Summary Judgment: New Movies

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In this week's roundup from the online magazine Slate of what critics are saying about the latest movie releases, we hear about Superbad, the Invasion and The King of Kong.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Well, if you can't get your hands on a flying salmon, we present a weekly digest of what the film critics think of the newest releases.

Here's Mark Jordan Legan with Slate Summary Judgment.

MARK JORDAN LEGAN: Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig star in "The Invasion," the much-delayed remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," where an alien virus leaves people physically unchanged, but strangely unfeeling and inhuman. I just realized I described most of my relatives. Help me.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Invasion")

Ms. NICOLE KIDMAN (Actress): (As Carol Bennell) I'm going to lose everything that matters.

Mr. DANIEL CRAIG (Actor): (As Ben Driscol) No, no, no, you won't. You can easily go for a week without any sleep and then we'll a pharmacy. We'll do whatever it takes so you can stay awake.

LEGAN: The critics could have used a trip to the pharmacy too. A slick but forgettable character-less thriller, moans Variety. Premiere finds it a fragmented mess. And the Seattle Post Intelligencer retreats, calling "The Invasion" a moderately compelling sci-fi action movie though nothing special.

Speaking of nothing special, you'd think a documentary on grown men trying to score the highest tally ever compiled on a "Donkey Kong" video game would be just that - nothing special. But think again.

Director Seth Gordon presents a video nerd showdown with "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters."

(Soundbite of movie, "The King of Kong")

Mr. SETH GORDON (Director): The average "Donkey Kong" game doesn't last a minute. It's absolute brutality.

LEGAN: The nation's critics rave. A funny and madly arresting documentary, shouts Entertainment Weekly. Rolling Stone finds it roaringly funny. And The Boston Globe adds: hilarious and moving.

And from the makers of "40 Year Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" comes the teenage sex comedy "SuperBad." Two socially inept seniors try to score beer and meet some hot girls all in one panic-driven night.

(Soundbite of movie, "SuperBad")

Michael Cera (Actor): (As Evan) Wait, you changed your name to McLovin? McLovin? What kind of a stupid name is that, Fogell? What are you trying to be - an Irish R&B singer?

LEGAN: According to the critics, "SuperBad" is super funny. The New Yorker calls it uproarious and touching. USA Today advises to be ready for sidesplitting laughter. And the Village Voice cheers: duly ribald and often achingly funny. So yes, ladies, between the "Donkey Kong" arcade geeks and the duly ribald dweebs in "SuperBad," it is turning out to be the summer of the nerd.

And here at DAY TO DAY, we know of which we speak - us pale, shy, klutzes don't know what to do with all these NPR groupies. I bet we're the only ones with groupies who have M.A.'s in Medieval French literature, hand us a Sharpie and asked us to autograph their Volvos. Don't worry, I said Volvos.

BRAND: Mark Jordan Legan is a writer and, yes, an NPR heartthrob living in Los Angeles.

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