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Summary Judgment: New Movies


Now, it's time for our weekly digest of what movie critics are saying about the new releases. Here is Mark Jordan Legan with Slate's Summary Judgment.

MARK JORDAN LEGAN: With Spiderman still spinning box office gold, who dares to compete with the dark rooting superhero? Why, the dark brooding super-celeb Lindsay Lohan. That's right. Quicker than you can say counter-programming, here is "Georgia Rule," a multigenerational chick flick, where Felicity Huffman plays Lohan's mom and Jane Fonda plays the tough grandmother. I feel some teary-eyed hogs coming on.

(Soundbite of movie, "Georgia Rule")

Ms. JANE FONDA (Actress): (as Georgia) Keep your grass on. I got you a job.

Ms. LINDSAY LOHAN (Actress): (as Rachel) What?

Ms. FONDA: (as Georgia) Start Monday, just a brisk walk from here. I'll wake you at seven.

Ms. LOHAN (Actress): I'm not working.

Ms. FONDA: (as Georgia) One more rule. You live here, you work.

LEGAN: The nation's critics do feel like hugging and crying - from despair. Even though the Seattle Post Intelligencer tries to be positive with: a lively and occasionally funny but ultimately disappointing comedic drama. The Wall Street Journal simply snarls: abysmal. And Entertainment Weekly moans that "Georgia Rule" is a clunky family therapy soaper.

Zach Braff is starring in a raucous comedy called "The Ex," which has been sitting on a shelf for over a year. It even had a different title then, ironically called "Fast Track." Braff plays a slacker who's forced to get a job when his pregnant wife quits hers. Amanda Peet and Jason Bateman also star.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Ex")

Unidentified Woman: I mean, do you have a turner?

Ms. AMANDA PEET (Actress): (as Sofia Kowalski) (Unintelligible)

Mr. ZACH BRAFF (Actor): (as Tom Reilly) Now he's paralyzed from the waist down.

Ms. PEET: (as Sofia Kowalski) No. Not completely.

LEGAN: The critics are not amused. Variety calls it half-baked. The Los Angeles Times finds it totally forgettable. And the Washington Post sneers: a stunningly insipid romance, marks an all-time low for Zach Braff - his "Gigli," if you will.

And if a cheap flick or the next "Gigli" isn't for you, how about a bunch of British zombies? That's right. "28 Weeks Later" is here, the follow up to the acclaimed "28 Days Later." The horror sequel picks up six months after the rage virus has wiped out Britain. Robert Carlyle stars.

(Soundbite of movie, "28 Weeks Later")

Mr. ROBERT CARLYLE (Actor): (as Don) What are you afraid of?

Mr. CATHERINE McCORMACK (Actor): (Alice) What if it comes back?

Mr. CARLYLE: (as Don) It won't come back.

Ms. McCORMACK: (as Alice) What if it does?

Mr. CARLYLE: (as Don) If it comes back, we kill it. Code red.

LEGAN: The critics applaud this intense thriller. Ferociously entertaining, shouts the Hollywood Reporter. Swift, vicious and grimly imaginative, raves the Chicago Tribune. And the New York Times calls "28 Weeks Later" brutal and almost exhaustingly terrifying, but it is also bracingly smart.

Actually, a British rage virus pretty much amounts to, how dare you. You know, I have to say, British zombies are so much more refined and polite than American zombies. Well, I say, old chap. If you are quite done nibbling on that solicitor's ribcage, me mum and me wouldn't mind a go.

Oh, by all means, try it with some salt and vinegar.

(Soundbite of nibbling)

LEGAN: Oh, tasty, this is.

BRAND: Mark Jordan Legan. He's a writer practicing his accents in Los Angeles. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Mark Jordan Legan