Critics Consensus

Bourne Is Certified Fresh; Hot Rod Hits the Skids; Bratz is Grade-Z; El Cantante Hits A Flat Note

Talk To Me is Certified Fresh; Guess Underdog's Tomatometer

by | August 2, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we got amnesiac spies (The Bourne Ultimatum, starring Matt Damon and Julia Stiles), loser daredevils (Hot Rod, with Andy Samberg and Isla Fisher), salsa singers (El Cantante, starring Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez), school girls (Bratz: The Movie, starring Nathalia Ramos and Jon Voight), flying canines (Underdog, starring Jason Lee and Peter Dinklage), and radio personalities (Talk to Me, starring Don Cheadle and Chjwetel Ejiofor). What do the critics have to say?

The third in a series is rarely the best — witness the critical response to the latest Shrek and Spidey installments. However, if you found the thrills and chills of The Bourne Identity and Supremacy too sedate, you’re in luck; critics say The Bourne Ultimatum is one of the most exciting, action-paced movies of the summer, and is easily the best in the series (not too shabby, considering the other two were both Certified Fresh). Yet again, Matt Damon isn’t really sure who he is or how he became such an awesome killing machine, and yet again, he’s on the run from the authorities. But in this episode, pundits say Damon really comes into his own as an action star here, and director Paul Greengrass is well on his way to becoming an auteur of commercial filmmaking. Critics say the dizzying camerawork, rapid-fire editing, and overall craftsmanship make for one wild ride. At 92 percent on the Tomatometer, this may be the ultimate Bourne.



Damon’s still hunting, but not for goodwill.

Critics are musing: is Bratz much better than Barbie? Since 2001, the ethnically diverse dolls have built an empire based on their unique brand of girl power and lip gloss, including this film adaptation featuring four girls overcoming their differences and joining together in holy BFFness. But critics deem Bratz: The Movie a vapid and clueless enterprise, with characters who don’t seem to have any discernable characteristics beyond fashion and material wealth. And it freely employs stereotypes (girls must be skinny, boys must be dreamy, and adults are idiots) while paradoxically arguing stereotypes are bad. At 11 percent Tomatometer, these Bratz need a lesson in filmmaking.



“Picking Bad Movies To Star In For Dummies.”

You loved him when he was drinking Mr. Pibb with a Red Vines straw, and you loved him when he was cutting holes in boxes. But will you love Andy Samberg in Hot Rod, his feature-length debut in which he stars as an awful amateur daredevil trying to raise money for his ill stepfather? Though Samberg is singled out for his enthusiastic, mischievous charm, little else appears to impress the critics. They say Hot Rod tries for an anarchic brand of physical and lowbrow jokes, but ends up irritating and random instead, the kind of disjointed comedy that gives SNL movies its bad name. At 30 percent Tomatometer, Rod is anything but hot. (Check out our interview with Samberg and his Lonely Island pals here.)



One method to escape the theater.

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: Don Cheadle is one of the best actors in Hollywood today. In his latest, Talk to Me, Cheadle gives a performance that some pundits are calling Oscar-worthy — while noting his co-star, Chjwetel Ejiofor, is no slouch as well. Cheadle plays proto-shock jock Petey Green, an ex-con who brought freshness, humor, and irreverence to the medium during the tumultuous and heady late 1960s. While some pundits note that the film has some bumpy patches – often a problem for biopics — they say the performances and energy are strong enough to overlook most flaws. At 79 percent on the Tomatometer, the Certified Fresh Talk to Me is a movie worth talking about.



Oscar-worthy performances from Cheadle and Ejiofor.

Hector Lavoe isn’t widely known with the American public. And that probably won’t change much with the release of El Cantante, a biopic based on the late Puerto Rican salsa singer’s life. Marc Anthony stars as Lavoe, but it’s the life of Lavoe’s wife (played by Jennifer Lopez) that, for better or worse, you’ll remember the most vividly from the movie. Critics call Lopez’s scenery-chewing a vanity acting job, as the rest of the movie is too loosely loose structure, creating a vacuum of character and narrative focus. And while El Cantante revels in biopic clichés, it never bothers revealing why Hector Lavoe was even worthy of an inspiring biopic in the first place. At 26 percent Tomatometer, El Cantante hits a sour note.



“Do you really want to hurt me?”

“Never fear — Underdog is here!” So went the rallying cry of everyone’s favorite super-pooch back in the day. Now? It appears the people behind Underdog have plenty to fear from critics, since the film wasn’t screened before hitting theaters. The usually-dependable Jason Lee and Peter Dinklage star in the tale (or is it tail?) of a mutt who, after an experiment, gains superpowers. Kids, after you’re done taking Fido for a stroll around the block, Guess the Tomatometer.



At 11 percent on the Tomatometer, Underdog is underwhelming.

Also opening this week in limited release: Summer ’04, a riveting tale of a summer holiday gone awry, is at 92 percent on the Tomatometer; Blame it on Fidel, a Parisian coming-of-age tale about a young girl and her radical activist parents, is at 92 percent; Them, a tense and existential horror flick from France, is at 81 percent; The Willow Tree, a Bergman-esque Iranian drama of a man coming to grips with death, is at 80 percent; Colossal Youth, a sprawling drama about urban life in Portugal, is at 71 percent; Becoming Jane, a biopic of Jane Austen’s early life, is at 62 percent; and The Ten, an anthology of comic vignettes based on the Ten Commandments, is at 57 percent.



