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I Am Number Four Review


Good
All you have to do is look at the producer, director and writers' names and you pretty much know what to expect from this sci-fi/superhero teen action movie.

It's very silly, but also thoroughly entertaining because it gives us exactly what we want.

When the evil Mogadorians invade the planet Lorien, nine super-powered infants are sent to earth, charged with both preserving their race and protecting humanity. The Mog commander (Durand) has already done away numbers one to three, and has caught the scent of Number Four (Pettyfer), who's hiding with his guardian Henri (Olyphant) in Ohio. Going by the name John, he just wants to be a normal teen with a sexy, interesting girlfriend (Agron) and a nerdy, loyal friend (McAuliffe). But he's also being followed by a hot super-babe (Palmer).

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The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Review


Terrible
In the classic movie monster hierarchy, the cloth-clad Mummy really scrapes the bottom of the scare barrel. Aside from his close kinship with the zombie -- sadly, this is one Egyptian artifact that avoids the mandatory skin eating -- there's really nothing inherently spooky about a reanimated corpse with limited super(natural) powers. This is especially true of the sarcophagus' latest big screen incarnation. In Rob Cohen's horrid The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, our wrapped rascal is literally as menacing as an inert stone statue.

Ever since the end of WWII, the rough riding O'Connell Family -- Rick (Brendan Fraser), Evelyn (Maria Bello, subbing for Rachael Weisz), and college age son Alex (Luke Ford) -- have been in semi-retirement. Gone are the days when they would circumnavigate the globe looking for ancient treasure and kicking antiquated butt. When they get the chance to return a precious diamond to the people of China, they jump at the chance. Unfortunately, the gem is instrumental in the resurrection of the evil Emperor Han (Jet Li), a ruthless tyrant bent on conquering the world. Luckily, an ancient witch (Michelle Yeoh) has cursed him to an eternity embedded in rock. Of course, it won't be long before our haphazard adventurers have him up and around -- and seeking immortality via his massive terra cotta army.

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Shanghai Knights Review


Terrible
I was in the minority of critics that actually gave Jackie Chan's last buddy picture The Tuxedo a passing grade. Sure, the plot is a throwaway and as Chan's super-spy partner, Jennifer Love Hewitt is a complete miscast. But thanks to Chan's great charisma, the movie transcends its doldrums. So with Shanghai Knights, the follow up to the entertaining Shanghai Noon, I feared this buddy story would suffer from similar inadequacies.

In Knights, Chan returns as Chon Wang, who along with sidekick Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson), take their latest adventure from the Wild Wild West to London, where Chon seeks to avenge the brutal slaying of his father and obtain the stolen Chinese Imperial Seal. While there, the pair teams up with Chon's much younger, hotter, and ass-kickinger sister, Lin (Fann Wong) to hunt down their father's killer, Rathbone (Aiden Gillen) and foil Rathbone's plot to assassinate the Royal family. The three certainly have their work cut out for them.

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Herbie: Fully Loaded Review


Weak
A car with a mind of its own meets a screenplay with no mind to speak of in Herbie: Fully Loaded, Disney's brainless but painless effort to reintroduce its overhauled Volkswagen Bug to a new generation of gearheads. And while party gal Lindsay Lohan is a significant visual upgrade over original Love Bug stars Buddy Hackett and Dean Jones, Herbie has the same sophomoric physical gags and safe family humor tucked under his hood.

Lohan plays Maggie Peyton, the only daughter born into a family known for producing stock car drivers. Dad (Michael Keaton) calls the shots from the pits, brother Ray (Breckin Meyer) crashes cars on a weekly basis, and Maggie goes unnoticed until the day she comes into contact with a possessed VW Beetle that feels the need for speed. Together with her best friend and fellow mechanic, Kevin (Justin Long), Maggie starts entering local races, where she accidentally humiliates NASCAR Nextel Cup champ Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon) and sets the stage for a showdown race at the California Speedway.

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Shanghai Noon Review


Excellent
The American movie studios are bastards when it comes to taking highly talented Asian directors and actors and pushing them into the American consciousness, invariably stereotyping and watering down the raw talent and energy of the individuals to increase their acceptance in American culture. Jet Li, Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, Chow-Yun Fat, Michelle Yeong, and John Woo have all fallen victim to this epidemic, either starring in bad Joel Silver action movies, playing sinister villains in bad Joel Silver movies, seducing James Bond, or directing Jean Claude Van Damme in films stamped with one of his patented roundhouse kicks.

Jackie Chan represents the grand amalgamation of all of these actors combined. With the embarrassment of the re-release of a slew of his old Asian films, re-cut and dubbed in English, Jackie Chan was headed to the land of Jim Kelly (aka Black Belt Jones). But with the success of last year's Rush Hour, Chan was saved from the abyss of Don "The Dragon" Wilson by the mighty mouth of Chris Tucker and a $100 million dollar domestic gross. So, what's Chan's next move - let's take the same story as Rush Hour, make it a Western, throw in the well-established TV actress Lucy Liu, and added the wise-cracking Owen Wilson as his partner. And watch the money pour in.

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Showtime Review


Excellent
Rodney Dangerfield knew it. You can't get respect being funny. Nobody gets anywhere unless you're taken seriously. At least that's the company line these days in Hollywood, where it seems most of the entertainment industry's best funnymen are becoming more interested in eliciting tears than laughter. It is really quite ironic then that the one guy putting out consistently good comedy is Hollywood's most serious actor.

That's right, I'm talking about Showtime, starring the aforementioned serious actor, Robert De Niro, as tough guy cop Mitch Preston, who crosses the line with the press and gets too rough. With lawsuits looming, Mitch's police department is railroaded into letting a TV network turn his police beat into a reality-based buddy cop show. Adding insult to injury, he's been assigned a fame-hungry, lame duck partner, to play the "funny minority type" (Eddie Murphy).

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