Capsule reviews of recently released movies

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TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY (PG-13) Will Ferrell trots out yet another variation of his standard character — clueless, a bit pompous, but thoroughly silly and ultimately redeemable (think Adam Sandler crossed with The Mary Tyler Moore Show's Ted Baxter) — in this enjoyably ridiculous outing from the folks who brought you Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Ferrell's redneck racecar driver in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is basically just TV talking head Ron Burgundy with a different accent and worse table manners, and the new movie is even more of a plotless excuse for Ferrell's riffing than Anchorman was. That said, much of Talladega Nights is really quite funny, cruising along with considerable energy as it unleashes volleys of bizarre comic non-sequiturs and what appear to be semi-improvised skits. A lot of it falls flat but every so often a scene appears out of nowhere and simply floors us (case in point: the priceless sequence of an extended family dinner, featuring one of the oddest graces ever uttered.) Stars Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Gary Cole and Michael Clarke Duncan. 3 stars

YOU, ME AND DUPREE (PG-13) Fans of Owen Wilson films will be disappointed to know that his latest picture falls short of the comedy bar he's so firmly established. When the loveable yet immature Dupree (Wilson) gets fired from his job and kicked out of his apartment, he's forced to move in with his newlywed friends, Carl and Molly (played by Matt Dillon and Kate Hudson). Of course, he quickly manages to turn their world upside down — which includes accidentally setting fire to the couple's living room — but while the are a few humorous scenes scattered throughout the movie, and, despite the star power of Michael Douglas as Molly's father and Carl's manipulative boss, You, Me and Dupree's overall plot lacks true comedic substance and it comes to a rather predictable conclusion. Also stars Amanda Detmer and Seth Rogan. 2 stars —Amy Moczynski

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