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All Bradley Cooper Movies Ranked

After breaking into the mainstream as smarm personified in Wedding Crashers, Bradley Cooper seemed poised for a career filled with rude comedies and rom-coms — and for a few years, his filmography threatened to live down to those limited expectations, with stuff like Failure to Launch and All About Steve surrounding his follow-up hit The Hangover. Once he had half a chance, however, Cooper flashed his dramatic chops, giving audiences a feel for what he could really do in Limitless before vaulting into the Oscar-nominated A-list with American SniperSilver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle. Factor in his MCU stint as the lovably misanthropic Rocket in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it’s clear we’ve seen just the tip of what this multi-hyphenate talent can do. For further proof, here’s a look at all Bradley Cooper movies, rounded up and sorted by Tomatometer!

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a lovely blind date, crossword-puzzle creator Mary Horowitz (Sandra Bullock) falls head over heels in love with Steve (Bradley... [More]
Directed By: Phil Traill

#34

Serena (2014)
16%

#34
Adjusted Score: 20022%
Critics Consensus: Serena unites an impressive array of talent on either side of the cameras -- then leaves viewers to wonder how it all went so wrong.
Synopsis: In Depression-era North Carolina, the barren wife (Jennifer Lawrence) of an ambitious timber baron (Bradley Cooper) sets out to murder... [More]
Directed By: Susanne Bier

#33

Valentine's Day (2010)
18%

#33
Adjusted Score: 24076%
Critics Consensus: Eager to please and stuffed with stars, Valentine's Day squanders its promise with a frantic, episodic plot and an abundance of rom-com cliches.
Synopsis: In a series of interconnected stories, various Los Angeles residents (Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper) wend their way through... [More]
Directed By: Garry Marshall

#32

Aloha (2015)
20%

#32
Adjusted Score: 25443%
Critics Consensus: Meandering and insubstantial, Aloha finds writer-director Cameron Crowe at his most sentimental and least compelling.
Synopsis: While on assignment in Oahu, Hawaii, military contractor Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper) reconnects with his old flame Tracy Woodside (Rachel... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Crowe

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 28223%
Critics Consensus: Less a comedy than an angrily dark action thriller, The Hangover Part III diverges from the series' rote formula but offers nothing compelling in its place.
Synopsis: It's been two years since the gang known as the Wolfpack narrowly escaped disaster in Bangkok. Now, Phil (Bradley Cooper),... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#30

Case 39 (2009)
21%

#30
Adjusted Score: 22268%
Critics Consensus: Director Christian Alvert has a certain stylish flair, but it's wasted on Case 39's frightless, unoriginal plot.
Synopsis: In her many years as a social worker, Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) thinks she has seen it all -- until... [More]
Directed By: Christian Alvart

#29

The Words (2012)
24%

#29
Adjusted Score: 29027%
Critics Consensus: Neither as clever nor as interesting as it appears to think it is, The Words maroons its talented stars in an overly complex, dramatically inert literary thriller that's ultimately a poor substitute for a good book.
Synopsis: When shallow wannabe-writer Rory (Bradley Cooper) finds an old manuscript tucked away in a bag, he decides to pass the... [More]

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 29243%
Critics Consensus: The few comic gags sprinkled throughout the movie fail to spice up this formulaic rom-com.
Synopsis: A young man (Matthew McConaughey) continues to live at the home of parents who, in desperation to push him out... [More]
Directed By: Tom Dey

#27

Burnt (2015)
28%

#27
Adjusted Score: 33172%
Critics Consensus: Burnt offers a few spoonfuls of compelling culinary drama, but they're lost in a watery goulash dominated by an unsavory main character and overdone clichés.
Synopsis: Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once a top chef in Paris until drugs and alcohol led to a meltdown that... [More]
Directed By: John Wells

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 42727%
Critics Consensus: A crueler, darker, raunchier carbon copy of the first installment, The Hangover Part II lacks the element of surprise -- and most of the joy -- that helped make the original a hit.
Synopsis: Two years after the disastrous events in Las Vegas, it is now Stu's (Ed Helms) turn to walk down the... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 40245%
Critics Consensus: Like many anthologies, New York, I Love You has problems of consistency, but it isn't without its moments.
Synopsis: On the eve of her wedding, a Hasidic woman (Natalie Portman) considers a romance with another man, in one of... [More]

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 40409%
Critics Consensus: Wet Hot American Summer's incredibly talented cast is too often outmatched by a deeply silly script that misses its targets at least as often as it skewers them.
Synopsis: Set on the last day of camp, in the hot summer of 1981, "Wet Hot American Summer" follows a group... [More]
Directed By: David Wain

#23
Adjusted Score: 47692%
Critics Consensus: Despite the best efforts of a talented cast, He's Just Not That Into You devotes too little time to each of its protagonists, thus reducing them to stereotypes.
Synopsis: Baltimore-based friends and lovers, all in their 20s and 30s, try to navigate their way through the complexities of modern... [More]
Directed By: Ken Kwapis

#22

Yes Man (2008)
46%

#22
Adjusted Score: 51994%
Critics Consensus: Jim Carrey's comic convulsions are the only bright spots in this otherwise dim and predictable comedy.
Synopsis: Carl Allen (Jim Carrey) is stuck in a rut with his negative ways. Then he goes to a self-help seminar... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#21

Hit & Run (2012)
48%

#21
Adjusted Score: 53445%
Critics Consensus: Though Hit & Run has some surprisingly oft-kilter filmmaking, the action doesn't add to much and the writing's a bit smug.
Synopsis: Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard), a nice guy with a shady past as a getaway driver, breaks out of the witness... [More]
Directed By: Dax Shepard, David Palmer

#20

The A-Team (2010)

