'Summary Judgment': New Movies

In this week's edition of Summary Judgment from the online magazine Slate, we hear what critics are saying about the new releases The Simpsons Movie, No Reservations and I Know Who Killed Me.

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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

Well, Marge has some hot competition this weekend - Lindsay Lohan, Catherine Zeta-Jones, all with new movies. Here's Mark Jordan Legan with Slate's Summary Judgment.

Mr. MARK JORDAN LEGAN (Slate): Yes, Bart finally confronts Voldemort and saves Hogwarts. No. Wait. Don't. Oh, who cares about the plot? It's "The Simpsons Movie." Everyone in Springfield will be there so you better buy tickets early.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Simpsons Movie")

Ms. JULIE KAVNER (Actress): (As Marge Simpson) You have to go out there. Face that mob and apologize for what you did.

Mr. DAN CASTELLANETA (Actor): (As Homer Simpson) I would, but I'm afraid if I open the door they'll take all of you.

Unidentified Man #1 (Actor): (As character) No, we won't. We just want Homer.

Mr. CASTELLANETA: (As Homer Simpson) Well, maybe not you, but they'll kill grandpa.

Unidentified Man #2 (Actor): (As character) I'm part of the mob.

Mr. LEGAN: The critics don't exactly say best movie ever. But they certainly quote Mr. Burns and find it excellent. The Hollywood Reporter shouts: caustic, irreverent and constantly amusing. The Chicago Sun-Times bubbles: funny, sassy and intelligent. And the Washington Post raves: really one of the best movies of the year.

And in between rehab visits, Lindsay Lohan has found time to star in the horror film "I Know Who Killed Me." A young woman is abducted and when she suddenly appears weeks later, she claims to be someone else. Hmm, sounds eerily similar to Miss Lohan's legal defense strategy.

(Soundbite of movie, "I Know Who Killed Me")

Ms. LINDSAY LOHAN (Actress): (As Aubrey Fleming) I think I'm Aubrey's twin sister, her identical twin sister. I mean hospitals make mistakes. We could have been separated at birth. Look at this house, this life that your daughter has. Why would I pretend to be some loser if this is all mine, huh?

Mr. LEGAN: Lindsay has been in the news of late, and it certainly isn't because of this movie. In fact, the studio was so concerned about negative reviews, "I Know Who Killed Me" was not made available to the critics for advanced screenings.

And for you movie fans who also enjoy the culinary world, Catherine Zeta-Jones stars in "No Reservations," a romantic comedy remake of the popular German film "Mostly Martha." Zeta-Jones plays a tough no-nonsense chef who immediately regrets hiring a handsome tough no-nonsense assistant chef played by Aaron Eckhart. But things soon get hot in the kitchen.

(Soundbite of movie, "No Reservations")

Ms. CATHERINE ZETA-JONES (Actress): (As Kate Armstrong) Who do you think you are?

Mr. AARON ECKHART (Actor): (As Nicholas Palmer) Nicholas Palmer. And may I just say the world would be a dark and depressing place without your quail and truffle sauce.

Mr. LEGAN: Some of the nation's critics want to send this dish back and others say bon appetit. Even thought the L.A. Times complains it feels one-dimensional and artificial, the Village Voice slobbers: the movie is charming and frothy and delightful. And E! Online finds it an appropriate pallet cleanser in-between noisy summer action flicks.

"No Reservations" is a romance with a delicate touch. Well, no wonder it takes forever for your order to come out of the kitchen at these restaurants. The gorgeous, sexy chefs are in there sauté-ing and stirring and simmering, whispering phrases like thickens as it boils and meat tenderizer. Meanwhile, it's been 20 minutes and I'm out there in my booth filling up on ice water and breadsticks.

CHADWICK: Mark Jordan Legan, a writer still waiting for his quail and truffle sauce in Los Angeles.

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