Critical Consensus: "Wild Hogs" Is Cinematic Roadkill; Good Signs for "Zodiac"; "Black Snake Moan" Sings

by | March 1, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got middle-aged bikers ("Wild Hogs," starring John Travolta) astrologically-minded killers ("Zodiac," starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr.), and some southern-fried pulp ("Black Snake Moan," starring Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci). What do the critics have to say?

Lately, Hollywood has presented more motorcycles in the movies than Laconia Bike Week. First we had "Ghost Rider," and now comes the midlife-crisis-on-wheels pic "Wild Hogs." John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy star as a group of older guys who want to take a break from their humdrum lives, get their motors running, and head out on the highway. But their dream becomes a nightmare when they run into a biker gang and find themselves in over their heads. Critics say "Wild Hogs" squanders an A-list cast (which also includes Marisa Tomei and Ray Liotta) on an uninspired, clichéd script that unsuccessfully mixes slapstick with pathos. At 19 percent on the Tomatometer, this ain’t "Hog" heaven.


"I’m not telling you where I got my Commodore tattoo."

David Fincher brought the police procedural/serial killer movie into the modern era with "Seven." In his latest, "Zodiac," Fincher returns to the dark world of methodical killers, and critics say the result is less visceral, but still dark and absorbing. "Zodiac" follows the search for a serial killer who terrorized the Bay Area in the 1960s and 1970s (and inspired "Dirty Harry" in the process). Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, a political cartoonist who seeks to decode the Zodiac Killer’s cryptic missives to the police and local newspapers. Critics say some may be disappointed by "Zodiac"’s length and open-endedness (the killer was never found), but the film’s moody ambience and palpable dread are intoxicating and will reward patient viewers. At 84 percent on the Tomatometer, "Zodiac" is not only Certified Fresh, it’s also tied with "Seven" as Fincher’s best reviewed film to date.


Apprehensive about the Zodiac killer, or waiting for the bathroom to free up?

With "Hustle & Flow," director Craig Brewer delved into the mythology of rap. Now, with "Black Snake Moan," he wades knee-deep into the blues — and critics say he’s in somewhat muddier waters. "Moan" stars Samuel L. Jackson as a farmer and sometime bluesman who discovers a woman named Rae (Christina Ricci) beaten by the side of the road; he takes Rae into his home and chains her to his radiator, hoping to cure her of her insatiable promiscuity. The premise is admittedly lurid, and some pundits say the film is too awash in provocation to work as a drama. But others say Brewer’s film has a sure sense of place, excellent music, committed performances and a sweetness and humor that make this a pulp delight. "Black Snake Moan" currently stands at 60 percent on the Tomatometer. (Check out RT’s interview with Brewer here.)


It’s hard out here for a nymph.

Also opening this week in limited release: "Wild Tigers I Have Known," a touching coming-out tale, is at 82 percent; the doc "Into Great Silence," a deliberate examination of an order of Monks in the French Alps, is at 79 percent; and "Full of It," a comedy about a compulsive liar-turned-soothsayer starring Ryan Pinkston, is at 20 percent.


"We’re not your real parents and we hate you. Punk’d!"

And finally, we’d like to say hello, hello to a user called Count_Vertigo, who came the closest to guessing "The Abandoned"’s Tomatometer of 26 percent.

Recent David Fincher Movies:
————————————
77% — Panic Room (2002)
81% — Fight Club (1999)
76% — The Game (1997)
84% — Seven (1995)
33% — Alien 3 (1992)

Recent Samuel L. Jackson Movies:
—————————————–
22% — Home of the Brave (2006)
68% — Snakes on a Plane (2006)
24% — Freedomland (2005)
13% — The Man (2005)
81% — Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Tag Cloud

