Let's get the easy puns about "Hoot" out of the way first. It's tough to give a hoot about "Hoot." Or "Hoot" is for the birds. The beatniks among you might prefer: "Hoot" is no hootenanny.
Sorry about that; it couldn't be helped. A movie with so much wasted potential tends to invite puns bad enough to make Gene Shalit's hair wilt. Based on the prized young-adult novel by Carl Hiassen, "Hoot" involves a trio of scrappy Florida teenagers trying to halt construction of a pancake house that is threatening the habitat of burrowing owls.
Saddled with lead"footed direction by comedian Wil Shriner and bland characterization, the picture is all good intentions and lousy execution. While the DVD is loaded with extras to pique teenagers' environmental awareness, "Hoot" plays out like an "After School Special" of yesteryear.