20 posts categorized "1-1/2 jalapeños"


'Batman v Superman' -- Superheroes, superbattle, superboredom

Why can't these guys just get along? (Courtesy: Warner Bros.)

Look, up on the screen, it’s Superman and Batman!

On second thought, don’t bother.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the umpteenth Batman or Superman big screen adventure, is straight out of the What Else Can We Contrive to Make Big Bucks Department.

Two DC Comics superheroes battling and rolling around in the mud with the ferocity of teeth-clinched, squabbling presidential candidates?  At first I didn’t get it all.  After a little research, it seems that the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight have gone at it before in the comic book pages.

A lot of times, in fact.  But now that I get it, I don’t want it.

Ben Affleck, who can act despite some poor project choices (Gigli, Jersey Girl), does all he can for a guy trapped behind a Batman mask and limited to a seething guttural growl most of the time.  Batman to Superman: “Tell me, do you bleed?  You will.”

British actor Henry Cavill, back in the cape and with a big S on his chest after Man of Steel, has the chiseled facial features commonly associated with Superman.  Cavill’s lack of even a trace of facial flexibility, however, makes me think of him more as The Man of Rock.

This film’s two best actors, Amy Adams (American Hustle) and Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), do all they can to make the most of their screen time.  In a film where digital set pieces dominate, though, Lois Lane (Adams) and a young Lex Luthor (Eisenberg) are used merely as brief buffers to move things along to the next mega-rumble in the cement jungles of Metropolis and Gotham City.    

Honestly, I even cringe a little at the title.  Batman v Superman?  Are we to believe this is some kind of legal battle before the Supreme Court?  Nope, just a little clever title trickery from our friends in Hollywood, who, by the way, would like very much for you to spend your money and one tick over two and a-half hours of your life watching Batman and Superman throw each other through walls in the rain.

Zack Snyder (300), back in the Superguy director’s chair after Man of Steel three years ago, does an OK job of stringing together explosive special-effects set pieces.  But’s that’s all we’ve got here, except for a little monster mashing that’s been done often and better in other fight-to-the-finish extravaganzas like the Transformers franchise.

I’m thinking the best battles may have occurred in the writer’s room.  Hard to believe, I know, but there may have been one.  Chris Terrio, an Academy Award winner for his Argo script, which starred Affleck in 2012, and Davis S. Goyer, who penned Man of Steel and other Batman flicks, are credited as screenwriters here.

If you’re hoping for even a trace of character depth, plot development or more than a smattering of dialogue to explain what the fuss is all about, don’t bother looking in this sky or lighting up the Bat Signal.

Call this one Batman v Superman:  Yawn of Justice.

MPAA rating: PG-13 (violent action, some sensuality)

151 minutes

Jalapeño rating:  1½ (out of 4)


Long-suffering love, longer suffering film-making

Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer on a mission to fulfill a bucket-list wish as the title characters in "Elsa & Fred." (indiewire.com)

Early on in the so-called "romantic-comedy" Elsa & Fred, which co-stars extremely capable actors Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer, Plummer's character, an 80-year-old recent widower, says, "I seem alive, but I'm already dead."

The same could be said for director Michael Radford's Americanized remake of the 2005 Spanish-Argentinian elder-romance of the same title.

Co-written by the director and Anna Pavignano, one of five scribes credited with the screenplay of Radford's truly enchanting Il Postino/The Postman (1994), Elsa & Fred jumps over too many clichéd hoops trying to add funny to what could have been a simple tale of new-found love as the sun ebbs on life.

MacLaine and Plummer, who toyed with elder romance in the late Richard Attenborough's Closing the Ring in 2007, do all they can as the title characters.  Fred Barcroft, alternately cared for and badgered by his overbearing daughter (Marcia Gay Harden) a few months after his wife dies, lands next door to ditzy Elsa Hayes in a New Orleans apartment house.

It's not that a relationship is inevitable here that bothers me the most about this romantic-comedy misfire, it's that Radford (Flawless, The Merchant of Venice) falls into the trap of attempting -- and failing -- to transfer the zaniness of the Spanish original to, how shall we say, more sedate American comic sensibilities.

