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"Down to Earth," Sweet November," "Recess: School's Out," and on video, "The Original Kings of Comedy."

Quick Flicks

!B! "Down To Earth"!B! "Sweet November"!B! "Recess: School's Out"

Now on Video!B! "The Original Kings of Comedy"

"Down To Earth" — Chris Rock fans will be scratching their heads trying to figure out just where this unfunny remake of "Heaven Can Wait" and "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" went wrong. Rock is an engaging presence on-screen or off, but he lands with a thud here. Despite more than a few of Rock's standup routines being dropped into the movie, the plotting is still gimmicky and unimaginative. Rock is a wannabe comic and bicycle messenger who gets hit by a truck — well, almost. St. Peter's right-hand man (Eugene Levy) decides to take him one-tenth of a second before impact. So Rock gets a free ride on the reincarnation cycle, but the only body they can find for him is one that belongs to a rich, old white guy. The laughs should come from watching Rock try to interact with his servants, do his stand-up routines and romance the African-American woman of his dreams. But since Rock is in every scene, with only a few glimpses of him as the white dude, none of it is very funny. "Sweet November" — This romantic dramedy tugs at the heartstrings with near-obsessive fervor. But instead of investing any creativity in manipulating our emotions, the filmmakers are content with merely dusting off every old cliché. Consequently, nothing really hits the heart. Although the movie is something of a valentine to Charlize Theron (she's the only reason to sit through this), you have to put up with Keanu Reeves struggling with being caring, heartfelt and spontaneous. Now that's something to cry about! A ponderous remake of the 1968 romance of the same name, the movie takes us into the world of a quirky young woman who takes a new beau each month and makes him a better person. But there's a big, tragic reason for her generous spirit. "Recess: School's Out" — Based on Disney's small-screen animated series, this inconsequential tale never strays far from its TV 'toon origins: Its look is TV-flat and its storyline has about a half-hour's worth of humor. However, kids (and a few discerning adults) who are familiar with the spunky, smart youngsters of Third Street School should enjoy seeing them on the big screen. In a nutshell, the plot has T.J., Gretchen, Spinelli, Gus and the rest of the gang fighting Ninjas and other goons who are plotting to put an end to summer vacation. "Recess" is pleasant, but certainly nothing special. "The Original Kings of Comedy" — True to its title, this Spike Lee concert documentary serves up near nonstop laughter along with more than a dash or two of biting social commentary. This comes courtesy of four of America's hottest African-American stand-up comics: D.L. Hughley, Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac and Cedric the Entertainer. It was shot over two nights last year in Charlotte, and Lee more than captures the rousing communal emotion and energy of a live performance. Unapologetically adult in language and themes, these guys are hilarious.

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