Thursday, February 17, 2011

Now-a-Dollar Feb. 18

Posted By on February 17, 2011, 8:40 AM

Would-be blockbuster sequels from the holiday movie season slide into bargain theaters this weekend, but even at bargain prices you might still want to let them slide. ---

The most highly-publicized was TRON: Legacy, following up the 1982 computer-animation groundbreaker with the story of how the son (Garrett Hedlund) of the original TRON's programmer/arcade owner Flynn (Jeff Bridges) searches for his long-lost dad in the video-game world he created. There's about 20 minutes of brilliantly realized 3D adventure here, but it's surrounded by a lot of ineffective storytelling that fails to recognize that we're all really here just to see cool stuff.

Daddy issues of a different kind are present in Little Fockers, the third and please-God-let-it-be-so final installment of the clashes between Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) and his hard-nosed father-in-law, Jack (Robert DeNiro). The result is an excruciating heap of pointless fart gags mixed with sentimentality, with not a single original gag or idea to hold it together.

We might also finally have reached the end of the line of the Chronicles of Narnia adaptations with the disappointing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Youngest Pevensie siblings Lucy (Georgie Hensely) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) return to the magical land, and along with them plenty of heavy-elbowed Christian allegory that stops the rousing adventure dead in its tracks every 15 minutes or so to make sure we all get the moral point.

Finally, there's The Tourist, the romantic caper that became a punch line for its head-scratching Golden Globe nominations. The tale of an American (Johnny Depp) mistaken for the accountant who stole billions from a Russian gangster -- and the accountant's girlfriend (Angelina Jolie) who encourages the deception) -- falls apart if you look at it too closely. The superficial pleasures, though, are more than you might find in any of this week's other options.


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