There are clues that Luke Wilson's new girlfriend, the shy, brunette art curator Jenny Johnson, is really -- toss that wig off -- G-Girl. Superhero. And when she lets him know who she really is, wow, Luke can't believe he got the part instead of his brother Owen.
It's that super. For a while. Until he discovers her ability to fly means she's outside every window spying on him. In addition to all her other powers, she's super needy, super jealous, super controlling. And remember, the title is "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." When he breaks up with her, she sends him through a wall.
But just as sure as G-Girl can leap higher than the tallest building, she can also jump the shark, and you'll actually see one. The ending is obvious and sappy. But until then, this date film with revenge lived up to my expectations: Fun, funny and Uma Thurman as a superhero. As Wilson's buddy says, "That's a trifecta, perfect!" Grade: B
It's not a house full of monsters. The house is a monster. And it's mean.
And when the three cartoon kids call the police because the house almost ate one of them -- and it did -- the cops laugh, of course, they're the next course.
Even though "Monster House" uses the same image-capture technology as last year's "Polar Express," mixing live action and animation, it never captures the magic or roller-coaster ride results. Using real backgrounds and cartoon-clichéd characters may be part of the reason. The filmmakers are trying so hard to scare us with all the visuals and flash-cutting, we never get the breathing time to really get scared.
Still, your kids are going to love, love, love this picture, and there's enough old fashioned, old amusement park, house-of-horrors fun for the folks to have an awfully good time. Grade: B-
M. Night Shyamalan not only wrote, produced and directed "Lady in the Water," he also takes on a major role as a film critic. Bob Balaban plays another critic, a boring, tedious know-it-all who represents, one might assume, the critics who gave Shyamalan's last film, "The Villiage," a bad review. Ooops. And even though terrible horror movie things happen to his character, I still enjoyed "Lady in the Water" much more than I thought I would.
The film is based on a fairy tale Shyamalan made up night after night as a bedtime story for his two young daughters. But it's the actors who bring the story to life. Bryce Dallas Howard comes from the Sea World to help humanity's future. No fish-out-of-water puns here. She is very, very good.
And I'd never miss an opportunity to watch Paul Giamatti, one of film's finest. It's also fun to watch a movie where you have no idea what is going to happen next. And where you get the feeling, neither did the filmmaker. Grade: B-