(Photo by Sony/courtesy Everett Collection)
Welcome to our guide to the worst romantic comedies ever: Movies suspiciously light on love and laughs that scored less than 10% on the Tomatometer – after 20 reviews from critics. This bubbly mix of misfires and killjoys includes infamous bombs (Gigli), questionable nuptials (The Big Wedding, License to Wed), vanity projects (Good Luck Chuck, The Hottie and the Nottie), and holiday hokum (New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day). Expect some big names to show up as well: Forest Whitaker (First Daughter director), David O. Russell (director of Accidental Love…until the money ran out and the movie was then thrown together without him), Tom Cruise (Cocktail), and Sandra Bullock, whose grating All About Steve had the distinct fortune of being Bullock’s first movie to release after her comeback The Proposal.
Now, it’s meet-cutes of the damned in our guide to the worst rom-coms ever made! —Alex Vo
No awards season — even a strike-tainted one — would be complete without the Razzies, right? Of course not. And that’s why we’ve thoughtfully assembled all of this year’s nominees in one convenient location.
The Razzies, now entering their 28th year, have been celebrating the worst in film since 1980, when John Wilson took a raspberry trophy, spray-painted it gold, and stuck it to Can’t Stop the Music. This year’s nominees are suitably distinguished, and they all follow below (with Tomatometers in parentheses). ‘Fess up, Vineketeers — how many of these have you seen? And enjoyed?
Nicolas Cage, for Ghost Rider (27 percent), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (32 percent), and Next (30 percent)
Jim Carrey, for The Number 23 (8 percent)
Cuba Gooding, Jr., for Daddy Day Camp and Norbit
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Adam Sandler, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jessica Alba, for Awake (21 percent), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (35 percent), and Good Luck Chuck (3 percent)
Logan Browning, Janel Parrish, Nathalia Ramos & Skyler Shaye, for Bratz
Elisha Cuthbert, for Captivity (7 percent)
Diane Keaton, for Because I Said So (5 percent)
Lindsay Lohan (as Aubrey), for I Know Who Killed Me
Lindsay Lohan (as Dakota), for I Know Who Killed Me
Worst Supporting Actor:
Orlando Bloom, for Pirates of the Carribbean: At World’s End (45 percent)
Kevin James, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Rob Schneider, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jon Voight, for Bratz, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, September Dawn (13 percent), and Transformers (57 percent)
Worst Supporting Actress:
Jessica Biel, for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Next
Carmen Electra, for Epic Movie (2 percent)
Eddie Murphy, for Norbit
Julia Ormond, for I Know Who Killed Me
Nicolette Sheridan, for Code Name: The Cleaner (4 percent)
Worst Screen Couple:
Jessica Alba with Dane Cook (for Good Luck Chuck), Hayden Christensen (for Awake), and Ioan Gruffudd (for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Any combination of two totally air-headed characters in Bratz
Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan, for I Know Who Killed Me
Worst Remake or Ripoff:
Are We Done Yet? (8 percent, remake/ripoff of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House)
Bratz (a ripoff if ever there was one)
Epic Movie (ripoff of every movie it rips off)
I Know Who Killed Me (ripoff of Hostel, Saw, and The Patty Duke Show)
Who’s Your Caddy? (7 percent, ripoff of Caddyshack)
Geoff Rodkey and David J. Stem & David N. Weiss, Daddy Day Camp
Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer, Epic Movie
Jeffrey Hammond, I Know Who Killed Me
Barry Fanaro and Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Eddie Murphy & Charles Murphy, Jay Sherick & David Ronn, Norbit
Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie:
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Hostel: Part II
I Know Who Killed Me
Here at RT we’re glass-half full kinds of people, so instead of dwelling on the abysmally-reviewed home video offerings of the week – Billy Bob Thornton’s Mr. Woodcock and Dane Cook’s Good Luck Chuck — we’re thrilled to point out that there are delights to be had on DVD shelves, if you’ll only look (Family Guy Presents Blue Harvest, Criterion’s The Naked Prey)!
It’s possible that Billy Bob Thornton will one day get past his irritable Bad Santa persona and graduate (or return) to roles with depth, challenge, and variety, but Mr. Woodcock will not be the catalyst for such a change. Thornton, an Academy Award-winner for writing, directing, and starring in a far better film about a mentally handicapped man a dozen years ago, now plays a terrifying…gym teacher. When Seann William Scott finds out his dear mother (Susan Sarandon, Oscar-winner) is dating the man who terrorized his adolescent years, he comes home to match wits, and slapstick wrestling movies, with Mr. Woodcock. You can do better, video hounds!
