Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: I Am Legend All Over the Map, Chipmunks Hits Sour Note

And Holiday is less than Perfect.

by | December 13, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the last man on earth
(I Am Legend, starring
Will Smith), Alvin, Simon,
and Theodore (Alvin and the Chipmunks, starring
Jason Lee),
and mommy kissing Santa Claus (The Perfect Holiday, starring
and Morris Chestnut). What do the critics have to say?

The hotly-anticipated
I Am Legend
stars box office champ
Will Smith as
a man who finds he’s the last of the human race. It’s an intriguing premise, but
critics say the film is something of a mixed bag. Smith plays scientist Robert
Neville, the only survivor of a worldwide plague. As he roams the abandoned
streets of New York City, he slowly comes to the realization that he’s not
alone: a band of bloodthirsty quasi-humans have been watching him. Critics say
the film features outstanding work from Will Smith; they also
note the film’s excellent production design and interesting philosophical
questions about the nature of humanity. But there’s also the feeling from many
pundits that while the movie starts out contemplative and intriguing, it heads
into schlocky B-movie territory as it goes along, jettisoning the elements that
made the setup so intriguing. At 57 percent on the Tomatometer, this one isn’t
quite legendary. (Check
here for
our Total Recall feature on I Am Legend author Richard Matheson.)

"You guys don’t super size meals anymore?"

It appears the big-screen version of
Alvin and the Chipmunks
gives lie to the theme song of the group’s Saturday
morning incarnation, which said Alvin, Simon, and Theodore were "coming on
stronger than ever before." In fact, critics say this may be the weakest
vehicle for the helium-voiced rodents yet.
Jason Lee stars as David Seville,
the impresario behind the famed band of singing, anthropomorphic woodland
creatures, who run afoul of the record industry. The pundits say despite a few laughs, this is pretty bland stuff: dated, weakly constructed, and lacking in three-dimensional characters of the human or CGI variety. Kids, sing along!
"Twenty-eight-percent Tomatometer-time is here/time for toys, and time for

The Chipmunks rehearsing their cover of "Pink Moon."

Another week, another ribald-but-sentimental
holiday comedy. The latest entry in the subgenre is
The Perfect Holiday
, a film critics say is inaccurately
titled. Holiday tells the story of a single parent (Gabrielle
) who takes her kids to see Santa (Morris Chestnut) at the local mall, and
starts thinking she might like to be Mrs. Claus. The critics say the film
squanders an excellent cast that also includes the likes of
Queen Latifah,
, and
Charlie Murphy (oops, I mean "Chaaahhlllie
Murphaaaay") on a shopworn script that delivers few laughs and less cheer.
At 20 percent on the Tomatometer, you may want to skip this

Queen Latifah ignores the elephant in the room.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Nanking, a documentary about the Japanese invasion of China
    in the early days of World War II, is at 95 percent on the Tomatometer.

  • The
    Kurdish drama Half Moon, about a family band journeying to
    Iraq to play a concert celebrating Saddam’s fall, is at 100 percent.

  • The Kite Runner, which
    tells the story of the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan from the perspective
    of a family, is at 63 percent. (Click
    here for
    our interview with writer David Benioff,
    here for
    author Khaled Hosseini, or maybe even
    here for our
    chat with Khalid Abdalla.)

  • Look, a drama shot on security cameras that ties together
    several storylines, is at 58 percent.

  • Goodbye
    , a drama about a prison guard who befriends Nelson Mandella,
    is at 44 percent.

  • Francis Ford Coppola‘s
    Youth Without
    , starring
    Tim Roth as a writer who ages in reverse after being
    struck by lightning, is at 34 percent. (Check out our interview with editor
    Walter Murch

    Tim Roth doing his best Lady from Shanghai impression.

Recent Will Smith Movies:
66% — The Pursuit of Happyness
69% — Hitch (2005)
34% — Shark Tale (2004)
59% — I, Robot (2004)
24% — Bad Boys II (2003)

Recent Queen Latifah Movies:
93% — Hairspray (2007)
61% — Arctic Tale (2007)
73% — Stranger than Fiction
55% — Last Holiday (2006)
56% — Ice Age: The Meltdown

