January 22, 2010, - 4:01 pm
“Legion” was not screened for critics, a sign that it’s a bomb-in-waiting. But as for the two other new box office releases, this weekend, the only worthy one is “Extraordinary Measures.”
* “Extraordinary Measures“: Brendan Fraser and Kerri Russell play parents of two children with Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder. Children afflicted with this disease usually die by age two, as they lose their immunity and muscle function. For this movie, based on a Wall Street Journal article, the story is changed to age nine. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be cute sympathetic kids speaking and riding around in wheelchairs to make the story dramatic.
Fraser, a drug company exec, quits and goes into business with Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), a gruff and short-tempered University of Nebraska scientist and doctor who is onto something that may lead to lifesaving medicine in the incurable disease. In real life, though, the doctor who discovered the medicine for the disease, was Asian–Dr. Yuan Tsong-Chen. But since Ford produced and starred in the movie, he made the doctor into a character that would fit his acting persona.
While the movie is sappy and predictable, and there are parts of it that are anti-corporate America and anti-doctor, overall, it’s an inspiring, uplifting movie that I very much enjoyed. That’s because it shows us the greatness of America–pre-Obamacare. It illustrates that Americans won’t accept limits and will exercise their entrepreneurial urges to develop medical and technological solutions to “unsolvable,” life-threatening problems. But that won’t happen as much if ObamaCare goes into play. With price-setting and rationed care, drug companies simply won’t have incentives to spend the money to develop expensive drugs for a rare disease with few victims, and President Obama’s “balancing test” of whether the lives and expenses are worth it will rule victorious, snatching life away from these kids.
I’m glad they discovered the medicine to save the lives of Pompe kids before President Obama was elected and might have put a kabosh on the whole thing.
* “Tooth Fairy“: Possibly the world’s worst actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, plays the same character he played in the far more charming, far superior, “Game Plan” (read my review)–a pro athlete who is spoiled, immature, and needs to grow up. And as in this movie, little kids and their relatives ultimately make him mature and a nicer, better guy. Sadly, this movie was a bore. There was no magic, very little that was funny, and I struggled to stay awake.
Johnson plays a washed up pro hockey player who is at the end of his career and playing in the minor leagues. He calls himself, “the Tooth Fairy,” and utters dumb, not very punny sayings, like “You can’t handle the Tooth,” or “The tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth.” He’s very negative and tells kid fans to give up on their dreams. When he tells his girlfriend’s daughter there is no tooth fairy and steals her tooth money for a card game, he is sentenced (by chief tooth fairy Julie Andrews) to two weeks hard time as a real life tooth fairy, where he learns how to fly, make himself disappear, make people forget, and do magic. Soon, he learns to inspire people’s dreams and be positive.
The only funny part was a cameo by Billy Crystal. Ashley Judd, by the way, plays his girlfriend and looks like she just turned 50. All those pro-abortion, feminist, and Obama rallies must make people hit the wall at a much higher speed. This movie was so predictable, so silly, and so blah. A complete waste of time, even for a kids’ film.
Still there’s nothing offensive or outright horrid about it, so I give it . . .
Tags: Ashley Judd, Billy Crystal, Brendan Fraser, Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen, Dwayne Johnson, Extraordinary Measures, Harrison Ford, Julie Andrews, Kerri Russell, Movie Reviews, Pompe Disease, Robert Stonehill, The Rock, Tooth Fairy, Weekend Box Office