This week, a bunch of furry critters and a mean-looking wrestler playing a homicidal maniac (redundant?) compete with the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that is "The Da Vinci Code" for your box office dollars. What do the critics have to say about these contenders?
After all the secrecy and anticipation, it’s a mystery no more. The big screen adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel "The Da Vinci Code" is a major disappointment, with only 16% of the nation’s critics recommending the movie as of this writing. One of the problems, critics say, is that the movie is too slavishly faithful to the book, making it a poorly paced, dull, and only occasionally thrilling experience. As to the star-studded cast, only Ian McKellen stands out as the character Sir Leigh Teabing; the others are described either as wooden, one-dimensional, or both. Will the poor reviews affect the movie’s box office prospects? Unlikely, but it may make a few fence-sitters wait for it on DVD.
Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling, William Shatner, and even Avril Lavigne lend their voices for DreamWorks’ latest CGI feature "Over the Hedge." Poking fun at us two-legged creatures and our eccentricities, the movie centers on RJ the raccoon, voiced by Willis, as he cons some woodland animals, led by a turtle (Shandling), into helping him steal food from humans living on the other side of a hedge. While not on the level of, say, "The Incredibles" or "Shrek," "Over the Hedge" is successful on its own terms. Critics say that while it’s unexceptional, it’s a fun movie with some solid laughs. The movie now stands at 65% on the Tomatometer.
Critics ought to be thankful. "See No Evil" joins the growing list of movies not screened for them this year. We all know how those turn out. The movie stars World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler Kane as a crazed murderer terrorizing a group of teens (who else?) serving community service in a hotel. Try not to think too hard about that premise.
Other Recent Novel Adaptations:
75% — Nanny McPhee (2006)
35% — Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
76% — The Chronicles of Narnia: The Witch, The Lion, and The Wardobe (2005)
76% — Zathura (2005)
85% — Pride and Prejudice (2005)