Every time MacLaine hops behind the wheel of the giant orange boat of a car she drives around New Orleans and cranks up the hip-hop music (Yes, I said hip-hop), all I can think about is Ruth Gordon cruising New York streets in various stolen cars trying to save dying trees in Harold and Maude, the dark comic classic treasure of 1971.

The two elders fall truly, madly, deeply in love despite the confused adult children, including Scott Bakula as Elsa's concerned son.  But there are two serious road blocks for those of us in the audience.  Radford and his co-writer keep throwing in characters from nowhere who show up for a scene or two and wander away.  George Segal as Fred's old friend John is one.  James Brolin as Max, Elsa's ex-husband (or is he?), is another.

Somewhere, lurking just below the outlandish nonsense, is a sweet tale about a lonely guy up for one last grasp at true love and a lovable, white-lie spewing woman with health issues who has waited for about six decades for her prince charming to come along and fulfill her dream of channeling Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini's classic La Dolce Vita (1960).

It's not that filmmakers can't find a way to make elder romance -- even elder romance with comedy -- work in a way that younger, say middle-aged audiences can relate.   British director John Madden managed that beautifully with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in 2012.

Oscar winners MacLaine (Terms of Endearment) and Plummer (Beginners) can only force their way through situations more overly silly than fun in this one.

While it's commendable that top-flight elder actors like Plummer and MacLaine still get to bask in the cinematic spotlight at times, that alone is not enough.  Actors of this standing need decent lines to say in screenplays that don't insult the actors or their audiences.

MPAA rating:  PG-13 (for brief strong language)

105 minutes

Jalapeño rating:    (out of 4)



Monkey business that falls flat

I must admit, the brooding big guy of "Zookeeper" has his funny moments.

Not Keven James, who plays the title role.  I'm talking about Nick Nolte, who provides the voice of Bernie, the abused, gruff gorilla.

Bernie just wants to get to TGI Fridays.  The filmmakers probably did too; product placement bucks, you know.

I just wanted to find the entrance to the exit ASAP.

"Zookeeper" may appeal some to children.  For adults who go with them, however, it's likely to be a long afternoon or evening at the movies.

James last graced the big screen opposite Vince Vaughn in "The Dilemma," a dismal film that was neither buddy comedy nor buddy drama, but fizzled somewhere in between.  (Certainly one of Ron Howard's worst films.)

In "Zookeeper," James takes the spotlight solo.  He's Griffin Keyes, a kindly Boston zoo keeper who's humiliated when he proposes to his snobbish girlfriend Stephanie (Leslie Bibb of the "Iron Man" franchise) and gets turned down flat.

Years pass and Kate (Rosario Dawson of "Sin City" fame), a guest zoo veterinarian, is showing signs of warming to Griffin.  He's too dense to notice, so the animals break the long-held code of silence and begin to not only talk to Griffin, but coach him on winning Stephanie back.

This is probably not a scenario that "Doctor Doolittle" -- Rex Harrison (1967) or Eddie Murphy (1998, 2001) -- would be found in.  With five screenwriters involved, including James, this sort of entertainment flatness is not uncommon.

There's one thing I like about "Zookeeper," though.  Most of the animals are real (and trained).  Only the aforementioned gorilla is animatronic.  Nolte makes that one appear real through his guttural bellows of solitude and loneliness.

When it comes to the animal voices, Adam Sandler is also a standout as Donald the Monkey, while Sylvester Stallone and Cher are fun as Joe the Lion and Janet the Lioness.

There are some decent elements involved in this production shot at the Franklin Zoo in Boston.  Unfortunately, director Frank Coraci, a frequent collaborator with co-producer Adam Sandler, can't focus the mayhem into enough combustible comedy to keep it interesting.

Coraci directed a couple of very good Sandler comedies:  "The Wedding Singer" and "The Waterboy."

"Click," his most recent Sandler collaboration, didn't in 2006, however.

Sadly, "Zookeeper" flounders so often it really should be about sea creatures.


Kate Hudson's star power on 'Borrowed' time

To quote an often-repeated phrase, "What the heck were they thinking?"

"Something Borrowed" whirls around a tangled romantic triangle involving characters played by Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin and a semi-Tom Cruise lookalike named Colin Egglesfield.

Like "The Dilemma," a recent buddy comedy that spun way off its axis, "Something Borrowed" flails away madly trying to settle on a genre niche, but never does.

