Critical Consensus: Zombies and Witches and Cars, Oh My!

This week?s three wide releases have some things in common: they?re all updates of stuff we?ve seen before, and they all deal with the supernatural. Which will cast a spell over the critics: a car that can love, a witch, or thoughtful, perceptive (but still bloodthirsty) zombies?

George A. Romero?s "Night of the Living Dead" is one of the masterworks of modern horror films, a movie so copied and so influential that, like "2001" or "Metropolis," it may be difficult to fully understand a world without it. Romero?s subsequent "Dead" works, "Dawn of the Dead" and "Day of the Dead," have maintained a level of quality and integrity where other horror series have retreated to camp and gore. "Land of the Dead," which depicts a bleak future of class conflict and zombies who can think and communicate, is winning high praise in some circles, but at 40 percent, the majority of critics feel it?s a step down for one of the genre?s masters.

Another week, another TV remake: "Bewitched," starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, avoids some of the pratfalls of recent rehashings by adding a self-reflexive, show-within-a-film plotline, but it?s still basically the story of a witch who gets married to an average Joe. Actually, ?average? is a good adjective in this case; critics are less than, ahem, bewitched by this one, with only 36 percent under its spell. The plot involves a pompous actor?s attempt to restart his career by starring in an update of "Bewitched." Hilarity ensues when the actress who takes the Elizabeth Montgomery role is actually a witch. Or rather, occasional hilarity ensues.

From "Turbo Teen" to "Knight Rider" to the forthcoming "Cars," it?s clear that Americans have a thing for anthropomorphizing their fictional automobiles. And one of the original attempts to do this (excepting such non-classics as "My Mother the Car," of course) was "Herbie the Love Bug." Well, that loveable VW is back in "Herbie: Fully Loaded," starring Disney remake queen Lindsay Lohan. At 43 percent on the Tomatometer, there?s a reason the movie isn?t being called "Fully Lauded." Critics say while this tale of rescuing the famed bug from the scrap heap and taking on NASCAR might appeal to kids (really little kids), there?s not a whole lot under the hood, it?s low on gas, parents could use a pit stop from this juvenilia, insert auto maintenance cliché here.

Other "Dead" movies by George A. Romero:
86% - Day of the Dead
100% - Dawn of the Dead
100% - Night of the Living Dead

Comments

jeanfc

Jean Francois Cormier

I think this week's new films might have something else in common - they all suck the big one.

Jun 23 - 06:25 PM

South_park300

First Last

No, Land of the Dead will rock. Right now, its 1% away from being fresh, and thats good for any horror movie, and plus it will probably raise a little more I hope. A few early bad reviews from sources I have never heard of makes me laugh.

Jun 23 - 07:34 PM

the_game

Jett Burr

I hope Land is good. But Zombies using weapons and communicating? It puts me off a little. If anything, Romero can pull it off.

Jun 23 - 07:42 PM

South_park300

First Last

im sure by "communicating" it will be sort of like grunts like how animals communicate. and zombies have used tools in the previous "dead" movies so the next step up is using them as weapons.


...im such a geek lol

Jun 23 - 07:53 PM

Matthias

Matt Nieminski

yes yes you are but at least your fighting the good fight in order to make Land of The Dead A success

Jun 23 - 08:02 PM

the_game

Jett Burr

Well if you're referring to 'Bub', then yeah they've communcated before, but I thought the whole 'training Bub' angle of Day was a bit stupid. One zombie being smart as a once off it ok, but all of them sounds stupid. If theyr'e 'communicating' via grunts etc how you've put it, then that sounds ok I guess.

Jun 23 - 10:21 PM

Matthias

Matt Nieminski

yes yes you are but at least your fighting the good fight in order to make Land of The Dead A success

Jun 23 - 08:02 PM

Akuza

Brett Williston

Enough about Land of the Dead, just the sheer mention of Turbo Teen puts into a nostalgic mood next to none. When Micheal Bay is finished with Transformers, hopefully someone will bring back the 80's marvel Turbo Teen to the big screen.

Or am I the only one that remembers/cares?

Jun 23 - 10:07 PM

the_game

Jett Burr

Well if you're referring to 'Bub', then yeah they've communcated before, but I thought the whole 'training Bub' angle of Day was a bit stupid. One zombie being smart as a once off it ok, but all of them sounds stupid. If theyr'e 'communicating' via grunts etc how you've put it, then that sounds ok I guess.

Jun 23 - 10:21 PM

Scott Weinberg

Scott Weinberg

Heh. I just posted my (positive) review, so hopefully my vote will bump the flick from 59% to 60. ;)

Jun 23 - 11:29 PM

getluv

D White

go land of the dead.

I looked at Bewitched, and if you were to count all the C, C+, 2/4, 2.5/4, 2.5/4, 5/10 reviews as fresh, it would be over 90%! But i think it looks good. I feel like some comedy.

Herbie, is crap.

Jun 24 - 12:42 AM

South_park300

First Last

Land is at 67% right now! I knew it would make it to fresh!

Jun 24 - 07:51 AM

lwilson85

Laine Wilson

[b]Like I Care[/b]
What the hell? You think I'm going to read all this shit? Y'all are so dreaming,. I know y'all are thinking that I shouldnt have clicked on the forum thingy if I didn't want to read it, but what the hell? I wanted to bitch! :-D I'm done now. lalalal...

Jun 24 - 11:57 AM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

[b]What?![/b]
It's now 71%. What a turnaround.

Jun 24 - 01:35 PM

skletonkee

Nicholas Hatten

[b]41%?[/b]
wow...i just figured you had mixed Yes' numbers for Dead...


;)

Jun 24 - 05:25 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, pretty amazing. Usually, it goes from good to bad, but this went the other way.

Jun 24 - 05:34 PM

skletonkee

Nicholas Hatten

[b]41%?[/b]
wow...i just figured you had mixed Yes' numbers for Dead...


;)

Jun 24 - 05:25 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, pretty amazing. Usually, it goes from good to bad, but this went the other way.

Jun 24 - 05:34 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, pretty amazing. Usually, it goes from good to bad, but this went the other way.

Jun 24 - 05:34 PM

Reel 2/Dialogue 2

Jar Jar Binks

Shouldn't those [i]Dead[/i] ratings be adjusted for inflation and overseas numbers? :)

Jun 25 - 06:24 AM

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