Release Date: 01-18-08
So we saw the first preview back in May ’07 in front of Transformers, before the movie was even finished filming. And it’s been hyped up the wazoo with fun internet viral marketing games, web widget stealing, Facebook ads, and even text marketing (any other Virgin Mobile subscribers). This movie’s been marketed to hell and back. So is it worth it? Since this is a movie you probably don’t want spoiled, I’ll give you my judgment up front:
On my “what it’s worth” scale of $0 (televised bowling is a better option) to $18 (full price ticket + buy your dinner from concessions), it’s probably only worth about $6.50 (aka – matinee/wait for DVD and nuke yourself a bag of Orville Redenbacher).
Why so low, Joe? Because, really, if it weren’t shot in the style that it is (handheld, supposedly by the actors ala Lonelygirl15), it’d be about as good as the Matthew Broderick GODZILLA. And if it weren’t a monster movie, but shot in this style, it’d be something you’d see go direct-to-DVD. Two mediocres don’t make fantastic. It just stays mediocre.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I was fully engrossed with a few exceptions (noted at end of review), but when it was over, I knew New York hadn’t been attacked and decimated, I knew it was all (well) acted. I think the audience I saw it with was kind of in the same boat, since everyone was silent for the bulk of the movie.
I liked the characters, and like ABC’s LOST you never know when something’s going to happen to them. First off there’s Marmaduke… ok, so that’s his character’s name on ABC’s CARPOOLERS, Hud in this movie, and Marlena, the girl he lusts after. There’s the hot brothers Jason and Rob, and their respective girlfriends: token minority Lily (who’s now on CSI, I find out from IMDB.COM), and Beth. Rob’s got a job in Japan, there’s a going away party, there’s a brownout, TV News says something’s up at the Statue of Liberty, everyone runs to the roof to see if they can see anything different than the helicopter shots on TV, there’s explosions, everyone runs downstairs and out on the street, Statue of Liberty’s head rolls down the street, aaaaaand: commence escape/running/screaming.
There are some twists, but most people are going to see this and I don’t want to take the surprising elements away. This is not a startle horror movie like ONE MISSED CALL or a gory horror movie like anything Rob Zombie puts out, it’s a thoughtful one, that has tense moments, but didn’t leave my muscles sore from tension like THE DESCENT or 28 DAYS LATER have in the last couple of years.
So yeah, I was pumped, but I’d accidentally stumbled upon a non-review (more a checklist of the movie’s flaws, few of which I agree with, since it ignored my chief complaint – still coming, don’t be impatient like a kid who needs his Ritalin®), which dampened my expectations. So I expected the movie to exceed my lowered expectations (like on MAD-TV), and I’d say it met my lowered expectations.
Oh, and you know how I’ve annoyingly been dropping names and brands throughout this review. That’s what bugged me the most about the movie: non-subtle product placement. Time to call you out: Sephora, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, and others which I’ve thankfully forgotten.
Great idea for a movie, smothered with money.
So your weekend options:
Cloverfield (Marmaduke! Ok, kidding, no well known actors)
Mad Money (Katie Holmes, Diane Keaton and Queen Latifah)
27 Dresses (Katherine Heigl & James Marsden)
Darling boyfriend went to the 27 Dresses screening last week, and his one line review was: “Eh, it’s good for what it’s trying to do.” About what I expected, which is why I opted for book club (even if it deprived my adoring fans another week of my reviews).
Last Week’s New Releases:
First Sunday (Tracy Morgan and Ice Cube – )
The Bucket List (Jack and Morgan’s Not-So-Excellent Adventure)