They say January is a dumping ground for bad movies; this week, the saying is true for DVD titles. Our first single digit-Tomatometer DVD release of the year, Good Luck Chuck – a raunchy, unfunny romantic comedy starring Dane Cook and Jessica Alba — earned the scorn of an overwhelming majority of critics. On DVD, expect unrated laughs and a strange, interactive feature of Matrix-style sex positions.
Leave it to Family Guy to save the day! The infamous Star Wars episode, retelling the entire space saga with Peter Griffin and Co., has arrived to poke geeky fun, Quahog-style, at Jedis, lightsabers, and storm troopers. Great extras include Seth MacFarlane interviewing George Lucas himself, an episode commentary, and a table reading Easter egg for you to uncover. Bonus points for knowing the working title of Episode VI.
Film enthusiasts also have something to look for this week: a new Criterion release! Cornel Wilde’s 1966 film The Naked Prey, in a newly restored high definition transfer, offers much more than just the movie itself — the story, based on real events, follows a 19th century colonist on safari forced to flee for his life as African tribesmen hunt him. But as with every Criterion release, this title’s packed with goodies — audio commentary, the original soundtrack cues created by the director and an ethnomusicologist, and a recounted version of the 1913 event that inspired the story, read by Paul Giamatti.
Abandoning conventional narrative, Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul has crafted a meditative story about how his own parents met and fell in love. Slow and mesmerizing, Syndromes and a Century was commissioned to honor the work of Mozart — a nice, alternative date movie for the discerning, Dane Cook-averse viewer.
‘Til next week, happy renting!
When they sit down on January 15th to determine the Best Song nominees for this year’s Oscars, voting members of the Academy’s Music Branch will have plenty of tunes to choose from — 59, to be exact.
While a number of the contenders were written by film-music vets — including Alan Silvestri, Alan Menken, and Diane Warren — this year’s field also boasts submissions by big pop names (John Legend, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer), rock superstars (Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters), and critically beloved songwriters (Marshall Crenshaw, Mike Viola, Dan Bern).
According to Variety, August Rush leads the crowd with four contenders, followed by Dan in Real Life, 56 Drops of Blood, Enchanted, Good Luck Chuck, Into the Wild, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story with three apiece.
On January 15th, the Academy will randomly screen clips featuring each song for voters, who will then have the unenviable task of narrowing the group of 59 down to three, four, or five nominees.
In an age of fast-rising Hollywood production costs, the young actresses who strive to keep movie budgets down — specifically in the wardrobe department — deserve to be saluted.
To that end, noted film critic Mr. Skin has unveiled his Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2007. Calling the last twelve months “A surprisingly strong year for big-screen nudity…among this decade’s very breast,” the renowned nakedologist has compiled the following list:
1. Marisa Tomei – Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
2. Keeley Hazell – Cashback
3. Natalie Portman – Hotel Chevalier
4. Christina Ricci – Black Snake Moan
5. Sienna Miller – Factory Girl
6. Roselyn Sanchez – Yellow
7. Malin Akerman – The Heartbreak Kid
8. Eva Mendes – We Own the Night
9. Lena Headey – 300
10. Stormy Daniels and Nautica Thorne – Knocked Up
11. Alexa Davalos – Feast of Love
12. Chelan Simmons – Good Luck Chuck
13. Wei Tang – Lust, Caution
14. Ashley Judd – Bug
15. Olivia Wilde – Alpha Dog
16. Ana Claudia Talancon – Alone With Her
17. Danielle Harris – Halloween
18. Heather Matarazzo – Hostel: Part II
19. Amber Valletta – The Last Time
20. Lucy Liu – Blood Hunter
Adjust your Netflix queues accordingly.
Source: PR Newswire
Ben Stiller‘s new comedy
The Heartbreak Kid stumbled in its opening frame and
forced the overall box office to plunge to the worst October weekend in eight
years. Incumbent family comedy
The Game Plan posted a strong sophomore hold and
retained its position as North America’s most popular film. But two other new
releases did nothing to energize the multiplexes as the top ten films together
grossed what just the top three pictures did a year ago on this same weekend.
The calendar may say October but the dismal box office grosses make it seem like
September never ended.
