Three movies open wide this week and, though there are copious reviews to be found of both Eight Below and Freedomland, the third wasn't screened for critics. You know what that means, friends: Date Movie, though it will inevitably suck, will just as inevitably find itself at the top of the weekend charts come Sunday. Sigh. To distract us, though, we've got Puppies! And Racial Tension! Too bad they're in different movies - otherwise, man, that's box office gold.
- Eight Below: Nathan Lee of
The New York Times calls it "Grade
A pooch porn, an orgy of canine cuteness," and no one else is grumpy enough to argue. Few, however, are willing to say that cute dogs necessarily make a movie good. Instead,
most find it bland at best, and possibly too scary and too violent (don't
worry, we're talking about animal-on-animal crime here) for the youthful audience at which it is presumably aimed.
Those who like the movie
appreciate its old-school Disney animal "realism," and often wish there were fewer scenes with those
- Freedomland: This one is not
exactly wildly popular among critics.
Though my man Mick LaSalle is inexplicably a
fan, pretty much everyone else
considers Freedomland a bit of a mess.
While there's no
agreement about the performances of Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson (they're either brilliant or overacting), no one is willing to
anything against Edie Falco, whose work in a supporting role
seems to be the best thing in the film.