Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Fury Drops The Ball; No Stay of Execution For Death Sentence

Halloween not screened for critics; Guess The Tomatometer!

by | August 30, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got ping pong (Balls of Fury, starring Dan Fogler and Christopher Walken); revenge (Death Sentence, starring Kevin Bacon); and the return of Michael Myers (Rob Zombie’s Halloween). What do the critics have to say?

It’s been a good couple years for sophomoric sports comedy; Dodgeball and Blades of Glory each earned cackles by taking the seriousness of athletic competition to absurd heights — and throwing in plenty of raunch. But juvenilia only goes so far; you need a little something more to generate laughs… And critics say laughs are in short supply in Balls of Fury. Randy Daytona (Dan Fogler) is a washed-up pro table tennis player recruited to infiltrate the deadly world of underground extreme ping pong, in which the diabolical Feng (Christopher Walken) oversees a deadly tournament of serve-and-volley. It’s a funny premise, but critics say despite some yucks, Balls runs out of steam pretty quickly, and lacks the sharp comic edge of other sports comedies. At 28 percent on the Tomatometer, Balls of Fury is getting paddled. (Read our interview with Fogler here.)

Balls of Fury

One can’t fault James Wan for trying to branch out a little. With Death Sentence, the man behind Saw and Dead Silence moves from straight horror to the realm of the psychological thriller. After his child is brutally murdered, devoted family man Nick Hume (Kevin Bacon) aims for revenge, and goes gunning for a violent gang that committed the crime. It’s not a bad premise; heck, it worked pretty well in Death Wish, and A History of Violence ventured into the darker realms of an everyman’s outwardly placid façade. But critics say as Death Sentence goes along, it slides into the land of unintentional comedy, gruesome violence, and a mixed message about the nature of vigilantism. At nine percent on the Tomatometer, Death Sentence is facing the critical firing squad. (Check out our interview with Wan from Comic-Con here.)

There can be only two reasons for the fact that the folks behind Halloween didn’t screen the film before its release. Either it’s so scary that movie critics wouldn’t be able to handle it, or they don’t think the pundits will dig it at all. Rob Zombie takes a look at the origins of one of cinema’s greatest psychopaths, Michael Myers, in this remake of the 1978 classic. Kids, Guess that Tomatometer! (Also, check out our rundown of Rob Zombie’s sources of inspiration here.)

Halloween

Also opening this week in limited release: Quiet City, Aaron Katz’ atmospheric film about a chance meeting in New York City, is at 86 percent; The Nines, a Lynchian, numerological mind-bender starring Ryan Reynolds and Hope Davis, is at 71 percent (check out our review from Sundance here); Exiled, Johnny To‘s tale of conflicted hit men, is at 69 percent; Freshman Orientation, the story of a college student who pretends to be gay to attract a girl, is at 60 percent; Self-Medicated, a semi-autobiographical account of a young man’s battle with addiction, is at 55 percent; and the heist flick Ladron que roba a ladron, about two expert thieves who plan to rob an infomercial host, is at 50 percent.

Finally, props to our homie unbreakable_samurai for coming the closest to guessing War‘s 18 percent Tomatometer. U_s is currently one of RT’s favorite U.S. Americans.

Halloweens:
—————–
89% — Halloween (1978)
19% — Halloween II (1981)
33% — Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982)
14% — Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
10% — Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
4% — Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1996)
49% — Halloween: H20 (1998)
11% — Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Recent Kevin Bacon Movies:
———————————–
18% — Loverboy (2006)
39% — Where the Truth Lies (2005)
89% — Forces of Nature (2005)
40% — Beauty Shop (2005)
86% — The Woodsman (2004)

Tag Cloud

talk show The CW Grammys TCA cops Action Universal Best and Worst ESPN Photos TV Land Pop Calendar History Nat Geo Trivia E! dramedy 2015 007 GLAAD Horror Martial Arts Pirates Marvel Bravo Infographic Food Network MTV Rock Dark Horse Comics Disney Crackle Holidays harry potter Biopics SundanceTV Musicals transformers Winners Tumblr LGBTQ Star Trek cooking Oscars cinemax Extras Drama Mary Tyler Moore Kids & Family boxoffice VICE Mindy Kaling crime drama First Look MSNBC President El Rey Writers Guild of America DC Comics Tomatazos Comedy Central BET Spring TV supernatural sitcom Starz AMC Winter TV YA GIFs Watching Series HBO technology Teen ITV RT History Lionsgate Sneak Peek diversity Character Guide Thanksgiving Animation BBC America DC Universe Ghostbusters Summer Paramount political drama Country discovery zombie Superheroes VH1 Lifetime SDCC science fiction TCA 2017 Toys FX NYCC FXX what to watch 2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cats Music Fantasy Masterpiece Logo historical drama WGN TNT NBC Amazon American Society of Cinematographers police drama Certified Fresh Opinion Comedy Warner Bros. Sundance Mystery Netflix Super Bowl Fox News TLC based on movie Star Wars PaleyFest composers Cosplay Rom-Com 45 Showtime Freeform Adult Swim PBS DirecTV Schedule thriller Comic Book 2016 war Cartoon Network Hulu TV Countdown docudrama aliens Emmys Ellie Kemper ABC Family Awards travel TBS serial killer vampires Esquire A&E Premiere Dates sports X-Men 24 frames politics OWN CMT Trailer BBC adventure Nominations romance Disney Channel ABC Red Carpet Marathons Valentine's Day period drama Fall TV singing competition Interview Polls and Games Set visit IFC CBS All Access Sci-Fi psycho Video Games Box Office Nickelodeon The Arrangement Reality Competition Election Musical Reality CNN Podcast Syfy Rocky TIFF crime thriller FOX E3 TruTV comiccon biography Year in Review crime USA APB GoT TCM social media CBS