Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Cruel to Be Kind, Vantage Has Little Point, Guess Witless Protection's Tomatometer!

Also: Charlie Bartlett will nearly cure what ails ya.

by | February 21, 2008 | Comments

This week
at the movies, we’ve got views to a kill (Vantage Point, starring
Dennis Quaid
and
Matthew Fox
), medicated youth (Charlie Bartlett, starring

Anton Yelchin and
Robert Downey Jr.), a pair of DIY filmmakers (Be Kind Rewind, starring
Jack Black and
Mos Def), and
Southern justice (Witless
Protection
, starring
Larry the
Cable Guy
). What do the critics have to say?

A
political thriller featuring conflicting eyewitness accounts,

Vantage Point

certainly sounds intriguing, like a cross between
Z
and
Rashomon
.
Unfortunately, critics say that while the premise is sound, the execution is
lacking.
Vantage Point follows eight different people who try to unlock
the truth behind a political assassination attempt, despite their differing
perspectives. The pundits say Vantage Point has some tight, tense
moments, but is ultimately undone by its gimmicky technique and increasingly
far-fetched plot developments. At 33 percent on the Tomatometer, Vantage
isn’t quite on Point.




“You can play Doom RPG on this!"

In the
tradition of
Ferris Beuller’s Day Off
,

Charlie Bartlett is the
story of a teen who’s too clever by half. And critics say the movie’s pretty
sharp itself.


Anton Yelchin
stars in the
titular role as a teen who’s run afoul with every school he’s attended; in his
latest go-round, Charlie becomes something of a counselor to his classmates —
while attempting to outwit school administrators. The pundits say Charlie
features a star-making performance for Yelchin, as well as some sharp, clever
plotting, though some find it a little toothless. Still, at 56 percent on the
Tomatometer, you’re a (mostly) good man, Charlie Bartlett.




“Crossfire / You’ll get caught up in the / Crossfiyaaaa…”


Michel
Gondry
has carved out one of the most distinctive niches in recent cinema; Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
and
The Science of Sleep
exude a mix of
childlike wonderment and dazzling visual inventiveness. But critics say his
latest,


Be Kind Rewind
, maintains Gondry’s oddball aesthetic without
the emotional uptick of his previous flicks. The film
stars


Jack Black
as a man who has unintentionally erased all the VHS tapes at
his friend’s (
Mos Def) video store; the pair team up to remake the movies
themselves. The pundits say that Rewind has sweetness and originality to
spare, but is slighter and less disciplined than Gondry’s previous mind-benders.
At 68 percent on the Tomatometer, Rewind is Kind to the Gondry faithful.




"Don’t worry, Miss Farrow, Supergirl is lost forever."

Perhaps
the folks behind


Witless Protection
were concerned that movie critics
needed protection from their film, since it wasn’t screened for critics.



Larry the
Cable Guy

stars as a small-town lawman who runs afoul of the FBI after
rushing to the rescue of an attractive witness in a high-profile case, who may
have been victimized by rogue agents. Hilarity (allegedly) ensues. Kids, guess
that Tomatometer!




When they say no outside food or snacks, they mean it.

Also
opening this week in limited release:

  • The Oscar-nominated Austrian import
    The Counterfeiters
    ,
    a WWII drama about a money-forging scheme in a concentration camp, is at 91
    percent.


  • The Duchess of Langeais
    , the latest from nouvelle vague legend
    Jacques Rivette,
    is at 68 percent.

  • And the low-budget horror flick
    The Signal
    , a tale of transmissions that
    turn the city into a bunch of mad killers, is at 58 percent.




In the grim dystopia of 2015, baseball has changed quite a
bit, devolving into a kind of gladiator stickball.

Recent
Robert Downey Jr. Movies:
——————————————-
89% — Zodiac (2007)
59% — Game 6
(2006)
30% — Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)
74% —
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
(2006)
28% — The Shaggy Dog (2006)

Michel
Gondry Movies:
—————————–
92% — Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2006)
70% —

The Science of Sleep
(2006)
94% —
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
(2004)
49% — Human Nature (2002)