Critical Consensus: "Nativity" Is Too Safe; "Turistas" Not Worth Trip

This week at the movies, we've got a new take on the first Noel ("The Nativity Story," starring Keisha Castle-Hughes), endangered Americans in Brazil ("Turistas," starring Melissa George), and a hard partying expat ("Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj," starring Kal Penn). What do the critics have to say?

It may be based on The Greatest Story Ever Told, but critics say "The Nativity Story" is hardly the greatest movie ever made -- or even a particularly good one. In case you need a refresher on the origins of the upcoming holiday that may be the occasion for you to receive a Playstation 3, "The Nativity Story" tells the tale of a teenager named Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) who is to give birth to the savior of mankind -- all the while dealing with political persecution and lousy hotel service. Critics say the film is too safe (strange, given director Catherine Hardwicke's previous films about remarkable young people, "Thirteen" and "Lords of Dogtown"), adding little spark to the most inspirational (and familiar) of sagas. "The Nativity Story" currently stands at 26 percent on the Tomatometer.

Mary, don't you weep.

"Turistas" continues a mini-trend in slasher films that began with "Hostel": arrogant Americans getting their comeuppance in foreign locales. In this case, a group of youngsters are terrorized in Brazil after they fall into the clutches of a mad organ harvester. While some critics have praised the film's political undertones and better-than-average tension, most say "Turistas" adds little to a stale genre. At 38 percent on the Tomatometer, this tourist trap may be worth avoiding.

"Turistas": Return I won't to old Brazil.

"Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" was not screened for critics, which may indicate that it has the potential to sink like a stone with the scribes. (The original "Van Wilder" garnered a robust 17 percent.) Guess that Tomatometer.

They may not be toasting when the reviews come out....

Opening this week in limited release: "10 Items or Less," a laid-back romance starring Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega, is at 53 percent; "3 Needles," a globe-spanning drama about the toll of the AIDS virus, is at 33 percent; and "The Architect," a tale of two families in conflict over a public housing structure, is at 33 percent.

Notable Biblical Epics:
51% -- The Passion of the Christ (2004)
80% -- The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
88% -- The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1965)
96% -- Ben Hur (1959)
91% -- The Ten Commandments (1956)

Recent Slasher Movies:
29% -- Saw III (2006)
18% -- Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
57% -- Feast (2006)
35% -- Calvaire (2006)
20% -- Mad Cowgirl (2006)



David Gonzalez

VW2- 5%

Nov 30 - 04:55 PM


lol eternity

8 percent.

Nov 30 - 05:09 PM


mynameis mynameis

VW Taj 11%

Nov 30 - 06:39 PM


Eric Wiles

14 percent

Nov 30 - 06:52 PM


Antonio Lopez

I have faith in kal penn, so I say a 7.

Nov 30 - 08:08 PM


Tyson Herritt

[b]Who else is watching Casino Royale again this week[/b]
Its National Lampoon and they haven't made a good movie since Chevy Chase was sober. I think it might get a 25%. I think I'm shooting a bit high. But I don't think its gonna be totally horrible. Because Bloodrayne was a 7% or something like that.

Nov 30 - 10:01 PM


gerke kleinsmit

VW taj: some will review this one in the light of what it is, so it will not be slaughtered by them. but most will kill it.

tomato meter will give 2% (3 out of 60)

Dec 1 - 02:25 AM


Eithan Smith

As long as you close your eyes and cover your ears each time Tara Reid is onscreen, the orginal VW is not THAT bad, esp. when compared to other recent Lampoons. I say Taj gets a 9%, but for these kind of movies I hardly find the 'meter appropriate in choosing whether or not to watch it.

Dec 1 - 06:56 AM


TJ O'Neill

Van Wilder 2 pulls down a 9% if its lucky.

Dec 1 - 07:41 AM

Unbreakable Samurai

Unbreakable Samurai

VW2-17% same as the first.

Dec 1 - 12:33 PM


Bernard Ozarowski


Dec 1 - 01:12 PM


Sean Ludwig

The Rise of Taj: 6% if it's lucky. I still dig Kal Penn's comedy style though.

Dec 1 - 01:28 PM


Nogard64 64

Should I watch 3 needles? I dunno I still cant get over Chloe chomping down on that dudes wang and made it in to a meal! haha

Dec 1 - 02:24 PM


Brian Lorenzo

VW2: ill say 1%, because thats what alone in the dark got and they are on the same level of material, right next to the dump i took this morning.

Dec 1 - 03:51 PM


Antonio Lopez

hahaha...ahhh I was in a shitty mood but leave it to the Rt forums to lighten up my day!

Dec 1 - 08:22 PM


Antonio Lopez

hahaha...ahhh I was in a shitty mood but leave it to the Rt forums to lighten up my day!

Dec 1 - 08:22 PM


First Last

whats sad is that eventhough VW2 is not getting any good reviews, it will still probably make more money than Tenacious D.

dammit people, go see TENACIOUS D!

Dec 2 - 10:10 PM

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