starring Bruce Greenwood, Hayden Panettiere, Gary Bullock, Wendie Malick
screenplay by David Schmidt
directed by Frederik Du Chau
by Walter Chaw It's some sort of tradition now, some kind of sick trick: a collaboration of nitwits releases a "family" film as counter-programming against the glut of morose, adult-oriented awards-season drivel that seeps into middle America in the first few months of the New Year. Kangaroo Jack, Home on the Range, Chasing Liberty, Snow Dogs, A Walk to Remember...each so misguided that to watch them in tandem is to see a pack of dogs outsmart a black man (and comment that he tastes like chicken), a trio of women (cows) receive threats of gang rape, and a wildlife conservationist have her breasts groped. (Then, of course, there's the metaphysical dead end of casting Mandy Moore in anything.) If parents don't pre-screen what their children watch, then care of the child's tender sensibilities is forked over to the chowderheads trafficking in shit, fart, boob, and pratfall jokes, which are only a quarter as damaging as the angry misogyny and casual racism binding them together. Add to the shaggy parade of diseased entertainments the 2005 edition, Frederik Du Chau's flat unwatchable Racing Stripes.