Carrie Underwood

On the surface, the story of Bethany Hamilton is toweringly inspirational. The young surfer on the verge of going pro faced a personal loss so great that it should have destroyed her future career and water-soaked passion in one blow. The fact that she fought back against it, got back on the board, and eventually triumphed is a testament to the human spirit (as well as, according to the film, a testament to faith and the power of a higher being). It’s a compelling story, but as Soul Surfer proves, it’s not the best basis for a full-length feature film. It’s perfectly passable, but director Shawn McNamara has created a version of the story that focuses on filler and ties up all the drama far too easily.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spends a long day in the multiplex, checking out a variety of films from alcoholic romantic comedies to nature documentaries with elephants and orangutans. He drinks himself silly and hits on Greta Gerwig in Arthur, narrowly escapes being killed by ass-kicking teen assassin Hanna, narrowly escapes getting his arm bitten off by a tiger shark in Soul Surfer and peeps in on Natalie Portman undressing for a swim in Your Highness. Too bad she’s pregnant now, ‘cause Kevin just ain’t into that scene.

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Right now in theaters, there’s a movie focusing on the decade-long struggle for a Canadian kid who met Usher to become a pop superstar. That movie is titled Never Say Never – a rousing call to action for all white bread pubescents out there that dream of having training bras thrown at them on stage. The phrase is also used in the new trailer for Soul Surfer – based on the true story of a young surfer who loses her arm in a shark attack, continues to surf, and inspires a ton of people because of her perseverance through, you know, real adversity. Which one is more appropriate? You be the judge. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Resistance is futile, especially when the opportunity to tie movie news in with a Dave Chappelle skit about a great moment in the life of Samuel L. Jackson comes along.

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