The first month of 2007 wraps up with four eclectic releases, featuring hitmen ("Smokin’ Aces", starring Ryan Reynolds, Jeremy Piven, and a million other hip thespians), sad people ("Catch and Release", starring Jennifer Garner and a hatless Kevin Smith), werewolves ("Blood and Chocolate" with Agnes Bruckner), and the almighty Crispin Glover ("Epic Movie"). What do the critics have to say?
In "Smokin’ Aces," Jeremy Piven plays a soon-to-be government snitch, leading a cavalcade of seedy characters who’ve been sent in to kill, or save him. Or maybe just settle with killing each other. This overstuffed movie features a huge list of cool people doing cool action scenes, but fails to give anybody any semblence of identity. It’s one vapid, bloody sequence after another, though critics are distressed over how long the movie takes to set up the convulted plot and action. At 28 percent Tomatometer, "Aces" may be smokin’, but it’s not on fire.
Kevin Smith is certainly full of surprises. First the rumor he’ll do a scary flick, and now his apperance in "Catch and Release", a gooey romantic dramadey starring Jennifer Garner as a woman coping with a close death. Kevin Smith is the goofy yet lovable lug, the comic relief in a movie where everyone plays some kind of stock character. It’s a shallow, contrived treatment of a serious subject and with 24 percent on the Tomatometer, "Catch and Release" isn’t reeling in the critcs.
We’re going to have you work overtime for this week’s Guess That Tomatometer game. "Epic Movie," which somehow confuses Paris Hilton and "Borat" as part of the genre, is the latest of those spoof movies and the latest movie to not be critic screened.
Whenever I hear "Blood and Chocolate", it makes me think Elvis Costello, not babes and werewolves. Maybe the title’s signifcance is explained somewhere in the movie, but it’s hard to tell right now since "Blood and Chocolate" also isn’t being screened for critics. Guess those Tomatometers.
Speaking of guessing Tomatometers, congratulations to mizzoucritic for coming closest last week to guessing the Tomatometer of "The Hitcher."