So begins Robert Shaye's pleasant adventure The Last Mimzy, inspired by Lewis Padgett's short story Mimsy Were the Borogoves, which should do for sci-fi exploration what Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids franchise did for family espionage. The adults in Noah's life -- from his parents (Joely Richardson, Timothy Hutton) to his science teacher (Rainn Wilson) -- are too caught up in their daily routine to notice that the boy is changing. It isn't until Mimzy causes a citywide blackout that the military -- personified by Michael Clarke Duncan -- comes snooping around. The movie, at this point, begins to mimic E.T. without actually becoming its emotional equivalent.
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Raise Your Voice takes a feeble stab at building a feature film around a preconceived pop soundtrack of Duff tunes. It aims for Fame and ends up with famine. Following graduation from Riverdale High - seriously, were Archie and Jughead her classmates? - squeaky-clean Terri Fletcher (Duff) enrolls in the summer program at an elite performing arts academy. Competition is fierce, and so are the backstage stereotypes. Upon arrival, Terri falls for a British songwriter (Oliver James), befriends the hyperactive geek (Johnny K. Lewis), coaxes the talented recluse (Kat Dennings) out of her shell, and locks horns with the resident snob (Lauren C Mayhew). Who has time to sing when the student body is filled with such cardboard caricatures of standoffish overachievers?
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