Surprising industry watchers once again, Disney’s
The Game Plan held onto the
number one spot for a second time grossing an estimated $16.3M for a slim 29%
decline. That gave
The Rock‘s first entry into the world of kid’s movies a solid
$42.8M in only ten days allowing the PG-rated comedy to already surpass the
grosses of his last two films
Gridiron Gang ($38.4M) and
Doom ($28M). All three pics were number one openers. Last weekend, many expected
Game Plan to
debut in second place behind
The Kingdom while this weekend
widely seen as debuting on top. In both cases the quarterback daddy flick
swiped the top spot and with little family competition in the weeks ahead, a
trip to the $100M club could be in the works.
Disney is still benefiting from the fall season’s shocking lack of product for
families. For the third consecutive weekend, seven of the top ten films carried
giving parents few other options for their children. The studio has virtually no
foes to deal with until
Jerry Seinfeld‘s animated pic
Bee Movie hits theaters on
November 2. Game Plan‘s second weekend drop was even smaller than the 40%
decline that the studio’s
Vin Diesel family film
The Pacifier experienced in
March 2005 on its way to a stunning $113.1M tally. The Game Plan now looks
certain to surpass the $90.5M of 2002’s The
Scorpion King to become The
Rock’s highest grossing film in a lead role.
The weekend’s big disappointment came from the Ben Stiller-Farrelly brothers
The Heartbreak Kid which debuted in second place with an
estimated $14M from 3,229 theaters. Averaging a mediocre $4,345 per site, the
R-rated film marked the first reteaming of the actor with the filmmakers since
1998 sleeper smash
There’s Something About Mary which grossed a stunning $176.5M
that year. Heartbreak was universally expected to open at number one
and was thought to have the potential to capture at least $20M in opening
weekend business for DreamWorks and Paramount. The budget was more than $60M,
according to the studios.
For Stiller, Heartbreak‘s opening was half the size of the bows of his other
recent comedies like
Night at the Museum ($30.4M),
Starsky and Hutch
($28.1M), and Along Came Polly ($27.7M). Those were PG or PG-13 films but the
comedian was still expected to draw a large crowd this weekend. However
for the Farrelly brothers, the performance was better than the $12.4M of their
Pitch in 2005 and the $9.4M of 2003’s
on You. Reviews were
mostly negative which is par for the course with these types of comedies.
The Heartbreak Kid put Stiller’s box office power to the test and the results
were discouraging. Most of the comedian’s hits feature other big stars to help
a paying audience. This time Stiller was the only major name and audiences did
not bite. In fact the launch was very similar to that of rival R-rated romantic
Good Luck Chuck which debuted to $13.7M and a better $5,227 average just two
weeks ago. That film offered some star wattage from both genders with
Dane Cook and
Universal’s Middle East drama
dropped 46% in its second weekend to an estimated $9.3M and placed third. The
Jamie Foxx pic has taken in
$31.4M in ten days and should find its way to $50-55M. Sony’s action-horror
Resident Evil: Extinction fell 47% to an estimated $4.3M and pushed its
17-day cume to $43.5M.
Failing to find an audience on opening weekend was the fantasy adventure film
The Seeker: The Dark is Rising
which bowed to an estimated $3.7M from a
very wide 3,141 theaters for a dismal $1,186 average. The PG-rated pic from the
new venture between Fox and Walden Media targeted young boys but got
nowhere at the box office. Seeker‘s debut was even worse than the $5M launch of
Dragon Wars from just two weeks ago which went after the same audience.
But thanks to a sluggish marketplace, Seeker‘s weak opening still landed the
film in the top five even though its nearly $40M budget will take much time to
The Lionsgate comedy
Good Luck Chuck grossed an estimated $3.5M, off 44%, for a
$29.1M sum. The dance drama
Feel the Noise delivered a seventh place
debut with an estimated $3.4M from just 1,015 theaters. Averaging a mild $3,350
per site, the PG-13 film played to urban teens and came from the new
Sony/BMG film division.
The weekend’s most notable fireworks came in limited release as the increasingly
crowded arthouse scene saw some red hot numbers from awards hopefuls.
George Clooney led the way with his legal thriller
Michael Clayton which bowed
in only 15 theaters but grossed an estimated $704,000 for an astounding
$46,933 average. Powered by strong reviews and starpower from the Oscar-winning
actor, the R-rated film is hoping to keep the momentum going when it
expands nationally on Friday into more than 2,400 theaters.
A pair of acclaimed filmmakers enjoyed encouraging sophomore expansions with
their latest efforts and delivered the next best averages.
