What happens when a well-pedigreed studio entertainment opens to sterling reviews and wildly enthusiastic word of mouth? Apparently, it flops. Universal tried to saddle up its own Seabiscuit in the story of James Braddock, a heavyweight champion who overcame the Depression and long odds to upset Max Baer, but Cinderella Man inspired little but navel-gazing over Hollywood's box-office malaise. Perhaps audiences have simply seen too many of the greatest games ever played lately…

Purists balked at Fantastic Four (Fox), a long-in-the-making film adaptation of the superhero comic created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The purists had the right idea. Apart from the sweetly antagonistic relationship between the Human Torch (Chris Evans) and the Thing (Michael Chiklis), the adaptation dumps most of the original comic, replacing it with blockbuster-by-numbers filmmaking. Audiences went anyway, for some reason, so expect lots of awkwardly titled sequels over the next few years…

Part reverent homage to the late-'70s/early-'80s cornpone action extravaganza, part send-up of the same, The Dukes Of Hazzard (Warner Bros.) probably would have been better if it had just made up its mind about what kind of movie it wanted to be. Instead, it ends up as a time-waster, especially for viewers allergic to Jessica Simpson…

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What more needs to be said about Dirty Love (First Look), a film starring and written by Clinton-era sexpot Jenny McCarthy, other than that it features McCarthy's bare breasts covered in puke, plus Carmen Electra speaking in stereotypical UPN sassy urban slang? Plenty, unfortunately. But it's kind of like 'Nam: Unless you've been there, you just wouldn't understand, man.