#20
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A man who loves when a plan comes together, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) leads a close-knit team of elite operatives.... [More]
Directed By: Joe Carnahan

#19

Joy (2015)
60%

#19
Adjusted Score: 70283%
Critics Consensus: Joy is anchored by a strong performance from Jennifer Lawrence, although director David O. Russell's uncertain approach to its fascinating fact-based tale only sporadically sparks bursts of the titular emotion.
Synopsis: A story of a family across four generations, centered on the girl who becomes the woman (Jennifer Lawrence) who founds... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#18

War Dogs (2016)
61%

#18
Adjusted Score: 74626%
Critics Consensus: War Dogs rises on the strength of Jonah Hill's compelling performance to take a lightly entertaining look at troubling real-world events.
Synopsis: With the war in Iraq raging on, a young man (Jonah Hill) offers his childhood friend a chance to make... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#17

My Little Eye (2002)
67%

#17
Adjusted Score: 52547%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: As part of an Internet reality show, five people sign up to spend six months in a mansion while cameras... [More]
Directed By: Marc Evans

#16

Limitless (2011)
69%

#16
Adjusted Score: 76702%
Critics Consensus: Although its script is uneven, Neil Burger directs Limitless with plenty of visual panache, and Bradley Cooper makes for a charismatic star.
Synopsis: Facing unemployment and his girlfriend's rejection, writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is sure that he has no future. That all... [More]
Directed By: Neil Burger

#15

The Mule (2018)
71%

#15
Adjusted Score: 81208%
Critics Consensus: A flawed yet enjoyable late-period Eastwood entry, The Mule stubbornly retains its footing despite a few missteps on its occasionally unpredictable path.
Synopsis: Broke, alone and facing foreclosure on his business, 90-year-old horticulturist Earl Stone takes a job as a drug courier for... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#14

American Sniper (2014)
72%

#14
Adjusted Score: 84403%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Clint Eastwood's sure-handed direction and a gripping central performance from Bradley Cooper, American Sniper delivers a tense, vivid tribute to its real-life subject.
Synopsis: U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) takes his sole mission -- protect his comrades -- to heart and becomes... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#13
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When struggling photographer Leon Kaufman (Bradley Cooper) meets the owner of a prominent art gallery, he sees a chance for... [More]
Directed By: Ryûhei Kitamura

#12

Wedding Crashers (2005)
76%

#12
Adjusted Score: 82402%
Critics Consensus: Wedding Crashers is both raunchy and sweet, and features top-notch comic performances from Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
Synopsis: Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) and John (Owen Wilson) are divorce mediators who spend their free time crashing wedding receptions. For the... [More]
Directed By: David Dobkin

#11
Adjusted Score: 86074%
Critics Consensus: Ambitious to a fault, The Place Beyond the Pines finds writer/director Derek Cianfrance reaching for -- and often grasping -- thorny themes of family, fatherhood, and fate.
Synopsis: In upstate New York, two men (Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper), and later, their sons (Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen) must deal... [More]
Directed By: Derek Cianfrance

#10

The Hangover (2009)
78%

#10
Adjusted Score: 87951%
Critics Consensus: With a clever script and hilarious interplay among the cast, The Hangover nails just the right tone of raunchy humor, and the non-stop laughs overshadow any flaw.
Synopsis: Two days before his wedding, Doug (Justin Bartha) and three friends (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis) drive to Las... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#9

Nightmare Alley (2021)
80%

#9
Adjusted Score: 96040%
Critics Consensus: While it may not hit quite as hard as the original, Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley is a modern noir thriller with a pleasantly pulpy spin.
Synopsis: When charismatic but down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her has-been mentalist husband... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#8
Adjusted Score: 116205%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Synopsis: Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 114161%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#6

A Star Is Born (2018)
90%

#6
Adjusted Score: 121929%
Critics Consensus: With appealing leads, deft direction, and an affecting love story, A Star Is Born is a remake done right -- and a reminder that some stories can be just as effective in the retelling.
Synopsis: Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers -- and falls in love with -- struggling artist Ally. She has just about given... [More]
Directed By: Bradley Cooper

#5

Licorice Pizza (2021)
91%

#5
Adjusted Score: 104052%
Critics Consensus: Licorice Pizza finds Paul Thomas Anderson shifting into a surprisingly comfortable gear -- and getting potentially star-making performances out of his fresh-faced leads.
Synopsis: Alana Kane and Gary Valentine grow up, run around and fall in love in California's San Fernando Valley in the... [More]
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 102341%
Critics Consensus: Silver Linings Playbook walks a tricky thematic tightrope, but David O. Russell's sensitive direction and some sharp work from a talented cast gives it true balance.
Synopsis: After losing his job and wife, and spending time in a mental institution, Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) winds up living... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#3

American Hustle (2013)
92%

#3
Adjusted Score: 103253%
Critics Consensus: Riotously funny and impeccably cast, American Hustle compensates for its flaws with unbridled energy and some of David O. Russell's most irrepressibly vibrant direction.
Synopsis: Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) dabbles in forgery and loan-sharking, but when he falls for fellow grifter Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams),... [More]
Directed By: David O. Russell

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 105688%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Synopsis: Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 127912%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Movies can transport you from your life for a little while, but did you ever let the movies transport you in life? Every country and virtually every way of life has been captured on film, so it’s rather irresistible to catch the travelling bug from the silver screen.

Today, let Rotten Tomatoes be your travel guide, as we present 10 places whose architecture, landscape, and beauty have given life to some famous movies in history. Navigate the cities below and fire up your wanderlust!

What is your top movie vacation spot?