Wes Anderson‘s comedy
Limited widened from two New York houses to 19 locations in seven
markets and grossed an estimated $553,000 for a powerful $29,099
average. Fox Searchlight will continue to open in more cities over the next two
weekends before going nationwide into more than 800 playdates at the end of the
month. Ang Lee‘s NC-17 romantic thriller
Lust, Caution also held up very well as
it entered new cities. The Focus release went from a solo Manhattan house to
17 venues and collected an estimated $369,000 for a potent $21,696 average.
Totals stand at $$477,000 for Lust and $781,000 for Darjeeling.
Also expanding and still generating good averages in their third frames were
Into the Wild and
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Paramount Vantage widened
Wild from 33 to 135 houses and
grossed an estimated $1.3M for an impressive $9,593 average. Warner
Bros. made a leap from five to 61 locations with Jesse and made off with an
estimated $408,000 for a respectable $6,689 average. Cumes are $2.5M and
$746,000 respectively and each film will continue to add more cities and
theaters in the weeks ahead.
Not faring well in its national expansion was the drama The
Jane Austen Book Club which grossed an estimated $1.5M from 1,232 sites for a weak $1,247
average. Last weekend, the Sony Classics release averaged $4,700 from only 41
venues. Total sits at $2M.
Sony’s Beatles-themed musical feature
Universe continued to have
great legs easing a mere 8% in its fourth outing to an estimated $1.9M. With $8M
in the bank from limited release, the Julie Taymor-directed pic goes wide on
Friday into more than 700 sites. Universe joins the music-themed films
Once as movies with some of the best legs at the box office over the last
several months. But it was a sad tune for Universal’s teen comedy
which tumbled 49% to an estimated $1.3M for a weak total of just $10.2M. Look
for a poor $13M finish.
The top ten films grossed a disappointing estimate of $61.9M which was down a
substantial 37% from last year when
Departed debuted in first place with $26.9M; and off 23% from 2005 when
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit opened in the top spot with
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
After two weeks of rule by Jodie and Milla, the boys come charging back in what could be a fierce fight for the number one spot. Jamie Foxx heads up the Middle East political thriller The Kingdom while The Rock targets a kinder and gentler audience with his family comedy The Game Plan. With little to no overlap in customers, both films should have room to breathe. Also debuting but in a moderate national release is the Morgan Freeman pic Feast of Love.
After scoring four consecutive $100M grossers this summer, Universal aims for another trip to the number one spot with its new military drama The Kingdom. Oscar winner Jamie Foxx leads the cast playing an agent with the FBI that assembles a talented team of experts to go to Saudi Arabia against government orders to investigate a suicide bomber’s attack against Americans. Jennifer Garner, Chris Cooper, Jason Bateman, and Jeremy Piven co-star in the R-rated pic. The studio is hoping to reconnect with the same audience that powered its 2005 Iraq War drama Jarhead to a strong $27.7M bow. It’s even used Kanye West‘s music in its advertising just as it did two years ago.
The Kingdom is part of a handful of fall flicks to deal with political issues in the Middle East. As one of the first ones out of the gate, it may not suffer from the backlash against this genre that may eventually be created. Marketed as a revenge picture featuring Americans fighting back against those who wronged us, the Peter Berg-directed film should tap into a certain segment of the audience that will find comfort in this type of fare. But competition for adults will be a factor especially considering how seven of the top eight films last weekend were rated R. Reviews have been mixed, however starpower is ample which should compensate. Infiltrating more than 2,700 theaters, The Kingdom might open with approximately $19M this weekend.
Of course Diesel, Ice Cube, and other macho men have been showing their softer side in kidpics lately so the idea is not totally new. The studio’s sneak previews last weekend helped to get more buzz out there with the target demo and with the lack of direct competition, Game Plan should have smooth sailing with parents and children. The marketing push has been effective as Disney has proven with films like Wild Hogs that it can sell just about any type of star-driven comedy to the public. Charging into about 2,800 locations, The Game Plan could grab around $17M this weekend.
The Dane Cook–Jessica Alba comedy Good Luck Chuck is also following up on a solid debut. Most of the fans of the actors probably came out upfront so a 50% fall to around $7M seems likely. That would give Lionsgate a ten-day cume of $24M.
