Friday 11 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
Home · Articles · Movies · Youth · Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick...

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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