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This week’s Super Bowl competition

Hello all,

If you see one thing this weekend, make it the Super Bowl.  But if you see two, consider these options.

She looks ready for romance.

She looks ready for romance.

First up, the Renée Zellweger vehicle New in Town (16%).  The premise features a business ‘ice queen’ who has to move to a cold mid-west town to save some sort of narratively unimportant business interest, but ends up falling in love with Harry Connick Jr. and befriending the locals.  It sounds about as original as store brand soda.  The critics searched for language that was appropriately specific and harsh.  Some kept it brief:

“Reprehensible.” Marc Mohan Portland Oregonian

Others were haunted.

“The new comedy is flat, the romance is listless, the pacing is sluggish, and the fish-out-of-water flops — flip-flop, flip-flop, I can hear it still.” Betsy Sharkey Los Angeles Times

While some were so offended you can almost hear hair-pulling frustration in their writing.

“To say that New in Town is the worst movie of this fledgling year is to damn it with faint praise. It may be one of the worst movies of any year. Not content to be merely inane and predictable, it is downright insulting, humorlessly deriding those who choose to live in rural America, labor in factories or have a strong Christian faith.” Claudia Puig USA Today

So, if you’re still unsure about a reprehensible depiction of rural America and you’re not scared of haunting fish imagery then just know:

“This crap is supposed to be the chick flick antidote to Super Bowl fever. Ha!” Peter Travers Rolling Stone

That right.  Peter Travers, one of the most notable and famous movie reviewers in the country thought it was funny.  He even laughed in his review.  Moving on to Taken (58%), where Liam Neeson tracks down his kidnapped daughter by shooting a lot of Europeans.

This could just as easily be a romantic comedy about a man and his gun

This could just as easily be a romantic comedy about a man and his gun

“If you find the film’s xenophobic undercurrents distasteful, take solace in this: Taken was co-written and directed by the Frenchmen responsible for “District B13,” so at least the xenophobia is imported.” M. E. Russell Portland Oregonian

Yay?  Perhaps it’s better than having an American director hate on the French.  I don’t know.  After all, it’s probably not as bad as 24 in promoting Americans kicking foreign ass.

“If there are any “24″ fans who have wondered what the TV series might be like if Liam Neeson replaced Kiefer Sutherland, Taken provides an opportunity to have that question answered.” James Berardinelli ReelViews

Great, that answers my question too.  But I have a new one, does Liam have the same unstoppable momentum that allows Jack Bauer to dodge bullets and shrug off the need for sleep the way the rest of us shrug off stupid Super Bowl ads?

“Taken shows Mills as a one-man rescue squad, a master of every skill, a laser-eyed, sharpshooting, pursuit-driving, pocket-picking, impersonating, knife-fighting, torturing, karate-fighting killing machine who can cleverly turn over a petrol tank with one pass in his car and strategically ignite it with another.” Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

Sweet.  I’m starting to think that I should turn off my brain before entering the theater.

“In the post-Columbine age, far too many cops’ partners have gone un-murdered. And too many unsuspecting daughters have freely traveled abroad, unmolested by foreign fiends. Leave it to the French to give Americans what we didn’t realize we were missing.” Scott Mendelson Film Threat

Thank you Film Threat for living up to your name.  Let’s end with one last pro-con face-off.

“Taken is nonsense, but it’s terrifically entertaining nonsense.” Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

“Taken? You bet.” Wesley Morris Boston Globe

Enjoy the game.

PDJ

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2 Responses

  1. your website is nice. 🙂

  2. i love how straightforward Taken was, they didn’t bother to dilly dally around with excessive plot twists

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