterically inane movie of the year. This might be the most hysterically inane movie of the next several years. I'm torn between urging you to stay as far away from the film as possible and demanding that you line up to see it immediately; a cinematic goof of this magnitude is almost too priceless to miss.

If Peter Jackson taught the world anything with his epic three-movie The Lord of the Rings series, it's that audiences want their Tolkien to be faithful to the original work. So when Susan Holgersson started comparing J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit with Patricia Gray's script, "I started to realize there was a situation there," she said. Playcrafters Barn Theatre decided about a year ago to do the play, and Holgersson was selected as its director in August.

Kevin Costner in 3000 Miles to GracelandI remember a time, not so long ago, when I actually looked forward to movie trailers. Getting the chance to see what certain performers and directors had coming up next, witnessing the artfulness of the preview itself, which has to build anticipation with three minutes of footage, experiencing that happy rush when an entire audience simultaneously reacts to a trailer with a feeling of, "I can't wait to see that" ? I ate it all up.