Saturday 19 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Children's · Diary of a Wimpy Kid:...

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

Enjoyable, full of goodwill, but inferior to original

Rod Lott March 28th, 2011

Last spring’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” caught me by surprise. Not only was it not painful, but it was genuinely funny — arguably the best family film of the past decade.


Given its success, a sequel was inevitable. Given how quickly its stars are aging, however, a sequel was also rushed. The one-year-later result is “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.” While it’s still enjoyable and full of goodwill, the quick production schedule shows in the seams.

Whereas the original focused on Greg Hefley’s (Zachary Gordon) jump into middle school and re-evaluating his friendship with his chubby, clueless best bud, Rowley (Robert Capron), the follow-up focuses on Greg’s ongoing rivalry with his older, bad-boy brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), wannabe rock star. Tired of their constant bickering, Mom (Rachael Harris) bribes them to get along via a rewards system she terms “Mom Bucks.”

And so begins a series of scenes that play like loose sketches rather than a full story. Director David Bowers (“Astro Boy”) brings all of the charm but little of the comedic spark that Thor Freudenthal did the first time around. Often, “Rodrick Rules” feels not like a full-fledged feature, but a made-for-TV version, where the timing just didn’t make the leap along with the cast. And no offense to Bostick, who is fine, but the overall proceedings suffer from Capron being downgraded in screen time.

Still, this second round of misadventures for the “Wimpy Kid” doesn’t leave you checking your watch or wishing it ill will. For movies targeted to tots and tweens, that’s saying something. —Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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