Comedies are hard to make and comedy sequels are even harder, when audiences have wised up to your jokes and expect bigger and better. Ben Stiller’s Zoolander 2, coming 15 years after the original, hopes to buck the trend this Friday. And it’s this latest romp down the catwalk inspires this week’s 24 Frames gallery: the best and worst comedy part twos by Tomatometer!

 

This week’s Ketchup includes tons of news for The Hangover star Bradley Cooper and others, news of biopics based on the lives of Jackie Robinson and Elizabeth Taylor, and a few comic book movies that include Hawkman.

This Week’s Top Story

WARNER BROS. SURPRISES NO ONE AND STARTS WORK ON THE HANGOVER PART III

This past Memorial Day weekend, The Hangover Part II broke all sorts of box office weekends with $205 million worldwide in just five days, including the biggest opening ever for a comedy. So, it should surprise no one that Warner Bros has hired one of that film’s screenwriters to start work on The Hangover Part III, which is being seen as the final film in what will end up being a trilogy. Craig Mazin didn’t work on the original movie, but his other credits include Superhero Movie (which he has sole credit on) and cowriting duties on Senseless, Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4. There’s no firm confirmation on where the “Wolf Pack” will head next, but the popular consensus among the cast appears to be Amsterdam, which sort of completes a “party city” trifecta that began with Las Vegas and Bangkok. Craig Mazin also revealed this week his idea for how The Hangover Part III might end (though he might have been joking): “I think the third movie ends with Doug staring at a row of crosses in a graveyard. It’s everyone ? his wife, his family is dead, everybody from the first movie is dead. Somebody shows up and tells him his dog is dead.” The “Doug” that Mazin refers to is the character played by Justin Bartha who is mostly absent from the crazy events of the first two movies. The next step for Warner Bros will be to secure stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis (who are believed to have only been signed for one sequel), as well as director Todd Phillips.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 CASTING RUMORS FOR QUENTIN TARANTINO’S LATEST ARE LOOSE AND UNCHAINED

Twitter’s 140 character limit is a pox on anyone who wants details in their news scoops. This week, Tweets were twice aflutter about Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, about a slave who seeks revenge against his former Southern master. Normally, the Weekly Ketchup doesn’t repost rumors too often, but directors and movies like Quentin Tarantino and Django Unchained are special exceptions. First, there was a tweet from blogger Jeff Goldsmith (formerly of Creative Screenwriting magazine) announcing, “Leonardo DiCaprio WILL play villian Calvin Candie in Tarantino?s Django Unchained! QT wanted him for I.B. & now has him!” The I.B. that Goldsmith is referring to is, of course, Inglourious Basterds, which DiCaprio was at one time in talks to costar in. It should be noted that, as of this writing, nothing official has come out, so for now, the idea that Leonardo DiCaprio will play the villainous slave owner is just a rumor. Also in the rumor category, thanks to Twitter, is the idea that Idris Elba (Stringer Bell in The Wire, Heimdall in Thor) might be in talks to star as Django after Will Smith possibly dropping out (he was never officially signed). Elba’s possible involvement is even murkier than DiCaprio’s, as the idea just comes from Elba tweeting that he was “Having one of the biggest meetings of my professional life today… meeting a very controversial director for a very controversial part.” People took that to mean Quentin Tarantino and Django Unchained, but really, he could have been talking about any controversial director. Uwe Boll’s pretty controversial, for example.

#2 ELIZABETH TAYLOR AND RICHARD BURTON’S FURIOUS LOVE RAGES ON

Biopic movie projects have a funny way of popping up not too long after their subject’s demise. Such was the case this week with Elizabeth Taylor, just over two months after her departing on March 23, 2011. The subject at hand is the book Furious Love by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger about the tumultuous romance between 1950s-1960s movie stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which resulted in Burton being two of Taylor’s eight marriages (#5 and #6). After long negotiations with many other parties, Paramount Pictures has finalized a deal for Furious Love that sets the romantic real life epic up as a directorial project for Martin Scorsese. Screenwriter David Seidler (The King’s Speech) and actress Natalie Portman were among those who had also been trying to secure the rights, which gives us an idea of at least one actress who wants to play Elizabeth Taylor. To be clear, the use of the word “biopic” is slightly off, as Furious Love would not be a full biopic, but would focus on the years of the Taylor/Burton on-and-off-and-on-again romance, starting with the filming of Cleopatra in 1963 until their second divorce in 1976. As for Martin Scorsese directing Furious Love, the movie is likely going to have to wait a few years, as Scorsese has a full plate which includes the upcoming Hugo Cabret, his Five Obstructions project with Lars von Trier (which may be an artsy remake of Taxi Driver), the missionary priest epic Silence, and his plans for another biopic about the life of crooner Frank Sinatra. Furious Love will need that extra time anyway, as the next step for Paramount is to find a screenwriter for the project.

#3 HERE’S AN UNEXPECTED REMAKE: THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY

Legendary Pictures is the high profile Warner Bros-based production company most associated with big budget special effects movies like 300, Watchmen, Inception, Clash of the Titans and Christopher Nolan’s three Batman movies. Legendary also produced the two Hangover movies, and a few other less expensive movies like The Town and Observe and Report, and this news item is another project more in that budget range. Legendary Pictures has made a deal with the estate of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke the league’s “color line” as a second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Jackie Robinson himself starred in the 1950 movie The Jackie Robinson Story. There have been other efforts in recent years to get another Jackie Robinson movie made, including one by Spike Lee (which would have starred Denzel Washington), and a project which would star Robert Redford as Branch Rickey, the Dodgers executive who signed Robinson. With the deal with Robinson’s estate, however, Legendary Pictures has the best chance of actually getting their project produced. Legendary has already hired Brian Helgeland to both write and direct the Jackie Robinson biopic. Helgeland’s resume as director includes Payback and A Knight’s Tale, and as screenwriter, Helgeland has also worked on Mystic River, Man on Fire and L.A. Confidential (cowritten with director Curtis Hanson).