Neither romantic-comedy (too outrageous and plodding) nor drama (much too silly), "Something Borrowed" careens off all possible genres without coming close to anything resembling embraceable entertainment.

Hudson, who did nothing to propel her rising-star mojo with "Bride Wars" a couple of years back, should know better.  Her character in this one, a boyfriend-stealing obnoxious shark of a woman named Darcy, is one of the most unlikable characters to hit movie screens in a romantic-comedy in years; perhaps decades.

It should tell anyone considering a trip to this under-achiever something when it's revealed that director Luke Greenfield lists a Rob Schneider "comedy" ("The Animal") among credits that also include "The Girl Next Door" (2004).

"Something Borrowed," based on Emily Giffin's novel with a screenplay by TV writer Jennie Snyder Urman, launches in New York with Rachel's (Goodwin) 30th birthday party.  Everyone gets smashed, especially best friend Darcy (Hudson).

Rachel ends up in a cab with Dex (Egglesfield), her old law school buddy, whom she had and has a major crush on.  Trouble is, in 61 days he's marrying Darcy, who leaped between them six years earlier like a cheetah on a helpless, unsuspecting gazelle.

"Two stops," Dex (Egglesfield, channeling Tom Cruise with all his might) tells the driver.

But things heat up quickly.  A glance in the rear view mirror at the action in the backseat and the cabbie says, "I'm thinking one stop."

"Something Borrowed" is utterly predictable and loaded with square peg-in-round-hole characters.  TV "Office" staffer John Krasinski sets indoor and outdoor records for contrived double-takes.  And Steve Howey ("Bride Wars") does absolutely nothing to further his career as Marcus, the skateboarding man-child buffoon.

If you must go, you'll see a pretty good performance from Goodwin, who was on screen not too long ago in "He's Just Not That Into You."

That's about it, though.  Advice from this aisle seat:  Move on down the multiplex hall to something better.

That won't be hard to find.  Almost any auditorium will do.  


Girl's in the hood

Gee, "Red Riding Hood," what big ties you have.

To the "Twilight" franchise.

Harmless enough as a semi-desperate attempt to find one more excuse to expose a teeny-bopper lovers' triangle to a lurking monster, "Red Riding Hood" begins to irritate not long after the title character, called Valerie here, skips to the deep forest watering hole, then skips out on her mother's strict orders to come straight back.

It's not the almost mind-boggling stretch to retool a fairy tale into a monster tale aimed at teens that gnaws at the intellect so much.  It's director Catherine Hardwicke's determination -- enabled, one supposes, by a major movie studio -- to continue making "Twilight" flicks long after a not-so-congenial parting of the ways from that franchise.

Hardwicke, the Texas native, has real directing chops.  She ("Thirteen," "Lords of Dogtown," "The Nativity Story") just hasn't called on them much lately.  Hardwicke called the shots on the first "Twilight" cinematic cash cow in 2008, and now appears unable to shut down the moody girl and two rival dreamboat guys dynamic.

The "Red Riding Hood" production notes make the point that the familiar fairy tale has become sanitized over the years.  This film, the notes proclaim, embraces the tale's dark side.

Fair enough, but I'd be willing to bet my box of Milk Duds that the old tale never took a "Twilight" slant; a deeply haunted damsel torn between two chiseled-face hunks, one of whom might just be the beast that likes to snack on the locals every full moon.

Amanda Seyfried, who found idyllic love between ABBA tunes in "Mamma Mia!" in 2008 and has worked steadily since ("Dear John," "Letters to Juliet"), dons the red cloak hoodie as Valerie.

She gets to glimpse into the eyes of the monster and, I'm not making this up, even have a conversation with the furry beast.  Since the visiting werewolf killer (Gary Oldman chewing the scenery and spitting it out) informs the villagers that the werewolf returns to human form in daylight, Valerie spends a considerable amount of screen time gazing into everyone's eyes, including her Grandmama (portrayed by a slumming Julie Christie), who has -- Don't get ahead of me here -- big eyes.

At least a silly movie like this provides screen work for some budding talent.  Shiloh Fernandez ("Deadgirl," "Cadillac Records") gazes into Seyfried's eyes well enough as Peter, her true love.  I like the work of young Max Irons as Henry, the town blacksmith (oddly enough).  If that name Irons sounds familiar.  Yes, Max is the son of award-winning actors Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack.

