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“Grown Ups 2” – Because the last 20 minutes aren’t terrible, and since there are a few mild grace notes scattered throughout, this is a marginal improvement over 2010′s deplorable, inexplicably popular “Grown Ups.” Shockingly, the best performance is turned in by a non-buffed Taylor Lautner as a frat boy bully who gives townies Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James and Dave Spade a hard time. (C-).
New on DVD:
“Bullet to the Head” – Veteran action director Walter (“48 Hours,” “The Warriors”) Hill’s first movie in over a decade is as relentless as a speeding train and as lean and tautly wired as its leading man (Sylvester Stallone). The former “Rocky”/”Rambo” star plays a contract killer who runs into some unexpected trouble while completing an assignment in the Crescent City. But plot hardly matters. If you’re looking for full-throttle action fun, Hill delivers in spades. (B).
“45 Minutes from Broadway” – Indie legend Henry Jaglom’s attempt at a modern-day spin on George S. Kaufman and Edner Ferber’s life-is-theater/theater-is-life chestnut “The Royal Family” is one of his rare misfires. The comedy isn’t particularly funny, the drama fails to convince and the performances are more affected than affecting. (C).
“42” – As a piece of filmmaking, this Jackie Robinson biopic is a tad pedestrian. But Robinson’s story, breaking the major league baseball color barrier in 1947, is a real corker, and the performances and production values are uniformly strong. As Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, Harrison Ford is so good he deserves to be remembered at awards time. (B+).