LAST YEAR Sony topped the charts with its animated offering Open Season which debuted to an impressive $23.6M on its way to $85.1M. Ashton Kutcher voiced the number one film and starred on-screen opposite Kevin Costner in the second place pic The Guardian which opened to $18M. the Buena Vista release went on to collect $55M. Jackass: Number Two fell two spots to third with $14.6M losing half of it audience. Launching in fourth was the Billy Bob Thornton comedy School for Scoundrels with $8.6M for MGM on its way to $17.8M. Jet Li‘s Fearless rounded out the top five with $5M for Focus.
Two new films were met with enthusiasm from North American moviegoers who
powered each film past the openings of their respective predecessors. Fans of
action and horror lined up for the threequel
Evil: Extinction which bowed at number one while those in search of a
laugh spent their dollars on the romantic comedy
Good Luck Chuck.
Both opened with averages of more than $5,000 each and helped to fill the entire
Top Five with R-rated fare as the overall marketplace bounced back after recent
Gamers still love to go to the movies. That’s what Sony learned with its
estimated $24M opening weekend for
Evil: Extinction, the third and supposedly final chapter of the popular
movie franchise starring
If the estimate holds, it will give the latest chapter the best debut of the
series. 2002’s original premiered with $17.7M while its 2004 sequel
Evil: Apocalypse bowed to $23M. Final grosses reached $39.5M and $50.7M,
respectively. In a world where third parts rarely enjoy the biggest opening in a
series (The Bourne Ultimatum is the only other of this year’s seven threequels
to do so), Extinction‘s performance is noteworthy in that it generated
its strong gross from 456 fewer theaters than Apocalyspe had three years
Billy Bob Thornton comedy
dropped 43% in its second weekend to an estimated $5M putting the ten-day total
at $15.7M. A $25-28M final seems likely. Fellow comedy
Superbad grossed an
estimated $3.1M, off 39%, giving Sony $116.2M to date. The studio also crossed
the $1 billion mark in domestic tickets sales for the sixth year in a row.
Universal’s assassin smash
The Bourne Ultimatum
dipped only 32% to an estimated $2.8M pushing the domestic haul to $220.2M.
Universal can now claim the only two summer films to spend eight weeks in the
top ten as the Matt Damon smash joined studio stablemate
Rounding out the top ten was the fantasy adventure
Dragon Wars with an
estimated $2.5M, down 50%, for a ten-day cume of only $8.6M.
Warner Bros. got off to a solid start with its Old West tale
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford which made
off with an estimated $144,000 from 15 theaters for a $9,600 average. Ten of the
locations were in Austin with most double-screening the nearly-three-hour outlaw
tale. The Brad Pitt–Casey
Affleck starrer earned generally good notices from reviewers and will widen
A weekend estimate of $1.7M greeted the comedies
Balls of Fury
from Focus and
Mr. Bean’s Holiday from Universal. The ping pong pic fell 47% for a cume
of $31.3M while the
Eurotrip eased 36% and has gathered $30.8M to date. A final domestic tally of
$35M should result for each.
Author: Gitesh Pandya,
Jodie Foster will find herself in the middle of a catfight over the number one spot this weekend. The star of current chart-topper The Brave One will face challenges from Milla Jovovich‘s new action sequel Resident Evil: Extinction, Jessica Alba‘s romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck, and the Amanda Bynes college laugher Sydney White. With adult-skewing dramas ruling the box office over the past couple of weeks, teens and young adults should be out in full force this weekend thanks to the selection of new options.
Deadly viruses and killer zombies are back in Sony’s Extinction, the latest and final chapter in its video game-inspired action-horror franchise. The series has been a popular one with the first Resident Evil opening to $17.7M in March 2002 and its sequel Resident Evil: Apocalypse debuting to a stronger $23M in September 2004. Each averaged about $7,000 over the debut frame. The R-rated Extinction will play to the converted and is not likely to generate any new fans. In fact, some will drop out thinking a third helping is a bit too much. Still the built-in audience of young adults and gamers plus a solid marketing push guarantee a top spot launch. Attacking over 2,700 locations, Resident Evil: Extinction could capture roughly $20M over the three-day debut period.
3:10 to Yuma posted a solid hold last weekend and this time a similar drop could result. The Lionsgate release might dip by 35% to around $6M raising the total to $37M after 17 days.
