How does a person of principle choose between Happy Feet Two and Twilight 4 or whatever? What rubric does one use to measure turds? Size (of production)? Weight (of cultural importance)? The reek (of box office success)?
We don't envy you that choice, friends, so in case you would like to choose C) none of the above, we're including new capsule reviews on two other films, a week old, that we just got around to seeing.
HAPPY FEET TWO
The follow-up to the hit penguin movie doesn’t live up to the first. It looks great, and the acting’s darn good. But the story reaches too far with its father-son relationship, love story, keeping one’s word, climate-change business. And it doesn’t follow through on enough of those issues. But it’s cute and entertaining, and both Hank Azaria (Sven) and Robin Williams (Ramon and Lovelace) have some wonderful manic moments. Two krill (Matt Damon, Brad Pitt) share nice comic timing. (ES) Rated PG
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART I
Pacific Northwest werewolves, vampires, and humans are back in the fourth installment (well, the first half) of the inexplicably popular young-adult series. Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) get married, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) snarls and tears off his shirt, monster families prepare to feud, and no one can figure what exactly is growing so quickly in Bella’s belly. All that and lots of bad pop songs taking the place of what likely would have been insipid dialogue. Part II is coming about a year from now. (ES) Rated PG-13
ALREADY PLAYING (but newly reviewed)
5 STAR DAY
After reading his rather optimistic daily horoscope, Jake Gibson (Cam Gigandet) loses his girlfriend, job and car. So Gibson sets out to disprove the theory of astrology by tracking down three others who were born on the same day and in the same hospital as he was. It's a journey of small moments: a filthy-mouth staring contest, a scuffle with drug dealers and an all-nighter in Atlantic City with a lounge singer. The ending is predictable, but this movie has heart. At Magic Lantern (JO) Not Rated
Crazy mad king Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) needs a magic bow so that he can free the Titans and wage war on the gods. Not to become actually immortal — that shit ain’t real — but to become known throughout history as the man who killed the gods. Only one person — not merely flesh and blood, but a peasant (though secretly tutored by Zeus) — can stop him. In telling a tired and trod story about a mortal who must do godlike things, the director, Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) has nonetheless created a film that is hard to forget. The visionary director loves to create epic shots from less-than-epic moments, and everything about this film feels huge. Hyperion’s goal also seems to be Tarsem’s, and if anything about the Immortals proves lasting, it will be the beauty of what Tarsem Singh has created. (LB) Rated R