Tag Archives: rottentomatoes.com

Fun rerun

edge of tomorrow I didn’t see Edge of Tomorrow when it was in theaters.

I thought the ‘Groundhog Day meets Aliens’ premise sounded interesting — and goodness knows its reviews on RottenTomatoes.com were very fresh — but I just never saw it.

(Based on its box office numbers, several people had the same attack of inertia.)

But now it’s OnDemand, so I finally watched it today.  And it’s good.

The Groundhog Day conceit is handled with a lot of humor, and it doesn’t feel repetitious.  Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt also do a bit of role reversal in this film, with Emily occupying the skilled warrior role and Tom the clueless PR mouthpiece.

It’s nice that Tom can make fun of this action hero self.

Not that he isn’t a pretty fast learner…

Asleep in my takeout

I am fascinated by the critics’ take on the movie Chef, which is currently 88 percent fresh on RottenTomatoes.com.

I found it stale and oh-so-overcooked.

chef movie

I watch a lot of Food Network, so I had high hopes for the film’s ‘recipe’: a chef gets fired after he starts a Twitter war with a restaurant critic,  and opens a food truck.

Seems new, seems current.

Turns out all the conflict that drives the film is in the first 15 minutes.  After the chef (Jon Favreau) loses his job, everyone and everything starts working in his favor.

  • Need a food truck?  His ex-wife gets her other ex-husband to provide one.  Takes him to Miami to get it. Appears to bankroll the enterprise, too. (Sure, that happens.)
  • Need help setting it up?  His former junior cook travels across the country — without pay — to help him get started. That sainted ex-wife even takes orders at one point.
  • Need to reconnect with your kid? The ex-wife — again, the most non-confrontational divorced couple in the history of movies and life, for that matter — lets an 11-year old kid work as a line cook on a food truck for the entire summer. Without checking in. Right.

I don’t want to give away the ending in case you plan to see it.  But let’s just say that, once the food truck is parked —

Nothing really happens then, either. Or if it does, they don’t show it.

Because conflict might wake you up out of your food coma.

 

Fight club

In yesterday’s Egg, I mentioned I was looking for a fight.

Today, I found one.

I am going to defend — almost a year after it hit theatres — the critical and audience pounding of the action film Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

It’s available on HBO OnDemand right now.  (I assume that means it’s available on Netflix as well.)

I saw it in the theatre last summer and really liked it.  I remember being surprised that the reviews were so lackluster.  A quick visit to RottenTomatoes.com confirmed the movie was 53 percent fresh — not awful, but not great.

What was even more surprising was that the audience felt the same, judging the movie 52 percent fresh.

I’ve already watched it twice OnDemand, and I respectfully disagree.

Tom Cruise is at his action star best in this film, but the action is purposefully over-the-top, making it one of his best comedic performances.  Snaps to Tom for being willing to make fun of a genre that has been his bread and butter.

Cameron Diaz is the perfect foil for Cruise, too.  She has the energy and the presence to match him shot for shot.  Even when she is in damsel in distress mode, she is his equal on-screen.

The movie uses a lot of CGI to make the impossible possible.  Again, I found that as funny as the rest of the comedy in this film.  Maybe 48 percent of the audience members didn’t get the joke.

But you will.  I know it.

And if you don’t…we can just fight about it some more.

Star quality

“Charlie St. Cloud,” Zac Efron’s new movie — and his latest attempt to distance himself from his “High School Musical” persona — hasn’t gotten much love from the critics.  The reviews on rottentomatoes.com were 75% rotten, finding it ‘shallow and cloying.’

Bummer.

I guess it’s not that surprising.  The promo had “tearjerker” written all over it.  But I am curious to see Zac’s performance…because those same reviews were much more generous to him.

“The vehicle may get a little jacked up along the way, but its passenger arrives in style:  The kid’s a star.”

“It could be a one-note characterization, but Efron finds competing emotions in Charlie, and he conveys all of them to us.”

“Zac Efron can act and has a very large emotional arc.”

Personally, I’ve been a fan since I saw the hilarious “17 Again” starring Efron, Leslie Mann and Matthew Perry.  Using a very familiar switcheroo story, “17 Again” was funny because Zac was funny.  He carried that movie with his comedic timing and knock-out charm.

And the boy can take a slap with the best of  ’em.

Yep, that kid’s a star.