The Austen Diaries

Finally, props to love_flag for coming the closest to guessing Who’s Your Caddy‘s nine percent Tomatometer, and to SplendidIsolation and icon2008 for approximating I know Who Killed Me‘s six percent.

Recent Matt Damon Movies:
———————————–
69% — Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
56% — The Good Shepherd (2006)
93% — The Departed (2006)
74% — Syriana (2005)
38% — The Brothers Grimm (2005)

Tag Cloud

21st Century Fox Pirates Classic Film GoT cats TV Land Holidays space sitcom APB indie Anna Paquin SXSW Grammys strong female leads Christmas Arrowverse Rocky CNN Comedy Central blockbuster serial killer Film YouTube Red transformers Sony Pictures Polls and Games series Sundance Now streaming zombie dceu TV renewals Amazon Prime Video 45 Quiz children's TV crime ghosts Netflix Christmas movies 2018 Tumblr Elton John OWN Adult Swim elevated horror breaking bad animated Drama Masterpiece technology stand-up comedy Cosplay BBC America Crackle based on movie screenings halloween Nominations TV DGA war Pet Sematary cinemax PBS A24 independent Rocketman Black Mirror zero dark thirty kids spanish language Emmys renewed TV shows romance Character Guide ABC Family DC streaming service VH1 latino harry potter political drama Captain marvel TCA 2017 green book ABC The Walking Dead crime thriller unscripted Emmy Nominations Ellie Kemper USA Network Warner Bros. Writers Guild of America Star Trek quibi First Look ratings Disney Plus The CW Ovation spy thriller HBO Max casting comic TCM Logo The Arrangement Disney Channel rotten movies we love Pride Month Reality New York Comic Con Mary poppins disaster TLC hispanic Bravo E3 Musicals sequel El Rey Paramount Network hist cancelled television Syfy Superheroes theme song crime drama Infographic MTV Comics on TV Election A&E christmas movies Trophy Talk Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Film Festival Set visit GLAAD Tomatazos Freeform NYCC 2019 psycho E! vampires MCU BBC RT21 game of thrones SundanceTV X-Men YA DC Universe Shondaland Disney streaming service Country Action aliens Hallmark Christmas movies Mary Tyler Moore The Purge game show Thanksgiving canceled Mary Poppins Returns BET Netflix batman YouTube Premium PaleyFest Mindy Kaling cars movies Spike Cannes ESPN comiccon Trivia RT History dragons justice league boxoffice south america medical drama Comedy werewolf History TNT natural history adventure FXX Brie Larson Western Nat Geo Red Carpet Hallmark Britbox Biopics Hulu true crime talk show Heroines Fantasy what to watch Family thriller Sundance Holiday Shudder singing competition cancelled Watching Series CBS All Access 007 Apple TV Plus VICE science fiction GIFs CMT CBS Premiere Dates Countdown Marvel Studios MSNBC free movies Walt Disney Pictures witnail Lifetime Christmas movies HBO mockumentary First Reviews Amazon Prime versus Nickelodeon award winner Winter TV SDCC See It Skip It psychological thriller Superheroe DirecTV Dark Horse Comics mutant Spring TV Box Office video 71st Emmy Awards Amazon crossover Ghostbusters biography Song of Ice and Fire Epix Marvel Television Disney+ Disney Plus police drama cancelled TV series Apple TV+ Star Wars Lucasfilm Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Cartoon Network Paramount romantic comedy Awards DC Comics Disney AMC dc comics Showtime finale Vudu Music Food Network Marvel Super Bowl Lifetime Year in Review TruTV dramedy Certified Fresh Calendar joker National Geographic cooking Rock LGBTQ Trailer canceled TV shows TIFF San Diego Comic-Con IFC TBS Chernobyl blaxploitation travel jamie lee curtis Lionsgate TCA Schedule Marathons Rom-Com CW Seed Pixar cults Sneak Peek Video Games Valentine's Day 24 frames 2016 Starz robots docudrama Fall TV Comic Book supernatural IFC Films Turner 2015 20th Century Fox 2017 nature Pop politics ITV social media Kids & Family Spectrum Originals facebook The Witch sports Toys American Society of Cinematographers Best and Worst Animation Interview anime Oscars zombies WarnerMedia Winners spain tv talk Creative Arts Emmys Reality Competition spinoff cartoon period drama richard e. Grant spider-man foreign Fox News Musical Summer FX book Turner Classic Movies anthology Martial Arts doctor who cancelled TV shows teaser Awards Tour Peacock Teen Horror toy story Mudbound FOX LGBT discovery Extras Television Academy Apple Columbia Pictures NBC revenge adaptation President golden globes USA television Acorn TV historical drama binge Stephen King cops Podcast composers Sci-Fi Mystery WGN Binge Guide festivals diversity Opinion Tarantino miniseries Crunchyroll YouTube slashers Esquire Universal Photos Women's History Month