Summary Judgment: Yet Another 'College' Movie?
MADELEINE BRAND, host:
It is the Labor Day weekend and you'll have an extra night to go to the movies. To help us figure out if there is anything worth seeing this weekend, here is Mark Jordan Legan with Slate's Summary Judgment.
MARK JORDAN LEGAN: If you've been putting off any of those last-minute summer chores, now might be a good time to get to them, because it is pretty slim pickings at the multiplex this weekend. A sci-fi/action with supposedly more turbulence behind the camera in front of it, "Babylon AD," stars Vin Diesel as a tough-as-nails mercenary hired to smuggle a mysterious woman into futuristic New York City.
(Soundbite of movie "Babylon AD")
Mr. VIN DIESEL: (As Toorop) Save the planet. What for? Life's simple, kill or be killed. I survive this code, my code. And it all sounds great until the day you find yourself confronted by a choice, a choice to make a difference, or to walk away and save yourself. I learned something that day, too bad it was the day I died.
LEGAN: Set in the not-too-distant future, "Babylon A.D." is not getting much love in the now-present present. The London Daily Mirror shrugs action-packed, but meandering, Empire Magazine calls it brawny, but brainless techno twaddle, and Variety complains a noisier, costlier version of "Children of Men."
Don Cheadle stars in the political-thriller "Traito." A former special agent is suspected of helping certain terrorist organizations, and a determined FBI agent becomes obsessed with bringing this elusive ex-agent to justice. Guy Pearce and Jeff Daniels also star.
(Soundbite of movie "Traitor")
Mr. DON CHEADLE: (As Roy Clayton) Everything all right, brother?
Mr. GUY PEARCE: (As Samir Horn) Have faith, and stay close.
(Soundbite of an explosion)
LEGAN: Overall, the critics applaud "Traitor." Genuinely gripping, shouts the Hollywood Reporter. The Chicago Tribute finds it a good twisty absorbing work. And the Philadelphia Inquirer cheers, Don Cheadle delivers an electrifying performance.
And as many young Americans start their college educations this week, why, it wouldn't be the end of summer without a raucous, beer-fueled sex-comedy like "College." Yes, teen star Drake Bell leads a cast of young actors who decide to visit a local college campus as perspective freshmen, hoping for the wildest weekend of their lives.
(Soundbite of movie "College")
Mr. DRAKE BELL: (As Kevin Brewer) We're in town for the weekend, and we were just kind of wondering if you guys could show us around.
Unidentified Actress: What college are you visiting from?
Unidentified Actor: We're actually still in high school.
Mr. BELL: (As Kevin Brewer) Alrighty(ph) then, see you guys later.
LEGAN: Much like overwhelmed freshmen not being able to turn in a term paper on time, the studio didn't make "College" available to the critics for advance screenings. Maybe they worry about a bad grade, or maybe they just overslept.
In fact, here's a little advice from those of us here at Summary Judgment, never sign up for a class that starts before nine a.m., you will never go. We polled a thousand college freshmen about this, and 12 agreed with us, seven didn't, and 981 were passed out dead asleep and couldn't answer.