#4 POP CULTURE SPOOFERS PENNY ARCADE GO TO THE MOVIES WITH THE NEW KID

The webcomic Penny Arcade has been joking about video games and other pop culture subjects since 1998. Now, thanks to a one shot webcomic called The New Kid (that was a grand total of just 6 panels), the guys behind Penny Arcade are getting into the movie business. Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to The New Kid to adapt it into an animated film about a kid who is the only human in an outer space school full of aliens. The New Kid is the first step in a new animation launch that follows Rango, the studio’s first recent non-DreamWorks Animation release (not counting the many previous Paramount animated movies like those with Nickelodeon, etc). Paramount Pictures this week also acquired the rights to the DC Comics title The Mighty, which is particularly interesting because DC Comics movie adaptations are usually produced and distributed by Warner Bros. However, in the case of The Mighty, the comic’s creators Peter Tomasi and Keith Champagne controlled the rights, allowing them to go to another studio. The Mighty tells the story of a cop who has long worked with Alpha One, the world’s most powerful superhero, until he discovers that this “hero” actually has evil plans, forcing the cop to attempt to stop him.

#5 ELMORE LEONARD’S FREAKY DEAKY FINALLY CASTS UP

Crime novelist Elmore Leonard’s books have been adapted as several movies, including 3:10 to Yuma (based on a short story), Get Shorty (and its sequel Be Cool), Jackie Brown, and Out of Sight. Leonard’s novel Freaky Deaky has been in various stages of development pretty much since its 1988 publication, including a time when Quentin Tarantino was considering adapting it. This week, the cast of Freaky Deaky expanded considerably as filming is scheduled to start later this month in Michigan. The previously cast William H. Macy will be joined by Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser and Craig Robinson (The Office, Hot Tub Time Machine). Freaky Deaky tells the story of a Detroit cop (Matt Dillon) in the 1970s who is moved from the bomb squad to sex crimes, who then comes across a group of radicals connected to the bombing of a limousine. William H. Macy will play a Hollywood insider, Robinson will play his former Black Panther assistant, and Brendan Fraser will play a former activist who uses his knowledge of bombs for special effects sequences in Hollywood movies. Freaky Deaky was adapted and will be directed by Charles Matthau, who made his directorial debut in 1995 with The Glass Harp, starring his dad Walter Matthau.

#6 THIS WEEK IN BRADLEY COOPER NEWS

It is pretty much standard Hollywood playing rules that the week after a big box office opening, a director or actor will make the news a bit. Bradley Cooper (or more accurately, his agents and publicists) sort of overdid it after The Hangover Part II, maybe. Admittedly, two of these projects were already known, but here are Cooper’s three movies that made the news this week, in order of when they will be filming. First up is The Words, a dramatic thriller about a writer (Cooper) who discovers the price for stealing another writer’s work (which doesn’t sound a bit like Secret Window, of course). That movie will have a star-studded cast that will include Ben Barnes (AKA Prince Caspian), John Hannah (The Mummy), Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana (Avatar), J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) and Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy). The Words will be the directorial debuts of TRON: Legacy screenwriters Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, and filming starts this month in Montreal. Next up, filming in July in Schenectady, New York, will be The Place Beyond the Pines. Bradley Cooper will play a cop on the hunt for a motorcycle enthusiast (Ryan Gosling) who starts robbing banks to support his newly born baby. The Place Beyond the Pines reunites Ryan Gosling with director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), who also wrote both films. Finally, there was the revelation that Bradley Cooper has aspirations of being a screenwriter in addition to being one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood today. Talking to Charlie Rose, Cooper revealed that he has written an adaptation of the Dan Simmons sci-fi epic novel Hyperion, and hopes to possibly direct the movie as well. Hyperion is set during an intergalactic war in the 28th century, and for more information on that, you can try deciphering the lengthy and technobabble-filled premise here. These combined stories have “Fresh Development” status mostly on the strength of Blue Valentine, and the suggestion via Hyperion that Bradley Cooper is a super king-sized science fiction nerd behind the dimply good looks (in the best possible way, of course).

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#3 THIS WEEK IN YOUNG ADULT FRANCHISE MOVIES

Hollywood took the week off, post Memorial Day, from greenlighting movies based on fairy tales and focused instead on one of the community’s other recent obsessions: movies based on Young Adult novel franchises with female protagonists. The 14 year old fanbase isn’t going to make these movies themselves, after all. First off, there is Lionsgate’s adaptation of The Hunger Games, which saw its massive cast get even bigger with the addition of Donald Sutherland as President Snow, “the ruthless autocratic leader of Panem.” Lionsgate also made the news with the revelation that the studio is actually planning on making four movies out of the trilogy that continues with the novels Catching Fire and Mockingjay. How exactly three books will be split up into four movies isn’t yet known, but the popular notion appears to be that Mockingjay would become two movies, in much the same way that the final books in both the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises were done. Ah, but the Young Adult news doesn’t stop there. Universal Pictures has hired director Mary Harron (American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page) to take on their adaptation of Wicked Lovely, the first novel in a series of five books by Mellissa Marr. Wicked Lovely revolves around a 17-year-old girl named Aislinn who was born with the ability to see the faeries that are hiding in plain sight in our world, and now finds herself split between “a seductive Faery king” and her mortal boyfriend. Decisions, decisions, decisions! Wicked Lovely was adapted by frequent Tim Burton collaborator and screenwriter Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas). Finally, there is The Mortal Instruments, which is a soon-to-be-produced adaptation of City of Bones, the first novel in the four novel (so far) series by Cassandra Clare. Jaime Campbell Bower, who is best known for playing King Arthur in the Starz series Camelot, has been cast as Jace Wayland opposite Lily Collins, who will play Clary Fray. City of Bones tells the story of Clary Fray, a teenage girl who discovers that she is the descendant of a family of “Shadowhunters,” a secret group of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of the mortal world. The Mortal Instruments will be directed by Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest) from a script by newcomer Jessica Postigo. Surprisingly, there has not yet been any word of Paul Bettany costarring in The Mortal Instruments, which if true, will mark a career first for Scott Stewart. These three movies are collectively in the borderline Rotten Idea category, basically presented to you in order from the Freshest potential to the most Rotten Idea.