A critical difference

Poor film critics.  Where’s all that popcorn-fueled power today?

Pretty much every one of you trashed “Sex and the City 2” — the plot, the puns, the performances, even the Patricia Field ensembles — and that garment bag of a movie still looks to rake in the big bucks.  Deadline Hollywood reports “SATC2” took in $17 million in its first day alone and predicts a $75 million haul for the holiday weekend.

That’s with only a 16% ‘fresh’ score on rottentomatoes.com and some of the most ridiculous looking trailers ever.

What were they thinking taking “SATC” out of New York City?  Manhattan is the fifth major character in the franchise; setting a majority of the movie elsewhere is like leaving Samantha to dry hump the West Coast.

And why the deserts of Morocco?  Did they see “Ishtar?”  (If they didn’t, here’s a hint:  sucked.)

No, “SATC2” will prevail, critics be damned…for the very reason that films like “Twilight”  set box office records after being dismissed as the lowest form of dime store drivel.  “SATC2” comes with a ready made fan base from the TV series  just as “Twilight” had its base of teenybop readers.

Even if the girls trip and skewer themselves on their stilettos in “SATC2,” their fans wanna watch.  Hell, I’m not even a fan, and I wanna watch….maybe even more so.

Don’t worry.  You can ruin some really good film’s chances one day very soon.

Best of the worst

Sunday was Valentine’s Day.  Hope yours was loverly.

As you probably know, a movie of the same name was released on Friday.  Did you see it?

I didn’t get a chance.  Too much Olympics coverage to watch.  (I did see a preview performance of “Miracle Worker” on Broadway with Abigail Breslin, which was spectacular).

According to rottentomatoes.com, “Valentine’s Day” the movie is 84 percent rotten.  As one reviewer put it, “This has not a single ounce of the charm that you might find in ‘Love Actually’ or a number of other films revolving around romance. It’s just plain bad.”

Oh well…I still want to witness the carnage.   There are a lot of actors in the film that I like and, even if they suck, well, I’ll enjoy seeing that, too.

So, in honor of the suckiest things that movies have to offer, I thought I would resurrect the Top Ten Worst Movie Quotes of All Time, which were compiled in a survey by Warburtons.

Enjoy!

Top 10 Worst Movie Quotes

1. “I’m the king of the world!”
– JACK DAWSON (Leonardo DiCaprio) with young ROSE DEWITT BUKATER (Kate Winslet) in Titanic (1997)

2. “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”
– JOHNNY CASTLE (Patrick Swayze) about FRANCES “BABY” HOUSEMAN (Jennifer Grey) in Dirty Dancing (1987)

3. “Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.”
– CARRIE (Andie MacDowell) to CHARLES (Hugh Grant) in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

4. “I love you.”
“Ditto.”
– MOLLY JENSEN (Demi Moore) and SAM WHEAT (Patrick Swayze) in Ghost (1990)

5. “You can be my wingman any time.”
– TOM KASANZKY (Val Kilmer) to LT. PETE MITCHELL (Tom Cruise) in Top Gun (1986)

6. “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.”
– ANNA SCOTT (Julia Roberts) to WILLIAM THACKER (Hugh Grant) in Notting Hill (1999)

7. “Today we celebrate our Independence Day.”
– US President THOMAS J. WHITMORE (Bill Pullman) in Independence Day (1996)

8. “They make take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!”
– WILLIAM WALLACE (Mel Gibson) in Braveheart (1995)

9. “You had me at hello.”
– DOROTHY BOYD (Renee Zellweger) to JERRY MAGUIRE (Tom Cruise) in Jerry Maguire (1996)

10. “You’re a godsend, a saviour.”
“No, I’m a postman.”
– A BLIND WOMAN to the POSTMAN (Kevin Costner) in The Postman (1997)

Lovely vision

“I am in awe.”

I heard these words as I was filing out of the theater last night after seeing “The Lovely Bones,” and I thought that simple phrase kinda said it all.

I read Alice Sebold’s disturbing novel soon after its release in 2002 on a friend’s recommendation.  Although the subject matter is a bit gruesome  — a teenage girl brutally raped and murdered by a neighbor — seeing death and its effect on the survivors through the eyes of the victim was somehow life-affirming.

