Critics really, really don’t like the new movie What’s Your Number?, in which a likable weirdo vows to get serious about life and stop sleeping around. My beloved Lisa Schwarzbaum gave it a D-, which strikes me as the cruelest grade of all. I saw the movie last night and kinda liked it, as did my row consisting largely of women. What’s Your Number? is far from great, despite the marvelous Anna Faris doing her best to serve up stale material in her fresh, offbeat, and occasionally uncomfortable manner. I loved Faris in The House Bunny and Smileyface, two movies far superior to What’s Your Number?, and am taken by her way of lingering over seeming throwaway lines. She’s at once the drowsiest and most perceptive person in the room. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Reviewing the Reviews (1-10 of 84)
At first glance, it seems that critics are, as per usual, taking pot shots at director Michael Bay’s latest blow-‘em-up blockbuster, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. “Breathtakingly dumb” and “too much of only a semi-good thing” are but a couple of the phrases being used to describe the third movie in the franchise. Roger Ebert says it is “one of the more unpleasant experiences I’ve had at the movies.” But upon closer examination, one can find some creatively passive-aggressive praise hidden in the disdain for this popcorn flick, which EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum gives a respectable, not-quite-glowing-but-still-mostly-satisfied B (though she also says it’s “hardly a fleet production”). To wit, a few examples: READ FULL STORY
Mr. Plinkett, the comically churlish critic who’s made a name for himself by dissecting the Star Wars prequels, saved his best for last. In a 110-minute takedown of The Revenge of the Sith, the semi-lucid Plinkett insists that the emperor — ah, Ah, AH … LUCAS! Gezundheit. Thank you — has no clothes. “This was like going to an autopsy,” drones Plinkett, describing the final chapter in the space epic. “You know it’s dead and nothing’s gonna change that, but you gotta do an autopsy to find out what killed it. Or who killed it.”
Yes, Plinkett claims that George Lucas “ruined six years of everyone’s lives, even starving children in Cambodia.” But he’ll also spotlight the thinnest of silver linings: At least Han Solo was not dragged into this mess. Lucas clearly knew better than to tamper with an iconic Harrison Ford character. Oh. Right.
Part I of Plinkett’s epic three-part spanking is below. But do watch the NSFW critique in its entirety. It’s cathartic for any middle-aged person who has kids that think “Yippeeee!” is a battle cry. READ FULL STORY
Everyone’s a-buzz today about the lousy focus-group results for Parks and Recreation, the new Amy Poehler-led Office-style mockumentary, which according to an apparently leaked report, didn’t test well. NBC honcho Ben Silverman tells EW that "all of the research we do around initial rough cuts is negative," and that it’s common for successful shows to have crummy focus group results. (No joke.) Silverman confidence or no — I mean, the guy greenlit Knight Rider — I’m still really looking forward to Parks and feel largely able to dismiss the concerns raised in this focus group report. Behold, y’all:
Complaint: It’s too much like The Office First, that’s like complaining that your boyfriend looks too much like Brad Pitt. But I’ll bite: When The Office first premiered, I hated how closely it hewed to the UK’s original — it seemed derivative and redundant. Over the course of its first season, and particularly through its second, however, the US version really found its own unique voice. It’s possible that Parks does feel too much like its progenitor, but that’s far from an unsolvable or surprising problem.
Complaint: "[A]ll the men in the show were seen as ‘sleazy’ in one way or another…there are no ‘datable’ [male characters.]" I guess that means more Aziz Ansari and Chris Pratt for me? (Just kidding, Anna Faris, I hope you guys are really happy togeths.) Sleaze has a way of growing on you: Barney on How I Met Your Mother, Jack on 30 Rock, Chuck on Gossip Girl, Sawyer on the early seasons of Lost, and House on House could all be considered sleazy in some contexts, but that’s hardly limited their appeal. Not worried. Plus…not every show has to be about boning. I can handle 22 minutes without sexual tension.
Complaint: The pacing is too slow, and "many were confused as to the reasons and motivations behind the ‘documentary.’" If the pacing actually is too slow, or the show actually is confusing, those are both common issues for pilots. But they’re also issues that people had with The Office, and that show’s pacing doesn’t bother me at all, nor do I want an explanation of the documentary format. I like the mystery of it all!
Okay, PopWatchers, how are you feeling about Parks and Recreation? Excited? Cautiously so? Or totally tuned out?
We’re still eight days away from Watchmen Day (March 6, for those of you who don’t follow such things), but people are beginning to lay eyes on Zack Snyder’s epic superhero treatise/action spectacle. It had its World Premiere in London a few days ago, and it’s been screening here and there for select parties — and with the Cone of Silence starting to lift, we’re getting a sense of the early reaction. In a word: mixed.
As anyone with half a brain might’ve predicted, from the Fan quadrant, Watchmen is, for the most part, a life-changing, Holy Grailicious event. But the mainstream media — mostly made of critics who haven’t spent untold hours digesting Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seismic graphic novel — isn’t quite as rapturous.
A quick early-reviews rundown, after the jump. And, of course, be sure to check back next week for the official EW review.
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