Friday movie roundup – Aug. 10

Alt text

Let us pause to appreciate Michelle Pfeiffer. She did not appear onscreen for five years, from 2002’s “White Oleander” until this summer. And now, suddenly, she is in two of the most genuinely delightful movies of the year — “Hairspray” and “Stardust,” which opens today.

“Stardust” is a lot of fun all the way through, and Pfeiffer — as a witch who we see in various stages of ugliness — is fantastic. Her role in “Hairspray” is small and tasty; in “Stardust,” it’s bigger and even tastier. Also, not for nothin’, but she’s 49 years old and looks gorgeous. Hooray for Michelle Pfeiffer!

Boo, meanwhile, for Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan in “Rush Hour 3”! Tucker has literally not done a single thing since “Rush Hour 2,” a full six years ago. What drew him out of seclusion? A great script? Of course not. It was his $20 million paycheck and a deal promising him 20 percent of the movie’s profits. There might be someone, somewhere in the world who does a job worthy of $20 million, but I’m pretty sure a guy recycling Eddie Murphy’s “Beverly Hills Cop” shtick isn’t him.

Jackie Chan, for his part, continues to not speak English very well.

“Daddy Day Camp” opened Wednesday and I don’t wish to discuss it.

Finally, “Skinwalkers” opens today after having its release date pushed back a couple times, and after not being screened for critics. It’s about werewolves. How many red flags do you need? If only they’d used Michelle Pfeiffer! We’ll have a review later.

All of this and more is in “In the Dark,” the weekly e-mail that I send out to nice folks such as yourselves. It’s also in the “In the Dark” podcast, which you can listen to here or subscribe to here.