Jeremy Renner in “The Bourne Legacy”

“The Bourne Legacy” (R) — The last secret agent to go by the codename Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) set in motion a series of convoluted events that create a firestorm for another rogue operative wearing the Bourne identity (Jeremy Renner). In this case, replacing the star of the series with a different actor is not an indicator of rapidly declining quality standards.

Tony Gilroy, screenwriter for the first three Bourne movie, takes over as director for this one. In previous Bourne movies, it wasn’t too hard to keep a handle on what was going on and why it was compelling. In this one, I gave up mid-way through and just started taking in the spectacle. That’s not the worst thing, but it’s not a good sign.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift” (PG) — It seems the “Ice Age” franchise is set on teaching children that extinction is long, repetitive, formulaic process. Manny the mammoth, Diego the sabretooth, Sid the sloth (Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, respectively) and many more reappear for this fourth installment about an unlikely team of prehistoric talking critters.

The movie uses all of the easiest, most cliched puns and pop-culture gags on an audience too young to be sick of them. Perhaps bombarding the kiddos with lazy material will help them build an early immunity to lameness. I know that’s a stretch, but it’s the best thing I can say about “Ice Age 4” besides, “It was mediocre.”

“Ted” (R) — Seth MacFarlane, the creator of TV’s “Family Guy,” brings us this raunchy comedy that goes above and beyond what he can do on television. Ted (voiced by MacFarlane) is a stuffed bear brought to life by a lonely child’s wish. Years later, that child is a man (Mark Wahlberg), and his magic talking teddy is a beer-chugging, profanity-spewing bro who enables immature behavior. It’s obscene and exquisitely lowbrow. If you can stomach the volume of blue humor, Ted has surprising heart and belly laughs.

“Why Stop Now” (R) — Eli (Jesse Eisenberg) has a gift for piano that he’s always been too messed up to pursue. He’s the chief caretaker for his little sister and their drug-addicted mother (Melissa Leo.) He tries to drop his mom off at rehab on the day of his big audition, but she’s not strung-out enough to be admitted. Eili has to go on a wacky adventure with Sprinkles the drug dealer (Tracy Morgan) in order to get his mom high so she can finally get clean. Not funny enough to be a comedy; not serious or thoughtful enough to be a drama.

“Girls: The Complete First Season”
“Futurama: Volume 7”
“Hazel: The Complete Fourth Season”
“Ultra Seven: The Complete Series”
“Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Year Nine”

© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.