This Presidents Day weekend, three wide release candidates vie for the public’s attendance at the box office – Keanu Reeve’s post-Matrix supernatural offering “Constantine,” the Jim Carrey-less sequel “Son of the Mask,” and an adaptation of a bestselling doggie tale “Because of Winn-Dixie.” With all three films opening ultra wide in an average of over 3000+ theaters across the nation, which do critics most recommend? The emphasis here is definitely on “most recommend” because all three didn’t fared favorably with critics.
Of the three, Constantine received the most recommendations with a Tomatometer of 48% (percentage of all print, broadcast, and online critics giving the film a favorable review) Based on a comic book, the movie stars Keanu Reeves as a troubled hero trying to earn his way to heaven by fighting off demons on Earth. Constantine received a mix reaction from critics, scoring a 48% on the Tomatometer. Although that socre is nothing cheer about, it is better than his previous film The Matrix Revolutions, which scored an even more Rotten 36%. It’s also this week’s best reviewed film in wide release. Critics thought the film had an “fascinating” premise and “spellbinding” visuals; they just wish the “bottom feeding” writing could be better and the premise more thoroughly explored.
For parents looking for gentler fare to bring their kids to, there is “Because of Winn Dixie,” based on the bestselling novel about the relationship between a lonely girl and her dog. This also received a mix reaction from critics, scoring 45% on the Tomatometer. Directed by the master of sob Wayne Wang (Joy Luck Club), critics thought that although the film is sometimes sweet and touching, it is nonetheless formulaic and bland.
Critics might be split on “Constantine” and “Because of Winn Dixie”, but they’re unanimous in their position on “Son of the Mask,” the Jim Carrey-less sequel to the 1994 critical and box office hit The Mask. “Son of the Mask” scored a perfect 0% on the Tomatometer, possibly the worst reviewed film of the year. Parents looking for something to bring their kids to must avoid this effects-driven comedy. Critics thought the film was “physically painful to watch” and the experience “agonizing,” “numbing,” and like “a swift, hard kick to the family jewels.”