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‘SuperBad’ captures many painful realities of high school

August 23, 2007|By JOHN DEPKO

SuperBad” is a teen coming-of-age flick that wants to follow in the footsteps of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Dazed and Confused.” It manages to include a good portion of “Animal House” in the process. Director Judd Apatow knows this territory as he also gave us “Knocked Up” and “40-Year-Old Virgin.”

The opening hour captures a lot of the painful realities of high school life. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera play two lovable losers in their senior year. They are both still virgins and desperately hoping to cure their “problem” at the last big party before graduation.

Many hilarious situations and quick-cut jokes ensue. But be warned they are peppered with raunchy comments by teenage males who talk as though no parents will ever hear what they say.

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Two drunken cops get a lot of screen time and provide a large dose of silliness that undermines the film’s credibility. But there’s a lot of ribald fun that even allows a little genuine love and caring to make a cameo appearance. In the end, it’s a minor amusement with many embarrassing laughs and not much redeeming social value.

"Invasion lacks strength, depth"

“The Invasion” is the third remake of the 1956 sci-fi classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The original was a low budget B-movie thriller. But it was cerebral and creepy with Hitchcock-style suspense and minimal special effects.

The current version features A-list movie stars and top-notch computer graphics. But the producers ignore the underlying strengths that made the original a cult hit.

The alien pods of the first movie have now become spores that infect humans like a disease. Once infected, the humans are transformed into heartless clones of themselves as soon as they fall asleep. Staying awake becomes the only way an infected person can avoid becoming one of the alien invaders.

But the interesting themes of the premise are overwhelmed by the modern special effects and chaotic car chases that fill the last half of the movie.

Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig do the best they can in the starring roles as they walk on city streets packed full of well-dressed zombies. The silly and artificial happy ending is the final straw that negates any depth the film might have achieved.

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