If you're a teenager who must have something to do with your movie dollars between "Twilight" flicks, I suppose seeing "Red Riding Hood" will be less unpleasant than running out of texting minutes (today's equivalent of being poked in the eye with a sharp stick).

On the other hand, even less discerning fantasy-thriller fans might notice that it snows a lot in the village of Daggerhorn (actually a soundstage in Vancouver) and no one seems to cover up much.

The better to see young bodies in various stages of romantic frenzy, my dears.


How I know about 'How Do You Know'

James L. Brooks won an Academy Award directing Jack Nicholson in Best Picture Oscar winner "Terms of Endearment" in 1983.

Despite reuniting with Nicholson and teaming the perennial movie star with Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd, "How Do You Know" is like a simmering stew with fine cuts of beef and excellent vegetables, but no seasoning.

In other words, "How Do You Know" is bland, bland, bland and definitely not up to Brooks' legendary standards as writer-director.

How do I know?  Nicholson -- Yes, the Jack Nicholson -- is a bore in this offbeat romantic-comedy about four people grinding through transition in their lives.  

Let me tell you something.  When Jack Nicholson can't find a way to keep you engaged, there's something terribly wrong.

Witherspoon, an Oscar winner herself for channeling June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line," is at the center of this sluggish emotional whirling dervish that kicks up very little entertainment dust.

An aging former softball sensation at 31, Lisa (Witherspoon) is strapped emotionally when she's cut from the national team.  So what does she do?  She falls for Matty (Wilson), a self-centered, mini-skirt chasing relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals.

Brooks' plot wanders seriously off base, even for a feature film romantic-comedy contrivance.  Lisa accidentally becomes tangled with George (Rudd), an honest businessman who just happens to be under federal scrutiny.

I think if George were crooked as Wilson's nose, "How Do You Know" would be more fun.  Instead, it's George's old man (Nicholson) who's dirty.

So the dilemma that greases the plot machine is whether George will take the fall for dad and serve prison time and, of course, which man Lisa will choose.

"How Do You Know" sounds more intriguing than it really is.  This is a film that sputters along so lackadaisically that you'll have plenty time to think about last minute holiday shopping without missing much.

Well-orchestrated character driven comedies or comic-dramas (and Brooks has made a few) don't allow daydream time between opening and closing credits.

That's how I know it's OK to skip this one.


Acting and other 'Twilight' things that bite

Lines that are not in "The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse," but should be.

Edward Cullen, perpetual teen vampire:  "Wanna grab a quick bite after graduation?"

Bella Swan, pouting graduating senior virgin human two-timer who's constantly teasing a certain vampire and a certain perpetually shirtless werewolf:  "Yeah, and a cool one."

We might as well joke about "Eclipse," the third "Twilight" movie.  This monster-human romance series has continually morphed into a spoof of itself ever since filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke, a Texas native, left or was given the boot after the initial "Twilight" in 2008.

Hardwicke launched the teen-scream franchise with a decent enough teen vampire/civilian moody blue love story.

The franchise has gone down thrill ever since.

The acting is more stilted with each outing, even from capable Dakota Fanning in her second cameo in this one as Jane, a member of the Volturi (a vampire ruling group).

British director David Slade, who takes over the franchise with No. 3, made a real movie (with real dialogue, real drama and stuff) titled "Hard Candy" in 2005.  He followed-up with the eerie vampire monster mash "30 Days of Night" in 2007 and should have left his bloodsucking horror helming at that.

There's nowhere to go with the "Twilight" franchise, except to orchestrate the further slide down the slippery slope into a perfect storm of pop culture phenomenon, young teen girls with a crush on a dreamy big-screen, milk-faced imaginary boyfriend ("Oh, he bites?  Well, nobody's perfect.") and peer pressure to jump on the latest pop bandwagon.

In Episode 3, based on Stephenie Meyer's novel "Eclipse" and once again adapted by Melissa Rosenberg, the folks of Forks, WA are gearing up for high school graduation.  Bella (Kristen Stewart) isn't sending out invitations or applying to any colleges, though.

