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Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (PG-13) (Blu-ray)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

I've been feeling depressed a bit lately, so when I received a copy of Martin Lawrence's latest fat-suit comedy Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, I actually welcomed it, figuring it would be a great, disposable 90-minute chance to turn off my brain, knowing full well that the movie itself wouldn't be any good. It's the cinematic equivalent of eating a whole box of Little Debbies, and sometimes that's all you want to do. This third Big Momma entry finds FBI agent Lawrence dragging his wannabe-rapper son into his latest undercover outing when the two witness a mob killing. Looking for an important clue, they take refuge in an all-girls school, with plenty of gender-bending shenanigans that are predictable but oftentimes elicit a chuckle. Even the musical number set to Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" didn't grate on me. A stupid but decent enough way to pass the time. — Louis Fowler


Cedar Rapids (R)

20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Ed Helms capitalizes on his Hangover exposure and snags an above-the-title lead in Cedar Rapids, a modest comedy that earns more nods and smirks than honest laughs. Helms plays Tim Lippe, an insurance salesman tapped to represent his company at an important convention, a character that fits all too easily into what has quickly become Helms' stock-in-trade (the tenuously repressed nebbish). There are hints of the dark and clever comedy of quiet desperation that Cedar Rapids tries not to become, but all too often they are undercut by easy gags and underdeveloped characters. With last year's disastrous Youth in Revolt and now the so-so Cedar Rapids, director Miguel Arteta seems content churning out droll indie comedies like they were episodes in a sitcom. At least he assembled an appealing cast, including an in-form John C. Reilly as a blustery rival salesman. — Daniel Barnes


Louie: The Complete First Season(NR) (Blu-ray)

FX Network

As a huge Curb Your Enthusiasm fan, I hate having to wait so long between each 10-episode season, desperately needing some form of bitterly acerbic humor. The original FX comedy series Louie, starring stand-up Louis C.K., more than fills that need, at times even overtaking Curb, going to dark comedic places that I'm willing to bet even Larry David is scared to travel to. The laughs come from the fictionalized Louie, for all intents and purposes a loser, and the grotesquely rude morons he has to deal with on a regular basis, from tragic first dates and indifferent school bus drivers to teenage bullies and doctors who don't know when to stop with the jokes. Even the most banal of conversations, such as a political one with fellow comic Nick DiPaolo, turn into uncomfortable knock-down drag-outs, all rooted in a distorted yet honest reality. The best new comedy series of 2011. — Louis Fowler

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