Eric D. Snider

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Friday movie roundup – July 28

Will “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Walking” top the box office for the fourth weekend in a row? If it does, it will be the first film since “Passion of the Christ” to achieve the elusive four-peat.

There’s a good chance of it, too. A $20 million weekend is likely, and I don’t see any of the newcomers beating that. “Miami Vice” is SUPPOSED to be big — but is anyone actually looking forward to it? “The Ant Bully” might do OK if it weren’t opening just a week after another animated film. “John Tucker Must Die” is negligible. And “Scoop” is a Woody Allen movie — and, more to the point, only playing on a few hundred screens (though it’s the best new film this weekend by far).

Speaking of “Scoop,” Woody Allen stands out as probably the most prolific of the “living legends.” He’s made 17 films just since 1990, an average of one a year — and he writes, directs and usually stars in them. (It’s 18 if you count a 1994 made-for-TV movie.) You can quibble about the quality of these films, and certainly many of them have been substandard, but there’s something to be said for a guy who’s always TRYING to do something worthwhile, and who keeps at it constantly.

After I finished writing my review of “Miami Vice,” I remembered something I’d said to my seatmate after seeing the film’s trailer a couple weeks ago: “That movie looks really serious.” As in joyless. As in not fun. And it turns out the trailer is completely accurate in depicting the movie’s non-fun-ness.

“John Tucker Must Die”: I have nothing to add about this movie beyond what is in my review.

“The Ant Bully”: I did not see this movie. I think if they want critics to review movies, they shouldn’t schedule the screenings for 10 a.m. on a Saturday. I’d have had to be up by 9, which normally is not a problem, but on a Saturday? Come on! Anyway, I’ll try to get to it over the weekend, since I HAVE seen next week’s “Barnyard” and it would be a shame not to be able to compare the two.

As always, I heartily encourage you — admonish you, even — to subscribe to “In the Dark,” a free weekly e-mail full of reviews, DVD releases, box office scores and other important data. Whatever excuse you have for not having subscribed already, it is a poor one.

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