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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan

"BRIDGE TO TEREBITHIA" and "RENO 911: MIAMI"

The following movies opened while I was sick with the flu. With that in mind, I decided to play catch-up and write mini-reviews of them.

The ads for Bridge to Terebithia are a little misleading. The film is made to look like a magical fantasy along the lines of The Chronicles of Narnia. In actuality, itís a story designed to address issues of loss and grief in a way that kids can comprehend. If you donít know this beforehand, you might take your child to see it, only to have him or her bawling their eyes out in a bucket of popcorn. That said, this is still one of the best family films of recent years. Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb play school outcasts who bond over their shared sense of imagination. With the power of their minds, they pretend that a local wooded area is really a magical kingdom known as Terebithia. Their friendship grows as they spend afternoons together in this fantasyland. And thenÖwell, I better not ruin it. Just make sure you bring some Kleenex, okay? Bridge to Terebithia works because the two young actors are outstanding and we really believe their friendship, which the story carefully develops. The movie also does a superb job addressing grief in an age-appropriate way. Thereís even a wonderful message about how young people can cope with such things positively. Bridge to Terebithia is sad, yes, but itís also really entertaining and very moving.

( 1/2 out of four)

Bridge to Terebithia is rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language. The running time is 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Because Iím at the movies so much, I donít get a whole lot of time to watch television. That sometimes puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to films like Reno 911: Miami, based on the popular Comedy Central series. Iíve never seen the program, so am I a good judge of whether the movie version will appeal to fans? Thatís debatable, but perhaps the best compliment I can pay the film is to say that it makes me want to go back and watch the show itís based on. In what is essentially a Police Academy for the 21st century, a ragtag group of Nevada cops, led by Lt. Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon), head to Miami for a convention, although a snafu keeps them from being admitted to the convention center. When it turns out that a biohazard keeps all the other cops quarantined inside, the Reno gang must patrol Miamiís streets and, hopefully, locate an antidote. Reno 911: Miami is full of crude, juvenile humor that often pushes the envelope of good taste. In other words, itís right up my alley. (I canít help it Ė I like this kind of thing.) Thereís no way to intellectually justify enjoying this movie, so I wonít even try. It either makes you laugh or it doesnít, and it made me laugh often enough to give it a mild recommendation for those with a similar taste for the outrageous.

( out of four)


Reno 911: Miami is rated R for sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language and drug use. The running time is 1 hour and 24 minutes.

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