Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Funny People Is Ambitious But Uneven

Plus, guess the Tomatometers for Aliens in the Attic and The Collector.

by | July 30, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the tears of a clown (Funny People, starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen), extra-terrestrial visitors upstairs (Aliens in the Attic, starring Kevin Nealon and Tim Meadows), and a robbery gone wrong (The Collector, starring Josh Stewart and Madeline Zima). What do the critics have to say?



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Funny People

With Funny People, Judd Apatow is attempting to walk a fine line: keep ’em laughing while documenting the trials of a famous comedian staring death in the face. Critics say the results are uneven: the film is stellar (and hilarious) for much of its running time, but stumbles in its long third act. Adam Sandler stars as George Simmons, a famous (but lonely) funnyman who’s been diagnosed with a terminal disease. He teams up with a younger stand-up comic (Seth Rogen) and tries to reconnect with a long-lost sweetheart (Leslie Mann), attempting (but often failing) to become a better person in the process. The pundits say Funny People features excellent performances (especially Sandler) and some sharp insights into the life of a performer. However, some of the scribes feel the movie runs a bit too long, and a late plot development strikes many as contrived. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Apatow’s best-reviewed productions.)



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Aliens in the Attic

It appears Aliens in the Attic is light-years beyond the critics, as it wasn’t screened prior to release. The movie tells the tale of a group of kids who discover hostile extraterrestrial life upstairs, and are forced to defend the planet themselves when their oblivious parents don’t believe them. Kids, guess that Tomatometer!



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The Collector

The folks behind The Collector must have assumed it wouldn’t acquire many positive reviews, since it was barely screened for the pundits. This thriller tells the story of a man who plans to rob a house, before discovering a much more sinister figure has taken over the domicile. Again, guess that Tomatometer!


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Sweedish import You, the Living, a stylistically bold collection of darkly comic vignettes from director Roy Andersson, is at 100 percent.

  • Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! , a documentary about the wild Aussie exploitation films of the 1970s and 1980s, is at 97 percent.
  • The Cove, an investigative documentary about threats to the habitat of dolphins, is at 90 percent.

  • Chan Wook Park‘s Thirst, about a priest who becomes a vampire, is at 84 percent.

  • The Dardenne brothers’ Lorna’s Silence, about a financially-strapped young woman who is ensnared by the underworld, is at 82 percent.

  • Flame & Citron, about a Danish family’s efforts in the resistance against the Nazis in World War II, is at 79 percent.

  • Adam, starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne in a romantic comedy about an enigmatic young man who meets a worldly young woman, is at 67 percent.

  • Fragments, starring Kate Beckinsale and Guy Pearce in a drama about the survivors of a shooting spree, is at 56 percent.

  • Ghosted, a drama about an artist who falls for a mysterious woman, is at zero percent.

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