Friday movie roundup & fate bemoaning (Jon Voight’s and mine)

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Sure, there are five new wide or semi-wide releases this weekend, but don’t feel overwhelmed! Only two are worth seeing. You can ignore the others completely. Thank goodness!

The good ones are “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which is every bit as good as its 2004 predecessor (I note that most of my review of that movie applies to the new one, too); and “Hot Rod,” a very odd and baffling comedy that will either make you laugh a lot or else have absolutely no effect on you whatsoever.

Then there’s “El Cantante,” a biopic about salsa singer Hector Lavoe, whom I’d never heard of and who, if this film is to be believed, must have been a selfish, sallow-faced, uninteresting lout; “Underdog,” the live-action version of the old cartoon, which is approximately as bad as you’d expect it to be; and “Bratz,” based on the line of slutty dolls for young girls, which is even worse than you’d expect it to be, if such a thing is possible.

Worth noting: “Bratz” and “Transformers”: both live-action movies based on dolls; both featuring Jon Voight in supporting roles. Yes, the same Jon Voight who’s won a Best Actor Oscar and been nominated for three others. That Jon Voight.

Dawn and I were discussing this the other night. Why would Jon Voight agree to appear in these silly movies that are based on toys? Our theory is that he gets huge boxes of free toys in payment, which he sends to orphanages in foreign countries, thus greasing the wheels when his estranged daughter Angelina Jolie goes orphan-shopping. He and Angelina have been on the outs for years, and she wants nothing to do with him. This is his way of being involved in her life: helping her purchase orphans by bribing local officials with boxes and boxes of free American toys. Angelina has no idea, of course. If she knew her father was helping her get these kids, she would be furious. As it is, poor Jon Voight silently pulls the strings so that he can have more grandchildren — grandchildren he’ll never be allowed to visit. Poignant, really.

What’s that you say? You were hoping I sent out a free weekly e-mail with all the latest reviews, DVD releases, and other movie-related merriment? But I do, friend! It’s called “In the Dark,” and you should totally sign up to receive it!

What’s that you say, different person? You like to hear about new movies and DVD releases, but the act of reading is burdensome? You, too, are in luck, old chum! For there is a podcast version of “In the Dark,” too, this week’s edition of which can be heard right here! You can also subscribe to it here.

That is all I have to say to you right now. Have a nice weekend! I am seeing “Daddy Day Camp” tomorrow morning, so remember me in your prayers and burnt offerings.