Watch This Instead: “Troop Beverly Hills”

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As I watched Melissa McCarthy in “The Boss,” I thought of the much funnier Troop Beverly Hills, starring Shelley Long as a pampered socialite who becomes the leader of a Girl Scout-type group of girls and turns out to be unexpectedly effective in cookie sales and wilderness survival. Her rival leader is played by Betty Thomas and her estranged husband is played by Craig T. Nelson.

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Rent This Instead: A Better Ed Helms Raunchy Comedy (that isn’t “Hangover”)

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“Vacation” is a gross, dumb disappointment. If you want to see Ed Helms in a much better raunchy comedy, try the neglected gem Cedar Rapids. Helms plays a mild-mannered, small town insurance guy who is tapped at the last minute to go to the “big city” trade conference in Cedar Rapids, where he is exposed for the first time to all kinds of bad behavior. The entire cast is outstanding, including Anne Heche, John C. Reilly, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Sigourney Weaver. It is everything “Vacation” is not — smart, funny, and full of heart.

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The Imaginative Short Film that Inspired “Pixels”

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Thanks to my friend and fellow film critic Eddie Pasa for sharing this short film by Patrick Jean, the inspiration for this week's "Pixels."

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Original Version Rent This Instead Shorts
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A Better Movie with Sofia Vergara

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Do you want to see a wild comedy with Sofia Vergara? Don’t waste your time with the dreary Hot Pursuit. Take a look at a much better film, Big Trouble, made in 2002, with Tim Allen and Rene Russo, based on the very funny book by Dave Berry. Sofia Vergara has a small role as a beautiful (of course) maid.

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