Movies: New Year's Stinkfest Triple Feature
For some reason, cable TV networks treat the New Year's break as a license to dredge up some of the most mediocre movies ever to grace the silver screen (the same thing happens at Christmastime, but at least those movies have a holiday flavor). These New Year's fillers aren't the worst movies ever made, mind you, but they are clichéd, hackneyed, and mostly forgettable.
Behind Enemy Lines
Released shortly after September 11th, this action-thriller's box office revenues far exceeded its shaky script and humdrum action scenes. Given that we had just declared war on the Taliban, moviegoers embraced anything that portrayed the U.S. military positively, and "Behind Enemy Lines" doesn't hold up well. The only part of the movie I liked was the unflappable Bosnian sniper, who looks exactly like Niko Bellic from GTA IV.
Cheaper By The Dozen 2
The first "Cheaper By The Dozen" was a maudlin but harmless Steve Martin family comedy, notable because of its unlikely assortment of young stars - Hilary Duff, Tom Welling, and Ashton Kutcher - all in one movie? The unnecessary sequel tried to pair up Martin with the normally funny Eugene Levy (the patriarch of a rival family) but fails pretty miserably to generate anything other than laughs of embarrassment. Slapstick isn't really a strength of either Martin or Levy, but that's where a lot of the comedy is (supposed to be) coming from here.
This movie is proof positive that Hayden Christensen's ability to ruin sci-fi films isn't limited to "Star Wars." "Jumper" is an uneven adaptation of the novel of the same name, and if you've ever seen an episode of "The Tomorrow People," you already know the concept - teleporting humans vs. those who hunt them. Christensen has the same pouty, dimwitted performance he used for Anakin, and it really makes the movie hard to digest. Samuel L. Jackson plays Christensen's opposition (yes, it's Mace Windu himself), adding to the feeling that you're watching one of Lucas' prequels. And that's a bad thing.