Friday movie roundup – Dec. 17

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Exactly one year — 52 Fridays ago — a movie called “Avatar” was released to much fanfare. It was universally admired for its amazing visual effects and stunningly realistic imaginary world, but criticized for its lackluster story. In honor of this anniversary, today we get “Tron: Legacy,” which can be described in exactly the same way.

“The Fighter,” which opened in limited release last week, goes wide today, and it’s a very entertaining underdog sports story with terrific performances by Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Melissa Leo. I was also a fan of “How Do You Know” (review at Film.com), starring the delightful Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd.

I was not so much a fan of “Yogi Bear” (review at Cinematical), but you might enjoy reading the review if you enjoy seeing grown men write angrily about cartoon bears. It is possible you will also enjoy this piece I wrote for Film.com, “A Scientific Breakdown of the Physical Comedy Presented in the ‘Yogi Bear’ Trailer.”

“What’s the Big Deal?” was about “The Wild Bunch.” And speaking of dudes who fight a lot, “Eric’s Bad Movies” addressed “Mr. Nanny,” starring Hulk Hogan. While I was writing the column, I discovered that Hulk Hogan got married this very week, suddenly making my commentary relevant (or at least topical)! This was a coincidence, and a sign that the gods of comedy were looking favorably upon us.

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Listen to “Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider,” a weekly Internet radio show featuring Jeff Bayer and Eric D. Snider, at Cascadia.fm. It’s live at 11 a.m. (Pacific) every Friday, then downloadable as a podcast. Ignore the iTunes “explicit” tag; we always keep it PG.

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