THE WEEKEND MARQUEE: Nein For ’9′
9 has been receiving mixed reviews all around. In the Arizona Republic, Bill Goodykoontz writes,
“It’s too scary for small kids and, frankly, too dreary for everyone else. The most intriguing question it asks is what Acker will do next.”
In her Philadelphia Inquirer review, Carrie Rickey adds,
“Acker, whose gifts for mood, design, and character design are impressive enough to have attracted Tim Burton as a producer, is more of an artist than a storyteller.”
Others have compared it last summer’s Wall-E, saying that 9 pales in comparison; it’s all visuals and no depth. At least it has that. Most movies these days are no visuals and no depth. One out of two aint bad.
Also opening is Sorority Row, a Jawbreaker meets I Know What You Did Last Summer horror flick directed by Stewart Hendler. It may not make as much money as The Final Destination, but it looks to be just as stupid. Not surprisingly, Sorority Row was not screened for critics. How much could a bad review really hurt this movie? Its core audience of teens looking for a cool place to makeout will hardly be interested in scanning Rotten Tomatoes for advice on whether or not to see it.
One critic that did manage to sneak a preview was Variety’s Russell Edwards. He writes,
“Like the recent Drag Me to Hell, Sorority Row is fixated on oral punishment (bottles, flares). But unlike Sam Raimi‘s roller coaster, the script never successfully balances horror with comedy: The first half goes for the straight slice-and-dice approach, but around the halfway point, ham-fisted gallows humor suddenly — and by now inappropriately — begins to flow freely. Even Carrie Fisher’s scenes as the stern, gun-totin’ sorority mother (echoing her cameo in The Blues Brothers) can’t choose between laughs or action.”
Fisher’s campy portrayal of house mother Mrs. Crenshaw gets a large spotlight in the trailer (and appears to be the best reason to see this tired horror flick):
It’s been a long six months since Tyler Perry‘s last opus hit theaters (at least in Perry time that’s long). He writes and directs so many movies every year that he makes Woody Allen look lazy. His latest is called I Can Do Bad All By Myself, a melodrama about juvenile delinquents who get kicked out of their house and are forced to live with their boozy aunt. This shows once again that Perry’s great at coming up with catchy titles despite his thin material. He’s also been able to put together intriguing casts. This one includes Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige and Gladys Knight.
Perry has reached a point in his career where he can make whatever movie he wants to make, no matter what the haters say. In other words, he can do Bad all by himself and his fans will always be there regardless. In the same vein of Sorority Row, Bad was not screened for critics, but a few managed to review it anyways.
In the New York Daily News, Elizabeth Weitzman writes,
“Like a chef who keeps making the same recipe over and over, Tyler Perry has found his strength and he’s sticking to it. Because he alters the ingredients slightly every time, the results range just enough to keep loyal audiences coming back for more. His latest finds the right balance, at least for those who share his salty-sweet tastes.”
I think Madea’s starting to grow on people. As a side note, what’s with the poster? It looks a blatant ripoff (or homage, I suppose) to the theatrical one-sheet for Straw Dogs. Perry may be an auteur of sorts, but he’s no Sam Peckinpah.
“Its worst offense is assuming the audience is so dumb that it’ll be shocked by one of the most telegraphed endings in movie history. On second thought, maybe the filmmakers got their wish: Whiteout is shocking, shockingly bad.”
“severely nonthrilling thriller… Whiteout moves like winter in Antarctica.”
“Lang’s film, the last he made in the U.S., exposed the immorality of the death penalty; Hyams’s retread offers only more plot and longer, louder car chases.”
“Beyond a Reasonable Doubt feels like some throwaway 1980s TV movie, with its implausible premise, dizzying twists, cheesy montages and melodramatic score.”