Culture » Film



Father of Invention (PG-13)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Kevin Spacey is a fabricator who takes two existing products and combines them into a single, new product. When his latest invention cuts off consumers' thumbs en masse, he's sent to prison. How that works out is beyond me, but it gives his character enough time to realize he was a negligent dad and a gone husband. He gets out of the joint looking to make amends and rebuild his fabrication empire — difficult, because his ex-wife and daughter hate him and no one will give him a loan. Spacey becomes very likable and you root for him, especially when he tries to go up against his old boss, the ultra-dreamy John Stamos. All in all, Father of Invention is pretty good; the only really bad thing is the man-hating lesbian roommate played by Heather Graham. It was obviously written as an easy joke that, at times, borders on offensive, what with all the testes-kicks and all. — Louis Fowler


Green Lantern (PG-13)

Warner Home Video

Martin Campbell's Green Lantern was arguably the worst of last summer's glut of comic book/superhero movies, although in a pinch I'd spare its neck before Thor. Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Reynolds, a cocksure test pilot "chosen" to join the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic army of alien superheroes sworn to protect the universe. All that, and the least plausible part of this emerald-hued turd is actually that Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard's characters are supposedly long-time chums. Green Lantern has the dubious distinction of being lavishly faithful to its DC Comics source material and a complete bastardization of everything it stands for. I couldn't make heads or tails of it, but adjust your ratings upward or downward based on your interest in shirtless Ryan Reynolds and your tolerance for green crap whooshing across the screen. — Daniel Barnes


Freerunner (R)

Image Entertainment

Parkour! It's the martial-arts sensation sweeping Europe ... about five or so years ago. The French art of running and jumping has finally made its way to the States, and what better home for it than an amusing low-budget straight-to-DVD action thriller? Freerunner is a nice, cheap diversion with comically bad acting and a strained plot that rips off a dozen other movies, but you came to see kids hopping from rooftop to rooftop, doing spin-kicks and backflips, right? It's got that in spades. Sean Faris, the poor man's Channing Tatum, is an all-American Parkour-lovin' fella who plays capture-the-flag style games for cash. It's fun until a shady British businessman straps bomb collars around him and his pals, forcing them to run and skip across the Cleveland skyline, lest their heads explode. It's really a fun movie, a stupid good time that will hopefully inspire numerous DVD knock-offs. — Louis Fowler

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