The grueling experience of going through combat comes to discount theaters this weekend; also, something that's not an Eddie Murphy comedy. ---
Act of Valor was promoted with its gimmick of using real active-duty Navy SEALs for its fictionalized story of a military rescue mission. And there are about 20 minutes of eye-popping awesomeness in the middle, where we get a look at combat operations and interrogations in a completely new and fascinating way. Unfortunately, the rest of it is rote action stuff combined with attempts at backstory drama that crumble under the pressure of inexperienced performers.
Meanwhile, Eddie Murphy's long-delayed A Thousand Words -- about a fast-talker whose fate is connected to a magical bodhi tree, whose leaves fall every time he utters a word -- also appears. CW's Eric D. Snider described it as "the definition of flatline filmmaking, slapped together by people who can’t even muster the energy to deliver on their low-grade formula" And he chooses his words carefully.