The willing suspension of disbelief is often essential to the moviegoing experience. This week’s wide releases provide no such relief. We will be asked to believe that a fighter plane develops its own intelligence (and downloads mp3s — most likely by such bands as Jet and U2). We will be asked to believe any kid with superpowers would have a rough time in high school. And — perhaps the greatest stretch — we are asked to believe that there would be a moment in history in which both Diane Lane and John Cusack would be dateless. Which films do the critics believe you should see?
There’s a new movie about brash young Navy pilots, an aircraft with a mind of its own, and some covert missions behind enemy lines. Sound familiar? It should if you’re remotely familiar with "Top Gun" and "2001." Critics are hardly being stealthy about their true feelings for "Stealth"; the consensus seems to put this one on a collision course with so-bad-it’s-good status. Starring Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel, and Jamie Foxx, this one, at 12 percent on the Tomatometer, is looking like a botched mission.
"Must Love Dogs" is a new romantic comedy starring Diane Lane and John Cusack as two people who are inexplicably dateless. C’mon now. These are two attractive, likeable human beings, something the critics are quick to point out. But in terms of the rest of the movie, the scribes say "Must Love Dogs" is a tad dog-eared, with romantic comedy clichés in abundance like well-bred pooches at the Westminster Kennel Club. And at 40 percent on the Tomatometer, this one’s far below Cusack’s usual standards; his combined Tomatometer is 72 percent.
So you thought that all potential trials and tribulations of a family of superheroes had been covered in "The Incredibles" and "Fantastic Four?" Think again, as "Sky High," starring Kurt Russell, Michael Angarano, and Kelly Preston is taking flight with critics. Like those old-school comics in the days before tons of brooding and angst, the writers say this one is goofy, likeable, and subtly subversive. At 78 percent on the Tomatometer, this story of a kid at a high school for young superheroes is making the honor roll.