#2 TARZAN DIRECTOR SAYS IT’S HARD OUT HERE FOR A CHIMP

Warner Bros has for a while been trying to get a new live action movie based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan books, about an English lord raised in Africa by a family of gorillas. This week, Warner Bros signed a surprising choice to bring Tarzan back to the big screen: director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow), whose next movie will be the remake of Footloose (to be released 10/14/11). Craig Brewer reportedly won over Warner Bros with his idea for a story that will stretch out over three movies, forming a new Tarzan trilogy. The news of Brewer’s hiring comes while Warner Bros has also hired screenwriter Adam Cozad (who hasn’t yet had a movie produced, but he has worked on Paramount’s planned Jack Ryan reboot) to also adapt Tarzan into a new live action feature. It’s unknown whether Cozad’s work will be incorporated into Brewer’s trilogy idea, or if a new screenwriter will now be hired. Although Tarzan‘s movie career has slowed down considerably in recent decades (Disney’s animated version being the relatively recent high point), in Hollywood’s golden age, Tarzan was the starring character of dozens of movies. Although the idea of Tarzan getting a 21st century big budget reboot has a lot of promise, this story is one of the week’s Rotten Ideas because Craig Brewer seems like such an unlikely and odd choice, associated as he is with mostly musical projects. Does Brewer plan on having Tarzan rap and perform dance routines in the jungle, possibly with a chorus of gorillas, chimps and leopards backing him up? Maybe not, but that this writer even thought of that possibility is why this is a Rotten Idea.

#1 HAWKMAN: CARTER HALL AND THE GLIDERS OF THE LOST ARK

DC Comics made big news (mostly negative) among fans this week with the revelation that in September, the publisher will be relaunching their entire slate with 52 #1 comics along with major changes and a new online publishing option. These changes include a de-aging of many characters, costume changes like Superman losing his red outside underwear, and matching collars being added to many costumes. One of the characters that is seeing the biggest change is Hawkman, who will star in The Savage Hawkman with a new costume complete with talon-like gloves and porcupine-like wings. Hawkman is one of DC’s oldest superheroes (introduced in 1940), and he has also been the subject of some of the most confusing changes and reboots, to the point that there is not one answer as to who exactly Hawkman even is. Coincidentally, this week, the news also broke about Warner Bros’ plans for a Hawkman movie. The answer can be found in this description sent out to various screenwriting forums, searching for someone to take on the project, “Part INDIANA JONES/DA VINCI CODE, part GHOST tentpole about the fictional superhero that appears in D.C. Comic books. He used archaic weaponry and large, artificial wings attached to a harness made of the Nth metal that allows flight. Most incarnations of Hawkman work closely with a partner/romantic interest named Hawkgirl or Hawkwoman in his fight against supervillains.” That’s right, Warner Bros is comparing Hawkman to Indiana Jones, The Da Vince Code and (of all things), Ghost. The connection here is that the original Hawkman was archaeologist Carter Hall, who discovered in Egyptian ruins a set of wings made of a mysterious “nth metal” that allowed him to fly. Then, in the 1950s, Hawkman was rebooted as a sort of space cop from the planet Thanagar. Hawkman has been a confusing character ever since. This news is the week’s most Rotten Idea because Warner Bros appears to be fitting a fairly simple superhero peg into an Indiana Jones-shaped hole. That is the same problem that DC Comics keeps having too, probably not coincidentally. The difficulty of how to make a Hawkman movie was also sent up quite well in a recent YouTube video sketch (“Hawkward!”).

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook or a RT forum message.

This weekend, North American moviegoers stormed their local megaplexes as the four-day Memorial Day holiday frame set a new record led by strong openings for a pair of Asian-set sequels. The highly-anticipated comedy The Hangover Part II registered a scorching launch while the animated pic Kung Fu Panda 2 enjoyed a solid start of its own. The adventure tentpole Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides suffered a big drop in its second weekend but still contributed large numbers in third place as the summer of sequels drew massive numbers of ticket buyers into theaters making for the biggest weekend in a year and a half.

Setting the box office on fire, the much-hyped comedy The Hangover Part II met with explosive numbers opening to an estimated $105.8M over the long Friday-to-Monday holiday weekend and a jaw-dropping $137.4M in the five days since its Thursday launch. Playing in 3,615 locations, the theater average was an incredible $29,257 over four days. It was the second biggest opening in history for an R-rated film behind only 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded which bowed to $91.8M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $134.3M from its late Wednesday night launch. The Passion of the Christ ranks third with $83.8M over the weekend and $125.2M in its five-day Wednesday-to-Sunday debut.

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Over the traditional Friday-to-Sunday period, the Hangover followup grossed an incredible $86M for a $23,799 average. Only two R-rated comedies have ever broken $50M on opening weekend before – Sex and the City ($57M) and Jackass 3D ($50.4M) – so the performance of the Wolf Pack was truly amazing.

