Starsky & Hutch
Directed by Todd Phillips
This spoof of the 1970s buddy-cop TV show is the movie equivalent of a Barcalounger: it's not about working hard. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson have become a bankable comic duo, with the breezy Wilson serving as a nice foil for the kvetchy Stiller, and director Phillips ("Old School") plays the same card here. There are no ideas, just repartee. Snoop Dogg, as a superfly snitch, and Vince Vaughn, as a drug lord, are wasted in obvious supporting roles. It's harmless fun--and too lazy to be more.
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Directed by Guy Ferland
In Cuba on the eve of the revolution, a brainy American 18-year-old (Romola Garai), whose father is a Ford executive, finds passion in the arms of a sexy Cuban waiter (Diego Luna), her secret partner at the national dance competition. The Afro-Cuban rhythms are infectious, and though the leads aren't great hoofers, JoAnn Jansen's sinuous choreography cleverly disguises the fact. This sweet, sometimes clunky chick flick is a likable teen romance, but not likely to arouse the giddy swoons Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey generated back in '87.
Directed by Philip Kaufman
The third Ashley Judd-in-peril movie from Paramount gives her a darker edge: she's a hard-drinking San Francisco detective who likes to pick up strangers in bars. Then all her sex partners turn up dead. Could she have killed them in an alcoholic blackout? Yeah, right. Anyone who's seen enough bad movies will suss out the villain after 45 minutes, and watch the rest with mounting disbelief as Sarah Thorp's lazy script lurches from the lame to the ludicrous. It's sad to see the director of "The Right Stuff" and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" reduced to this.