Though there are three major releases hitting screens this weekend, a glance at any newspaper's entertainment section will leave you mysteriously convinced that Running Scared is the only one. Why? Make no mistake, it's not because the studios are scared of bad reviews for Doogal and Madea's Family Reunion - it's just that it's expensive to put screenings together for ungrateful critics. Tear. So instead, I've including Tsotsi, the South African release nominated for the best foreign film Oscar, in the roundup, as it also opens this weekend. In sum: Running Scared is derivative crap/brilliance, and Tsotsi isn't as good as you'd expect. Details follow.
- Running Scared: Despite New
Line's clever attempted to distract the public via a porntastic
promotion, mostcritics still noticed
that Running Scared is pretty bad. In
the negativereviews, there's a lot of talk about self-consciousness, and the pallid aping of
Tarantino - oddly, the same
things show up the handful of good reviews,
except there those things are praise-worthy. It's confusing, and leads one to the inescapable conclusion that, even
more than usual, your reaction to this one is going to depend almost entirely on your point of view.
Because it's currently playing in just six theaters, reviews of Tsotsi are few and far between. Critics who have seen it, however, found themselves vaguely disappointed, particularly given the film's
lofty status as an Oscar nominee. Though most agree that the movie looks gorgeous, it's hard to find anyone who will
grant that sort of praise to its storytelling - even those who like it are
forced to admit that the film's story of
redemption is disappointingly "conventional."