Critical Consensus: "Man of the Year" A Weak Candidate, But At Least It Was Screened For Critics

This week at the movies, we've got comedians in the White House ("Man of the Year," starring Robin Williams), continued creepy curses in Tokyo ("The Grudge 2, starring Amber Tamblyn and Sarah Michelle Gellar), a marine with a missing wife ("The Marine," starring John Cena), and a dramatization of the Book of Esther ("One Night with the King," starring Tiffany DuPont). What do the critics say?

It's an election year, so it seems like a pretty good time to satirize our cherished democratic process, right? Perhaps, but the critics don't believe "Man of the Year," starring Robin Williams and Laura Linney, is the movie to do it. Williams plays a late night talk show host who runs for president as a joke -- only to find the electorate is more receptive to his campaign than he thought. Critics say the film benefits from some good performances -- including Linney and Christopher Walken as Williams' manager -- but writer-director Barry Levinson's script doesn't know whether it's a satire, a thriller, or a romantic comedy. Worse, this political send-up lacks bite when it comes to, well, politics. At 21 percent on the Tomatometer, "Man of the Year" is dipping in the polls.

Watch as sparks fly between Linney and Williams in "Man of the Year."

It seems it is a momentous time to be a wide-release movie. This week, not one, not two, but three films were not screened for the scribes!

First up, we've got "The Grudge 2," starring Amber Tamblyn and Sarah Michelle Gellar in a sequel to director Takashi Shimizu's 2004 remake of his own Japanese-language horror flick, "Ju-On." The first "Grudge" garnered 40 percent on the Tomatometer; go ahead and guess how the pale-faced little ghost boy and his frighteningly hirsute mother will fare this time around.

The Grudge does everything in her power to prevent critics from screening her latest.

Next, there's "The Marine," WWE Films' fourth release starring pro-wrestler John Cena as an Iraq vet who must rescue his kidnapped wife from bad guys. The last WWE release, "See No Evil," scored a miniscule Tomatometer of 6 percent. If it helps to Guess The Tomatometer for "The Marine," the freestyling Cena was known back in his WWE days as the "Marky Mark of wrestling."

Not screened for critics -- it's hard to believe, I know.

And finally, completing the trifecta of this week's releases not screened for critics, we have "One Night With The King," Fox Faith's second theatrical release geared toward the Christian set. In this retelling of the Book of Esther, a young Jewish girl (newcomer Tiffany DuPont) grows up to save her people; screen greats Omar Sharif, Peter O'Toole and John Rhys-Davies fill out the cast. As does Tommy "Tiny" Lister (AKA Deebo from "Friday"). Guess away.

Also opening this week in limited release: "Deliver Us from Evil," a searing documentary about a convicted pedophile Catholic Priest, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer (check out Jen Yamato's review from the Toronto Film Fest here); "So Much So Fast," a documentary about a man with ALS and his family's response, is at 100 percent; "Driving Lessons," a coming-of-age Brit-com starring Rupert Grint and Laura Linney, is at 73 percent; "Infamous," starring Toby Jones and Sandra Bullock and based on Truman Capote's experiences writing "In Cold Blood," is at 58 percent (See Tim Ryan's Toronto Review here); "Nearing Grace," about a family coping with the death of their wife and mother, is at 40 percent; "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker," the tale of a teen secret agent, is at 37 percent; and "Tideland," Terry Gilliam's perverse take on "Alice in Wonderland," is at 21 percent.

Recent Robin Williams Movies:
22% -- RV (2006)
42% -- The Night Listener (2006)
79% -- The Aristocrats (2005)
62% -- Robots (2005)
11% -- House of D (2005)

Recent Movies Starring Pro Wrestlers:
6% -- See No Evil (Kane) (2006)
16% -- Grandma's Boy (Kevin Nash) (2006)
53% -- The Devil's Rejects (Diamond Dallas Page) (2005)
29% -- The Longest Yard (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, The Great Khali) (2005)
27% -- Blade: Trinity (Triple H) (2004)

Recent J-Horror Remakes:
13% -- Pulse (2006)
44% -- Dark Water (2005)
40% -- The Grudge (2004)
72% -- The Ring (2002)

Authors: Tim Ryan and Jen Yamato



Tim K

Robin Williams, come on dude - you can do better.

Oct 12 - 05:53 PM


**** off

[b]Are we doing a "Guess The Tomatometer?"[/b]
I predict The Marine will get a 10%, possibly lower. The Grudge 2 will get close the the score of the original, around 38%. It'll be #1 at the box office, though.

Oct 12 - 06:04 PM


David Gonzalez

Grudge 2- 21%
The Marine- 15%

Oct 12 - 06:36 PM


TJ O'Neill

I've got Grudge 2 topping out at 16%, while The Marine will be lucky to beat 13%.


Oct 12 - 08:32 PM


gerke kleinsmit

[b]why make grudge 2 (evrybody wants to see saw3 anyw[/b]
the grudge 2 will be compared to the original and it's predecessor and it will not be able to top them and get a much lower rating then number 1. it looks better made then the wicker man and will have more scares so that will keep the figure from faling too much but in the end it will be lucky if it can keep 22%. the marine looks to be nothing special (and i think it's not intended to be tongue in cheek, like the transporter, so it will hurt the ratings a lot) and will stick to 08%.

grudge 2 - 22%
marine - 08%

Oct 13 - 01:42 AM


Brian Lorenzo

ok , guess the tomatometer time!!!!!

The Grudge 2: 12%

The Marine 20%. I think it would do bettter than the first WWE flick because it's action, so it dosen't have standards to live by, as opposed to horror movies.

Oct 13 - 08:26 AM


mynameis mynameis

The Grudge 2 10%

The Marine 6% but critics will admit it was a damn funny movie.

Oct 13 - 09:08 AM


David Goldman

The Marine looked like a cheesy throwback to Cold-War era action films- I will probably see it-"Red Dawn" is still one of the funniest movies ever made

Robin Williams just can not get a break in the comedy world, but then this a guy who still think OJ jokes are funny, relevent material

Oct 13 - 11:17 AM


Adam Collins

The Marine looks like a throwback to the 80s action movies of Stallone, Segal, Van Damme, and Carl Weathers. You can't blame them for maing it. It only cost a few million, $12 I think. So, profitable, probably. Blockbuster, not a chance. 20% and it will have a hard time reaching the top 5 for the weekend.

Grudge 2, lucky to break 24% But then again, horror movies are not typically liked by critics, but they do well in box office. I mean, come on, it is Friday the 13th, why not release a horror movie. Will be number 1.

Oct 13 - 11:31 AM


filmboy O'Bryant

Flags of our fathers is getting bad WOM and Bad reviews. To bad. i was looking forward to that film. I just half to see The Last king Of Scotland. It comes out wide next week. The Grudge 2 will be number until Saw 3 comes out.

Oct 13 - 12:46 PM

Unbreakable Samurai

Unbreakable Samurai

I still want to see Flags of Our Fathers, and The Last King of Scotland. There is no way that The Grudge 2 will be able to beat all four new releases next week, your nuts. I don't really care about any of the new wide releases, so I think I'll just go see Texas Chainsaw for the 13th instead.

Oct 14 - 10:57 AM

Unbreakable Samurai

Unbreakable Samurai

I still want to see Flags of Our Fathers, and The Last King of Scotland. There is no way that The Grudge 2 will be able to beat all four new releases next week, your nuts. I don't really care about any of the new wide releases, so I think I'll just go see Texas Chainsaw for the 13th instead.

Oct 14 - 10:57 AM

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