Bottom Line: A total misfire that tries to sort out the boundary between the real and the imagined. Whatever made the German novel "Inkheart" by Cornelia Funke so popular that it got translated into 37 languages is nowhere in evidence in its film version.
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The pleasant but far-from-pioneering crew of the cheerful 2005 DreamWorks animated film "Madagascar" reunite for "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" to similar results. Essentially this sequel has settled down into a sitcom: Each of its major zoo-raised animals has a comical issue that must get resolved before the credits roll. The film, like its predecessor, is aimed mostly at children and should score a direct hit......
Those Beverly Hills Chihuahuas might have run their course, but a Hollywood White Shepherd efficiently marks his territory in "Bolt," an animated adventure about a canine action hero who's inadvertently shipped from his studio to the East Coast.
The fantasy element in F. Scott Fitgerald's 1922 short story, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," in which a man ages backwards, does not begin to suggest the urgent drama and romantic fatalism that director David Fincher and writers Eric Roth and Robin Swicord have so strikingly brought to the screen in the movie version. Fitzgerald's story is little more than a plot gimmick. Yet the film transforms this gimmick into an epic tale that contemplates the wonders of life -- of birth and death and, most of all, love.
The simple story line centers on the ill-fated plan by comely television reporter Angela (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) to cover the night shift at a local firehouse. After an obligatory slow-build depicting Angela's playful interactions with the flirtatious firefighters, the film kicks into higher gear when a distress call sends the men to a small apartment building, with the journalists tagging along.