Empty Calories

You know, NPH would be in on the jokeThis week’s Sympatico/MSN DVD column celebrates the meaninglessness that is the midsummer slump by taking Neil Marshall’s “Doomsday” and Edward Neumeier’s “Starship Troopers 3: Marauder” for a spin around the block.

Yes, they made a “Starship Troopers 3”. Remember “Starship Troopers 2”? It’s kind of like that, but with a musical number.

Seriously, there’s a musical number.

Also, three movies are opening today, presumably to avoid being drowned in Olympic pomp on Friday:

Bottle Shock“: A smug, utterly contrived dramedy about the blind tasting in 1976 that put California wines on the same level as French vintages that wastes solid performances from Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman in the service of clumsy culture-clash jokes. Remember when they were talking about how the success of “Sideways” would spawn a new wave of intelligent, adult-oriented moviemaking? Yeah, well, this is what we get instead.

Pineapple Express“: My review will be available in tonight’s edition of NOW. (UPDATE: Link is live!) The short version? It does indeed feel like the guys who brought us “Superbad” and “Knocked Up” made an action comedy, but were really high when they wrote it and figured they could just power through all the script problems on the set if they shouted all the dialogue. Also, it’s really violent, in a tone-deaf way that mostly cancels out the comedy.

“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2”: The first one was surprisingly mature and intelligent, with complex characters and challenging storylines. The sequel swaps out the directors and has to deal with Blake Lively and America Ferrera having gone from unknowns to TV stars in the interim. I continue to hold out hope.