Time Well Wasted

Admission: adapted by Karen Croner from the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz; directed by Paul Weitz; starring Tina Fey (Portia Nathan), Paul Rudd (John Pressman), Gloria Reuben (Corinne), Wallace Shawn (Clarence), Nat Wolff (Jeremiah), and Lily Tomlin (Susannah Nathan) (2013): So-so romantic comedy centered on the admissions process at Princeton. Yes, you read that right. The cast is strong and there are some funny lines and situations, but Tina Fey really needs to start producing her own film comedies: she`s much, much better than the movies she`s been in over the past few years. Lightly recommended.

The Colony: written by Jeff Renfroe, Svet Rouskov, Patrick Tarr, and Pascal Trotter; directed by Jeff Renfroe; starring Kevin Zegers (Sam), Laurence Fishburne (Briggs), Bill Paxton (Mason) and Charlotte Sullivan (Kai) (2013): Competent Canadian sci-fi horror flick sees Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton struggle manfully to bring heft to the proceedings before we find out that the Big Bad is a seriously underwhelming and stereotypical post-apocalyptic threat. It`s an OK time-waster, and you really have to watch the closing credits. For reasons unknown, the producers try to turn dull shots of the Colony`s grubby interior into some sort of cool dance video. Watch those wire-enclosed ceiling bulbs strobe, baby! Lightly recommended.

Identity Thief: written by Craig Mazin and Jerry Eeten; directed by Seth Gordon; starring Jason Bateman (Sandy Patterson), Melissa McCarthy (Diana), and Jon Favreau (Harold Cornish) (2013): Rote attempt at Planes, Trains, and Automobiles road-trip wackiness undone by sloppy writing, a waste of good actors such as Morris Chestnut and Robert Patrick, and a sudden personality change for Melissa McCarthy`s eponymous character, who goes from dangerous psychopath to loveable schlub at about the one-hour mark. Some funny set-pieces, most of which rely heavily on slapstick, can`t save the movie. Not recommended.

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