Critical Consensus: A Swinging "Party," A Sweet and Sour "16"

This week's wide releases will take us on a journey. We'll walk a couple blocks ("16 Blocks," "Dave Chappelle's Block Party"), take a dip in the ocean ("Aquamarine") and feel the rays of the sun ("Ultraviolet"). And the critics will be our guide.

With the first two "Lethal Weapon" films, Richard Donner perfected a certain kind of action-buddy template, and he gives it another try in "16 Blocks." Bruce Willis and Mos Def star in this tale of a cop who must transport a witness across town to testify in court, but must make it past a bunch of bad guys first. Critics say the film is a solid action picture with interesting characters, but it's still a little too formulaic. It's currently at 49 percent on the Tomatometer, well below Donner's best-reviewed action film ("Superman," 94 percent) and Willis' ("Die Hard," 92 percent).

We've missed you, Dave Chappelle. We were deeply concerned when you went on hiatus. We were afraid we'd lost the comedy voice of a generation. We needn't have worried, say critics. "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" is a raucous return to the spotlight, and Dave's incisive, observational wit appears to be as sharp as ever. Directed with style by Michel Gondry and featuring exceptional musical performances by some of hip-hop's heaviest hitters (including -- will wonders never cease -- the reunited Fugees), this is one swingin' "Party." It currently stands at 93 percent on the Tomatometer, and if that number holds, "Block Party" will be the best reviewed wide release of the year. It's also nearly 50 points higher than Chappelle's career Tomatometer of 44 percent. Heck, even he makes fun of "Half Baked.")

"Aquamarine" tells a fish-out-of-water story -- or, better yet, a mermaid-out-of-the-ocean story. A couple of teenage girls discover a mermaid who, like Ariel before her, is looking for love, preferably on dry land. As you can probably guess, the target audience for this movie is ichthyologists. Sorry, I meant teenage girls. Critics say that demographic will dig it to an acceptable degree, but their parents and the fellas will be feeling a bit seasick. At 50 percent on the Tomatometer, "Aquamarine" is a tad soggy.

Extensive exposure to ultraviolet rays can be very harmful, particularly to the eyes. So the people behind the futuristic action flick "Ultraviolet" did the critics a favor by not screening the film for them. Whether it's harmful for audiences, we can't say at this point. Just be warned.

Speaking of which, it's time to announce the winners of last week's Guess the Tomatometer contest. Mizzoucritic was one point off in his/her evaluation of "Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion," which landed at 32 percent, and lovelykeira came the closest to "Doogal"'s score of six percent. So the next time we're in Mizzou's neck of the woods, we'll get dinner at Shakespeare's Pizza to celebrate. Go Tigers.

Recent Bruce Willis Movies:
----------------------------------------
33% -- Hostage (2005)
78% -- Sin City (2005)
5% -- The Whole Ten Yards (2004)
36% -- Tears of the Sun (2003)
39% -- Rugrats Go Wild (2003)

Recent Dave Chappelle Movies:
---------------------------------------------
75% -- Undercover Brother (2002)
7% -- Screwed (2000)
31% -- 200 Cigarettes (1999)
35% -- Blue Streak (1999)
25% -- Half Baked (1998)

Recent Richard Donner Movies:
--------------------------------------------
12% -- Timeline (2003)
57% -- Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
46% -- Conspiracy Theory (1997)
14% -- Assassins (1995)
66% -- Maverick (1994)

Comments

getomans

jon smith

[b]DAve chappelles, Bruce willis, and Mos Def's weekend[/b]
I really want to see DAve Chappelle's Block Party and 16 Blocks. I will see both this weekend. I'm pretty sure that no one is going to see the very stupid and unteresting Aquamarine. Some people might watch ultraviolet as it does look interesting, but 16 blocks and dave chappelles block party have more interest(espechally with chappelles return to show buisness and richard donner's attempt to bounce back from the bomb of Timeline). Dont be so suprised if Madeas family reunion does repeat, because of the competition from 4 new movies.

Mar 2 - 06:53 PM

AlienSeed

Jeff Kohorst

Just watched 16 Blocks, and while it is a little formulaic like many critics are saying, it's still a fun and mostly exciting movie. And although it has all the ingredients of a "buddy" picture, it still didn't feel like one at all to me. It was more like two guys who used to be buddies once (Willis and Morse) trying to stay one step ahead of eachother to obtain their very different wanted outcomes for the witness (Mos Def). Thumbs up from me!

Mar 2 - 10:57 PM

mizzoucritic

Sean Ludwig

[b]Woot Woot![/b]
Go Mizzou! Shakespeare's rules!

Anyhow...you all know what it's time for? That's right. Time to guess Ultraviolet's final Tomatometer.

Ultraviolet, you might be helmed by that dude who did Equilibrium, but the trailer is terrible and Milla ain't no Christain Bale. Final score: 19%

Mar 2 - 11:58 PM

HoneycombSAFARI

Daniel James

im gonna see aquamarine but only cos my friend is in it

Mar 3 - 01:30 AM

renny2077

Renny Abraham

Ultraviolet trailer was horrible. A woman on a rampage of revenge...hmmm where have I seen that before...oh Kill Bill. 19% sounds about right..

Mar 3 - 03:38 AM

nogard64

Nogard64 64

haha thats about the funniest thing ever!!! They named the movie after the spectrum of light that causes cancer in peoples eyes! yeah thats great lets watch a movie thats going to make us blind and give us eye cancer! who was the genius behind that? haha. The movie is just too far fetched and unbeleiveable a super model who can kill and kick everyone's A**???? I think I thought up that movie when I was 13 and it wasn't becuase I was smart it was because my hormones were outta control and I'd pay $ to see anything female that moved a lot! haha.

Mar 3 - 09:08 AM

killthemall

mynameis mynameis

Ultraviolet hmmm 11%. There will probably be a few people who enjoy the non stop action no matter how bad it is.

Mar 3 - 10:51 AM

mizzoucritic

Sean Ludwig

[b]Wow.[/b]
I can't believe Ultraviolet is down to a 3%...it's primed to be the worst movie of the year...

Mar 5 - 12:27 PM

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