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DVDs In Brief: April 6, 2011

Tron: Legacy (Buena Vista) has the temerity to take the extremely silly 1982 Disney special-effects extravaganza seriously, and offers little fun as a result. The filmmakers started with something thin and frivolous, then loaded it down with mythology—which in this case means fewer cool computer games, and more talk, talk, talk, talk…

The home-video release of the execrable Little Fockers (Universal) is a good time to remember that the original Meet The Parents was a pretty decent comedy about the anxieties of meeting the future in-laws. Then Meet The Fockers was a tired retread about meeting another set of in-laws. That leaves Little Fockers with nowhere to go but literally up some guy’s ass, which it does only 10 minutes into the movie. The rest is a lowbrow embarrassment packed with gross-out gags, including a Viagra joke involving Robert De Niro, whose legacy gets more tarnished with each successive sequel…

Walden Media’s third Chronicles Of Narnia book-to-film adaptation, The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (Fox), proceeds much like the first two, though in this case, the source material is more wandering and disjointed, so the film pulls it all together with a generic, poorly conceived videogame plot that involves collecting magic swords. Some of the fight scenes are involving, but mostly, this is another CGI-packed, programmatic, utterly wholesome time-waster for children…

I Love You Phillip Morris (Lionsgate) took a long time to reach theaters, but for once, that isn’t an indication of poor quality so much as its dark, twisted comic sensibility. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the team responsible for Bad Santa, the film has that same raunchy irreverence. Jim Carrey stars as a gay con man who goes to prison for embezzlement and fraud, falls in love with an inmate played by Ewan McGregor, and tries to build an extravagant life for them on the outside by pulling scams. In other words, it’s a nasty, funny Catch Me If You Can

The list of crimes committed by super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff runs so long that Alex Gibney’s Casino Jack And The United States Of Money needed 125 minutes just for a basic overview, which leaves Casino Jack (Fox)—a fictionalized account of Abramoff’s influence-peddling—in the difficult spot of establishing all that information. The solution? Just put it all right there in the dialogue.