This week at the movies, we’ve got a war movie satire (Tropic Thunder, starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr.), romantic foibles in Spain (Woody Allen‘s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, starring Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz), animated Force-utilizers (George Lucas‘ The Clone Wars), and killer reflections (Mirrors, starring Kiefer Sutherland). What do the critics have to say?
How better to lambaste the over-blown, summer blockbuster than with an over-blown, summer blockbuster? That’s the battle plan with Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder. While shooting a war drama in Vietnam, the pampered “all-star” cast (Stiller, Jack Black, Jay Baruchel, Brandon T. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr.) are taken off set and dropped into a camera-rigged jungle where they’re expected to pull off a guerrilla-style re-shoot and resurrect their Oscar-bait production turned over-budget disaster. While no one’s invoking the Academy (yet), critics are calling Stiller’s helming just the thing to promote his directorial resume (Reality Bites, The Cable Guy) from private to corporal. With references to major war films (Apocalypse Now, Platoon) as well as their making-of docs (Hearts of Darkness) and a few odd references thrown in (There’s There’s Something about Mary, Close Encounters of the Third Kind), critics are saying this foul-mouthed, politically incorrect farce proves war can be Hell-arious. It currently stands at 83 percent on the Tomatometer.
We get the impression Mirrors is all about images that can kill, though that’s sort of conjecture. The studio isn’t screening it for press, which makes it sound like the only thing these images can kill are box office numbers. Keifer Sutherland plays an ex-cop whose house is haunted by ghosts with a fondness for reflective surfaces. The film, directed by Alexandre Aja, the Frenchman who brought us High Tension and the Hills Have Eyes remake, begs us to ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, what will be the Tomatometer after all?” Venture a guess, kids!
Also opening this week in limited release:
Recent Ben Stiller Movies:
Recent Woody Allen Movies: