In "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?" director Morgan Spurlock of "Super Size Me" once again resurrects his signature everyman &

the guy who lived on fast food for a month and was all the worse for having done so &

in the belief that his oft repeated question "Where in the world is OBL?" will be of compelling interest not only to the people in the Middle East, but to the audience as well.




His rationale for the Where's Waldo? quest is that his wife is about to give birth to their first child and he wants to know if the world will be a safe place for the little one. That's actually a pretty lame reason to leave her in the third trimester and head out to some of the remotest and most dangerous places in the world. But to remind the filmgoer and make his point, he splices in footage of his wife going to birthing classes, while placing phone calls home to check on her and her progress.




Meanwhile, with cameras rolling, he visits Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, asking locals where they think OBL might be hiding. Of course, no one knows. He does take time to share meals and conversation with the polite and hospitable locals, and in the process transcends his initial question regarding OBL and makes the discovery that we are all more alike than not.




It's a sophomoric insight and in effect avoids all of the complex ideological questions that are, up to now, defeating the idea that we are all members of the family of man. He could have gleaned this common ground revelation without traveling thousands of miles and missing a good part of his wife's prelude to the birth of their child.




There is also an aspect, &

224; la Michael Moore, of sustained narcissism in the film. Spurlock is in every frame and he offers up his reactions as if they were cogent and interesting, preferring to skip the opinions of experts when searching for understanding to a worldwide jihadism and the western response, called the "War On Terror."




What he does reinforce, almost in passing, is that those young people who live in the swamps of poverty, without opportunity, absent education and hope, can be seduced by a radical form of Islam and recruited to give their lives for a cause that perhaps even they don't fully comprehend. now we know this. We have lived it for more than five years. Unfortunately, Spurlock does not contribute anything new or dynamic to the discussion in this film, he prefers instead to play Marco...Polo...a game favored by children that seems shallow and silly when applied to OBL and the Middle East.




The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian




"The Chronicles of Narnia" could well be a seven-picture franchise equaling in bulk the "Harry Potter" series. "Prince Caspian" is the second installment and will likely do well at the box office, already grossing $55 million on its opening weekend. The first film, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," grossed $745 million worldwide, a stunning number for what is essentially a children's fantasy fable.




For someone who hasn't spent quality time with the C.S. Lewis stories, the experience of watching "Prince Caspian" may seem unexpectedly flat. That isn't to say that it's not a rich production. The costuming, makeup and sets are spectacular as are the computer graphics. Older children will be captivated.




The film opens with the Pevensie children standing in a subway station, preparing to board a train. Suddenly a time portal opens and they are swept back to Narnia, still dressed in their English boarding school clothes. What they don't realize is that 1,300 years have passed and Narnia is not the place they remember. The Telmarines dominate the land, led by the ruthless King Miraz.




The Narnians have been hunted to extinction, or so the Telmarines think. Prince Caspian is a fugitive from Narnia, thought to present a threat to Miraz's rule, and it is up to Lucy, Susan, Edmund and Peter to help him regain his rightful place on the throne of Narnia. While not compelling, the setup is mildly interesting.




Act two begins what will be an endless series of battles with a surprising number of people killed. Using crossbows, swords, bows and arrows, the four children and Caspian, along with their ad hoc troops, wage a prolonged war against the superbly equipped army of Miraz with a climactic battle taking place in act three.




The film does have moments when the action is halted and the characters engage in brief dialogue; however, it seems almost incidental and a bit wooden. There is clearly a C.S. Lewis story embedded in all of the special effects and swordplay, but not much is delivered. All things considered, it seems rather empty in terms of a narrative.




Of course, youngsters will be enthralled with the seamless special effects. The world of Narnia is filled with animals, centaurs, flying lions, warrior mice and tigers. All who speak the king's English. But the film could have given the target audience a great deal more had the protracted siege scenes been throttled back and the characters explored a bit more.




But no matter. This second installment is only a precursor to many more tales to come. And when they make the third in the series, the kids will come.