documentaries docudrama halloween talk show Avengers Oscars aliens cartoon FXX news Red Carpet FX on Hulu hispanic Film superhero BAFTA spanish language Amazon Prime BBC Amazon Studios Starz AMC romantic comedy Classic Film canceled TV shows Music Reality Competition Heroines Sony Pictures comics Year in Review OWN hollywood travel 4/20 zombie Netflix discovery Netflix Christmas movies richard e. Grant Stephen King nature Women's History Month werewolf cancelled TV series Mudbound 72 Emmy Awards Podcast Peacock Drama cooking 45 Martial Arts stop motion ABC Family Black Mirror Thanksgiving name the review Mystery Shondaland ITV 2015 PBS christmas movies Hallmark Christmas movies tv talk justice league Rocketman RT History 21st Century Fox PlayStation revenge Ellie Kemper TruTV dc Turner Adult Swim Opinion ESPN a nightmare on elm street harry potter 71st Emmy Awards political drama Mary poppins canceled psychological thriller Crackle LGBTQ YouTube Premium series Cannes festivals Polls and Games Crunchyroll Comics on TV VH1 Showtime DC streaming service TV renewals Pride Month Chilling Adventures of Sabrina streaming Binge Guide space die hard mutant sag awards CW Seed zero dark thirty adaptation Universal Fantasy IFC critics BBC America Disney Channel Trivia franchise Ovation FX TCA 2017 X-Men renewed TV shows cars unscripted Freeform First Look comiccon Amazon adventure sequel Mary Poppins Returns social media stand-up comedy obituary Black History Month A24 The Witch witnail E! NBC Cartoon Network medical drama sports Apple TV+ USA dramedy stoner Calendar cancelled TV shows Discovery Channel 2019 Fall TV Animation Cosplay ratings disaster universal monsters Musical book war American Society of Cinematographers 24 frames game of thrones Ghostbusters NYCC composers Star Trek transformers historical drama spain Family sequels best Anna Paquin BET Superheroe vampires MCU criterion serial killer GIFs facebook animated satire quibi finale natural history anthology Apple TV Plus Sundance TV 2020 crossover Warner Bros. LGBT batman based on movie The CW Baby Yoda worst game show Sneak Peek Spring TV Tubi award winner teaser Academy Awards Tomatazos elevated horror DC Universe supernatural Film Festival children's TV Sci-Fi Countdown indiana jones comic Esquire Biopics 20th Century Fox Box Office toy story Grammys Teen HBO crime blockbuster scary movies Acorn TV casting The Arrangement Chernobyl theme song Disney doctor who Hulu See It Skip It Hallmark Disney Plus Trophy Talk New York Comic Con SundanceTV HBO Max Epix Election TCA Awards ghosts HBO Go Emmys Paramount Network Shudder MTV dogs Brie Larson technology Columbia Pictures APB WarnerMedia SXSW Lionsgate Comic Book cancelled films VICE hist latino Rock police drama Summer Holiday Bravo National Geographic DirecTV classics Video Games Action Song of Ice and Fire TNT Marvel Television emmy awards fast and furious TV Toys Lifetime Television Critics Association A&E anime dark Paramount Winter TV Spike The Purge Marvel Studios video Valentine's Day all-time Fox News Amazon Prime Video Logo Nat Geo CBS comedies video on demand Pixar Western science fiction binge History indie Travel Channel The Walking Dead WGN crime thriller Walt Disney Pictures TIFF cats Dark Horse Comics psycho jamie lee curtis Character Guide Marathons Pop TV TBS VOD MSNBC TCA Syfy crime drama Endgame what to watch OneApp TV Land PaleyFest Set visit Watching Series biography TCA Winter 2020 Captain marvel DGA Premiere Dates GoT Comedy reviews singing competition Reality Food Network spider-man Comedy Central Britbox Rocky Extras Holidays Writers Guild of America Spectrum Originals Schedule BET Awards Awards Apple Photos mission: impossible President Certified Fresh robots Mary Tyler Moore cops diversity Hear Us Out DC Comics E3 RT21 Arrowverse Elton John Infographic blaxploitation movies Winners rotten Disney streaming service BBC One CNN Pet Sematary Rom-Com Marvel Country Best and Worst Sundance Now CMT documentary Horror free movies FOX GLAAD period drama YouTube Red Star Wars Vudu Trailer television First Reviews Turner Classic Movies Tarantino TCM Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Super Bowl concert south america El Rey movie screenings Pirates nbcuniversal Quiz golden globes Christmas dceu boxoffice Lucasfilm IFC Films politics versus laika 2018 Emmy Nominations Disney+ Disney Plus spy thriller Nominations Musicals CBS All Access Funimation spinoff Interview kids breaking bad dragons sitcom screen actors guild child's play twilight independent Superheroes cinemax Pop true crime rotten movies we love reboot cults 2016 Creative Arts Emmys 2017 chucky Mindy Kaling YouTube Awards Tour joker USA Network Tumblr thriller Masterpiece TLC Nickelodeon zombies mockumentary 007 parents romance slashers ABC Lifetime Christmas movies Television Academy Kids & Family foreign green book SDCC strong female leads directors cancelled television San Diego Comic-Con Sundance miniseries YA asian-american