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June 15, 2011

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

Judy-moody-and-the-not-bumm "Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer" is all over the place, and not in a good way. You'd never guess the movie is based on a series of children's books because the storyline is so slipshod as to be nearly non-existent. Here is a kids' movie with ADD. It's just a collection of unbelievably dim-witted set pieces. Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty) is an excitable (read spastic) eight-year-old kid looking forward to all the fun summer vacation from school can bring. Her best friends are going off to circus school and to Borneo. Judy nearly goes ballistic when she learns that her parents are going on vacation without her. Instead, Judy is stuck with her obnoxious little brother Stink under the care of her long-lost aunt Opal (played by a slumming Heather Graham). New Age Opal is as close to a modern-day hippie as you could imagine. So Judy gets an adult partner-in-crime to help salvage her sense of fun by earning "thrill points" in her self-designed game of doing things like riding a roller-coaster without using her hands. She also wants to walk over a stream on a not-so-tight-rope. Postcards from her friends about their glorious achievements ignites a competitive fire under to her meek aspirations for excitement. A truly uninspired subplot involving a search for Bigfoot figures prominently into the spastic plot. Stink is a believer. A flood of neon colors fills the screen to the point of creating a vomit-inducing palette of gaudy visual overload. Even as a remedial kids' movie, this one fails.

Rated PG. 91 mins. (D-) (Zero Stars - out of five/no halves)


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