Directed by D.J. Caruso
Starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Kevin Durand, Callan McAuliffe
Disney Touchstone/Rated PG-13/Sci-Fi/110 minutes
While "I Am Number Four" doesn't quite rise to the level of a guilty pleasure, it's an acceptable way to pass a couple of hours. The story, based on the first book in a series of six, known as "The Lorien Legacies," (the last five are yet to be written), is credited to Pittacus Lore, pen name of co-authors Jobie Hughes and James Frey. If Frey's name sounds vaguely familiar, it's probably because he made news after publishing a sham autobiography entitled, "A Million Little Pieces." Frey's discredited account revealed a vivid imagination, though the same can't be said of "I Am Number Four," and its by-the-numbers plot. Number Four is John Smith, a 15-year-old played by 20-year-old Brit pin-up, Alex Pettyfer, whose screen presence is only slightly more intriguing than that of a gold fish. As the film opens, the third of nine extraterrestrial Loriens sheltering on Earth, is killed, placing John next in line for termination by the planet-raiding Mogadorians. The Mogs travel in semi-trucks carrying elephant-size hunting creatures that resemble frogs sporting dagger claws. Timothy Olyphant stands out from this mediocre ensemble as Four's grumpy protector Henri. "Glee's" Dianna Agron, 24, appears as Four's love interest Sarah, while Callan McAuliffe plays John's nerdy friend and alien-conspiracy buff. Blowing things up figures prominently in the action as John discovers the special powers that emerge when Loriens hit their mid-teens. Number Six arrives as John's kick-ass back-up, played by Aussie actress Teresa Palmer, 24. Her gumption provides some relief from the sedate young adults trying to pass for teens. Although unfocused, "I Am Number Four," dutifully ticks off the romance, action and superhero elements deemed necessary to attract both boys and girls, but whether the story can hang onto its audience, remains to be seen in number two. DVD or Blu-ray features: Bloopers, Becoming Number Six: Teresa Palmer masters her stunts, English, French or Spanish language tracks and subtitles, widescreen. Blu-ray features: 3-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack features same plus: Film on both DVD and Blu-ray, Digital Copy.
CR: *1/2 (C-)
Directed by Christian E. Christiansen
Starring Minka Kelly, Leighton Meester, Cam Gigandet, Alyson Michalka, Danneel Harris, Frances Fisher
Sony/Rated PG-13/Thriller/91 minutes
Available on: DVD and Blu-ray
A plot that echoes 1992's "Single White Female" is rebooted for the coed set when college student Sara (Kelly) is assigned to a dorm room with new girl Rebecca (Meester). The girls initially get along -- but their budding friendship takes a wrong turn after Rebecca decides she'd rather kill Sara's other friends than share Sara. Little promotion was done for this one despite casting Billy Zane and Frances Fisher in supporting roles. DVD features: Director's Commentary, Deleted & Alternate Scenes, English or French language tracks, Spanish subtitles, widescreen. Blu-ray features same plus: Making Of featurette, Next Generation of Stars, Dressing Dangerously, English, French or Spanish language tracks and subtitles, widescreen.
* * (C)
Directed by Mikael Hafstrom
Warner/Rated PG-13/Horror/114 minutes