Summary Judgment: Not-So-Forgettable Films

Why was 88 Minutes sitting on the shelf for so very long prior to release? Mark Jordan Legan offers an answer as well as reviews of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Forbidden Kingdom.

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Back now with Day to Day. Plenty of movies are opening today and to tell us what the nation's critics think of them, here is Mark Jordan Legan with Slate's summary judgment.

MARK JORDAN LEGAN: I know many of you have started your spring cleaning and so have some other studios. An Al Pacino crime drama entitled "88 Minutes" opens in wide release today. Maybe it should be called 1,051,200 minutes because that's the number of minutes in two years, the amount of time 88 minutes has been sitting on the shelf, not usually a good sign for a movie. Pacino plays a forensic psychiatrist who receives a death threat with a time limit.

(Soundbite of movie "88 Minutes")

Mr. AL PACINO: (As Dr. Jack Gramm) Hello!

Unidentified Voice: You have 88 minutes to live.

Mr. PACINO: (As Dr. Jack Gramm) What?

Unidentified Voice: You're going to know how long 88 minutes can be, don't you?

LEGAN: Huh! These serial killers today, always in a hurry. And not surprisingly, the critics were in a hurry to flee the theater. Entertainment Weekly sniffs a stinker. Variety barks ludicrous in the extreme, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer warns preposterous, empty-headed and tedious. Jason Siegel, one of the guys from Knocked Up writes and stars in the raucous romantic comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall." Segel plays a heartbroken musician who just can't get over being dumped by his famous girlfriend.

(Soundbite of movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall")

Unidentified Woman: Oh, yeah. Sarah Marshall from "Crime Scene." People are excited that she's here.

Mr. JASON SEGEL: (as Peter Bretter) She's my ex-girlfriend. We broke up three weeks ago.

Unidentified Woman: Oh! I'm sorry, sir.

Mr. SEGEL: (as Peter Bretter) Did she see me?

Unidentified Woman: Ah ha.

Mr. SEGEL: (as Peter Bretter) Is she coming over here?

Unidentified Woman: Yup.

LEGAN: Overall, the reviews want to remember Sarah Marshall, even maybe stay friends. Variety calls it a solid romcom. The Austin Chronicle cheers, Siegel injects regular burst of comic genius into the proceedings, and the Arizona Republic finds it hilarious. A brilliant deconstruction of the romantic comedy. And for you action-adventure fans, martial arts legends Jackie Chan and Jet Li team up for the very first time as mismatched roommates.

(Soundbite of music)

LEGAN: No, wait. I'm thinking of something else. In "The Forbidden Kingdom", Chan and Li play Kung Fu masters, helping a modern teenager who is time traveled back to ancient China and must find a way to survive and try and get back home.

(Soundbite of movie "The Forbidden Kingdom")

Mr. MICHAEL ANGARANO: (As Jason Tripitikas) Are you all right?

Mr. JACKIE CHAN: (As Lu Yan) Jason, what happened?

Mr. ANGARANO: (As Jason Tripitikas)He, took it, the staff!

Mr. CHAN: (As Lu Yan) The Jade Warrior has sent a bounty hunter. We are doomed.

LEGAN: Like a two by four kick by Jet Li, the critics are split right down the middle. The Washington Post yawns, "a phoned-in epic." But Real Views raves, maybe the best fantasy story since "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and New York Magazine shouts, "joyous and exhilarating." You know, I for one, am so sick of this ridiculous time travel stories. You know, some person always swept away to some important historical place, ancient China, the French revolution, the Wild West. Well it's a bunch of hooey. One time, I was accidentally time traveled, boom! Maple Heights, Ohio, 1954, nothing. It was boring.

BRAND: Mark Jordan Legan is a writer, and well, I have to say, a disgruntled time traveler. He lives in Los Angeles.

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