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Archive for January, 2011

Spit Takes

Obligatory. You know? I’m not sure I’ve ever actually spit out a drink after something amusing. I’ve had that, where you’re laughing so hard and your mouth is full of beer… you know you’ll spit if you can’t control yourself. But I don’t think I’ve ever actually done a spit take. Maybe it just happens in movies.

[via Huffington Post]

DVD Report – January 25th

RED leads the pack of this week’s mediocre films on DVD, along with the third entry in Sweden’s popular Millennium series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. The only movie which everyone seemed to have the same opinion on this week was Saw 3D which racked up universally negative scores at Criticker.

RedAverage Tier 5.00
After trading in his professional past as a black-ops CIA agent for a new identity, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is basking in normalcy. But he’s forced to return to old habits when a shadowy assassin puts a target on his back and goes after the woman (Mary-Louise Parker) he loves. Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich co-star as former members of Moses’s team who reluctantly reassemble to save his life. Red @ Amazon

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s NestAverage Tier 5.55
The third and final movie in the Stieg Larsson series. Lisbeth Salander is seriously wounded since the second movie and is recovering in the hospital waiting for her trial. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest @ Amazon

Nowhere BoyAverage Tier 5.56
The debut feature of Sam Taylor-Wood, tells the never seen before story of John Lennon’s childhood. (imdb) Nowhere Boy @ Amazon

Saw 3DAverage Tier 2.55
Insane, intense cruelty is the calling card of the Jigsaw killer (Tobin Bell), whose twisted spirit and terrifying human traps — recalled in flashbacks following his death in Saw III — inspire another installment of the hugely successful gore franchise. Led by fellow survivor Bobby Dagen (Sean Patrick Flanery), Jigsaw’s past victims band together to support each other. Cary Elwes reprises his role as Dr. Lawrence Gordon. Saw 3D @ Amazon

SecretariatAverage Tier 4.73
The life story of Penny Chenery, owner of the racehorse Secretariat, who won the Triple Crown in 1973. Secretariat @ Amazon

Movie Posters from a Cooler Dimension

Paul Newman as Dr. Manhattan? Clint Eastwood as Wolverine? A 60s-era exploitation version of Avatar? YES PLEASE!

These are just a few of the creations that graphic artist Sean Hartter has put together in a series called Alternate Universe Movie Posters. There’s a heavy emphasis on superhero flicks, such as Punisher (starring Jack Palance) and Daredevil (with William Shatner). Not all of them put current films in the past; one poster re-imagines Clockwork Orange with Angelina Jolie as Alex… and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. I’m actually surprised that project isn’t already in production. The cast lists are just about as clever as the posters themselves.

Check out the full set of Hartter’s work… some are really hilarious.

[via Comics Alliance, via Nerd Bastards]


DVD Report – January 18th

Yesterday, Buried received an honor as the best Spanish movie of 2010. It’s in English and stars Canadian Ryan Reynolds, but director Rodrigo Cortés’s film is a completely Spanish production. Though Criticker users didn’t love Buried enough to land it in our year-end Top 20, it did manage to be the best film released on DVD this week. Faint praise, perhaps, but fans of suspense should definitely check this one out.

BuriedAverage Tier 6.28
Paul is a U.S. contractor working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it’s a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap. Buried @ Amazon

Animal KingdomAverage Tier 6.62
Tells the story of seventeen year-old J (Josh) as he navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him. (imdb) Animal Kingdom @ Amazon

StoneAverage Tier 3.52
A convicted arsonist looks to manipulate a parole officer into a plan to secure his parole by placing his beautiful wife in the lawman’s path. Stone @ Amazon

TakersAverage Tier 3.37
With their collective eye on a $20 million payoff, a motley crew of bank robbers (including Paul Walker, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown and T.I.) get busy planning out their next heist. But a detective (Matt Dillon) who’s obsessed with his work is just as obsessed with making sure the thieves never pull off their scheme. Takers @ Amazon

Jack Goes BoatingAverage Tier 5.88
A limo driver’s blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace centered around two working-class NYC couples. Jack Goes Boating @ Amazon

Michel Gondry takes on The Green Hornet

Months ago, when I saw that The Green Hornet would star Seth Rogen, I sighed. And then I saw the director, and sighed even deeper. Michel Gondry is whimsical. Seth Rogen is goofy. The Green Hornet should be neither of these things.

The film opens this weekend, and initial reviews haven’t exactly been effusive in praise. Sigh. But what could have been?

The New York Times has a great article about the latest Green Hornet’s rocky ride to the silver screen. Names like Eddie Murphy and George Clooney had been interested. This was way back in 1997 and was to be Gondry’s big-time Hollywood debut. He wanted Vince Vaughn as his crimefighter, the studio wanted Mark Wahlberg and the project soon fell apart.

But it came back, this time with Stephen Chow as director and Rogen as screenwriter. Gondry took back the reins after Chow proved too unpredictable, and he put a slimmed down Rogen in the lead role. And Nicholas Cage was supposed to be the bad guy…

But the director was unable to work with Nicolas Cage, the film’s original villain. For reasons known only to him, he insisted on using a Jamaican accent. “I was quite relieved when he announced he no longer wanted the part,” Mr. Gondry said.

That’s just awesome.

