Critical Consensus: "Jackass" Kicks; "King" Is Dethroned; "Fearless" Is Action-Packed; "Flyboys" Is Grounded

This week at the movies, we've got antisocial behavior ("Jackass: Number Two," with Johnny Knoxville and the gang), hell-raising politicos ("All The King's Men," starring Sean Penn), fearless warriors ("Fearless," starring Jet Li), and flying aces ("Flyboys," starring James Franco). What do the critics have to say?

For some, the perilous, grotesque antics of the "Jackass" posse offer inarguable proof of America's cultural decline, if not a bellwether of the Apocalypse. For others (Critical Consensus included)... well, what can I say? Wasabi snooters? Off-road tattoo? Gets me every time. Now, Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O and the rest are back with "Jackass: Number Two," a film that promises to be as puerile as its title. But guess what? It's getting pretty good reviews! The critics say this latest collection of stoopid stunts and bad behavior maintains a certain warped integrity in addition to its sophomoric laughs. At 64 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Jackass" may be worth a ride, provided you can stomach this stuff. And it's better-reviewed than its predecessor (49 percent).


I want those #&^%@* snakes out of this #&^%@* ball crawl!

"All The King's Men" has everything that makes for a compelling movie. It's got a great cast (Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Anthony Hopkins, among others). It's based on a great novel (by Robert Penn Warren). It's got great cinematography. Unfortunately, critics say, the superlatives end there. Loosely based on the life of populist Louisiana Governor Huey "The Kingfish" Long, "All The King's Men" tells the story of a small town rabble-rouser's ascent in politics and descent into shady morality. Critics say the film is too bombastic to work, with too many vague characters and an over-the-top performance from Penn. The film received a muted reception in Toronto; it currently stands at 15 percent on the Tomatometer. And it's well below the 1949 Oscar-winning original film (94 percent).


Sean Penn makes Howard Dean seem pretty chill.

Jet Li has come to personify a specific film subgenre: the historical martial arts epic. "Hero" and the "Once Upon a Time in China" movies were marked by sweeping visuals and Li's remarkable athleticism. But the star says he's no longer making that type of picture; if that's the case, critics say "Fearless" makes for one heck of a swan song. The film tells the tale of a great martial arts master who looks inward after succumbing to his own ego and the murder of his family. The scribes say "Fearless" is quite a show, with remarkable action sequences and an interesting philosophical undercurrent. "Fearless" is currently at 70 percent on the Tomatometer. And it's Li's third consecutive fresh American release, following "Unleashed" (68 percent) and "Hero" (94 percent).


"Fearless": I had no idea people wore baseball hats in China in the early 1900s!

"Flyboys" tells an old-fashioned tale of courage and heroism with the latest in CG technology; unfortunately, critics say, the technology ends up overshadowing everything else. The film tells the story of a group of Americans who volunteered to fly in WWI alongside the French. According to the critics, "Paths of Glory" this ain't; they note that the CG effects are excellent, and the dogfights are exciting, but the story and the characters are far less involving. At 37 percent on the Tomatometer, "Flyboys" doesn't soar.


"And another thing... None of you better be making any wisecracks about 'The Pink Panther!'"

Also in theaters this week in limited release: "American Hardcore," a documentary about the life and death of the louder-faster punk rock style, is at 100 percent; "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros," a coming of age tale set in Manila, is at 100 percent; "Jesus Camp," a documentary about evangelical Christian campers, is at 93 percent; "Old Joy," a meditative tale of eroding friendship starring indie darling Will Oldham, is at 88 percent; "Solo Con Tu Pareja," the debut of "Y Tu Mama Tambien" helmer Alfonso Cuaron, is at 80 percent; "The Science of Sleep," Michel Gondry's latest head trip starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg, is at 69 percent; the "Project Greenlight"- approved horror flick "Feast" is at 57 percent; and "Renaissance," a visually remarkable French noir, is at 50 percent.


