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Meet Dave Review


Grim
During his days as SNL's reigning superstar, Eddie Murphy loved to compare himself to Elvis. Sure enough: Two decades later, the former '80s funnyman is allowing his career to die the same way The King did -- naked, bloated, and on/in the toilet. One imagines that, as long as there are Shrek sequels to keep him financially flush, the comedian turned commodity can crank out whatever cinematic self-delusions he wants. But with his latest effort, Meet Dave, Murphy faces one of his more daunting challenges ever -- erasing that atrocity known as Norbit from pop culture's tortured palate. It's a feat he fails at, almost despite himself.

For the tiny extraterrestrials from the planet Nil, Earth seems like the perfect solution to their problems. With their homeland long depleted of its main energy source -- salt -- the aliens plan on using an ocean-draining orb to replenish their supplies. In their humanoid-shaped and -sized starship piloted by a courageous captain (Murphy), they will infiltrate Manhattan, locate the missing device (it crash landed there three months earlier) and complete their mission. Along the way, the newly-named vessel Dave Ming Chang (Murphy, again) will befriend a young widow (Elizabeth Banks) and her son Josh (Austin Lynd Myers). As the police try to track down the man-shaped craft, a mutiny among the crew puts all in danger.

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Elf Review


Extraordinary
On Christmas Eve, an infant crawls into Santa's sack and hitches a ride back to the North Pole. Upon finding his imported cargo, Santa passes the bundle of joy off to a paternal elf (played with care by Bob Newhart), who names the baby Buddy and raises him up to be a full-sized man in a miniature world.

The one-joke premise becomes worlds funnier once we learn that the elf in question is played with positively-charged whimsy by Will Ferrell. Best known for his ensemble work in Saturday Night Live and Old School, Ferrell has chosen the ideal project to test his skills as a leading man. And he keeps his clothes on, which means all ages are welcome (and encouraged) to attend this holiday party.

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Out of Time Review


Weak
Approximately 106 times over the course of 106 playfully passionate minutes, Carl Franklin's Out of Time threatens to jump the rails of logic and careen off course. With a steady Denzel Washington at the helm, the film never does. But after a while, you start to realize there are only so many grains of salt we can swallow to help a sultry suspense picture like this go down.

Chief of Police Matt Lee Whitlock (Washington) monitors the comings and goings of Banyan Key, an intimate beach community located several miles south of Miami. His private life is plagued by failed relationships and love triangles. A pending separation from his wife Alex (Eva Mendes) doesn't stop Whitlock from sleeping with Anne (Sanaa Lathan), a married townie with an abusive husband (Dean Cain).

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