aeonflux.jpgIt looks like Paramount has decided not to pre-screen Aeon Flux, the Karyn Kusama-directed, Charlize Theron-starring adaptation of the MTV animated series created by Peter Chung. Our source at Paramount has been telling us for the past couple of weeks that the effects weren't ready and, thus, a screener print wasn't done. We crossed our fingers and hoped that an 11th hour screening would be announced; but now, sources in other markets have informed us that there will be no critics screenings at all.

This is interesting on a couple of levels. Usually, studios withhold films from critics because early testing indicates that they're simply bad. But we can't find ANYONE who's seen Aeon Flux – you'll note, it has not a single Rotten Tomato, nor has Metacritic even bothered to create an entry for the film. So when the Friday paper comes, and you open up that Arts & Leisure section to that great, big centerfold promo, you'll see not a single pullquote (well, not a legitimate one, anyway). Usually, even with bad movies, at least *someone* has seen the thing before it opens – there's been a test screening somewhere, and AICN somehow got in, and yadda yadda. So, I think it is actually possible that the print really isn't ready (although you'd assume, if that was the case, that Paramount would just push back the opening date).

Regardless: anyone standing in line on Friday evening (and this is the weekend's sole wide release, so we can only imagine that the lines will be long) will have the strange sensation of walking into a picture about which they've heard zero buzz. And of course, the strangest thing of all: is this the first fall release starring a recent Oscar winner to be withheld from critics? I can think of only one other title that might have faced a similar fate – a little gay cruise film called Boat Trip.