"I wish I could be as carefree and wild/ But I got cat class and I got cat style."

Recent Johnny Knoxville Movies:
-----------------------------------------
41% -- The Ringer (2005)
0% -- Daltry Calhoun (2005)
15% -- The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
54% -- Lords of Dogtown (2005)
52% -- A Dirty Shame (2004)

Recent Jet Li Movies:
-----------------------------
68% -- Unleashed (2005)
94% -- Hero (2004)
26% -- Cradle 2 the Grave (2003)
14% -- The One (2001)
49% -- Kiss of the Dragon (2001)

Recent Dean Deviln-Produced Movies:
-------------------------------------------------
90% -- Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)
54% -- Cellular (2004)
47% -- Eight Legged Freaks (2002)
61% -- The Patriot (2000)
25% -- Godzilla (1998)

Comments

daycare

chris mark

Jackass will be number 1. Grindiron gang will be number 2 because of good word of mouth. Fearless will be number 3 and than Flyboys at number 5. I hope all the kings men make it in at 80. that movie was bad. Just like The Black Dahlia.

Sep 21 - 06:32 PM

ArmyofJuan

Juan Marable

Im surprised Jackass 2 has done so well critic wise. All the critics hated the first one, so i don't see why they would change their mind about the second. Unless they realised that Jackass serves no purpose but to make people laugh. And everyone can laugh at something in jackass. Everyone laughs when you see a home video of someone getting hit in the nuts, jackass is no different.

Sep 21 - 10:57 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

I'm actually kinda interested in seeing Flyboys because of the aerial scenes.

Sep 22 - 12:08 AM

ArmyofJuan

Juan Marable

I was conviced flyboys was dumb when they showed a guy outrunning and exploding blimp. no one can out run an exploding blimp. It's exploding..

Sep 22 - 01:59 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

He does not outrun the exploding blimp. He is a German, he is trying to run away (which I would do too) and he is caught in the explosion. I don't care what the critics say, I enjoyed this movie, as I think many people will if they give it a chance. It's not just a 90 minute joyride like the commercials make it out to be.

Sep 22 - 11:35 AM

WorldDude

Andrew Passafiume

Despite the reviews, I still want to see All The King's Men and Flyboys.

Sep 22 - 03:58 AM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

[b]There are still good films out there[/b]
For the past few weeks we have not had a single mainstream film hit 80%, and yet in the list of "other films" opening this week, 4 are at 80 or above, including two at 100%. "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros," is a great film, I saw a few months ago already, I doubt many others will, they would still rather give "Flyboys" or "All the Kings Men" a chance they probably don't deserve.
By the way, "The Science of Sleep" is a really good film, probably the best psychedelic film since "Fear and Loathing"

I predict this will be a mediocre oscar season for the studios, but a studio film will definitly still win the award, i.e "Chicago"

Sep 22 - 07:49 AM

Unbreakable Samurai

Unbreakable Samurai

I'm still going to go see All the King's Men even with all the crappy reviews, it looks better than anthing else my small city has playing this week. I really want to see The Science of Sleep, which looks damn good, if it really is even close to the best psychedelic film since Fear and Loathing than I will love it. Plus Gondry is awsome.

Sep 22 - 10:25 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

He does not outrun the exploding blimp. He is a German, he is trying to run away (which I would do too) and he is caught in the explosion. I don't care what the critics say, I enjoyed this movie, as I think many people will if they give it a chance. It's not just a 90 minute joyride like the commercials make it out to be.

Sep 22 - 11:35 AM

JBourne

**** off

I'm kind of glad All The King's Men is getting bad reviews, just because of Sean Penn. That guy bugs the shit out of me. Jackass Number Two will be in the top spot this weekend, no matter what the critics say about it. I'd like to see The Science of Sleep somewhere in the top five, but I kinda doubt people will check it out. It's dvd sales will probably be good, like Eternal Sunshine.

