Now in theaters: Rug Rats Go Wild!, Dumb and Dumberer, and Hollywood Homicide.
Rugrats Go Wild! When you see the new Rug Rats movie, you're handed a scratch-and-sniff card. It's called "Odorama." You have no idea how much I want to say, "You don't need it, the movie stinks without it."
I can't do it. It's fun. I had a good time.
Marooned on a desert island, the Rug Rats meet the Wild Thornberrys. Chuckie meets Donnie. Angelica meets Debbie.
If you're an adult with no idea who these cartoon stars are, you walked into the wrong theater.
However, if you're a parent or grandparent eager to please your kids, where else are you going to be treated to Bruce Willis as Spike the Dog doing an impression of Robert De Niro from Taxi Driver, amid sly other sly cinematic references to Jaws and Titanic?
It's not Finding Nemo, but it's fun enough. Grade: C+
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Dumb and Dumberer doesn't need scratch-and-sniff; this one stinks on its own.
The premise: A high school principal sets up a phony special education program so he can steal the money and run off with the lunch lady.
At least in the original, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels played grown-ups. They were silly, but they could take care of themselves and there were laughs.
The only close-to-redeeming feature of this film is that stars Eric Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson bear an uncanny resemblance to Daniels and Carrey.
The prequel makes fun of intellectually challenged children for an hour and a half. There are no laughs.
It seems this film sends the message that it's not only OK to laugh at the mentally challenged, it's OK to steal from them, too. If it's true that the measure of a society is how it takes care of those who can least take care of themselves, this one deserves an F.
Hollywood Homicide Good cop, bad cop, Old cop, new cop. In Hollywood Homicide, Harrison Ford and partner Josh Hartnett investigate a murder at a rap club.
Writer-director Ron Shelton brings us the same easy, real and awfully funny guy stuff that he brought to Bull Durham and White Men Can't Jump.
The story is silly. But that's not the point. Hollywood Homicide is fun and packed with treats. Gladys Knight has a cameo, a pip of a part. Smokey Robinson plays a cab driver in a miracle of casting.
Ford and Hartnett are terrific together. (Yes, Josh Hartnett, who'd a thunk it?) Like the characters they play, the old pro makes the young kid look great. And the movie crashes to a conclusion with the summer's second best car chase. Grade: B.