Moving the action to Bangkok, the new installment from Warner Bros. started its busy weekend on Thursday with a stellar $31.6M (including a huge $10.4M from Thursday night post-midnight shows) and held up well with $30M on Friday and $29.7M on Saturday. Sunday dropped 11% to $26.3M and Monday is estimated to fall 25% to $19.7M for a five-day tally that exceeds industry expectations. Reviews were mostly negative with many critics blasting the film for being a carbon copy of the original, but audiences enjoyed what they paid for, giving it a solid A- grade according to CinemaScore.

Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis reunited for the new tale along with director Todd Phillips and talk is already underway for a third chapter. The first Hangover opened at number one in June 2009 with $45M and had tremendous legs finishing with more than six times that amount at $277.3M from North America alone. Audiences around the world responded, giving Mike Tyson and company $467M worldwide making it the biggest R-rated comedy in history. The sequel brought back the main cast and crew, changed the setting thanks to a wedding set in Thailand, and kept most of the formula the same. The $80M-budgeted production entered the marketplace on Thursday with some of the highest levels of fan anticipation of any film this year.

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Warner Bros. rolled out The Hangover Part II in 40 countries around the world and grossed a stellar $60.3M which was three times bigger than the respective openings of the first film in those markets. The United Kingdom led the way with $16.7M which was the all-time biggest debut for an American comedy of any rating. Another English-speaking market that greeted the film with open arms was Australia with $11.9M. In both territories, Hangover opened better than last week’s bigger-budgeted Pirates sequel. Germany and Russia open next weekend and the international tally is expected to soar quickly.

Finishing in second place with a solid but subdued performance was the 3D animated comedy Kung Fu Panda 2 which bowed to an estimated $62.2M over four days and $68M since its Thursday debut. The Paramount release averaged $15,847 over four days and attracted strong reviews plus an encouraging A CinemaScore grade. The PG-rated film did $47.8M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion. But the $53.6M from the first four days was lower than the $60.2M three-day opening of the first film from early June in 2008. That pic was in 2D and did not benefit from 3D ticket surcharges. Competition was not too fierce this weekend since Rio was the only other cartoon in the marketplace and most major grossers were rated R or skewed to an older crowd.

Across its five-day debut period, Panda opened to $5.8M on Thursday and is projected to collect $14.4M on Memorial Day Monday. Compared to other 3D toon debuts, the Friday-to-Sunday tally beat out Rio‘s $39.2M from last month and edged out the $46M of November’s Megamind from DreamWorks. The Jack Black sequel will end up in the same five-day holiday debut vicinity as Tangled which premiered to $68.7M last Thanksgiving. Despite being presented in 3D, Panda‘s 2D version proved to be more popular accounting for about 55% of the weekend gross. Lately, more moviegoers have been opting for the regular-priced 2D versions over the more expensive 3D ones for many films.

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Kung Fu Panda 2 had a limited international roll-out this weekend opening in just 11 territories but the toon scored a hefty $57M coming in at number one in nine of the markets. Leading the way were China with $18.5M, Russia with $15M, and Korea with $13M. In China, Panda broke the record for the biggest opening day for a foreign film beating the latest Pirates which set the record last week.

Last weekend’s champ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides suffered a large decline as expected. Johnny Depp’s latest big-budget adventure dropped to an estimated $50.4M over four days and put its 11-day tally at $164M. The Disney tentpole dropped 56% over the Friday-to-Sunday span and was in-line with how other recent sequels performed on the three-day portion of Memorial Day weekend. 2009’s Angels & Demons fell 53% while the previous year’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian tumbled 59%. Those films made 65-70% of their domestic totals by Memorial Day so if Pirates follows a similar trajectory, it would finish with about $240M making it by far the lowest-grossing installment in the series.

But while North American audiences are showing up in smaller numbers, international crowds have been enormous and the overseas totals are on course to be the best in the franchise. Tides continued its massive worldwide release with a stellar $122.8M in its second weekend (as of Sunday) shooting the international total in just under two weeks to $470.8M with the global haul now at $623.7M. Leading the way have been Russia with $49.9M, China with $43.9M, and Japan with $43.8M with the overseas total set to make it past the $700M mark. The latest Pirates even has a chance of hitting the $1 billion milestone worldwide with three-quarters coming from outside of North America.

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Despite the Hangover juggernaut taking away those in the mood for raunchy wedding-related humor, Universal’s sleeper hit Bridesmaids held up quite nicely with an estimated $21M over the long weekend raising the total to a solid $89.6M in 18 days. The three-day take of $16.6M was off just 21% from last weekend. The R-rated film should sail into nine-digit territory on Friday.

A 3D action film followed, with Thor grossing an estimated $12M for a total of $162.4M for Paramount. The Kenneth Branagh-directed pic has now outgrossed the first installments of Marvel’s X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Hulk franchises although today’s higher ticket prices have contributed. The comic giant will launch another property on July 22 with Captain America: The First Avenger which also will be in 3D. Slowing down overseas, Thor made an estimated $3.5M internationally this weekend lifting the take to $253.1M for a global figure of $416M.

Fast Five came closer to crossing the $200M mark with a four-day weekend estimate of $8.2M pushing the domestic tally to an incredible $197.6M. Overseas, Universal’s action smash kept going strong with another $13.3M boosting the international haul to $346M and the global gross to a towering $544M. Look for Five to speed past the $600M worldwide mark soon.

Woody Allen made a rare appearance in the top ten landing in seventh place with the incredible limited release performance of his latest romantic comedy Midnight in Paris which took in an estimated $2.6M from only 58 theaters for a sizzling $45,086 average. Sony Classics will continue to expand the film as counter-programming to the summer’s mindless popcorn pics.