Now, anytime you love a book, the film will usually disappoint, and the critics have leapt upon Peter Jackson’s interpretation with claws unfurled.  “The Lovely Bones” movies had been declared only 40% fresh on rottentomatoes.com. Critics have chastised Jackson for both overdoing the visual effects of the “inbetween” — where victim Susie Salmon watches her family struggle with her murder before going on to the afterlive — to underdoing her rape and murder, which he alludes to onscreen but never shows graphically.

Personally, I was relieved Jackson didn’t show us a blow-by-blow account of her death; the more subtle ways he pointed to it were infinitely more chilling.  And, if you think about it, would Susie have taken those memories with her into the next life?  Wouldn’t she choose to leave the most horrendous details of her murder behind?

I certainly hope so.

“The Lovely Bones” movie honors the book by honoring the vision of Susie Salmon.  Jackson told the movie through her eyes, as the book told the story in her words.  It is a moving interpretation, made real by the amazing performances of Stanley Tucci and Saoirse Ronan.

Ignore the critics and see it. Then, go home and hug your family.

New “New Moon”

Roger Ebert hated it.

The New York Times dismissed it as the “big tease that turns into the long goodbye.”  (Gotta love the wordplay.)

And rottentomatoes.com ranked it 29% rotten.

Good work, “Twilight Saga: New Moon.”   You are even less popular with critics than your predecessor, “Twilight,” which more or less confused journalists last fall, scoring 49% on the freshometer.  (Edward actually glamoured the ones that hated it.  Fact.)

Of course, “New Moon” wasn’t filmed, edited and released in less than a year to please the critics.  It was rushed to theatres to capitalize on the pre-teen, teen and cougar crazies who were screaming for more. (I realize I fall within this group, although my self-awareness makes me a shade less scary).

But while I loved the “Twilight” movie and subsequently read all the books, I hated the “New Moon” book.  I know many of my friends felt the same.  Hated that Edward left after just a chapter or two.  Labored through all the werewolf crap ’cause, seriously —  Where the hell was Edward? Of course, I perked up at the end of the book, but if I had encountered Stephenie Meyer on the street at that point, we would have had words.

Director Chris Weitz of “New Moon” knew fans like me were out there, too.  So he made a film that’s better than the book.  No mistake — he stuck to the story more religiously than even the “Twilight” movie did, but his visual interpretation is more satisfying than Meyer’s original text.

How often does that happen?

Now, granted, I saw the movie at midnight at a theatre in my Upper West Side neighborhood, so you might think I’m a tad giddy.  I was worried about staying awake or being coherent.  But when 500 other people are watching a movie with you, and they are just as stoked as you are to be there, it makes for a great movie-going experience.

I had a blast.  I loved the movie.  Story aside, the cinematography, effects and makeup are head-and-shoulders above the original.  It’s just a beautiful movie to watch.

Oh — and Edward doesn’t suck either.

Well, he does.  But, he doesn’t.

Double feature dilemma

I have looked forward to two movies of late:  Extract and All About Steve.  I love the featured actors in both, and I thought the trailers looked kinda fun.

Both movies were released Friday, and I made the mistake of reading the reviews. All About Steve got the worst of it — 5% freshness on rottentomatoes.com.  The consensus of the critics? 

“All About Steve is an oddly creepy, sour film, featuring a heroine so desperate and peculiar that audiences may be more likely to pity than root for her.”

Wow…sounds like fun.

Extract faired a bit better with 64% freshness.  Many of the critics hailed the performances of the actors — Ben Affleck in particular as a stoner bartender — but as one reviewer summed it up, “the film is very dull and dry.” (Even my friend Dan told me it sucked…and he was as excited about seeing it as I was.)

In direct defiance of all this bad press, I still went to see them both — a ‘bad movie double feature,’  if you will — on Labor Day Sunday.  My review?

Extract — A movie without a point…or many laughs.  Ben Affleck is great as the do-much-harm bartender friend of factory owner Jason Bateman.  And there is one very funny scene with a ridiculously large bong.  But overall, the movie is very uneven and very unnecessary.

All About Steve — This movie definitely has a point, but like Extract, struggles to be consistently funny while trying to make it.  Unlike the critics, I can empathize with Sandra Bullock’s character, and enjoy the trouble stirred up by Thomas Haden Church as a newsman with more ambition than talent.

In the end, the reviews were mostly right:  both comedies are mediocre — renters at best.  But I left All About Steve with a smile on my face, whereas Extract just left a bad taste in my mouth.