At the Movies: capsule reviews of 'Drillbit Taylor' and other films opening this week

Capsule reviews of films opening this week:

"Drillbit Taylor" " Do you hear that? That shrill, shrieking sound coming from your local multiplex? That would be the Judd Apatow machine slowly, steadily winding down after humming along so brilliantly for so long. It brings no joy to report this. After all, this is a critic who gave four stars to "Knocked Up" and laughed consistently throughout "Superbad." But for all its silly charm, "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" didn't exactly sing to audiences, and this latest comedy is even more one-note. Apatow produced, Stephen Brill ("Little Nicky") directed and Seth Rogen co-wrote the script about a trio of high school nerds who hire a bodyguard to protect them from a psychotic bully. Owen Wilson is the same low-key guy as usual, playing the titular Santa Monica homeless dude who pretends to have special ops training to get the gig. Young stars Nate Hartley, Troy Gentile and David Dorfman have a likable, goofy chemistry with each other, and the fact that they're up-and-comers makes them more believable. But once you get past the premise, there's just nowhere to go. PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity. 102 min. Two stars out of four.

" Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic

"The Hammer" " If "Rocky" was low-budget, "The Hammer" is pretty much no budget " and that gives it a certain roughhewn charm. Yes, this comedy about a sad-sack, has-been boxer is painfully predictable and manages to include every cliche of the genre, but executive producer and star Adam Carolla keeps it rolling along with his trademark, deadpan rants. Inspired by Carolla's own story, "The Hammer" follows a former amateur fighter who now scrapes by as a carpenter and cardio-boxing instructor at the local gym. (Director Charles Herman-Wurmfeld vividly captures a particularly nondescript, though recognizable, section of suburban Los Angeles.) At age 40, Carolla's Jerry Ferro gets to step back into the ring when a legendary coach (the crusty Tom Quinn) spots the lanky southpaw and asks him to try out for the Olympic team as a light-heavyweight. At the same time, just as his miserable girlfriend leaves him, Jerry gets involved with one of his students (Heather Juergensen). The two have some amusingly awkward dates, which give Carolla a chance to tee off and receive such loving, inspiring advice as, "Don't take too many shots to the face." R for brief language. 90 min. Two and a half stars out of four.

" Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic


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