If you need a Green Hornet fix, but can’t stomach the thought of coughing up $10 for a film that’s probably going to be terrible, we’re here to help. Check out Bruce Lee as a truly kick-ass Kato in the short-lived 60s TV version:

[via NYT]


iPhonesIntoCash

DVD Report – January 11th

The movie said to define a generation, The Social Network is new on DVD today, but the big news is that there’s an even more-highly praised film being released on the same day. Originally released in Canada in 2007, Shake Hands with the Devil is just now making its way to DVD in the US. Set during the Rwandan genocide, the film details the attempts of General Roméo Dallaire, who tried in vain to stop the killing before it started.

Criticker Pick!The Social NetworkAverage Tier 7.76
On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history… but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications. The Social Network @ Amazon

PiranhaAverage Tier 4.32
A tremor under the surface of Lake Victoria unleashes scores of prehistoric piranhas, an event which rallies the local sheriff (Shue) who will risk everything to save her townsfolk. Piranha @ Amazon

HeartbreakerAverage Tier 5.90
You could say Alex Lippi is a ladies’ man but it is not true. Of course he has already wooed and charmed armies of women, young and less young, French and foreign. But Alex does it only on active service. Indeed he is appointed to break up undesired couplings. This time he must prevent a rich young lady from marrying an English millionaire. The girl is beautiful and the future husband a perfect match. Will he manage to accomplish this difficult mission?Heartbreaker @ Amazon

Criticker Pick!Shake Hands with the DevilAverage Tier 8.11
A film adaption of Romeo Dallaire’s autobiography about the Rwandan genocide in 1994. (doctor7) Shake Hands with the Devil @ Amazon

Alpha and OmegaAverage Tier 2.70
When park rangers capture ambitious, head-of-the-pack wolf pup Kate (Hayden Panettiere) and happy-go-lucky wolf pup Humphrey (Justin Long), the two wind up in a strange land hundreds of miles from home and must find their way back. As they battle bears, porcupines and each other on their journey, they discover they’re falling in love. Alpha and Omega @ Amazon

The Worst Films of 2010

It will come as no surprise that romantic comedies don’t fare well in our look back at the worst movies of 2010, but the users of Criticker have spread out the hate to other genres as well. This year’s list includes sci-fi, action, kid’s films and weird quasi-religious quasi-zombie flicks. Keep in mind that all these films received lower rankings than The Last Airbender.. and that is saying something.

10) The Last SongAvg Tier 2.51

“And as she looked towards the sun shining through the window and said “hi, dad” I wanted to walk down to the projection room and tear the reel to pieces and burn the entire place down” – Bitch Alert
9) The Back-up PlanAvg Tier 2.46

“This movie is abysmal. Even if I’m willing to set aside the lack of chemistry, ignore the trite and unconsidered dialogue, and write off the ludicrously uneventful plot, the movie would still offend me with its rampant chauvinism. It seems the only way to happiness in Zoe’s world is through her man, which must culminate in marriage with children, and anyone who dares to circumvent these rules is insane or deviant. Shame on this movie for being a platform for such repugnant whitewashing.” – thaklos
8) The Bounty HunterAvg Tier 2.45

“What an awful awful movie. Seriously… awful! The script is lousy and completely predictable. The ”plot” is all over the place, the direction appalling. And the acting… complete and utter shit! I mean I always knew that J. Aniston and G. Butler aren’t the greatest actors in the world but after seeing this I am inclined to think they are the worst. Do not watch this!!!” – aney
7) When in RomeAvg Tier 2.36

“Frightfully unfunny romantic-comic fantasy. If nothing else, with creamy-dreamy cinematography by John Bailey, this serves as a test of whether or not the chiselled and clenched Bell can carry a movie by herself, albeit only a balsa-light one. Reckless would it be, off the results, to repeat the experiment taking away the helping hand of the casually confident Duhamel or adding a bobby pin of extra weight.” – pompousass
6) The Spy Next DoorAvg Tier 2.35

“The makers of The Spy Next Door should give 50 percent of their profits to James Cameron for ripping off “True Lies.” Let’s see, what’s 50 percent of nothing?” – MovieMan
5) LegionAvg Tier 2.21

“Similar to Dusk Till Dawn – just with all the campiness replaced with awfulness.” – KMcNeil
4) Sex and the City 2Avg Tier 2.16

“One of the worst films in forever. Its a baffling long film about absolutely nothing. Incredibly boring, fails in every area a film can.” – OMGFridge
3) Jonah HexAvg Tier 2.12

“This horrible piece of shit makes zero sense and all of it is too dark to see what’s going on. The only time you can see is when they’re showcasing some truly wretched CGI. Megan Fox is terrible, bringing nothing to the movie, and Brolin slurs every line through some horrible prosthetics. 10 points for Malkovich’s facial hair.” – TheDenizen
2) SkylineAvg Tier 1.82

“If you were on the effects team, raise your hand. OK everybody else, you are banished from Hollywood. That includes you, director of photography, a few too many cityscapes. And if your camera can’t handle low light, don’t shoot in it. That includes you, script-writers, way to make your characters reliably choose the dumbest course of action. And what was that tacked on “ending”? That includes you, studio execs, because your verdict on greenlighting this was the drug test, you failed.” – HunterKing
1) Vampires SuckAvg Tier 1.50

“All I needed to see was 1) the awful trailer and 2) the names Seltzer and Friedberg to know that this is a piece of shit. Why are these two morons allowed to make movies? Why do people pay t o see them? And worst of all, why do people even find them funny? I completely blame their movies for the downfall of America. I hope they both die long, disturbing and excruciatingly painful deaths….and hopefully soon, before they crap out some more garbage to sully my movie screens.” – mlpgaffney


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