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

award winner 20th Century Fox Amazon Studios ABC serial killer Spectrum Originals Toys Winter TV singing competition Starz Binge Guide PaleyFest Mary poppins TV Tarantino The Walking Dead Nat Geo SundanceTV Food Network halloween Elton John Endgame PBS Song of Ice and Fire green book Chernobyl ghosts movies Funimation Dark Horse Comics Fox News Film Festival TV renewals Lucasfilm CMT revenge Emmys Disney Video Games hist Biopics television slashers HBO comiccon Disney streaming service politics Musical Emmy Nominations theme song TruTV doctor who canceled TV shows Apple FXX Anna Paquin The CW OneApp Paramount war Set visit Amazon Prime Video political drama E3 facebook Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Calendar CBS All Access adaptation Avengers cats GoT Marvel Television name the review thriller streaming vampires Film Western south america Classic Film joker Columbia Pictures Writers Guild of America Marathons BET Showtime Grammys true crime CNN crime drama animated composers historical drama Esquire ratings DirecTV VICE zombies Sneak Peek Podcast game show LGBT Comedy Central BBC 2018 screen actors guild breaking bad Pride Month sitcom book Sundance robots Comedy DC Comics Spring TV romantic comedy Peacock Pop Apple TV Plus San Diego Comic-Con Family Disney Plus E! social media 24 frames versus WGN Turner Classic Movies SXSW independent batman casting Box Office A24 Reality Competition Awards Tour NBC ESPN Universal Travel Channel Shondaland Crackle GIFs Turner spanish language Super Bowl richard e. Grant 2019 foreign disaster sag awards A&E Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Lifetime natural history MSNBC Captain marvel President Holiday Disney+ Disney Plus boxoffice toy story 45 romance tv talk Extras psycho Drama First Look WarnerMedia See It Skip It what to watch FOX Syfy YouTube Premiere Dates strong female leads HBO Max binge Superheroes Logo 2020 Tubi justice league free movies finale anthology Kids & Family The Arrangement Ellie Kemper franchise Ovation spain scary movies canceled children's TV Hulu DGA Martial Arts Mary Poppins Returns Brie Larson mutant sequel Apple TV+ Comics on TV Animation Mudbound Election Awards Nominations travel Winners MTV Mary Tyler Moore 21st Century Fox cinemax Character Guide ITV Quiz Holidays Black Mirror Fall TV 2016 Superheroe indie talk show American Society of Cinematographers DC Universe Schedule adventure video New York Comic Con Trophy Talk kids crossover Epix USA Trivia Crunchyroll ABC Family series cancelled television Infographic CBS Valentine's Day Star Trek Hallmark Christmas movies YouTube Premium TV Land Vudu science fiction Netflix Christmas movies Action period drama Photos Cannes based on movie Oscars Country dceu quibi Sundance Now discovery supernatural Mindy Kaling GLAAD miniseries dc The Purge TCA Winter 2020 Cosplay crime Rom-Com Television Academy Academy Awards hispanic Bravo 2017 Pixar zero dark thirty TBS Women's History Month TCA 2017 RT21 TCM Spike Musicals comic Countdown YouTube Red cops zombie cartoon stand-up comedy National Geographic Tumblr First Reviews golden globes game of thrones Baby Yoda Sundance TV cooking Adult Swim spy thriller witnail Thanksgiving technology police drama renewed TV shows Marvel Studios Amazon cancelled Netflix cars Marvel Lionsgate docudrama NYCC blaxploitation Watching Series anime nature psychological thriller Nickelodeon Trailer Rocketman cancelled TV shows spinoff festivals Rock APB SDCC FX on Hulu Horror FX Lifetime Christmas movies diversity Britbox blockbuster mockumentary DC streaming service TNT IFC Films VH1 TIFF The Witch Christmas Reality Best and Worst Comic Book 71st Emmy Awards TCA YA elevated horror comics Year in Review jamie lee curtis Amazon Prime Interview CW Seed dragons Red Carpet Teen TLC documentary Freeform Heroines Black History Month Summer harry potter MCU X-Men Tomatazos medical drama werewolf Star Wars IFC Disney Channel aliens reviews Rocky Hallmark transformers USA Network dogs Opinion unscripted AMC Masterpiece Pop TV crime thriller Walt Disney Pictures Pirates OWN teaser LGBTQ reboot BBC America History christmas movies rotten movies we love movie Paramount Network dramedy Creative Arts Emmys Mystery Stephen King El Rey Shudder RT History Discovery Channel Ghostbusters cancelled TV series Sci-Fi universal monsters Arrowverse Fantasy space Sony Pictures Music directors Cartoon Network Polls and Games latino 2015 screenings sports Pet Sematary spider-man Acorn TV biography Certified Fresh 007 cults Warner Bros.