The forever glum "Twilight" ingénue spends her time sitting in a field of wildflowers discussing when she and 100-year-old teen vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) are going to "do it," which, of course, means to turn her into an immortal so they can live happily ever after and after and after.

Now this is shocking.  I mean, a vampire able to sit comfortably outside in broad daylight?  Who signed off on a complete disregard for vampire rules?  Is nothing sacred in schlocky monster-horror flicks anymore?

Putting that monumental problem aside for a second, nothing much of interest happens in the second "Twilight" sequel.  Edward and ab-noxious, muscle-flexing werewolf rival Jacob Black (decent actor Taylor Lautner) are forced to form an uneasy alliance, which is no big whoop.

A Newborn Army of blood-thirsty vampires is strolling down through the woods from Seattle to have a go at ripping Bella to shreds.   She has little time to worry about such things.  Bella has more pressing problems, like juggling bracelets given to her by each of her beast beaus.

The jugular will just have to wait until the next sequel.

That one should be titled, but isn't, "Twilight's Last Gleaming."


'Marmaduke' rolls over, plays dead

When Bill Murray, playing himself, was milking the scene and taking a very long time to die in last year's horror spoof "Zombieland," he was asked if he had any regrets.

"Well, yeah, 'Garfield,' I guess," Murray said just before he expired.

Some day, Owen Wilson might be saying the same thing about the almost totally humorless "Marmaduke."

And here's some news that's even scarier.  Thanks to ever-advancing computer technology, filmmakers no longer have a problem making it appear that animals can talk.

So in "Marmaduke" the cartoon Great Dane making a clumsy, failed leap to the big screen can talk.  And so can all the other canines at a California dog park.  Humans, or "two-leggers," as Marmaduke calls them, can't understand a word they're woofing.

Of course if these dogs could really talk, they'd be on the phone to their agents demanding a better script. 

That's exactly what Owen Wilson should have done.  This is a family comedy only in the slightest definition of the term comedy.  Wilson is heard but not seen as the voice of Marmaduke, a 200-pound teenage dog uprooted from the Midwest to California's "O.C."

One sniff around the back yard and Marmaduke proclaims, "This is the nicest bathroom I've ever had."  

Director Tom Dey ("Failure to Launch," "Shanghai Noon"), no stranger to over-the-top silliness, did a fine job lining up talent for his dog voices.  Kiefer Sutherland talks tough as pure-bred bully Bosco, for instance, and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas and Sam Elliott are fun as collie Jezebel and super-sized Chupadogra.

With "Marley & Me" and now this on his list of credits, the only doggie misadventure left for Wilson ("Wedding Crashers") is to portray a talking flea.

The plot is pocked by holes larger than the sinkhole that attempts, but fails to propel the plot when the screenwriters (Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio) are completely out of ideas.  This film begins and ends with a pointy-eared dog passing gas, if that tells you anything.

If your kids are under, say the age of 6 (no, make that 5), they might get some giggles out of a big dog jumping out of soapy bath water and dragging owner Phil (Lee Pace of "Pushing Daisies" on TV) through the house.

The "Beethoven" films were much more entertaining in the early '90s.  The St. Bernard that dragged people through the yard back then didn't have to say a word to get a laugh.

Big dog slobber was all that was required.


'Shrek's' 'A Wonderful Life,' lousy sequel

The new "Shrek" is a wreck, and not one that's interesting enough to slow down for.

What else should we possibly expect from a third sequel in a franchise that launched in 2001?

Let's face it ... again.  It's time to bid farewell to the lovable green ogre.

I know what you're thinking:  "Hey, it's Shrek.  My kids will love it."

Maybe.  Perhaps cinematic newbies born too late to enjoy "Shrek" in its prime will.  This one can be viewed from behind 3-D glasses, which only really matters for the opening sequence of white horses appearing to gallop off the screen and into the audience.

Once the horses and the carriage they're pulling have passed, however, the kids will be "enjoying" a blatant rehash of "It's a Wonderful Life," of all things.

In the fourth installment of the once creatively vibrant fairy tale set in a twisted land titled Far Far Away, our rotund hero is fighting the marital/parental blahs; a midlife crisis.  His triplet little ogres are annoying him more with every burp or other gas passing (sure to draw a shock laugh from the kiddies).

