The Story: Three misfits -- a cucumber, a gourd and a grape -- must rescue a princess and foil a plot to murder a king. The Lowdown: Low-grade animation and simplistic plotting meet with incredibly dull, if harmless, results.
The Story: A woman returns to the orphanage of her early childhood, only to find her son disappearing and the past closing in around her. The Lowdown: A beautifully crafted ghost story that also functions as a horror film and a psychological thriller.
The Story: The story of the rise and fall of an oil tycoon and his relationship with an evangelical minister. The Lowdown: A savage, disturbing and wholly unusual work from Paul Thomas Anderson that's as apt to infuriate viewers as please them.
Such Is Life, part of a series of Classic Cinema From Around the World, will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Courtyard Gallery, 9 Walnut St. in downtown Asheville. Info: 273-3332.
The Story: A brother and sister find themselves in charge of their father, whose health and self-sufficiency are failing. The Lowdown: A sometimes bleak, but often funny and rewarding look at family and its responsibility that's well worth a look.
The Story: A turnip farmer helps fight the evil wizard who kidnapped his wife and killed his son. The Lowdown: An incoherent, incomprehensible and inept Lord of the Rings knockoff from German filmmaker Uwe Boll.
The Story: Two small-time thieves decide to rob a church. Things become complicated when they learn that the money has already been stolen. The Lowdown: A comedy with a religious message that is refreshingly void of heavy-handedness, but never works due to lazy, muddled plotting and a distinct lack of laughs.
The Story: Folks start getting phone messages foretelling their impending deaths. The Lowdown: A contrived, dull rehash of yet another J-horror movie with bits and pieces of lots of other movies mixed in.
The Story: Two battling siblings reunite for a wedding. The Lowdown: An uninspired, uninspiring and somewhat unpleasant film with infrequent flashes of humor and insight that aren't enough to compensate.
The Asheville Art Museum will present Inspirations at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, and Sunday, Jan. 13.
The Crime of Padre Amaro, part of a series of Classic Cinema From Around the World, will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, at Courtyard Gallery, 9 Walnut St. in downtown Asheville. Info: 273-3332.
The Story: Two terminally ill men set out to fulfill a list of things to do before they die. The Lowdown: Terminally contrived and fraudulent, Rob Reiner's The Bucket List never rises above its trite carpe diem bromides.
The Hendersonville Film Society will show Black Book at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville. (From Asheville, take I-26 to U.S. 64 West, turn right at the third light onto Thompson Street. Follow to the Lake Point Landing entrance and park in the lot on the left.)
The Story: A young girl's lie sets the stage for this period drama about doomed lovers. The Lowdown: A beautifully crafted, intelligent film that somehow misses being as emotionally powerful as it needs to be to cross the line into greatness.
The Story: Set during World War II, a lonely Scottish boy finds an egg that hatches to reveal a strange sea creature. The Lowdown: Surprisingly intelligent, well-made family fare that grounds the fantasy with believable characters of some depth and complexity.
The Story: Set during the 1930s, the film shows the struggles of an all-black debate team as they attempt to break racial boundaries and take on the Harvard debate team. The Lowdown: Your normal, run-of-the-mill uplifting sports flick -- except featuring debate instead of athletics -- which occasionally shows glimmers of attempting something more, but ends up being too constricted by its genre expectations.
The Hendersonville Film Society will show A Cottage on Dartmoor at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community, 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville. (From Asheville, take I-26 to U.S. 64 West, turn right at the third light onto Thompson Street. Follow to the Lake Point Landing entrance and park in the lot on the left.)
The Story: Battling outer-space monsters go at it in small-town America. The Lowdown: A perfectly awful compendium of bad acting, bad cinematography and bad screenwriting.