Sidney Poitier never would have fallen on his butt while pulling luggage from a taxicab trunk. And he never would have been caught romping on a bed in red clingy lingerie, then awkwardly explaining: “I’m not a cross-dresser, just for the record.” Ashton Kutcher is called upon for these embarrassing antics and countless others in this comic re-envisioning of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with a twist in the racial dynamic.

Wisely, it’s not intended as a straight remake of the 1967 classic, which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won two, including best actress for Katharine Hepburn. That much is clear from the names above the title: fellow Fox TV comedians Kutcher and Bernie Mac. But the very idea of taking something important and insightful and mucking it up for the sake of cheap laughs and commerce seems cynical. It’s also disheartening. Sitting through it, however, is a fresh torture all its own, and it only serves as a reminder of how elegantly searing the original was. Rated: PG-13 for sex-related humor. Rating: 1 1/2 out of 4 stars.

– Christy Lemire, AP movie critic
‘Miss Congeniality 2: Armed, Fabulous’

Sandra Bullock’s second time out as a tomboy federal agent turned glam queen is far more predictable and far less likable. The story’s flimsy, the antics inconsistent, the characters essentially Barbie and Ken action figures flexing for the next garish sight gag. All too often, it’s downright mean-spirited, Bullock and co-star Regina King trading blows meant as fluffy slapstick but which end up as nasty sucker punches devoid of humor. After her reluctant makeover to go undercover as a beauty-pageant contestant, Bullock’s character this time embraces life as an accessorized airhead, hitting the talk-show circuit as the FBI’s poster girl. She’s drawn back into action with a surly new partner (King) to help find her kidnapped pageant pals (Heather Burns and William Shatner). Rated; PG-13 for sex-related humor. Rating: 1 1/2 out of 4 stars.

– David Germain, AP movie writer
‘The Ring Two’

A B-movie premise with grade-A production values, it’s tenser, moodier, scarier, and all-around better than you’d expect from a sequel – especially the sequel to a horror movie, one that didn’t exactly get universally ringing endorsements the first time around. Hideo Nakata, the director of the original Japanese smash hit “Ringu,” makes his American film debut here. And that makes a huge difference. Oh, it’s still based on a totally ridiculous idea, this nonsense about a little girl who’s been dumped down a well but still manages to communicate through supernatural video production. The spooky Samara is back, and so is Naomi Watts’ character, girl-reporter Rachel Keller, as the target of her terror. Rated: PG-13 for violence/terror, disturbing images, thematic elements and some language. Rating: 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.

– Christy Lemire, AP movie critic


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