NEW YORK – 'Without A Paddle’ is without laughs, ‘Benji’ is squeaky clean and ‘The Exorcist’ is possessed at the box office this weekend.
USA Today gives "Without A Paddle" a star and a half claiming it needs a lifeline. "In a summer filled with dumb comedies, this might be the dumbest." Ouch. The paper also says it's awash in a sea of crudeness.
The Wall Street Journal says the flick strands the audience without a paddle. You get the idea. Still, it's fun to see Burt Reynolds having a little fun at "Deliverance's" expense.
Next, filmmakers told Fox News that all the big studios wanted the kinds of jokes they use in "Without A Paddle" to be in the latest Benji movie. So like Triumph the Insult Dog, they pooped on that idea and raised the money themselves. The result is the noble "Benji: Off The Leash" -- a real clean family movie. And did you know all the dogs that have played Benji were adopted from animal shelters? It gets two stars from The New York Daily News that says all Benji movies are corny, but this one is a bumper crop.
Finally, this is always a bad sign. First "Exorcist: The Beginning" changed directors -- from indie cool Paul Schrader to big budget hit and miss Renny Harlin -- but now the film has been kept from critics. That's a sure sign we're in the dog days of summer and this one has fleas.