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Summary Judgment: New Movies


Back now with DAY TO DAY. I'm Madeleine Brand.


I'm Luke Burbank.

Look, any radio show can give you one movie critic's opinion. But here at DAY TO DAY, we don't stop there. We give you a sampling of what a whole bunch of critics are saying about the weekend's new releases, with help from the online magazine, Slate, that is. Here's Mark Jordan Legan with Summary Judgment.

MARK JORDAN LEGAN: For those of you gifted people with psychic powers, well, you know what I'm going to say anyway. Just like Sandra Bullock in her new thriller, "Premonition." Bullock plays a housewife whose husband is killed in a horrible car accident and then shows up the next day alive and kicking. Julian McMahon plays the spouse who appears to be nothing more than a corpse tease.

(Soundbite of movie, "Premonition")

Ms. SANDRA BULLOCK (Actress): (As Linda Hanson) No, mother, everything is not fine. Something is really, really wrong.

Unidentified Woman: (Mother) Okay. He's not dead.

LEGAN: I sense bad reviews. Yup, that's definitely it. A dour "Groundhog Day" for desperate housewives, quips Newsday. The Washington Post warns, if you've seen the ads, you've seen the movie. And the Los Angeles Times sighs, a deadly bore from start to finish. Well, at least, "Premonition"'s plot is relatable. On the next "Maury," husbands who won't stay dead and the women who love them.

Hey, when you think of Chris Rock, you immediately think of acclaimed French film director Eric Rohmer, right? Well, you should, because Rock co-writes, stars and directs "I Think I Love My Wife," an update of the 1972 Rohmer classic, "Chloe in the Afternoon."

(Soundbite of movie, "I Think I Love My Wife")

Mr. CHRIS ROCK (Actor): (As Richard Cooper) People change.

Unidentified Woman: You happily married?

Mr. ROCK: (As Richard Cooper) Yeah, I'm happily married.

Unidentified Woman: No, you're not. You didn't say it right.

LEGAN: Unfortunately, the critics sob, I think I don't love this movie. Even though the Washington Post finds it hilarious, the majority agree with the Hollywood Reporter, which moans, Rock did something entirely unexpected. He isn't funny. Okay, be warned.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'm getting ready to do a bad Irish accent. And for those of you hoping, they made another leprechaun horror movie, you're plain out of luck. But we do have "The Wind That Shakes the Barley." Okay, I'll stop it right now. But it is a historical drama set during the Irish civil wars of the 1920s. Cillian Murphy and Liam Cunningham star.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Wind That Shakes the Barley")

Mr. CILLIAN MURPHY (Actor): (As Damien) Your government which suppresses our parliament, which binds our paper, your presence here is a crime. Get out of my country.

Unidentified Man: What is your name?

Mr. MURPHY: Get out of my country.

LEGAN: The nation's critics embraces director Ken Loach's latest piece of work. The New York Daily News raves, the film has a you-are-there intensity and intimacy that makes it nearly overwhelming. It's a movie of extraordinary importance. Newsday calls "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" a tough and beautiful film, and the New York Times advises, as alive and troubling as anything on the evening news, though far more thoughtful.

Well, those strong reviews are better than a pot of gold. That would make Ken Loach think of the top of the morning and - what? Okay. My Irish forefathers are now threatening me. I don't blame them. Well, at least I didn't mention lucky charms. Oh, darn it.

BURBANK: Mark Jordan Legan is a writer living in Los Angeles. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mark Jordan Legan