'Bourne' Director Flips for 'Jumper'

Get prepped for the multiplex with reviews of Jumper, Definitely, Maybe and the Spiderwick Chronicles from Daniel Holloway.

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ALISON STEWART, host:

So, we're talking about going to the movies this weekend, maybe.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

It's a long weekend - for me it's a long weekend. For some people, too, it's a long weekend. Not you. You have to come to work on Monday.

STEWART: I do.

MARTIN: But we're talking about what we're doing and I'm a movie buff. You're a movie buff. You and I have seen most of the Oscar nominees, actually.

STEWART: Seen a lot of them.

MARTIN: So I thought we might have to dig a little bit here in the paper.

STEWART: You have the art section of the Times out.

MARTIN: Let's see what we have. There's - let see. A fantasy movie about a boy from New York who moves to the country and has to protect his house from invisible goblins.

STEWART: Not so much.

MARTIN: Sci-fi movie about mutants who can teleport all over the world. Yeah.

STEWART: All righty.

MARTIN: What about this one? A romantic comedy…

STEWART: I like it.

MARTIN: …about a young father in the midst of a divorce telling his daughter the story of how he met her mother, but also throwing in some facts about the other women he dated along the way. Is that - anything sound good to you?

STEWART: I like the last one just because I have a crush on Abigail Breslin who is "Little Miss Sunshine" but I don't even know if that's going to put me in - my butt in the seat as they say in the biz.

MARTIN: You know, it might be enough for me to have an excuse to buy a big bucket of popcorn with butter. But I don't know. I'm confused. These plots don't even make sense to me. I think it's time for Daniel Holloway, movie critic for Metro newspapers. You've got some explaining to do, Daniel.

DANIEL HOLLOWAY: I'm just disappointed you guys are reading the Times and not the free alternatives they hand out on the subways.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: We can't take the subway at 3:30 in the morning in New York. We're ladies.

HOLLOWAY: Runs very late.

MARTIN: Dan, where are you right now?

HOLLOWAY: I am in Brandon, Florida, which is a suburb of Tampa where I grew up, preparing to go to Disney World with my mother and sister and wife and brother-in-law.

MARTIN: Awesome. Good for you.

HOLLOWAY: Yeah. Yeah, it's, you know, going to Disney World.

MARTIN: It's going to Disney World.

HOLLOWAY: You know, it's what you do if you're from here.

MARTIN: Well, help me. Help me help myself with my weekend movie plan. Science fiction first. "Jumper" is the latest movie from Doug Liman. He directed all "The Bourne Identity" movies and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

STEWART: Fun fact. Arthur Liman's kid.

MARTIN: Who?

STEWART: famed attorney, Arthur Liman.

MARTIN: Really?

STEWART: Yeah. Sorry. Go ahead.

MARTIN: Interesting. Fun Fact. Cliff Clavin(ph) over here.

So we know he likes to make things go boom, apparently, in this one. Ah, well, maybe we can let the main character explain.

(Soundbite of movie, "Jumper")

Mr. HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN (Actor): (As David Rice) Let me tell you about my day so far. Coffee in Paris. Took a little nap on Mount Kilimanjaro. Surfed the Maldives. Oh yeah, and I got digits from this Polish chick in Rio. And then I jumped back for the final quarter of the NBA finals, courtside, of course. I could go on, but all I'm saying is, I'm standing on top of the world.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Is that Darth Vader bragging about getting digits from a Polish chick?

HOLLOWAY: Yes. That is absolutely Darth Vader bragging about getting digits from a Polish chick. The clip would be a lot funnier if it was original "Star Wars" Vader talking with the mouth piece. James Earl Jones' voice.

MARTIN: Is there anything good about this movie?

HOLLOWAY: No. I mean if you're a real - well, actually, there is. There is one good thing. I'll say this. Jamie Bell who is - if there's anyone who remembers "Billy Elliot" is all grown up now - plays a sort of rival teammate mutant jumper guy in this film, and is the only guy in it - including Samuel L. Jackson - who has just made a career out of phoning things in, now - who really looks like he showed up to work on this thing. But otherwise, no. It's pretty much exactly what it looks like in the trailer. They're mutants. They can teleport. They fight each other.

STEWART: There you go.

HOLLOWAY: For no apparent reason.

MARTIN: Let's move on to romantic comedies.

HOLLOWAY: Huh?

MARTIN: Let's move on to romantic comedies then.

HOLLOWAY: Absolutely.

MARTIN: "Definitely, Maybe." What do you think about this? Is this just an Abigail Breslin vehicle? Which is good enough for me. We like her.

STEWART: Me, too.

HOLLOWAY: I think we're in dire need of an Abigail Breslin vehicle at this point. She keeps getting cast to be like the cute foil to actors who seemed extraordinarily uninterested in whatever work they happen to be doing. This is actually Ryan Reynolds' vehicle which isn't the worst thing in the world.

If you remember Ryan Reynolds, you know, he sort of broke out in "Van Wilder," but no one's been able to figure out what to do with him since then. He's kind of too funny to be serious and too good looking to be funny. And this is Hollywood's shot of putting him in a romantic comedy and it kind of works, kind of doesn't. He plays a man who - when you first meet when he's 21 and just graduated from college. He's Manhattan neophyte. He comes here to work on the Bill Clinton campaign in New York and you watch him not age 16 years. He looks exactly the same towards the end of the film as at the beginning. But he collects three different girlfriends along the way played by Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz and Isla Fisher ad he's kind of telling a bedtime story to his daughter Abigail Breslin and, you know, they're kind of playing a game like can you figure out who in the story your mother is and it's…

MARTIN: Fun game.

HOLLOWAY: Huh?

MARTIN: Fun game. Guess who's your mom.

Okay, let's wrap it up with another sci-fi movie. Real quick, tell us what we need to know about "Spiderwick Chronicles."

HOLLOWAY: Okay, you know how you used to have a cassette player and your friend had a cassette and you would copy the cassette and then someone will make a copy of your cassette and the copies will just keep getting worse and worse and worse?

MARTIN: Yeah.

HOLLOWAY: Think of the original as being the "Harry Potter" series itself.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: Oh, that's good.

HOLLOWAY: And "Spiderwick" is like 5th generation. We keep getting worse. We go from "Harry Potter" to "Chronicles of Narnia" to "The Golden Compass" and now we're down to "Spiderwick Chronicles." And poor Mary-Louise Parker has mom bangs and poor Freddie Highmore growing and growing up awkwardly. It's just a hot mess.

MARTIN: Oh, I'm still going to go to the movies. Daniel Holloway, movie critic for Metro newspapers. Thanks, as always, Daniel. Have a good weekend.

HOLLOWAY: You too, guys.

STEWART: Say hi to Mickey.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: That's it for this hour of THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. Do spend part of your weekend with us as well - npr.org/bryantpark.

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