Four bigass releases this weekend, none of which seem to be very good - unless, that is, you're a preschooler, a rabid Harrison Ford fan, a crazy person, or a teenager into death-by-nailgun. Of course, millions of people will ignore critics and flock to the movies, thus causing yet another Final Destination to be made, and Ford to do action movies well into his 80s. The Pink Panther, though, is dead in the water. Sorry, Steve.
- Curious George: Several surprised critics - our own James Rocchi among them - found themselves impressed by the charm and ease of this effort. As Robert Ebert (who somehow managed to work a Walt Whitman quote into his review) points out, however, Curious George is definitely made for children, and many (presumably) adult viewers found themselves understandablybored by the movie.
- Firewall: Though pretty muchno one (apart from James and the always-unpredictable Roger Ebert) reallyliked this one, it nevertheless prompted a handful of critics to unusual moments of creativity. To wit: Ty Burr of the Boston Globesuggests a pair of alternate titles (Proxy Server!, SOCKS Protocol), Mick LaSalle confesses his secret Harrison Ford-watching technique (he pretends all of Ford's characters are just one guy with a really, really stressful life), while Manohla Dargis indulges in a fairly apt Ford career summary.
- The Pink Panther: Shock of shocks, the movie mostlysucks. Hands up if you knew that when the first trailer came out last year. Yeah, that's all of you. Sadly for most of the nation's critics, however, they actually had to see the movie before they wrote their reviews. In case you really, really want to see it, good reviews can be found, but even those contain phrases like "Farcical mayhem" and "...a pleasant surprise, if not quite a golden goose." The most faint praise, however, comes from Ty Burr, who I swear is not paying me off. In his review, he gleefully reports that "this new version of the misadventures of Inspector Clouseau...isn't a black hole of unfunniness." Wow, get me a ticket to that one!
- Final Destination 3: While no oneclaimsthis one is very good, more than a few critics found themselvesenjoying what they panned because of the film's abundantclever humor (even if the humor does happen to revolve around death). The best line of all comes from Kyle Smith of The New York Post, who sums the movie's attitude up in two, gleeful words: "Yay Death!"