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In theaters this week

That Bastard!

That's My Boy is 114 minutes of mediocrity

In That's My Boy, Andy Samberg plays the fruit of a raunchy student-teacher love affair, for which teen hooligan Donny Berger (Adam Sandler) provides the sperm. Decades later, tax evasion threatens to send Berger to the pen (just like his statutory lover), forcing him to reconnect with the kid he royally fucked up. Neurotic Samberg has to cope with all of this while wedding his dream-girl-turned-incestuous-bitch (Leighton Meester). The supposedly touching plot aims for hilarity and totally misses. The film watches less like a comedy and more like a night of binge drinking — only funny with alcohol. Despite the one redeeming montage — a bachelor party culminating with Vanilla Ice pissing on himself — a hangover inevitably follows. The humor otherwise pivots on racism and synonyms for dicks; Sandler’s ability to deliver a crude laugh stops there. While the actors dub this their “dream cast,” a lack of synergy makes the unbelievable plot unbelievably awkward. Sandler’s horrendous Boston accent doesn’t help either. The 114 minutes of mediocrity do have a reward though: a host of awesomely random cameos — all of whom will most likely fire their publicists. — Christina Sterbenz

Prometheus

They're claiming that Prometheus isn't technically a prequel to Alien, despite the same universe and director. But that's not quite the truth. And that's not going to stop comparisons to Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic. Set roughly a quarter-century before Ripley's fateful space run, Prometheus follows a crew of explorers (played by Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, and Charlize Theron, among others) in search of nothing less than the origin of mankind on Earth. What they discover is a monumental testament to grand set design and spectacular CGI ... and a planet oozing with monsters directly related to the ones that destroyed the Nostromo. Bigger issues loom — faith, creationism — but the movie is smart and savvy with its scares, even if it doesn't pack the visceral punch of the first two terrific parts of the saga. Much of this has been covered before — the slow, scientific build-up, the alien-infested landscape, the robot crew member — but the mythos that Scott and the writers construct here open up a new world of possibilities. (Michael Gallucci)

Bernie (PG-13) — Dazed and Confused director Richard Linklater's latest movie is a half-fiction, half-documentary true story about an effeminate mortician in a tiny conservative Texas town who takes up with a wealthy and unlikable octogenarian and shoots her in the back, only to find the entire town rallying to his defense. Even more bizarre, the funeral director is played by Jack Black with wholesomeness, restraint, and heart. Actual interviews with the town's locals who knew the real Bernie and the reviled Marjorie Nugent (Shirley MacLaine) dominate much of the conversation, and they're chock-full of doozies. Matthew McConaughey is a welcome arch figure in a town where moral ambiguity had better be earned through near-Christ-like acts of goodness. (Justin Strout)

Hysteria (R) – In the 1880s, middle-class women suffered from an overactive uterus, or so said Dr. Dalrymple (Jonathan Pryce). The disorder caused a wide array of symptoms, from sexual frigidity to demanding the right to vote, and the cure could be as severe as a full hysterectomy or as simple as a "pelvic massage" (i.e., an orgasm). Dalrymple's practice focuses on the latter approach, and he takes on the young Dr. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy), who invented the first vibrator, to share some of the work. Director Tanya Wexler's first film in a decade feels like an exercise in relearning how to make movies. Hysteria comes off as just another romantic comedy, bursting with safe, predictable antics. An odd balance of boring and absurd, it never quite reaches the level of excitement its title implies. (Erin Gleeson)

The Intouchables (NR) – After spending time in prison for a robbery, Senegalese-born ghetto dweller Driss (Omar Sy) heads to the filthy-rich part of Paris to get his unemployment forms signed by Philippe (François Cluzet), a quadriplegic millionaire who's confined to a wheelchair and looking for someone to take care of him. Much to his disappointment, Driss is hired as Philippe's full-time caretaker. Coming from different parts of the city that might as well be entirely different countries, Driss and Philippe are indeed an odd couple, but they hit it off from the start. Based on a true story and a massive hit in France, the movie is essentially a buddy pic with one difference: We actually get to see why these two men would get along and, more importantly, we come to understand how they become such close friends. (Gallucci)

Snow White and the Huntsman (PG-13) — At the very least, the second movie of 2012 to revisit the classic fairy tale will wash out the bad taste left by Mirror Mirror. Kristen Stewart plays the teenage princess, who escapes her castle prison for the Dark Forest, pursued by a drunken Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, Thor in The Avengers) sent by her evil stepmother, Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron). First-time director Rupert Sanders dresses up the film with enough CGI and eye candy to keep things visually exciting. And the eight dwarfs here (yes, eight) are far from the amiable forest-dwellers found in other versions of the story. But the movie is overlong, and its uninspired plot is no match for the stunning look of the film. And Stewart is no match for the hammy, gorgeous, and deliciously evil Theron. (Gallucci)

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