Soon after Shrek blows his top at the kids' first birthday party, Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn, a feature voice newcomer who's also in charge of the story) offers the big, green, disenchanted guy the same deal Clarence the angel-in-training sold to Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life."  

The details vary slightly, but suddenly Shrek never existed (just like Stewart's George Bailey).  Far Far Away is ravaged like Bedford Falls gone to hell.  Donkey (voiced vibrantly by Eddie Murphy as usual) has no idea who Shrek is.

What of Fiona (Cameron Diaz)?  A human damsel without her Shrek savior by day and ogre by night,  Fiona's leading the ogre resistance against the king (Rumpelstiltskin, of course) and the witches who protect him.

"Shrek Forever After," directed with lots of bluster but little spirit by Mike Mitchell ("Sky High," "Surviving Christmas"), is a sequel with such minuscule oomph that one of its main characters provides the tired metaphor.

Puss In Boots, the Zorro-like kitty voiced by Antonio Banderas, has grown fat and lazy (just like the franchise itself).  When Puss, which can barely right himself, begs Donkey to lend him a tongue to groom fur he can no longer reach, it's almost as if screenwriters Josh Klausner ("Date Night") and Darren Lemke (a feature film first-timer) are signaling us that they're throwing in the adventure towel.

That brings us to Mike Myers ("Austin Powers"), the former "Saturday Night Live" standout who has been at the microphone as Shrek for almost a dozen years now.

For whatever reason -- personal challenges (the death of his mentor father, a divorce) or maybe just due to the fact that there's nowhere left to go with the green ogre who would rather be having a mud bath than tending the kids -- Myers has lost his joy of performance.  

And he took "Shrek Forever After" with him.


Stuck between a Rock and forced farce do-over

Eccentricity morphs awkwardly in "Death at a Funeral," a recent British farce diluted into American madcap comedy.

I can understand why raucous American comedian Chris Rock was intrigued by the Frank Oz British version.  Emotions run deep at funerals.  Strange things are said and sometimes done when families and friends gather under extreme stress to honor the recently deceased.  

Often, unbridled emotions lead to dark comedy, at least from a distanced eye.

The first "Death at a Funeral" was only marginally successful in 2007.  Compared to the American re-do, however, the original tale of a pint-sized blackmailer who crashes  a family patriarch's funeral and creates havoc amid already erupting chaos looks like a work of genius.

Oddly, exceptional American actor Peter Dinklage ("The Station Agent") portrays the little guy who stirs up big trouble in both versions.  This time he's Frank, the deceased's "special friend" with incriminating pictures.  In the British "Death at a Funeral," he was Peter, the dead guy's "special friend" with incriminating pictures.

It's important to change things around, I suppose.  Otherwise, film-goers might think, correctly, that director Neil LaBute and screenwriter Dean Craig (who wrote the original) are attempting to charge some movie-goers for the same thing twice.

LaBute ("In the Company of Men," "Your Friends & Neighbors"), an exceptional writer-director of serious drama that takes dark comic turns, goes slumming here for reasons that escape me.

The two "Funerals" are not entirely the same film, of course.  The first occurred on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.  This one, a step-by-step remake without the farcical British tweak, plays out in Pasadena, CA.

Two confrontational brothers serve as the story's pivot point.  Aaron (Rock), the elder brother by a mere nine months, has stayed home and gotten married despite wanting all his life to be a novelist.  Brother Ryan (Martin Lawrence) returns triumphantly from New York, where he has managed to get several novels published.  All trite trash, from what we can decipher from the dialogue.

Rock, who appeared in LaBute's "Nurse Betty", and Lawrence ("Big Momma's House") are talented comedians.  But they aren't funny in this one.  That will and should disappoint their fans.  Both should know better if they intended to get laughs.  They are not part of the madcap clown act in this forced farce.

The laughs -- and there are a few crammed down our throats -- befall Dinklage (whose talents are wasted), Danny Glover (who knows better) and Tracy Morgan ("Cop Out," "30 Rock" on TV), who may not know better, primarily involve involuntarily ingested hallucinogenic drugs and fecal matter flying through the air.

If you're looking for the only real funny business in "Death at a Funeral," don't go out for a popcorn refill with the stuff hits the fans and some of the actors.