This week’s wide releases are both tales of people looking adversity square in the face, and becoming better for it. The adversity in question comes in the form of alien invaders and bad junior high round-ballers. Will "War of the Worlds" impress critics enough for them to forget, at least for awhile, Tom Cruise‘s relationship with Katie Holmes? Will "Rebound" hit the last-second shot?
With the possible exception of Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg is responsible for more iconographic images than virtually any other director. And his skills for realizing the fantastic have not diminished in his latest, "War of the Worlds," currently at 72 percent on the Tomatometer. Critics have praised his take on H.G. Wells‘ classic tale of alien invasion for its astonishing special effects, and Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning and Tim Robbins have received kudos for their performances. But some have said the film loses some of its potency with a pat ending.
Here’s a brain teaser for all you movie lovers out there: can a ragtag, ragamuffin, seemingly inept bunch, led by someone seeking personal redemption, overcome the odds to triumph over adversity and learn something about themselves in the process? I didn’t think so either, until I saw "The Dirty Dozen," "The Bad News Bears," "Dodgeball," "The Mighty Ducks," and pretty much every other movie ever made. Now comes "Rebound," which the critics are enjoying about as much as a flying elbow from Charles Oakley. Although the film is family-friendly, and should go over passably well with the lil’ hoopsters in your family, the rest of the population will likely find it more predictable than Shaq missing his free throws. "Rebound" is currently at 14 percent on the Tomatometer.
Steven Spielberg’s Tomatometer (as director, producer, and featured): 77 percent
Martin Lawrence‘s Tomatometer: 32 percent