LAST YEAR: Johnny Knoxville and his partners in crime landed a big number one opening for Jackass: Number Two which bowed to $29M. The Paramount sequel went on to collect $72.8M. Focus debuted in second with another R-rated film aimed at young men, the Jet Li actioner Fearless, which grossed $10.6M. The historical pic reached $24.6M. Sony’s football drama Gridiron Gang dropped two spots to third with $9.5M in its sophomore frame. Opening poorly in fourth was the action flick Flyboys with only $6M for MGM on its way to $13.1M. The animated film Everyone’s Hero rounded out the top five with $4.7M. Premiering to dismal results was the Sean Penn vehicle All the King’s Men (the third new release to take place in the past) with $3.7M for Sony. It quickly ended its run with a poor $7.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the movies, we’ve got cursed couples (Good Luck Chuck,
starring Dane Cook and
Jessica Alba), a collegiate Snow White (Sydney White,
starring Amanda Bynes), the London underworld (Eastern Promises, starring
Viggo Mortensen and
Naomi Watts), and post-apocalyptic zombie killing (Resident
Evil: Apocalypse, starring
Milla Jovovich). What do the critics have to say?
Romantic comedies are often the most difficult films to pull off; you need
palpable chemistry between the leads, inspired jokes, and a delicate sense of
comic timing. Good luck finding those attributes in
Good Luck Chuck,
critics say. Dane Cook stars as a guy who’s the victim of a curse, one in which
any woman who dates him finds true love — with someone else. Enter Jessica Alba
as a penguin-lover who really digs him. Can she break the curse? Critics say the
movie seems to be under a spell of its own, one in which potential laughs are
squandered by means of rude humor, shopworn slapstick, and an ultimately cheesy
resolution. At seven percent on the Tomatometer, Chuck this one to the
Sydney White, the titular heroine of this Snow White update, might find herself
singing, "Someday, my prince will come." Or perhaps, "Someday, a bunch of
princely movie critics may give my movie a good review."
Sydney White stars
Amanda Bynes as a college freshman who has to contend with a malicious sorority
queen while whipping a frat of geeks into social shape. While critics agree
Bynes is a talented actress who’s rescued movies in the past, her comic skills
go largely to waste here on a script that functions completely on stereotypes
and does little to plant new twists on the classic
fairy tale. In fact, the scribes say the unsubtle references to Snow White lore
in the movie are jarring and distracting. At 46 percent Tomatometer, Sydney
White is one poisoned apple.
With Eastern Promises,
David Cronenberg continues to utilize genre
trappings for his singular dark, bold vision. Promises stars Viggo
Mortensen as a mysterious yet charismatic Russian hitman whose loyalties are put
into question when he encounters Naomi Watts’s character. Critics praise
Eastern‘s tight pacing, grisly images that are shocking but short of
exploitation, and Mortensen’s daring performance. And a fight scene in a
bathhouse between Mortensen and a group of thugs is being touted as one of the most impressive action set piecess in recent memory. At a
Certified Fresh 86 percent, Cronenberg Promises a good time. (Check out our interview with Cronenberg and Mortensen
Are video game adaptations headed the way of the eggplant wizard? That’s up for debate, but
it appears that the people behind
Resident Evil: Extinction were
prepared for a critical ice age; what other reason for not screening the movie
before its release? As with the first two Evil flicks, Extinction
stars Milla Jovovich as a zombie killer roaming a post-apocalyptic landscape.
Kids, put down your biology textbooks and Guess that Tomatometer. (Oh, and be
sure to check out our report from the Resident Evil: Extinction set
Also opening this week in limited release: The Brazilian import
the gritty story of a group of female rappers overcoming poverty, is at 88
percent; Sean Penn‘s
Into the Wild, starring Emile Hirsch as a young man
who ditches civilization for the wilderness, is at 85 percent;
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, a revisionist look
at the famed outlaw starring
Brad Pitt and
Casey Affleck, is at 84 percent;
Last Winter, a supernatural/philosophical horror film set in Alaska, is at
Beauty Remains, a story of
two sisters in love with the same man on the cusp of the Chinese Revolution, is
at 67 percent;
Adrift in Manhattan, about profound encounters between
strangers in the Big Apple, is at 60 percent;
The Jane Austen Book Club, a tale of book club members who
find their lives paralleling the text of the great author, is at 58 percent; and
Trade, a drama about young women sold into sexual slavery, is at 33
Recent Viggo Mortensen Movies:
87% — A History of Violence (2005)
46% — Hidalgo (2004)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Recent Jessica Alba Movies:
40% — The Ten (2007)
The Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
21% — Into the Blue (2005)
26% — Fantastic Four (2005)
77% — Sin City (2005)