ZERO STARS/**** Image D Sound D
starring Christine Ebersole, Jonathan Ward, Katrina Caspary, Lauren Stanley
screenplay by Stewart Raffill and Steve Feke
directed by Stewart Raffill
by Walter Chaw One of the most woeful and dispiriting films ever made, Stewart Raffill's Mac and Me qualifies as a hate crime. It's a feature-length commercial for McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Skittles, and Sears masquerading as a rip-off of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ("MAC" = "Mysterious Alien Creature") that, what with Alan Silvestri's awful score, indicates that it's also ripping off Back to the Future during a key scene in which our wheelchair-bound hero, Eric (Jade Calegory), grabs the fender of a passing car and hitches his way to relative safety. Chips it might earn for casting an actual disabled kid in the role are cashed in when it's revealed that Eric's wrinkled-flesh puppet alien pal can only be sustained on this island earth by a combination of Coke and Skittles. It's enough to put you off not only junk food, but movies altogether. There's a place in Hell reserved for the clowns who peddle stuff like this (Ronald McDonald makes a cameo in the picture, and an even longer one in the trailer)--the movie is so venal and grasping in its conception, so astonishingly inept in its execution, that upon death, Raffill and writing partner Steve Feke should have this piece of crap projected onto their caskets to counter the pain of their passing. I'm serious. Mac and Me lowers the conversation for everyone, to the extent that it's almost a satire of greed and corporate malfeasance. Show it in a double-bill with Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room for an example of what corporations think they can get away with--and what they do.