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Also opening: 'Extraordinary Measures,' 'Legion' and 'Tooth Fairy'

In one corner, we have Hollywood's craggy champion of derring-do (and he still do derr, when asked nicely). The wizard of the whip, the man who faced snakes on a plane years before Samuel L. Jackson, the one, the only, Harrison Ford. In the other corner we have the dough-faced upstart, the poufy hair-apparent, the man who raced to the center of the Earth (in 3-D!) and never once cried for his Mummy . . . Brendan Fraser.

Take these top-grossing action figures of then and now, stick 'em in a movie together and just watch the cliffhangers roll in, right? Wrong. You get Extraordinary Measures (PG), featuring Ford and Fraser wearing tailored suits instead of khaki junglewear, no jaunty hats and without a cursed amulet or crystal skull in sight. Fraser plays a father whose children suffer from a rare disease; Ford is the curmudgeon doctor researching a cure. Ummmm, yeah. Extraordinary Measures gets a break for being based on a true story. Check for a review.

Legion (R) is the coincidental companion piece to The Book of Eli, another violent apocalypse yarn of biblical proportions. This time, God has no interest in saving the human race, sending black-winged angels to prevent the birth of a new savior. The mother is a roadside diner waitress (Adrianne Palicki) and the prime target for God's storm troopers. The archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) drops by to ensure the child's protection, and he's packing heat. Mortals at breakfast (Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Charles S. Dutton among them) get caught in the crossfire. Don't worry. They have a rocket launcher or two in their pickups, too. Trailers for Legion suggest director Scott Stewart is a fan of Kevin Smith's religious satire Dogma, and decided to take its avenging angels theme seriously. Well, as serious as spider-legged seraphs and a trench coat angel toting automatic weapons in each hand can be.

Dwayne Johnson, the actor formerly known as "the Rock," has solidly staked his turf as Hollywood's muscular plush toy for kids to play with. And you have to admit he looks funny sprouting feathery wings in preview trailers for Tooth Fairy (PG).

Johnson plays Derek, a hockey player nicknamed "the Tooth Fairy" for his penchant for impromptu dentistry through brawling. As with The Game Plan, playing a jock enables Johnson to show off his pecs and athleticism.

After he spoils a child's fantasy about losing teeth and getting paid under her pillow, Derek is summoned to Tooth Fairy headquarters where the boss (Julie Andrews) sentences him to serve two weeks of fairy service to appreciate the job. Ashley Judd co-stars as Derek's girlfriend wondering where he's spending his nights.

Also opening: 'Extraordinary Measures,' 'Legion' and 'Tooth Fairy' 01/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 3:30am]
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