Tag Cloud

news dceu asian-american Sundance Now BBC One NBC Pirates Grammys History golden globe awards Winter TV anime Polls and Games Starz crossover Tumblr TV One Shudder Lionsgate Year in Review Rocketman TCA Winter 2020 wonder woman universal monsters Marvel Television Apple TV+ HBO FOX Disney Plus Emmys streamig batman TV movies gangster VOD renewed TV shows justice league Stephen King OneApp Broadway Election Mary Poppins Returns archives DC streaming service Valentine's Day Crackle Oscar Trophy Talk telelvision DC Universe period drama nfl ESPN dark twilight Fox Searchlight 79th Golden Globes Awards Reality Competition documentary PlayStation space 2020 Trivia spanish language Spike Countdown Fall TV video all-time TV Land Binge Guide 45 Rocky japan jamie lee curtis black comedy Adult Swim TLC Universal Pictures Family dexter films Trailer video on demand criterion Food Network 2018 TruTV summer preview 94th Oscars spanish marvel cinematic universe cats LGBT See It Skip It Brie Larson award winner legend HBO Max Best and Worst true crime politics Thanksgiving Pacific Islander what to watch Geeked Week Freeform TBS Peacock deadpool 007 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reboot action-comedy WarnerMedia USA Network Pop TV prank Showtime RT21 scene in color 24 frames Music live action 99% pirates of the caribbean travel toy story foreign cops Funimation singing competition harry potter Hallmark Opinion DC Comics blockbuster comic book movie Avengers thriller best interviews book adaptation ABC Signature werewolf adventure scary movies Mary poppins diversity Warner Bros. Country FX on Hulu quibi Oscars Indigenous Apple TV Plus Calendar Pride Month Columbia Pictures rotten movies we love Song of Ice and Fire The Arrangement Prime Video CBS All Access Chernobyl Cannes saw Writers Guild of America SXSW discovery royal family aliens Hulu animated parents SDCC Spring TV spain Disney+ Disney Plus Shondaland MTV Fargo rom-coms ViacomCBS Video Games romance Travel Channel CNN mockumentary PBS Alien hidden camera debate Hallmark Christmas movies trophy versus Comedy Central Schedule WGN CMT LGBTQ stand-up comedy nbcuniversal BBC live event television children's TV game show Captain marvel target scene in color genre Mindy Kaling Marvel GoT Creative Arts Emmys Tubi unscripted Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cinemax Drama X-Men National Geographic Fox News spider-man Image Comics spy thriller directors king arthur razzies Classic Film lord of the rings Star Trek Rom-Com based on movie franchise 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards natural history cancelled TV series VH1 green book jurassic park historical drama rt labs critics edition Walt Disney Pictures Amazon Prime Video Logo psycho latino 2017 Cosplay feel good El Rey monster movies Amazon Prime Endgame japanese Reality streaming sag awards stop motion FXX comic boxing new zealand crime hispanic Acorn TV indie Sundance TV The Walking Dead concert Pixar screenings obituary dreamworks ratings TCA E! Vudu sequels worst Netflix Christmas movies Ovation 73rd Emmy Awards psychological thriller independent Esquire 4/20 Horror free movies 90s Universal Comedy Academy Awards 20th Century Fox scene in color series Sony Pictures Martial Arts 21st Century Fox suspense Comics on TV Neflix christmas movies Character Guide YouTube Premium Hear Us Out IFC Films Best Actress miniseries remakes slashers target dogs SXSW 2022 Television Academy Women's History Month strong female leads Tokyo Olympics Kids & Family 93rd Oscars anthology Paramount Pictures south america AMC Plus canceled TV shows CW Seed Disney godzilla Interview Tomatazos festivals kong FX blockbusters medical drama king kong Western summer TV Summer MCU basketball superman Certified Fresh richard e. Grant scene in color film series Animation Awards cooking Turner Classic Movies spider-verse Superheroe Tarantino mob A&E OWN movies Mudbound sports rt archives Nat Geo cults VICE SundanceTV Best Actor cancelled television crime drama hist Photos high school leaderboard revenge screen actors guild First Look adenture Syfy breaking bad dc Crunchyroll Black Mirror Best Picture DGA toronto ID theme song kids social media sitcom Super Bowl Watching Series rt labs cars zero dark thirty spinoff boxoffice The Purge Musical series serial killer sopranos child's play BET comedies Anna Paquin BET Awards biopic australia halloween blaxploitation hispanic heritage month mcc comics DirecTV popular laika Action new york elevated horror Sony The Witch 2019 trailers football Britbox 2021 cancelled TV shows Best Director IFC RT History GIFs art house summer TV preview ITV Television Critics Association Apple die hard Holidays nature comiccon composers Baby Yoda transformers international disaster Turner TCA Awards heist movie venice scary Superheroes First Reviews know your critic ghosts Wes Anderson New York Comic Con casting A24 The CW Sci-Fi docuseries Disney Channel TV TV renewals new star wars movies romantic comedy dragons Toys scorecard Netflix Nominations Fantasy comic books Rock Teen crime thriller cartoon Spectrum Originals Marvel Studios Film obi wan Elton John 72 Emmy Awards supernatural Ellie Kemper Extras San Diego Comic-Con political drama Sneak Peek Heroines Exclusive Video HFPA mutant Paramount Network teaser Sundance Infographic sequel dramedy CBS docudrama The Walt Disney Company adaptation game of thrones canceled james bond book police drama Pet Sematary young adult documentaries YouTube kaiju Red Carpet Christmas technology critic resources ABC Family superhero marvel comics vs. a nightmare on elm street BBC America Instagram Live Epix cancelled Film Festival olympics Cartoon Network Amazon Studios Box Office Marathons Lifetime Christmas movies TCM Mary Tyler Moore french name the review slasher ABC chucky Paramount Plus Mystery Arrowverse Black History Month women doctor who Podcast Musicals streaming movies YA posters Set visit APB Focus Features 1990s halloween tv black comic book movies Disney streaming service golden globes Native rotten PaleyFest reviews Emmy Nominations American Society of Cinematographers talk show Comic Book emmy awards TNT biography Lifetime zombie Discovery Channel Premiere Dates binge GLAAD NBA Quiz classics Awards Tour tv talk Amazon 71st Emmy Awards Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2015 Holiday Star Wars Paramount USA South by Southwest Film Festival italian HBO Go science fiction 2016 aapi MSNBC YouTube Red witnail satire indiana jones TCA 2017 Comic-Con@Home 2021 Dark Horse Comics Star Wars Celebration Masterpiece worst movies Pop fast and furious finale MGM hollywood Winners vampires facebook Legendary movie stoner NYCC AMC President mission: impossible festival Ghostbusters TIFF joker zombies BAFTA Biopics Lucasfilm critics The Academy IMDb TV Nickelodeon robots E3 war fresh broadcast Bravo Tags: Comedy