In 2005 I found myself in a major rut in regards to reporting news on the site, writing reviews and just movies in general and I attribute it to one thing and one thing alone… BAD MOVIES!!!
I thought 2005 was a horrible year for movies. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We had big strides made as far as filmmaking goes with such films as Brokeback Mountain and Transamerica, a couple of films that would never have been made or even considered 10 years ago. I did, however, enjoy a few films from last year, if you are interested in those click here, but more importantly are those films that made me cringe.
The ten films I mentioned in my Worst Of article really sent me on a downward spiral, especially such films as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I had really been looking forward to. Fortunately, this year, studios are saving us from reviewing these films by not even screening them at all!
Thanks to a New York Post article by their resident reviewer Lou Lumenick we get a complete rundown of the situation as he points out that in 2005 studios held a total of seven movies from critics… The point of this being that two months into 2006 studios have already kept critics from reviewing eight films. Based on that count 48 movies will be missing the wrath of reviewers and I say, “Thank You!”
So far this year films such as Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion, Hostel and Doogal have chosen to be released without critics screening them in advance. Now, the Post mentions that eight films were not reviewed by critics, but the only other films that weren’t screened here in Seattle, that I can think of, were BloodRayne and London, which makes my count five. I am sure Lou is also considering Underworld: Evolution and When a Stranger Calls in his count, but those two films were screened here the night before their release, even though I chose to skip Stranger.
What does all this mean? Well, Tom Ortenberg, president of Madea distributor Lionsgate, told The Post, “We are not going to spend $50,000 for the privilege of negative reviews for a film that isn’t going to be affected by them.”
Taking that quote into consideration I can’t believe that Madea’s Family Reunion would have finished first this past weekend if it had scored a 0% over at RottenTomatoes.com. Granted, negative reviews don’t matter as much as positive reviews (I can’t see Brokeback Mountain doing $75 million in business without all the positive reviews, awards and word of mouth), but I have to think that a negative review for films like Madea would have caused some consumers to wait for it on DVD as opposed to spending top dollar at the box-office.
Whatever the case is I am more than happy to not have the option to see bad movies, it keeps my spirits high. On top of that I do believe that films like Hostel, Underworld and When a Stranger Calls don’t need reviews to be successful. The demand for genre films is far too high for negative reviews to affect those.
I do have to wonder though, how many of you out there actually take reviews into consideration if you were already anticipating a film. Personally bad reviews don’t affect me and they sometimes encourage me to see a film. If some uppity critic sees a gorefest like Hostel and rips it a new one I am more than happy to give it my time and money to get what the movie promises.
To read Lou’s full article click here.