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free spirit whose behavior alternately endears him to and alienates him from his three sisters: ladder–climbing reporter Miranda (Elizabeth Banks), frazzled wife and mother Liz (Emily Mortimer) and slightly ditzy bisexual Natalie (Zooey Deschanel). The film initially seems as shaggy and aimless as its protagonist, but it improves as it continues, with director Jesse Peretz having secured the right performers for virtually every role (Steve Coogan lends sneering support as Liz’s unfaithful husband, while Rashida Jones is quietly effective as Natalie’s brainy lover). And while the movie coulda/ shoulda been longer than its scant 90 minutes, it’s actually surprising just how much memorable material scripters Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall pack into the piece. For a movie centering on an unabashed clod, it’s a fairly intelligent work.

SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D What’s there to say about a movie when Jessica Alba is the best thing about it? Not much, obviously. Alba, perpetually as rigid as a surfboard, at least is inoffensive – even likable – in Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, which automatically makes her easier to take than practically everything else in this insufferable kid flick. A desperate attempt by writer– director Robert Rodriguez to resuscitate a franchise that was already running on fumes by its third entry back in 2003, this casts Alba as Marissa Cortez, a retired spy whose husband Wilbur (Joel McHale) and stepchildren Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook) don’t know about her former profession (they think she’s always been an interior decorator). But when her arch–nemesis, the dastardly Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven), reappears on the scene with a master plan to speed up time until it runs out and the world ends, Marissa is called back into action and subsequently forced to let her stepkids join her on the mission. The “4D” in the title refers to the fact that this is presented in “Aroma– Scope,” which means that patrons are handed scratch ’n’ sniff cards meant to be rubbed at designated times throughout the film. This is hardly a

new idea: Like most cinematic gimmicks, it originated in the 1950s, and its most recent employment was in John Waters’ 1981 Polyester (not Pink Flamingos, thankfully). The first smell deployed is bacon, and it’s all downhill from there, with a couple of the spots reserved for flatulence odors. This, of course, is right in line with the rest of the movie, which has an unhealthy obsession with all things stinky: A robotic dog (voiced by Ricky Gervais) deploys “butt bombs,” Cecil hurls used barf bags at villainous henchmen, and so on. It’s nice to see the original Spy Kids, Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), as young adults, although they wear out their welcome around the time that Carmen wipes boogers on Juni’s shirt.

Fright Night

If you weren’t around in 1985 to enjoy it, the original Fright Night is worth a Netflix rental, thanks to its fleet–footed approach to the vampire genre and a lovely performance by Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, a late–night horror–show host who helps teenage hero Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) defeat the bloodsucker (Chris Sarandon) who lives next door. The new souped–up version, also called Fright Night, isn’t bad as far as these needless remakes go. It’s for the most part well cast, contains some slyly wicked scenes that equal anything in the original, and expands some of the characters in interesting ways. It’s a shame, then, that the movie botches its version of Peter Vincent, and even more unfortunate that the third act is a furious mishmash of unsatisfying plot developments, unexceptional confrontations and, depending where and how it’s viewed, 3–D blurriness. On the plus side, 22–year–old Anton Yelchin (Chekov in the Star Trek reboot) is believably conflicted as the teenage protagonist, Toni Collette nicely fleshes out her role as his mom (the part in the original was a nonentity), and Colin Farrell is aces as Jerry, the suave, sexy vampire who prefers tight T–shirts to billowy capes. Changing the setting to a Las Vegas suburb, where transient neighbors aren’t as likely to be missed should Jerry elect to sup on one, is also an inspired move. Yet Peter Vincent is no longer a

Profile for Connect Savannah

Sep. 14, 2011 Connect Savannah Issue  

Featuring the Connect Savannah 2011 College Student Guide (general info, live music, under-21's venues, majors offered at local schools, col...

Sep. 14, 2011 Connect Savannah Issue  

Featuring the Connect Savannah 2011 College Student Guide (general info, live music, under-21's venues, majors offered at local schools, col...

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