At The Movies With Peter Travers: "The Reader" and an Overflowing Scum Bucket!

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This week, Rolling Stone's resident film critic is "depressed." Why? Because with all the Oscar-nominated films currently residing in theaters, you, America, have made "the dreadful and appalling" Paul Blart: Mall Cop the top-grossing film for two consecutive weekends. Instead of heading to Slumdog Millionaire, Milk or Frost/Nixon, the majority of Americans have proven they prefer to watch comedian Kevin James from cinematic masterpieces like I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and Hitch star as a shopping mall security guard. Shame on you, America.

It is late January, which is usually a dumping ground for movie studios to rid themselves of their most reviled films. Thus, Travers' Scum Bucket overflowth with Paul Blart, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Liam Neeson's Death Wish-esque Taken and the Renee Zellweger/Harry Connick Jr. rom-com New In Town, which Travers says is devoid of anything redeeming.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, however:

The Best Film Oscar-nominated The Reader goes into wide release this week, partially because it was an unexpected nominee for Best Film at the Oscars (taking the place of The Dark Knight, which infuriates Travers, but we digress). The film features actress Kate Winslet in a Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe-winning role of an former SS officer who has a love affair with a much younger man. While the film is flawed, Travers notes, it is at least thought provoking, which is much more than one can say about any of the garbage" we listed in the first paragraph. Watch the video above for Travers' full report."

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