Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Guess Halloween 2's Tomatometer!

Plus, Taking Woodstock is sweet but unfocused, and guess the Tomatometer for Final Destination.

by | August 27, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the return of Michael Myers (Halloween 2, starring Malcolm McDowell and Scout Taylor-Compton), three dimensional fatalities (The Final Destination, starring Shantel VanSanten and Bobby Campo), and the dawning of the Age of Aquarius (Taking Woodstock, starring Demetri Martin and Emile Hirsch). What do the critics have to say?


Halloween II

Rob Zombie is back with a new chapter in the rebooted Halloween franchise. However, we don’t yet know for sure if Michael Myers’ latest adventure is a trick or a treat, since it wasn’t screened for critics. Once again, the masked madman is back in town, slashing everything in his path. It’s time to guess the Tomatometer! (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we scare up some of the best horror sequels around. Also, browse our gallery of memorable scream queens and take a look at Zombie’s Five Favorite Films.)


The Final Destination

It appears we’ll have to wait to see what fate has in store for the young protagonists of The Final Destination, as it was not screened for critics prior to release. Once again, a group of youngsters avoid a near-death experience, but fate has other plans for them. Oh, and it’s in 3-D. Guess the Tomatometer!


Taking Woodstock

Depending on who you ask, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair was either a beautiful, generation-defining cultural touchstone or an overrated, muddy bummer — or perhaps a bit of both. One thing’s for sure: the mother of all rock fests has been amply documented (most notably by Michael Wadleigh in his acclaimed documentary Woodstock), and critics say the versatile Ang Lee deserves credit for his approach in Taking Woodstock; he focuses on the attendees and eschews the musical performances. However, most say this gentle, amiable film is too mired in nostalgia. The film stars Demetri Martin as Elliot Tiber, whose family hotel provided a base of operations for the fest’s organizers; soon, Tiber finds himself in the midst of free thinking hippies and changing times. The pundits say Taking Woodstock captures the good vibes of the era, but misses the bigger picture, and relies too heavily on clichés to be anything more than likeable.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s Still Walking, a gentle drama about a recently married middle aged man and his interactions with his parents, is at 100 percent.

  • At the Edge of the World, a documentary about attempts by activists to stop a whaling fleet near the South Pole, is at 100 percent.

  • Motherland, a doc about a group of grieving women who volunteer at a school in South Africa, is at 100 percent.

  • We Live in Public, a doc about Internet pioneer Josh Harris, is at 89 percent.

  • Big Fan, starring Patton Oswalt as a die-hard New York Giants fanatic whose life takes a dark turn, is at 87 percent.

  • The September Issue, a behind the scenes look at Vogue’s editorial process, is at 86 percent.

  • This Beautiful City, in which the lives of a disparate cross-section of Toronto residents intersect, is at 20 percent.

  • Play the Game, starring Andy Griffith as a retirement home Casanova, is at 11 percent.

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