'Cursed' and 'Man of the House'

EntertainmentMoviesPG-13 Rated MoviesWerewolf (supernatural entities)Crime, Law and JusticeEngland

You don't get a lot of relationship-driven werewolf movies, and "Cursed" could very well kill off the possibility of it becoming a major subgenre. Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg play an L.A. brother and sister who tangle with a mysterious beast after a car accident off Mulholland Drive and deal with some nasty aftereffects.

Director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson, collaborators on the "Scream" movies, endured a troubled production, with "Cursed" shutting down for reshoots, rewrites and recasting. The result is not a successful merger of sensibilities.

"Cursed" outdoes recent releases such as "Boogeyman" in the fright department, but the "Dawson's Creek" sensitivity and unsatisfying effects undermine the lupine anxiety. Transformations by makeup effects guru Rick Baker aren't as convincing as those he did for the 1981 film "An American Werewolf in London," and the beast's CGI movements are as phony as those of "The Hulk" and "Van Helsing."

The characters talk constantly about enhanced allure and appetite, but the film — first rated R but trimmed to PG-13 — feels pulled back from the directions it obviously wants to go in terms of sexuality.

"Cursed," PG-13 for horror violence/terror, some sexual references, nudity, language and a brief drug reference. Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes. In general release.

Just who's taking care of whom?"Man of the House," which opened Friday, is quite a few cuts above the usual movie released without press previews. No groundbreaker — nor is it trying to be — it's a good-natured comedy about an ultra-macho, straight-arrow Texas ranger (Tommy Lee Jones, perfect casting) protecting five University of Texas cheerleaders (Christina Milian, Paula Garcés, Monica Keena, Kelli Garner, Vanessa Ferlito), the witnesses to a murder. When Jones moves in with the girls, he and his charges affect each other in unexpected ways — the girls even sharpen him up for his date with elegant English literature professor Anne Archer.

Director Stephen Herek keeps things moving and throws in some lively action sequences but keeps the emphasis on the amusing and affectionate relationships between Jones and the girls. Cedric the Entertainer is on hand for lively comic relief.

"Man of the House," rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content, crude humor and a drug reference. Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes. In general release.

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