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Fox’s animated hit Rio followed with an estimated $2.4M in its seventh round putting the cume at $135.4M. Still keeping pace with each other were the wedding comedies Jumping the Broom with $2.35M and Something Borrowed with $2.32M, according to estimates. The Sony release has taken in $34.6M thus far while Warner Bros. has a $35.2M total.

Just days after winning the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life registered a scorching debut in limited release with an estimated $489,000 from just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a stunning $122,250 four-day average. Met with mostly good reviews from critics, the Brad Pitt-Sean Penn starrer expands to eight more markets next weekend including San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington D.C.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $269.2M over the four-day holiday weekend which was up a robust 48% from last year’s Memorial Day when Shrek Forever After remained in the top spot with $57.1M; and up 27% from 2009’s holiday when Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian debuted at number one with $70.1M.

This week at the movies, we’ve got men behaving badly — again (The Hangover Part II, starring Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) and the return of a bamboo-eating martial artist (Kung Fu Panda 2, with voice work from Jack Black and Angelina Jolie). What do the critics have to say?



The Hangover Part II

34%

Hey, remember The Hangover? It was pretty funny, right? What if they did basically the same thing, only this time in another country? Well, critics say that’s essentially the problem with The Hangover Part II — it’s got hilariously bawdy gags and manic energy, but it’s lacking the element of surprise that made the first film so fresh. The Wolfpack (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms) is back together, this time celebrating Helms’s impending matrimony. However, after another wild night, our heroes find themselves in Thailand, with Helms’s 16-year-old brother-in-law-to-be conspicuously absent. The pundits say the main problem with The Hangover Part II is that it’s slavishly similar to its predecessor, so the stars’ game efforts can’t disguise the fact that we’ve pretty much seen this stuff before. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of cinema’s wildest bachelor parties.)



Kung Fu Panda 2

81%

Speaking of sequels, critics loved the bright colors and good humor of the first Kung Fu Panda, and for the most part they’re happy with Kung Fu Panda 2 as well — they say that if it isn’t as fresh this time out, it’s visually vibrant and briskly paced, with loads of endearing characters. Po (Jack Black) must use his finely honed fighting skills to defeat a formidable opponent who wants to rule all of China; in addition, our hero must turn inward to learn about his mysterious origin. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Kung Fu Panda 2 is smarter than your average bear, and better looking too, with remarkably dexterous fight sequences and a rollicking sense of fun.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in a meditation on the origins of life as seen through the lens of a 1950s Midwestern family, is Certified Fresh at 83 percent.
  • United Red Army, a drama about a far-left group of Japanese students that killed some of its members during a training session, is at 83 percent.
  • Hello Lonesome, an indie dramedy that follows the lives of three lonely New Yorkers, is at 67 percent.
  • The Romanian import Tuesday, After Christmas, about a man whose marriage is tested after an affair with a young dentist, is at 62 percent.

  • Puzzle, a drama about a middle aged woman who discovers she has a remarkable talent for jigsaw puzzles, is at 60 percent.
Bachelor Parties

So we don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s a sequel to a little movie called The Hangover coming out this week, in which pre-wedding festivities once again go horribly, hilariously awry for three guys in way, way over their heads (Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms). The first Hangover took bachelor party comedy to a new level, so in honor of the Wolfpack’s return, we took a look at some of the other notable entries in the genre. Like many actual weddings, some of these movies didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, but we’re betting you’ll find a few favorites as you sift through the Tomatometer wreckage. Dearly beloved, it’s time to Total Recall!

American Wedding

54%

Few characters in the annals of modern mainstream Hollywood comedy have been more uniquely qualified or prepared to plan a bachelor party than Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott), the sex-obsessed lunatic whose exploits helped the American Pie series redefine raunchy R-rated humor. With American Wedding, he finally got his chance — and he didn’t disappoint, lining up a pair of strippers to surprise the soon-to-be-wedded Jim (Jason Biggs). Of course, Stifler being Stifler, things didn’t exactly turn out as planned; in fact, Jim’s new in-laws ended up becoming unplanned participants in all the ribaldry. But all’s well that ends well, and although Wedding didn’t earn distinguished critical marks, it made over $230 million at the box office, and earned somewhat begrudging praise from the likes of Robert Denenstein of the Denver Rocky Mountain News, who called it “Funny when it needs to be” and added, “I don’t know what more you can ask from the third installment of a series that has gone further than anyone reasonably could have expected.”

Bachelor Party

54%

Before he started hoarding Oscar nominations, Tom Hanks had to work his way up the professional ladder just like anyone else — a journey that included starring in this cheerfully ribald, playfully shallow 1984 comedy about a bus driver whose trip to the altar with his fiancee (Tawny Kitaen) has to make it through dozens of wacky obstacles, including a disapproving father-in-law, a scheming ex-boyfriend, and a donkey. It’s pretty standard stuff as far as the T&A comedies of the 1980s are concerned, and quite a few critics dismissed it out of hand, but Bachelor Party has become something of a cult classic over the years — something that might have been predicted by Roger Ebert, who gave it three stars and wrote, “Bachelor Party has some great moments and qualifies as a raunchy, scummy, grungy Blotto Bluto memorial.”

The Best Man

72%

Spike Lee’s cousin Malcolm made his debut with this 1999 dramedy, which stars Taye Diggs as Harper Stewart, a budding novelist whose doubts about his girlfriend (Sanaa Lathan) are put to the test when a galley copy of his book starts making the rounds among his friends — and an ex-girlfriend who might be the one that got away (Nia Long). As if all that weren’t enough to deal with, Harper is also faced with handling the titular duties at the wedding of his best friend (Morris Chestnut), which includes hiring an attractive young woman (Regina Hall) to perform a rather provocative dance. Boasting a smartly written script, a likable cast (including Terrence Howard in an early role), and a solid soundtrack featuring The Roots, Maxwell, and Beyoncé, The Best Man earned praise from critics such as Michael Dequina of The Movie Report, who argued, “If you ask me, it’s impossible to not like a film that ends with the entire cast doing the electric slide to Cameo’s 1980s funk classic ‘Candy.'”

