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Featuring:

National Treasure: Book of Secrets
The Next Three Days
The Nines
Norbit

National Treasure: Book of Secrets
(2007)

Serviceable, cookie-cutter sequel. One note characters and identikit plotting to the first movie, but unlike the recent Indy it chugs along nicely and uses actual locations.

**1/2

The Next Three Days
(2010)

Far-fetched premise (hubby vows to break wife convicted of murder out of prison) is rendered quite gripping by the choice not to make Russell Crowe's character a superhero. He keeps messing things up throughout, which is quite a refreshing take. 

Paul Haggis directs with an eye to ratcheting up the tension and misdirecting the audience.  Elizabeth Banks is impressive as the wife too, believably going for a fairly unsympathetic reading of the character.

***1/2


The Nines
(2007)

John August's directorial debut gives us Ryan Reynolds times three but, despite some effectively Lynchian moments where the real world isn't all that it seems, it's too whimsical and indulgent to really take off. The revelation of Reynolds' characters has none of the impact it should have because it's just info-dumped on us in the second sequence.

***

Norbit
(2007)

I figured this might be worth the odd chuckle since critics can sometimes unfairly malign perfectly decent, potty-humour filled films. I was wrong to give it the benefit of the doubt. I made a really big mistake.

*

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