This week at the movies, we’ve got a bunch of madmen ("Hostel"), a notorious lover ("Casanova"), a dhampir ("BloodRayne"), and a dude who lives with his grandma ("Grandma’s Boy"). Which of these movies will score with critics?
It’s a story that’s been told a thousand times: a group of young people stray off the beaten path, only to fall into the clutches of bloodthirsty crazies who inflicts torture upon them with sadistic glee. Heck, it was told a couple weeks ago ("Wolf Creek"). So what? Sometimes it’s how you tell it, and the critics say "Hostel" is told very well. Yes, scribes say, Eli Roth‘s film is grisly, but it’s also terrifyingly exciting and makes for some incisive social commentary. At 88 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Hostel" may be worth a stay, if you like this sort of thing.
Giacomo Casanova was the world’s greatest lover, a man of endless appetites who led an impossibly colorful life (which was probably embellished in his autobiography, but is a classic nonetheless). So you couldn’t go wrong with a movie about the notable rake, right? Right? Well, the critics say this period comedy romp, starring Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller, isn’t quite as romping as it should be, and despite noteworthy visuals, the film is frothy without being particularly ribald. Worse, the man whose name is synonymous with cad-dom chooses monogamy! At 41 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Casanova" is getting no love.
The people behind both "BloodRayne" and "Grandma’s Boy" must have made a new year’s resolution to not screen their films for critics. Here at Rotten Tomatoes, we feel it’s admirable to stick to your guns, when so many of us end up breaking our resolutions almost immediately. Unfortunately, the strategy sends a message to the world that perhaps these movies aren’t very good.