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Cheaper By The Dozen 2 Review

You've seen this before. Steve Martin as the nervous parent awaiting a baby delivery. Steve Martin reluctantly acknowledging his daughter's independence. Steve Martin falling victim to kids' pranks. From Parenthood to the Father of the Bride remake and sequel to 2003's Cheaper by the Dozen to, uh, last week's Yours, Mine and Ours, the man who began his career as a brilliant, absurdist comic has defined himself as a soft, weepy dad, running through a thousand family-film clichés. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 rehashes it all with no presence of originality or humor.

Martin reprises the role of Tom Baker, father of twelve and husband to wife Kate (the sparkling, grounded Bonnie Hunt). In an effort to bond the family one final time before grandkids are born and chickens fly the coop, Tom cloyingly convinces the clan to vacation at their old lakefront haunt. There, they meet their nemeses: the clean-cut white-teethed Murtaugh family led by perfectionist papa Jimmy, played by the painfully underutilized Eugene Levy.

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The Mod Squad Review

As anyone who has read my last two reviews: short films that studios and people alike have never heard of and are available for free download via the internet, you can probably guess that I have it out against the current regime of Hollywood movies, which, after seeing basically crap for about four months, is beginning to make Communist Russia under Stalin seem like a pretty friendly place.

In case that hasn't tipped you off, my gripes about The Mod Squad, a movie based on a late-sixties, early-seventies TV show that wasn't that great to begin with, should probably clue you in. I am not saying starring, because anyone who would act in this film and consider themselves a star for it is either a drunk or has an agent that's a drunk, probably the latter. I can forgive Giovanni Ribisi, on the account of the fact that he's acted in good movies (unlike Epps and Danes, who rarely even get close to a good role). He's been in Gus Van Sant and he even does a good job among the twentysomething shoot-the-actors while making them popular sitcom of Friends, where several good actors seem to go to work the bad acting out of their system (i.e. Lisa Kudrow). I maybe can forgive Dennis Farina, who is at least killed off before the movie gets really bad.

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Telling Lies In America Review

This '60s slice of life story comes from the unlikely pen of Joe Eszterhas, best known for neo-porn like Basic Instinct. Renfro plays Eszterhas's obvious alter-ego, an immigrant kid that's unpopular at school and has iffy luck with the ladies. He falls in with a corrupt radio DJ (Kevin Bacon) while tentatively wooing a pre-fame Calista Flockhart. The story hangs together loosely, bouyed by strong performances from the three leads.

Waking Up In Reno Review

There are bad movies, and there are awful movies. And then there is Waking Up in Reno, one of the worst films ever made, so bad it had to be delayed theatrically at least a couple of times before finally grossing about $260,000 in theaters.

Swept Away more than doubled that.

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Cheaper By The Dozen Review

Can someone please pull Steve Martin's career out of the past? Once wild and crazy, Martin's now mild and lazy, a cookie-cutter comedian content to milk mediocre laughs out of reheated remakes of classic flicks. Results vary. Martin's Father of the Bride stayed sweet, while his updated The Out-of-Towners struck a surprisingly unpleasant chord.

Now there's Cheaper by the Dozen, a stale take on Walter Lang's 1950s farce of the same name that is based on the real-life story of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, the parents of 12 children. Here the original Gilbreth becomes Thomas Baker (Martin). Get it? A Baker's dozen? No, the jokes don't get much better than that one, unless you laugh when an athletic supporter lands in a pot of spaghetti sauce and Martin bellows, "Pasta de la crotch!"

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An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn Review

How bad is An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn? Every bit as awful as you might have heard. This wannabe mockumentary tries to send up Hollywood in a tale that has director Alan Smithee (Eric Idle) hijacking his own film and destroying it because it's so bad, because he can't use the pseudonym Alan Smithee because (duh!) that's his real name! Har har! Joe Eszterhas is responsible (of course) for this mess, which is so unfunny the only laughs are during the outtakes that run during the credits. And that's the actors laughing, not the audience. Widely panned as one of the worst movies ever made, life imitated art when director Arthur Hiller took his name off this train wreck and used... of course... Alan Smithee.

One Night Stand Review

Another oddity from auteur director/jazz musician Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas), this time with Wesley Snipes in a loveless marriage, tempted by Nastassja Kinski. Nastassja Kinski? Yep, still trying to play the femme fatale and not doing a great job of it. Ming-Na Wen has a puzzling role, and Downey's dying friend subplot only distracts the viewer even further from the fact that there's not much going on here. Despite a couple of obvious twists, One Night Stand never really goes anywhere new. Safe to avoid this one.

Keep Your Eyes Open Review

If you've already seen Ultimate X or even Dogtown and Z-Boys, you've probably experienced more than enough extreme sports docu-fun. Tamra Davis (Half Baked) adds nothing we haven't already seen to this budding genre, though it classifies such ancient sports as surfing and skiing as "extreme."

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Mr. Magoo Review

One star, for principle.
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Kanye West Actually Auditions For 'American Idol'

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