January 22, 2010, - 4:01 pm

Weekend Box Office: Lame “Tooth Fairy,” Pre-ObamaCare “Extraordinary Measures”

By Debbie Schlussel

“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 . . .


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7 Responses

Ashley Judd looks like she just turned 50?

Well, that may be true, but she’s still hotter than Ann Coulter.

Bryan on January 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I was actually thinking the conservative goddess (who is much prettier than Ashley Judd and Ann Coulter) would be giving The Rock’s flick alot of praise.

Oh well.

Squirrel3D on January 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Since there are only two reviews, one movie starring Harrison Ford, I’ll throw one in for you:

What has laces, and is seven feet tall?


Thank you and good night.

Douglas Q on January 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm

I saw Extraordinary Measures and found it a bore. I agree, with your observation, though, that the film’s subtext gives support for entrepreneurial success in pharmaceutical developments (such as we have in the U.S.); interesting the way hard-left-leaning Ebert twists his review of the movie to prove that only government (i.e., socialized) health care really provides for the needy.

I also saw Tooth Fairy which I enjoyed more than you, perhaps because–judging from your comments–I’m a bigger Dwayne Johnson fan. I actually expected something lamer judging just from the previews. The film was mostly targeted to small tots, (which explains Johnson’s hammy overacting), but adults in the audience were laughing, too.

Legion was completely ludicrous. This is a film so over-the-top and campy, the best response is laughter. Structurally the film reminded me of Dusk to Dawn but lacking Rodriguez and Tarantino’s wit. The best scene–as in the trailers–was the weirdly frightening old lady who walks on the ceiling, but this didn’t represent the film’s tone or quality as a whole.

My favorite movie by far this week was a film just released that you didn’t review: To Save a Life. This heavily religious, pro-Christian melodrama had good production values and direction and was full of believable characters and situations. More honestly (less sensationally and manipulatively) pious than last week’s Book of Eli (which I liked), this film moved me from beginning to end. Teens especially should see it!

Burke on January 23, 2010 at 6:19 am

‘Hotter than Ann Coulter’ ???

That’s got to be a Berkley California lesbian who typed that.

Or, Rahm Emmanuel.

edouard coneho on January 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

Judd is a natural beauty. I still despise her and I still avoid everything she is in and markets.

llano2 on January 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Ashley Judd was born the same year as Debbie: 1961

Len on January 28, 2010 at 3:53 am

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