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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

my week at the movies: ‘Fool’s Gold,’ ‘The Signal,’ ‘Rambo, ‘Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins,’ ‘How She Move’

Obviously I am a glutton for punishment. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days wasn’t excruciating enough, I guess, so now I shall force myself to endure the reunion of its stars, the cute but increasingly superfluous Kate Hudson and the someone-get-the-Raid-skeevy Matthew McConaughey in Fool’s Gold [opens wide February 8]. I cannot top the studio supplied description of the film, so I will let it speak for itself:

Ben “Finn” Finnegan is a good-natured, surf bum-turned-treasure hunter who is obsessed with finding the legendary 18th century Queen’s Dowry–40 chests of exotic treasure that was lost at sea in 1715. In his quest, Finn has sunk everything he has, including his marriage to Tess Finnegan and his more-rusty-than-trusty salvage boat, “Booty Calls.” Just as Tess has begun to rebuild her life, working aboard a mega-yacht owned by billionaire Nigel Honeycutt, Finn discovers a vital clue to the treasure’s whereabouts. Certain that his luck will change with the newfound information, Finn maneuvers himself aboard Nigel’s yacht and, using his good-natured charm, convinces the tycoon and his Blackberry-wielding, celebutante daughter, Gemma, to join him in the pursuit of the Spanish treasure. Against Tess’ better judgment, the search rekindles her love… of discovery. But they are not the only ones after the treasure. Finn’s mentor-turned-nemesis Moe Fitch has also set out to claim the prize. Let the treasure hunt begin…

What I love best is how you just know the bad guy originally had the temporary, we’ll-fix-it-later name of “Foe Mitch,” which they fixed by the clever switching of a couple of consonants. I also love how the poster features Hudson almost naked, McConaughey almost totally clothed, and his hand apparently about to snap her frail unprotected arm.

The Signal [opens limited February 22] was at last year’s Sundance (and some other festivals), where it garnered a lot of acclaim for its effective low-budget horror. A strange transmission takes over every communications device, from televisions to cell phones, with a signal that drives everyone crazy. I think that’s called The Bill O’Reilly Show

Until just a few hours ago, Rambo [opens wide January 25] was not going to be screened for critics before it opened, but now there are screenings scheduled for tomorrow. Someone must have told Lionsgate that the movie is not as bad as they were apparently fearing it was.

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins [opens wide February 8] sounds a lot like Doc Hollywood to me, except instead of Michael J. Fox as a ritzy California doctor stuck in Wherever the Hell, The South, it’s Martin Lawrence as a famous talk show host who goes home to Wherever the Hell, The South. This one is written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee, who made, on the one hand, the charming Roll Bounce, but also, on the other hand, the dumb Undercover Brother. I’m not hopeful.

We can probably guess How She Move [opens wide January 25]. She probably move very well. Because a movie about a dancer who can’t dance would be real short.

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