NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Bad buzz and plenty of competition from the likes of "Aquaman" and "Mary Poppins" have dimmed the prospects for "Welcome To Marwen," and it doesn't help that the trailer makes the movie look better than it is.
"Welcome To Marwen" is more weird than wonderful and as bizarre as the true tale that inspired the new movie, but not as heartfelt.
Steve Carell plays Mark "Hogie" Hogencamp, an artist from Kingston, New York, who barely survives a brutal attack outside a bar. He gets beaten within an inch of his life and has to learn how to walk again.
Carell's character suffers permanent brain damage.
"They kicked every memory I ever had out of my head," Hogencamp says. "Everything from before the attack is gone, so my dolls here tell the story."
As shown in a 2010 documentary, Hogencamp uses World War II action figures to create a miniature world to help him heal.
He builds an elaborate Belgian village and starts taking photos of his figures, who were modeled after people Hogencamp knew, and the movie brings them to life.
Among the women of Marwen, Leslie Mann has the biggest role and gets to show off her unique blend of sassy and sweet. She is not as funny as usual, but more caring and kind.
I found myself disengaging emotionally during the action sequences with the dolls, then reconnecting when Hogie and Nicol share a scene together. What she sees as friendship, he misreads as romance. That touched me, but overall, the movie played more to my head than my heart.
"Welcome To Marwen" was directed by Bob Zemeckis, who gave us "Forrest Gump" and other fine films. There's a great movie in here somewhere, but it's not the one he made.
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Sandy Kenyon: 'Welcome To Marwen' more weird than wonderful