Hollywood is big on ghosts this week: Jessica Alba sees them, Eva Longoria Parker is one, and Steve Zahn is as brain-dead as one. Look into our crystal ball and see which new movies are worth watching.
Jessica Alba stars in this week's token movie with a creepy advertising campaign, "The Eye." Alba plays a blind concert violist who gets a double corneal transplant and subsequently the ability to see dead people. The original 2003 Thai film "The Eye" received lukewarm reviews on the festival circuit, but Hollywood suits are banking that Alba's eye-candy status can carry the English version at the box office. They might be in for a scare.
Awkwardly riding the R-rated comedy wave is "Strange Wilderness," the newest contribution to culture from Adam Sandler's production company. The movie follows Peter Gaulke (Steve Zahn) and Fred Wolf (Allen Covert) as they clumsily try to find Bigfoot to revive their ailing wildlife TV show. As the not-so-heavily-anticipated big-screen return of "Joe Dirt" and "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" director Fred Wolf, the film is packed with his usual crass gags. Justin Long helps add some giggles in a minor role, but the "Saturday Night Live" director will need to repair his career with a much bigger, hairier comedy than this.
"Over Her Dead Body" stars Eva Longoria Parker as a jealous ghost who tries to break up the love connection that's budding between her ex-fiancé (Paul Rudd) and his psychic girlfriend (Lake Bell). Though Rudd is his usual schlubby and endearing self, this movie is about as memorable as the director Jeff Lowell's last one. Remember "John Tucker Must Die"? Didn't think so.
There have been a number of very popular documentaries about religion in recent years, but "Praying with Lior" stands out as one of the most heartfelt and touching. The movie follows the family of Lior Liebling, a boy with Down syndrome who is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah. A son of two rabbis, Lior prays with such enthusiasm that some wonder if his disability has given him a special ability to communicate with God.
"The Invasion," the big-budget, body-snatcher film starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman, lulled audiences to sleep. There is plenty of additional material on the DVD and Blu-ray versions, but the "Invasion in Media History" documentary doesn't make the film any less mind-numbing.
The screwball comedy "King of California" could have been a great acting showcase for its stars Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood. The movie, unfortunately, fell short of expectations. So do the home video release's extras.