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'Girl Most Likely' 2stars

Imogene (Kristen Wiig) goes from the high life in Manhattan to Ocean City, N.J., after she loses her boyfriend, magazine job and apartment, lands in the hospital and is released into the custody of her quirky mother (Annette Bening).

Everything's quirky here, from the mom's boyfriend (Matt Dillon), who claims to be a spy, to Imogene's younger brother (Christopher Fizgerald), who tries to come out of his shell by inventing a metallic mollusk-like shell to be worn by humans.

"Girl Most Likely" features bits -- Imogene steals a book from the library or dances drunkenly -- that seem designed to showcase Ms. Wiig's comedic skills. It very busily sets up the eventual payoff, but it's labored along the way.

The extras include making-of featurette, deleted scenes, gag reel and "Life in the Human Shell" featurette.

PG-13 for sexual content and language.

-- Post-Gazette

'Grown Ups 2' 1.5stars

They had sitcoms and smash box-office hits and classic "Saturday Night Live" characters. It all feels rather distant now.

Watching Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and Kevin James pal around and recite lines better suited for B-level, late-night stand-up comedy, it is easy to forget if they were ever actually funny.

This time around, Lenny, Mr. Sandler's typical charming jerk of a character, has moved from Hollywood back to his hometown with his three children and fashion-designer wife (Salma Hayek). His childhood buddies live close by with their wives and kids, all of whom are used for occasional comedic fodder.

No time is wasted in securing a reason to give the four pals a chance to hang out. It's the last day of school so, of course, the adults want a party for themselves, an '80s-themed party. Could it have been anything else?

Progressing from one lazy scene to the next, the heroes contend with the tropes of wedding anniversaries, teenage daughters and overbearing mothers. But mostly they replicate gags that made them famous to begin with. Mr. Spade plays a womanizing slacker with a son he has never met by a woman he barely remembers. Mr. Rock is the fast-talking witty one with a domineering wife. And Mr. Sandler, with his usual mean-spirited, sarcastic outlook, is afraid of a childhood bully, played by former pro wrestler Steve Austin.

Too much time is spent on unnecessary family dynamics, the existential crisis of getting older and the fear of staying relevant. This is illustrated by multiple faceoffs with muscular frat bros, led by Taylor Lautner ("Twilight"), culminating in a somewhat disturbing, ridiculous fight sequence of youth vs. age. All of this makes it yet another very bad Adam Sandler movie.

Rating: PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, language and some male rear nudity.

-- Post-Gazette

'White House Down' 2.5stars

It's a takeover of the White House and kidnapping of the U.S. president -- again.

"Olympus Has Fallen" was R-rated and far bloodier and more violent. "White House Down" is PG-13, pairs Channing Tatum as an aspiring Secret Service agent with Jamie Foxx as the president and throws in a precocious 11-year-old girl, to boot.

It seems bigger in every way including budget and scope, slicker and more mainstream but even more preposterous in terms of the plot and loosey-goosey security in Washington, D.C., landmarks.

Mr. Tatum portrays John Cale, a divorced Capitol policeman assigned to the Speaker of the House (Richard Jenkins) but hoping to become a Secret Service agent. He bounced around before enlisting, serving three tours in Afghanistan and belatedly earning his college degree. Now, he's trying to be a more attentive dad to his daughter, Emily (Joey King, alternately and nicely spunky or terrified).

She is a bright girl who loves politics and is an enthusiastic supporter of President Sawyer (Mr. Foxx). As the story opens, the president has announced a bold and controversial plan to withdraw all American troops from the Middle East and has returned to Washington, D.C., while his wife and daughter remain in Paris.

Cale has called in some favors and landed an interview for the Secret Service with, it turns out, an old classmate (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who does not think highly of him.

When an explosion rocks the Capitol and the White House is taken over by a paramilitary group with guns ablazing, Cale gets the world's most intense unplanned job tryout.

At a time when so many movies seem humorless, "White House Down," from director Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day"), allows a few laughs. It isn't meant to be examined as Oscar fodder but watched as pure entertainment.

Extras include a look at the Tatum-Foxx dynamic on-screen, featurette on Tatum's stunt work; director featurette. Blu-ray also has a gag reel and nine more featurettes, including "Re-creating the White House."

PG-13 for prolonged sequences of action and violence including intense gunfire and explosions, some language and a brief sexual image.

-- Post-Gazette

ALSO THIS WEEK: 

"Twilight Forever: The Complete Saga": It seems like only yesterday people were picking Team Jacob or Team Edward, but it's been five years since the first "Twilight" movie hit theaters. To mark the anniversary, a special set that features the films, more than two hours of new content and more than 10 hours of special features is being released.

"Weeds: The Complete Collection": This is a first-rate cable series that is the female equal to "Breaking Bad." Mary-Louise Parker plays a suburban mom who turns to selling drugs to take care of her family. It starts out OK, but eventually she gets pulled into a very dark world.

"2 Guns" (2 stars): Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington star in the film based on the graphic novel of the same name.

"Clear History": Larry David stars as a marketing executive at a start-up electric car company.

"Lovelace": Amanda Seyfried stars in this tale of the porn star.

"Doctor Who: The Complete Series 1-7 Limited Edition": Includes complete adventures of the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

"Parkland": Recounts the chaotic events that occurred in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

"Family Ties: The Complete Series": Comedy starring Michael J. Fox.

"Steve Martin: The Best of the Bestest Better Best": A look at the comedy of Steve Martin.

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey": An extended edition of Peter Jackson's fantasy adventure is being released.

"Mad Men: Season 6": Continuing drama of the ego-driven "Golden Age" of advertising in the late 1960s New York.

"Under the Dome": CBS series about a small town trapped under a dome.

"Naked City: The Complete Series": Paul Burke, Horace McMahon and James Franciscus star in the 138 episodes.

-- Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers

 

 


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