JOHN YDSTIE, host:
And now it's time for our regular Friday digest of what film critics are saying about the new releases. From the online magazine Slate, here's Mark Jordan Legan with Summary Judgment.
MARK JORDAN LEGAN: Hey, Adam Sandler is appearing in a serious movie again. So you know what that means, that's right, three more weeks of winter. Yes, Sandler teams up with Don Cheadle to star in "Reign Over Me." That's R-E-I-G-N, which tells the story of a friend trying to help another get back on his feet after he loses his family during the 9/11 attacks. Liv Tyler also stars.
(Soundbite of movie, "Reign Over Me")
Ms. LIV TYLER (Actress): (As Angela Oakhurst) Can I say something, Charlie?
Mr. ADAM SANDLER (Actor): (As Charlie Fineman) Yeah.
Ms. TYLER: (As Angela Oakhurst) Am I making mad again?
Mr. SANDLER: (As Charlie Fineman) No. No.
Ms. TYLER: (As Angela Oakhurst) There is no point in you coming here every week if we eventually don't discuss your life and discuss your family.
LEGAN: The nation's critics pretty much rain praise on the movie. A deeply heartfelt film, says the Hollywood Reporter. The Seattle Post Intelligencer cheers, genuinely touching and meticulously well-acted, and Premiere calls "Reign Over Me" a thoughtful, involving and sometimes, moving film that almost, and I do mean almost, justifies its use of 9/11 as a dramatic devise.
And for those wanting something a bit lighter, how about an action film about an assassination attempt. Yep, Mark Wahlberg stars in "Shooter" as a top marksman who is framed for a political murder, and while he's on the run from every law enforcement agency in the country, he has to try and track down the real killer himself. Whew, talk about a Things To Do list.
(Soundbite of movie, "Shooter")
Ms. KATE MARA (Actress): (As Sarah Fenn) Why did you go? When they came to see you.
Mr. MARK WAHLBERG (Actor): (As Bob Lee Swagger) They know which buttons to press. I'm still enough of a sucker. Press that patriot button, I'll sit on my chair and say which way you want him to go, boss. I ain't real proud of it. And I ain't ashamed either.
LEGAN: The critics are split on this sleek shoot-him-up thriller. The Wall Street Journal shrugs, lots of gunplay and explosions governed by little logic. Entertainment Weekly fires, the ultimate crime of this paranoid enemy of the state pulp is how dull it is; but Real View shouts, "Shooter" does what any good thriller should - it thrills. It's fast-paced and energetic.
And if your small children don't feel like seeing Wahlberg blow up stuff or Sandler cry on everyone's shoulder, then take them to the wide-release family adventure, "The Last Mimzy." It tells the story of two children who find a mysterious box full of strange toys, including a stuffed rabbit named Mimzy that gives the children certain powers. Timothy Hutton and Rainn Wilson star, but not as Mimzy.
(Soundbite of movie, "The Last Mimzy")
Ms. RHIANNON LEIGH WRYN (Actress): (As Emma Wilder) Something's wrong. She's getting weaker. I'm afraid she's going to die.
Mr. TIMOTHY HUTTON (Actor): (As David Wilder) She's a stuffed animal, Emma. You know, you got to, you know, stop it with this Mimzy stuff.
LEGAN: Some critics embrace their inner Mimzy, others don't. USA Today warns, it feels as if it's trying to force a sense of wonder and awe rather than simply letting an intriguing story unfold naturally. But the LA Weekly smiles, a capable if modest charmer, And the Seattle Post Intelligencer says, call it "E.T." for a new generation.
Now I do want to warn lovers of literature that "The Last Mimzy" should not be confused with the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, "The Great Mimzy." No, darn. Sorry, I'm getting it mixed up with, "Tender is the Mimzy." No, wait, now I think I really got to get out of this new book club I've joined.
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YDSTIE: Mark Jordan Legan is a writer and clearly, a lover of great literature living in Los Angeles.
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YDSTIE: NPR's DAY TO DAY continues.
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