Should you listen to movie critics?

This video takes a “critical” look at the role of movie critics, but frankly doesn’t reveal anything that significant. You should look for critics that you can read regularly, and then you can decide whether to trust them. And there are resources like Rotton Tomatoes that aggregate reactions from critics and the public.

  

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“The Hangover Part III” mess

The Hangover Part III

The reviews for “The Hangover Part III” are not good. Jason Zingale doesn’t pull any punches:

“The Hangover Part III” is a really bad movie (like, worst film of the year bad) – a joyless and humorless cash-in that bears little resemblance to the 2009 original except by name. Say what you will about the first sequel, but at least that one actually felt like a “Hangover” movie. I’m still not even sure if “Part III” is supposed to be a comedy, but the shocking lack of laughter would suggest otherwise.

Most critics have hated it, though the user ratings on Rotten Tomatoes are surprisingly high.

Meanwhile, here’s an interview with Bradley Cooper that is very uncomfortable. I understand what the writer was doing, but his approach seemed a little harsh to me. Is it really such a crime that Cooper sticks it out for the third installment of a movie that did so much for him? Why not hit the writer and director instead?

  

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A Christmas movie . . . already?

John Cho (L) and Kal Penn, cast members in the motion picture comedy “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas”, attend the premiere of the film at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on November 2, 2011. UPI/Jim Ruymen

I’m not complaining, as we see John Cho and Kal Penn attend the premiere of “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. But isn’t this a little early?

The movie should be fun as it has a good rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Jason Zingale agrees:

Following the disappointment of “Harold & Kumar Go to Guantanamo Bay,” not to mention co-star Kal Penn’s surprising decision to accept a job at the White House, the likelihood that fans would ever see another Harold & Kumar adventure again seemed pretty slim back in 2008. And yet here we are, three years later, discussing the newest film in the ongoing stoner buddy franchise. But while my expectations were relatively low going into “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas,” it’s actually a big improvement over the last sequel, hewing much closer to the spirit of the original film by refusing to take itself too seriously while still maintaining a certain level of tact that was sorely missing from the disastrous second installment.

I didn’t mind the second installment, but only because the characters are always fun. If the movie is better this time, this should be a crowd-pleaser.

  

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First movie news round-up of the 2010s!

* A side-effect of the slow-going sale of MGM, the slowed down production of  “James Bond 23” and, to some degree, “The Hobbit” writes Anne Thompson.

* I haven’t seen “Up in the Air,” yet, so I’m not reading this item about Jason Reitman responding to a rumored deleted subplot, but there’s no reason you can’t if you’ve seen it or don’t mind big spoilers.

* Inevitably, the apparent mega-success of “Avatar” brings out Hollywood’s copycat side re: 3-D.  Oy.

* Every cinephile’s favorite company, Criterion, plugs their 2010 release schedule via primitivist postcard. Next time, they should go the extra mile and promote their releases via cave painting. Tops on my wish list: the restored “The Red Shoes.”

* I suppose I should wait until I’ve caught up with “Taken” to pass full judgment, but I can’t help but wonder about Paramount’s apparent approach to choosing directors for the latest attempt at Frank Herbert’s “Dune.” It’s not that I think Pierre Morel is a bad director. His “Banluie 13” had some very good sequences, even if its story was the usual Luc Besson not-quite-story. But why does Paramount apparently think this is just another hard-charging action flick?  To me, this is a movie that needs someone with a bit of David Lean or John Ford in him. Giving helmers who are strong on thud and blunder, but not necessarily on story and character, “Dune” is like assigning a smart second-grader to do a book report on The Brothers Karamazov. They might figure out the storyline with a lot of effort, but they’ll never get near the meaning — though I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.

* Flixter is acquiring my favorite review aggregating site, Rotten Tomatoes, from IGN (owned by Murdoch’s News Corp.) A very interesting merger, I think. Dylan Stableford of The Wrap has a brief interview.

  

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“Watchmen” week

Get ready for the most anticipated movie event of 2009.

Bullz-Eye’s Ross Ruediger has an excellent preview of the film after his set visit from last year.

An unquestionable highlight of the set visit was getting to stand smack in the middle of Karnak, the enormous Egyptian-themed palace that serves as the setting for the film’s climax. Painstakingly constructed to appear nearly identical to how it’s shown in the comic, the set was roughly the size of a gymnasium, with marble floors, an elaborate staircase, a lengthy dining room table and giant, awe-inspiring pillars and statues. (They were actually made of Styrofoam, but you’d never know it by looking at them.) Standing in the middle of it all, it was so easy to picture the core characters of the novel squabbling amongst themselves as they do in one of the scenes set in that massive room. On the flip side of Karnak, was the slightly smaller yet equally impressive Owl Chamber, Nite Owl’s underground lair. If Karnak was sleek and expansive, this set was the opposite: intimate and cluttered. Much to my delight, I was allowed to wander around and just poke around the laboratory as if it were my own. It was here that I first saw the now-infamous picture of the movie’s original superheroes, the Minutemen, behind glass in a case amongst the rest of the little details. Being in the Owl Chamber actually felt like leaving the set altogether and finding myself transported to an actual superhero lair. The attention that had been paid to “getting it right” was mind-boggling, and it was as if I’d stepped directly into the book itself. Now if only the Owl Ship could actually fly

ScreenCrave has an exclusive interview with Jackie Earle Haley who plays Rorschach.

The reviews are already coming in at Rotten Tomatoes.

Check out the trailer.

  

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