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"Unbreakable," "102 Dalmatians" and "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

Quick Flicks

!B! "Unbreakable"!B! "102 Dalmatians"!B! "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas"!B! New On Video: "Chicken Run"

"Unbreakable" — M. Night Shyamalan's follow-up to his hugely popular and entertaining "The Sixth Sense" won't be breaking any box-office records. Unfolding at such a slow and deliberate pace, each of the movie's over-the-top plot developments seems even more ludicrous. Even if you buy into the thought-provoking premise that there are superheroes among us, by the time Shyamalan and star Bruce Willis get the story cooking — Wham! Bam! they tie up the plot in a tidy little package that is irritating in its lack of originality. While Samuel L. Jackson delivers his usual engaging performance, stealing the show as the man who knows why Willis' character can't be hurt, Willis' one-note performance seems to confuse stupefication with acting. A middling thriller at best. "102 Dalmatians" — Perhaps I've become a stodgy traditionalist, but I still prefer the dated Disney animated "101 Dalmatians" to either the first live-action remake or this current sequel. Even with the addition of an extra little puppy — this one adorably without spots — to the mix, Disney seems unsure of its intended audience. Though rated G, this second helping of Glenn Close as Cruella De Vil seems awfully mean-spirited. Even the premise — can a lifelong fur-lover change her spots, so to speak, and be rehabilitated into a PETA poster child? — seems a bit over the heads of the folks who clamor for all that Disney-licensed Dalmatian merchandise. "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" — Although Ron Howard's live-action redo of Dr. Seuss' classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is as sticky sweet as any Christmas confection, the real treats are its visual extravagance and its central performance by manic funnyman Jim Carrey. While its whimsy seems frantic and insistent from the start, by the third act — when the Seuss tale we all remember finally kicks in — this "Grinch" is something to cheer. But I'd be fibbing if I didn't admit that you'll probably be fidgeting and checking your watch during the first act. The second act is all Carrey, and how you feel about the rubber-bodied actor will determine how you feel about this lengthy stand-up routine featuring Carrey as the hairy, green guy you love to hate. I liked this "Grinch;" I just didn't love it. New On Video Recently released: my favorite flick of summer, "Chicken Run." This clever bit of claymation magic is sure to delight all ages. Inspired by classic WWII prisoner-of-war films ("The Great Escape" among others), this movie features a few good hen looking to make a break from destiny and Tweedy's Farm. "Ab Fab's" Julia Sawalha voices Ginger, a plucky hen who spends most of her time making unsuccessful attempts at leading her fellow coop-mates to freedom. When Mel Gibson turns up as the voice of "Rocky, the Flying Rooster," Ginger wrongfully assumes he can teach them all how to fly. When Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson) retools her egg operation to produce "chicken pies," Ginger and Rocky lead the others on a final, all-or-nothing break for freedom.

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