Joel Siegel Reviews New Movies

Now in theaters: I Spy, and The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause.

I Spy — Remember the great Bill Cosby-Robert Culp I Spy TV series? You don't have to. This movie has a lot more in common with the Chris Tucker-Jackie Chan Rush Hour movies or the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence Bad Boys movies. There's nothing groundbreaking, nothing important, nothing socially conscious here. It's just two very funny guys, a plot that makes no sense at all — and a whole lot of laughs.

Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson are terrific together. They never let things like story or character or credibility get in the way of the jokes — although that's not a good thing. Grade: B-.

The Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause — I loved Tim Allen in The Santa Clause. It was a perfect match for his self-effacing humor. And he's even better in Santa Clause 2. Allen has got a month to get married or he'll lose the job. The De-Santification Process has already begun. First he loses weight. Then he loses his beard.

Once again, the talent is better than the script. There's only one way for Tim Allen to save Christmas — fall in love. And … I don't want to give anything away but … guess what? Grade: B.

Demme does something I've never seen another director do — he makes Paris look bad. Just in time for Halloween, this is the scariest film out there. But for the wrong reasons. In the last half hour, I kept waiting for Madonna to show up.

I am grateful to Demme for one thing, though. He was the reason I bought the DVD of Charade and watched the film for, I guess, the 11th or 12th time. It's still wonderful. Trick or Treat Grade: Boo! Regular Grade: C- (Charade gets an A-)-->

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