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Is the theater half empty or half full?

Unlike last week’s avalanche of lame, this week, you’re treated to several solid films. However, for no good reason, we’re only going to see the negative reviews. If you’re one of those people who needs a reason, assume it’s because the bad reviews are funnier, which in turn makes this roundup more amusing. Let me show you what I mean.

The opening movie with the best ratings is the Ed Harris Western: Appaloosa (75%). Most reviewers agree that it’s an impressive modern addition to the genre, but that’s not funny.

“Squinting Zellweger ruins it. I liked the hats.” Victoria Alexander FilmsInReview.com

Ah, nonsense. It’s almost as if the reviewer thought they were attending a 2-hour QVC special focused on western fashion. Then Zellweger shows up and spoils it. Other reviewers preferred to rewrite the film into something they want to see.

“Bring back Hopalong Cassidy and Randolph Scott and you’ve got the making of a respectable horse opera.” Harvey S. Karten Compuserve

This one makes me laugh for two reasons. First, I’ve never heard of a horse opera. All I know about opera is that people sing and that when Star Wars did it in space, Lucas replaced singing with light sabers. Second, the review writes for Compuserve. Isn’t that an Internet service provider? What the hell are they doing writing reviews about Westerns?

Next up the wild night romantic comedy Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. It’s a cute title with some cute stars and most reviewers dug the trendy cuteness (71%), however some reviewers questioned its Indie hip credibility.

“It’s like looking through a dreamy, indiemope kaleidoscope at a party you’re not invited to, and, frankly, not even sure you’d want to attend.” Marc Savlov Austin Chronicle

So, I could recreate the feeling of this movie by rubbing Vaseline and glitter in my eyes and stumbling into a fraternity party? Hm. While I ponder the outcome of that hypothetical, listen to this guy.

“Caloric with whimsy but lacks distinctive dramatic weight, to a degree that it ceases to be a movie and transforms into something resembling a tiresome Diet Coke commercial.” Brian Orndorf BrianOrndorf.com

At worst, Nick and Norah delivers fewer entertainment calories than Diet Coke. Well, at least he didn’t say Coke Zero.

Next up is Flash of Genius, starring Greg Kinnear. It is the surprisingly inspirational story of how the creator of the windshield wiper got cheated by auto manufacturers and had to go on a personal crusade to stick up for the little guy (ie himself). The true story credit, plus some solid acting/direction chops resonated with critics (62%), just not these folks.

“A kamikaze flight of a movie that presents itself like a weighty Oscar contender. If there were a category for Best Unintentional Self-Parody, it would be a shoo-in.” Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune

The mental image of a kamikaze self-parodyinng Oscar contender sounds intriguing. What else does it do wrong?

“The big-screen version of inventor Robert Kearns’ legal battles with Ford and Chrysler… is about as exciting as Kearns’ Wikipedia entry.” Robert Wilonsky L.A. Weekly

Good thing I actually enjoy reading some Wikipedia entries. Last up, is a film that looks so bad, I hesitate to even make fun of it. When you were a kid, did you ever avoid touching pictures of snakes or spiders because you thought the picture itself transmitted ookiness through the page? Well, Beverly Hills Chihuahua is like that, but for your eyeballs.

I must admit, when I saw that Chihuahua was opening this weekend, I expected a single digit total. Instead, Disney polished their horror to a gleaming shine (45%).

“The good news: Beverly Hills Chihuahua is not the apocalypse-signaling, cultural abomination its trailers make it out to be. The bad news: That’s pretty much the best thing that can be said about it.” Adam Graham Detroit News

Yay? One more.

“The film is Beverly Hills Chihuahua. The audience is the fire hydrant.” Kyle Smith New York Post

Just be glad Chihuahua isn’t in 3-D.

Final warning: If you go see Beverly Hills Chihuahua this weekend, you are inviting Hollywood to create a sub-genre of talking dog movies.

Stoner comedies

Bond clones

Sports stories

Nerd revenge

Horror movies

Eventually, dogs will fall victim to the curse of Hollywood vanity

Do your part. Go see something else!


3 Responses

  1. Dogs are funny looking for the most part.

  2. I’m doing my part!

  3. Sadly, all our efforts to resist talking dogs didn’t stop it from earning almost $30 million at the box office.

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