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Reel Critics:

‘G-Force’ is hardly one to be reckoned with

July 30, 2009|By John Depko and Susanne Perez

It’s hard to believe a family-friendly Disney studio would team up with R-rated action master Jerry Bruckheimer to produce a PG movie with animated rodents.

But “G-Force” attempts to do just that and melds the two genres with mixed results. The end product combines live actors with the cute, furry heroes and lots of loud, frenzied action.

There’s even a super villain trying to take over the world.

The CGI effects are great, but the guinea pig commandos are only sometimes funny.

The hectic screenplay and adventure film satire will limit its kid appeal.

The constant dialogue between the stars is snappy but too complex for younger kids to understand or find amusing.

Older kids will be bored and sneak off to see “Transformers” when Mom and Dad aren’t looking.

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That leaves a tiny target audience of pre-teens that might enjoy this uneven effort.

It all looks like Alvin and the Chipmunks take on a “Mission: Impossible” with silly antics and predictable outcome.

There’s a lot of talent and money that went into this film.

But the results are less than stellar.

Rom-com warms the heart for the season

The film “(500) Days of Summer” warns us from the start that “this is not a love story,” yet one can’t help but love this little gem of a movie. It’s fresh and endearing and rings true — something many of this year’s “big name” rom-coms have failed to accomplish.

From the day Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel) starts work at his greeting card company, Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is certain he’s finally found “the one.”

Never mind that she doesn’t believe in relationships. Never mind that she doesn’t believe in love. For Tom, this is it — and he is sure that eventually she’ll feel the same way.

And so we are taken on an adventure of the 500 days that Tom knew Summer.

They are shown to us in seemingly random order and though we know there’s a breakup, the how and why remain a mystery until the end.

Deschanel is lovely and capricious, and Gordon-Levitt is a wonder of emotion — whether besotted, perplexed or heartbroken, you can read it all on his guileless face.

This is a movie for anyone who’s ever been in love.

It has a sexy, wistful playfulness to it (even a musical number) that will keep you smiling long after the lights come up.


JOHN DEPKO is a Costa Mesa resident and a senior investigator for the Orange County public defender’s office.

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