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Summary Judgment: New Movies


This is DAY TO DAY from NPR News. I'm Alex Cohen.


I'm Alex Chadwick.

"The Bourne Ultimatum," "Becoming Jane," "Bratz"; it's as though this weekend at the movies is brought to you by the letter B.

And Mark Jordan Legan is b-b-b-back with his weekly look at what the critics are saying. Here's Slate summary judgment.

MARK JORDAN LEGAN: Take it from me, it's not easy being a professional killer for your government, especially when you've lost your memory and are now being hunted by the ones who trained you. Yes, Matt Damon is back in "The Bourne Ultimatum," the third installment in the highly successful telling of the famous Robert Ludlum character.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Bourne Ultimatum")

Mr. MATT DAMON (Actor): (As Jason Bourne) You talk to someone inside Treadstone, someone who was there at the beginning. Who is it?

Unidentified Man (Actor): (As character) You know I can't tell you that.

Mr. DAMON: (As Jason Bourne) You have no idea what you're into here. These people will kill you if they have to.

JORDAN LEGAN: The nation's critics welcome Jason Bourne back with open arms. A spectacular wind-up toy of a thriller, shouts Entertainment Weekly. And the Austin Chronicles simply raves: one of the best action movies in recent memory.

And for any of you might have young daughters, surely you are anticipating "Bratz: The Movie," not to be confused with "Brats," the opera. But yes, a highly popular yet really trashy line of dolls have come to life in their own cinematic opus where the four girls enter the blackboard jungle of high school and all the treachery of trying to fit in.

(Soundbite of movie, "Bratz: The Movie")

Unidentified Woman #1 (Actor): (As character) What happened to us?

Unidentified Woman #2 (Actor): (As character) It's a clique. Were all in them.

Unidentified Woman #3 (Actor): (As character) What do we do?

Unidentified Woman #2: (As character) We be ourselves.

JORDAN LEGAN: The film critics like would barely like, oh my god, not even act as if the movie is fabulous or even good. The Hollywood Reporter offers: you go girls, mom and dad will wait in the car. And the Chicago Tribune gags: the most horrifying film of 2007.

And in limited release is the romantic drama "Becoming Jane," the story of the great untold affair that inspired the real Jane Austen. Anne Hathaway plays the young author who falls for a charming but rowdy law student from London and may or may not be her inspiration for "Pride and Prejudice"'s legendary character Mr. Darcy.

(Soundbite of movie, "Becoming Jane")

Ms. MAGGIE SMITH (Actress): (As Lady Gresham) You will have nothing unless you marry.

Ms. ANNE HATHAWAY (Actress): (As Jane Austen) Well, then I will have nothing, for I will not marry without affection like my mother.

Ms. JAMIE WALTERS (Actress): (As Mrs. Austen) And now I have to dig my own damn potatoes.

JORDAN LEGAN: Some of the press liked it, some of press didn't. The LA Times sized: neither very original nor very convincing. And USA Today finds "Becoming Jane" charming, superbly written, and well acted. Well, whether Jane Austen got it on with this young solicitor or not, she should count her blessings that today's tabloids weren't covering it.

Star magazine shouts: slut and sensibility? The National Inquirer wonders: pride, pot, prejudice, and Prozac. Party girl Austen seen checking into Mansfield Park rehab center.

Can't imagine what they'd do to Louisa May Alcott, or should I say Lindsay Lohan Alcott.

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

Mark Jordan Legan