2007_06_arts_nancydrew.jpgIt's inevitable in a summer season of blockbuster highs and lows that we'd have a weekend filled with new releases none of which look good enough to recommend. Glancing ahead to the rest of the month there's stuff like Ratatouille, Sicko, Evening, A Mighty Heart and Evan Almighty to look forward to seeing. But this week? Nada. Don't believe that could possibly be the case? Check out what other early reviews of this week's releases are saying:

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
"Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a giant silver eunuch on a radioactive surfboard! That’s more or less the gist of this mercifully brief sequel to 2005’s surprise hit about that other band of Marvel mutants...As before, it’s tough to know how much of the movie’s hambone acting, Saturday-morning-cartoon dialogue and pubescent sexual innuendo are accidental and how much by design." Scott Foundas in LA Weekly

Nancy Drew
"The last time Warners brought Nancy to the screen, in the person of Bonita Granville, she was a scatterbrain; in her current incarnation, played by Emma Roberts (niece of Julia), she's a perky, politely eye-rolling little know-it-all who, although a senior in high school, looks 14 and has the personality of an obnoxious, if fearless, 12-year-old. This tweener goddess—a virtual Batcave of handy accessories packed in her shoulder bag—may prove too annoying for general audiences, particularly as Roberts plays her comically straight." J. Hoberman in the Village Voice

Eagle Vs. Shark
"Or, Napoleon Not-So-Dynamite. Made in New Zealand, which ups the whimsical-yuk factor because of those funny accents, Eagle vs Shark is the coy and coyer comedy of a cartoon-passive geek (Loren Horsley) who falls for a cartoon-angry dork with Mick Jagger's lips (Jermaine Clement of HBO's Flight of the Conchords). It's a tale that reduces angst, not to mention love, to a generational tic." Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly

DOA: Dead or Alive
"‘DOA’, the game, is a 3-D beat-’em-up featuring a bevy of athletic, buxom beauties in skintight leotards kicking seven shades out of each other. It’s an ideal vehicle for [Transporter director Cory] Yuen, who is a dab hand at filming imaginative hand-to-hand combat sequences....[The thin plot is] all poppycock, but that’s to be expected. Besides, most hormonal lads will only be interested in two things: the wall-to-wall cartoon fisticuffs and the content of the characters’ costumes." Derek Adams in Time Out London

"Fido is a zombie comedy—or zom-com for those who like everything broken down into cutesy abbreviations—that sends up the '50s. [Director Andrew] Currie's execution of his material is competent....Unfortunately, Fido never goes anywhere interesting or particularly funny with its sketch-comedy premise, content to lazily skewer its chosen era's repressive atmosphere while dispensing drawn-out spoofs of Lassie." Nick Schager in Slant

If you really want to get to the cineplex this weekend, your best bet is a new release from last week, Ocean's Thirteen. Frothy and entertaining, with handsome actors and elaborate heist set-pieces in a lushly faux Vegas, Steven Soderbergh's third outing with the franchise is what summer movies should be about—air conditioned escapism.