Sep 22 - 01:24 PM

RawIsRamsey

Jonathan Ramsey

Jackass will be at #1 (the original debuted at #1 and people STILL love this shit), Gridiron Gang at #2 (good word-of-mouth + The Rock), Flyboys at #3 (Franco fangirls only!), All The Kings Men at #4 (cause old people love Sean Penn), and Fearless at #5 (cause Jet Li can't have a hit movie).

Sep 22 - 03:18 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

'Jet Li can't have a hit movie.' What are you talking about? The guy opened everyone of his films. On average, his films open to $15M+. That's about the same as The Rock. There aren't that many actors who are that consistent.

Sep 22 - 03:47 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

The guy has somewhat of a point, just technically wrong. Jet Li's film usually open well, they get real hyped up and people get excited to go see them. But, like in the case of "The One", the films are so bad that word-of-mouth quickly diminishes there box-office; or like "Hero", where even though the film was great, after the first week people realized the film was in Mandarin, and no mainstream audience wants to see a subtitled film, unless ofcourse it shows Jesus being tortured for 2 hours

Sep 23 - 12:04 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, that's true, but we're talking about this weekend's top five. And according to Friday's estimates, "Fearless" will be number two behind Jackass. In Hero's defense, it was number one for two weeks, which was more leggy than most of Jet Li's American releases.

Sep 23 - 03:05 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

'Jet Li can't have a hit movie.' What are you talking about? The guy opened everyone of his films. On average, his films open to $15M+. That's about the same as The Rock. There aren't that many actors who are that consistent.

Sep 22 - 03:47 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

The guy has somewhat of a point, just technically wrong. Jet Li's film usually open well, they get real hyped up and people get excited to go see them. But, like in the case of "The One", the films are so bad that word-of-mouth quickly diminishes there box-office; or like "Hero", where even though the film was great, after the first week people realized the film was in Mandarin, and no mainstream audience wants to see a subtitled film, unless ofcourse it shows Jesus being tortured for 2 hours

Sep 23 - 12:04 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, that's true, but we're talking about this weekend's top five. And according to Friday's estimates, "Fearless" will be number two behind Jackass. In Hero's defense, it was number one for two weeks, which was more leggy than most of Jet Li's American releases.

Sep 23 - 03:05 PM

Mikeal420

David Goldman

The guy has somewhat of a point, just technically wrong. Jet Li's film usually open well, they get real hyped up and people get excited to go see them. But, like in the case of "The One", the films are so bad that word-of-mouth quickly diminishes there box-office; or like "Hero", where even though the film was great, after the first week people realized the film was in Mandarin, and no mainstream audience wants to see a subtitled film, unless ofcourse it shows Jesus being tortured for 2 hours

Sep 23 - 12:04 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, that's true, but we're talking about this weekend's top five. And according to Friday's estimates, "Fearless" will be number two behind Jackass. In Hero's defense, it was number one for two weeks, which was more leggy than most of Jet Li's American releases.

Sep 23 - 03:05 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, that's true, but we're talking about this weekend's top five. And according to Friday's estimates, "Fearless" will be number two behind Jackass. In Hero's defense, it was number one for two weeks, which was more leggy than most of Jet Li's American releases.

Sep 23 - 03:05 PM

killermonkey8822

Joey Chid

i wanna see jackass number two so bad, anyway yeah i saw fearless tonight and i thought it was pretty good, i would probably go a second time as well, i also liked it's length, not to long, not to short either

Sep 24 - 12:08 AM

sheritraes

k s

fearless is definately worth a watch..guys go n watch it once before u have a word about it..watched it twice n loved it very much..it's one of such rare breed of martial art films which gives some sense.....jet li - top notch, this guy can act as well!!!

Sep 24 - 01:00 AM

South_park300

First Last

jackass was pretty hilarious. definately disgusting, but what do you expect?


...first time i've dry heaved during a movie

Sep 24 - 07:04 PM

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