A six-pack of new offerings at bargain theaters includes romance, action, comedy Martians and one very famous big boat. ---
The top pick among the dollar-theater arrivals is 21 Jump Street, which doesn’t reboot the TV series that launched Johnny Depp’s career so much as turn the buddy-cop genre inside-out, with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as the young cops going undercover in high school. It’s most effective at using that setting, showing us a generation gap that moves so fast it no longer waits a generation. Though over-the-top crude at time, it’s more inventive than you have any reason to expect.
American Reunion brings another familiar name back to the screen for laughs, but the latest franchise offering shows the same awkward mix of rowdy hijinks and sentimentality as the gang gathers for a high-school reunion. Too many subplots waste time on the weakest members of the cast, while every moment spent with Stifler (Seann William Scott) and Jim’s dad (Eugene Levy) is still a hoot.
The filmed-in-Utah box-office disappointment John Carter also makes its way to the second-run, giving audiences another shot to see what's actually a surprisingly lively and fun science-fiction adventure. Other new arrivals: the occasionally charming, tonally jarring romantic dramedy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen; the thick-with-whimsy-but-still-appealing Snow White tale Mirror Mirror; and Titanic in its 3-D incarnation