Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Astro Boy Doesn't Quite Soar

Plus, The Vampire's Assistant flunks, Amelia is grounded, and guess Saw VI's Tomatometer!

by | October 22, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an anime hero (Astro Boy, with voice work from Kristen Bell and Nicolas Cage), a vampire war (Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant , starring Chris Massoglia and John C. Reilly), an aviation pioneer (Amelia, starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere), and gore galore (Saw VI, starring Costas Mandylor and Mark Rolston). What do the critics have to say?


Astro Boy

Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy is one of anime’s most iconic and venerable characters. Now he’s getting the big-screen CGI treatment, and the result, critics say, is an energetic but derivative affair. In the film, Astro Boy is a young robot with super powers who learns, slowly but surely, what it means to be human; he also must protect his new-found friends from danger. The pundits say Astro Boy is a lively and good-looking jaunt, but it also cribs from such legendary kiddie fare as Pinocchio and Wall-E without making a distinctive stamp of its own. (Check out voice actress Kristen Bell’s Five Favorite Films here.)


Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

Vampires are all the rage these days, so it makes sense that the 12-volume Cirque du Freak book series would be adapted for the silver screen. However, with The Vampire’s Assistant, critics aren’t exactly hailing the birth of a franchise. Chris Massoglia stars as a young man who mistakenly ends a truce in a 200-year-old vampire war; becoming a half-vampire means “dying” to his friends and family and plunging into the bloodsucking world. The pundits say The Vampire’s Assistant is overstuffed and scattershot, uneasily mixing scares and laughs while leaving its characters underdeveloped.



As an adventurer, author, and proto-feminist icon, Amelia Earhart maintains a powerful grip on the public’s imagination. And Amelia has all the trappings of an award-worthy biopic: it stars Oscar winner Hilary Swank and was directed by the critically acclaimed Mira Nair. Unfortunately, the critics say the film is decidedly earthbound. The film follows Earhart from her early aviation triumphs to her 1937 disappearance over the Pacific Ocean — and explores her fame and interpersonal relationships as well. The pundits say Amelia takes these compelling raw materials and does little with them, conventionally ticking off Earhart’s accomplishments without exploring the soul of the woman.


Saw VI

As with most of the previous entries in the gorehound-fave Saw series, Saw VI has not been screened for critics prior to its release. This latest installment finds Detective Hoffman continuing Jigsaw’s legacy of mayhem after framing some poor chump in Saw V. (And don’t forget to check out See Saw With Alex, in which RT’s own Alex Vo watches all the Saw movies in order.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The South Korean import Night and Day, about a 40-year-old professor who impulsively flees to Paris for a bohemian existence, is at 100 percent.

  • The Wedding Song, about a friendship that crosses religious lines in facist-occupied Tunisia, is at 100 percent.

  • Killing Kasztner, a documentary about the still-controversial Hungarian Jew who bargained with the Nazis to rescue more than 1,000 concentration camp inmates, is at 60 percent.

  • Ong Bak 2, starring martial arts celeb Tony Jaa as a nobleman on a mission to avenge the murder of his family, is at 53 percent (check out Jaa’s Five Favorite Films here).

  • Lars Von Trier‘s controversial Antichrist, starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a grieving married couple on the brink, is at 51 percent.

  • (Untitled), an indie comedy about a love triangle amidst New York’s hipster art scene, is at 44 percent.

  • Motherhood, starring Uma Thurman in a comedy about a stay-at-home mom who writes about her experiences, is at 29 percent.

Finally, props to lancerbird13 and King Kubrick for coming the closest to guessing The Stepfather‘s 13 percent Tomatometer.

Tag Cloud

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