This week at the movies, we’ve got a pair of sequels that will appeal to widely disparate demographics ("Ice Age 2: The Meltdown," "Basic Instinct 2"), a slimy mix of comedy and horror ("Slither"), and a tale of young ATL-liens coming of age ("ATL"). What do the critics say?
For those of you who like a healthy dose of laughs between scares, there’s a gleefully nasty little piece of business in theaters this week. "Slither," a tale of creepy crawly little beasts that invade Smalltown, USA, is a B-movie through and through. But critics say it’s one of the most enjoyable of its type in years — if you’ve got the stomach for this sort of thing. At 86 percent on the Tomatometer, the Certified Fresh "Slither" may make you squirm — when you’re not busting a gut laughing. And it’s the third best-reviewed film of the year, behind only Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (at 93 percent) and last week’s Inside Man (at 88 percent).
The first "Ice Age" was warmly received. The second? It’s getting a chillier reception. In "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown," Manny the woolly mammoth, Sid the sloth, Diego the saber-toothed tiger, and the cross-species wiseguy Scrat are back, and they confront two major issues: The end of the ice age, and mating. The critics say while "Ice Age 2" may not be red-hot, it’s moderately entertaining. It’s at 59 percent on the Tomatometer, a bit behind its predecessor (78 percent and Certified Fresh).
"ATL" is a movie about the last summer before a group of African American high school students go off into the real world and attempt to navigate potential pratfalls. And critics say the film is at its most involving when it sticks to a smart, laid-back vibe and affectionate portrayals of its young leads; the scribes say that the film is less successful when it starts follow the mechanics of its plot. It’s currently at 61 percent on the Tomatometer.
"Basic Instinct" is something of a recent cinematic touchstone – albeit one many are a bit embarrassed to say they actually enjoy. According to critics, moviegoers may be in an even deeper quandary with the sequel. In "Basic Instinct 2," Sharon Stone is back to play deadly games of cat-and-mouse with spellbound guys. The scribes note that while the original was subversively trashy (and, at 63 percent on the Tomatometer, fresh), this sequel is more in the so-bad-it’s-good category — or perhaps, so-bad-it’s-bad. At 6 percent on the Tomatometer, trust your instincts on this one.
Also, props to lovelykeira, who correctly guessed that the Tomatometer for "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector" would be 4 percent, and to mizzoucritic, who came the closest to "Stay Alive"’s 6 percent.