Bride Wars

11%

In Hollywood, a wedding isn’t a wedding until the bride loses her mind, and nothing is as funny as a good cat fight. Enter 2009’s Bride Wars, a slapstick brawl to the altar between two lifelong best friends (Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson) whose relationship is torn asunder when their weddings are mistakenly planned for the same day. When neither bride-to-be is willing to change her date, it unleashes a flood of repressed rage, cruel practical jokes, and one very aggressive bachelorette party dance-off, as well as a climactic brawl (in wedding dresses, natch). Bride Wars was a $115 million hit, but most critics didn’t find it all that funny; in fact, most of them dismissed it as more proof of the film industry’s patronizing attitude toward female relationships. A notable exception was Time’s Mary Pols, who wrote that “even though the catfighting goes over the top, the notion that a passionate female friendship can turn ugly in a heartbeat is, sadly, realistic.”

Clerks II

63%

Most movie bachelor parties promise untold levels of debauchery, but — much like their real-life counterparts — tend to be relatively tame affairs. Leave it to Kevin Smith to film an exception to the rule with Clerks II, which puts audiences in the front row for a donkey show with an unexpected twist. A film so gleefully profane that Joel Siegel infamously walked out of his screening, Clerks II ultimately failed to capture the cultural zeitgeist the way its predecessor did, but for some critics, it represented Smith’s growth as a filmmaker. Calling it “Probably the funniest film Smith has done since the original,” Joe Utichi of FilmFocus argued, “it’s chock full of childish humour and witty observations on pop culture — but there’s something real beneath all of that as well. Something, dare it be said, touching.”

A Guy Thing

25%

Okay, so the Tomatometer isn’t so hot, but…hey, how about that cast? A Guy Thing revolves around the laff-a-minute travails of a hapless groom-to-be (Jason Lee) who wakes up the morning after his bachelor party to discover the stripper (Julia Stiles) next to him — and then finds out she’s related to his fiancee (Selma Blair). Wackity schmackity doo! In spite of its likable stars, A Guy Thing sputtered at the box office and was pounced on by most critics, although it did have a few defenders — including the kind-hearted Peter Howell of the Toronto Star, who called it “A bale of romantic fluff that is a lot funnier than it has any right to be.”

The Hangover

78%

After all these years, you’d think there wasn’t much left to add to the bachelor party subgenre, but then along comes The Hangover and throws a random assortment of animals, an enraged, effeminate Ken Jeong, a baby, and Mike Tyson into the mix. Supposedly inspired by the time the groom went missing at a real-life bachelor party attended by producer Tripp Vinson, The Hangover plunges viewers into the sandy hell that is Las Vegas the morning after a night you can’t remember, with Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Bradley Cooper frantically searching for their soon-to-be-wedded pal (Justin Bartha) while trying to dodge a gangster (Jeong) and solve the mystery of Helms’ missing tooth. Queried Kyle Smith of the New York Post, “Memento meets Old School? It’s party time.”

How to Murder Your Wife

64%

A perfect example of the sort of unrepentantly sexist comedy we only could have gotten during the swinging 1960s, How to Murder Your Wife stars Jack Lemmon as a successful cartoonist who relishes his bachelor lifestyle — that is, until he wakes up the morning after a bachelor party and discovers, to his slowly dawning horror, that he married the stripper (played with vivacious brio by Virna Lisi). Of course, it isn’t that she’s a bad wife, it’s just that Lemmon’s character resents being domesticated, and will entertain thoughts of homicide to escape. “Believable or not, this stuff is funny just so long as one can go with the sour joke,” wrote a slightly incredulous Bosley Crowther for the New York Times, adding, “and that depends upon one’s tolerance of trivia and also, perhaps, upon whether one is a fellow or a girl.”

The Marrying Man

10%

When Alec Baldwin gave that 2009 interview where he bemoaned his failure as an actor, he might have been thinking of this infamous turkey, which used a Neil Simon screenplay as a recipe for critical and box office disaster. Baldwin starred as Charley Pearl, a toothpaste heir who falls for a nightclub singer (Kim Basinger) during his bachelor party, quickly dumps his fiancee, and marries the new object of his heart’s desire — only to divorce her, remarry her, divorce her, remarry her…oh, you get the idea. The Marrying Man‘s staggeringly low Tomatometer speaks for itself, but it wasn’t all bad — Roger Ebert was one of the very few who liked it. “There’s more juice in the story than I usually expect from Neil Simon,” he wrote, adding, “the characters don’t just trade one-liners, but get under each other’s skins.”

Very Bad Things

41%

Bachelor parties are supposed to be fun, right? Someone forgot to tell the guys in Very Bad Things, who end up — whoops! — killing the stripper (Kobe Tai). Despite what you may have heard about things staying in Vegas, the repercussions of the group’s actions quickly spiral out of control, with deaths and double-crossings piling up along the way. Things‘ pitch-black humor and almost wholly unsympathetic protagonists were understandably off-putting for audiences, who ignored the movie during its brief theatrical run — and while most critics were similarly unimpressed with its mean-spiritedness, Dwayne E. Leslie of Boxoffice Magazine was one of the scribes who wrote in its defense, saying that “the film wages a war against one’s moral senses in a story that’s unforgettable.”


Take a look through the rest of our Total Recall archives. And don’t forget to check out the reviews for The Hangover Part II.

Finally, here’s the trailer for Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation:

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