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Solar Systems And Movie Weekends...The World Is Comming To An End...GWHIII

May 23rd, 2003

It’s very difficult now a days, to hone in on a movie that is worth spending your hard earned dollars on, and twice as difficu

Solar Systems And Movie Weekends

 

It’s very difficult these days to find a movie that is worth spending your time and hard earned dollars on, and twice as difficult when both seem to be consistently evaporating…As a young married adult with two children and as the sole provider in my family, finding an in-law that is free to baby sit on any given weekend, on a day I am not working on my lawn, house or an article for this site, during a pay week that I can actually squeeze a dollar or two from my budget…ALL so that I can grab a bucket of popcorn and catch a flick with the wife, is tantamount to every planet in our solar system coming into alignment…and it occurs just as frequently. Loathed is the idea of going to a movie, with all the time and effort I put into it, not knowing for sure if I will enjoy my excursion despite the feature…or thanks in part because of it.  SO what do I do?  WHAT do I do?  

I USED to look to the movie critics for some guidance…once upon a time, long, long, ago, with a budget that is now far, far, away…and then I got broke…and then I got cheap…and then I got real selective…and then I came to the realization, that many of these movie critics are as qualified to review a movie as Richard Simmons is qualified to review a gentleman’s club.  Well, ok, perhaps some movie critics are MORE qualified to review films, but that doesn’t mean I should buy into what they are trying to sell me and as the Numbers will indicate, these sentiments aren’t uniquely my own.  When you get right to it, we probably shouldn’t put much stock into what most movie critics have to say, about ANY movie!  But please, let me explain where I’m coming from with this…

 

The World Is Coming To An End!

 

Alright, not to frighten anyone out there because believe you me, no one was more shocked than I…but last Sunday, me and the wife pulled off the ever elusive, self made, double feature…we saw X2 and Matrix Reloaded in the same afternoon.  No, the world isn’t coming to an end…well not that I know of anyway…and the last I checked, all of the planets won’t be coming into alignment until approximately 2468…AND I just recently visited with my mother in-law and her house was a warm 72 Degrees F, so no, Hell did not freeze over either...but we did it all the same, we saw two movies in a single afternoon and “WE LOVED IT”!  As a matter of fact, we couldn’t decide on which movie we enjoyed more.  And if two great flicks weren’t enough, I decided to give myself a reprieve for the afternoon and went off my diet...”Man oh man I love the smell of movie theaters in the morning…It smells like…Jiffy Pop!”..  Best of all…I spent little more than 4 hours with my wife… in close quarters…WITHOUT getting into an argument…and why not…after all we had no reason to even talk during this time…ah yes, what a splendid afternoon it was….  BUT it almost never came to be…thanks in part to so called professional critics.

 

The Pros and Their Scores

 

I am reprinting segments from MSN’s critic collection on the two movies I just saw last Sunday.  I would have to say that MSN has compiled some of the most mainstream and most read movie critics in the US.  They include the likes of Roger Ebert, formally of Siskel and Ebert, and Elvis Mitchel of the NY Times.  I think there is some interesting data here in the form of 2 movies with 2 different scores.

 

X2 (List and Quotes Collected by MSN Entertainment)

 

Critics' Reviews

 

Report Card

Overall Grade: B

Source

Quote from the review

Grade

Chicago Tribune
Michael Wilmington

"Gifted director Bryan Singer ('The Usual Suspects') seems to be having fun with the material instead of being overwhelmed with special effects." Full Review

B

Los Angeles Times
Kenneth Turan

"Brisk and involving with a streamlined forward propulsion, it's the kind of superhero movie we want if we have to have superhero movies at all." Full Review

A-

MSNBC
David Germain

"The first film intellectualized and moralized more about human bigotry, whereas 'X2' is the cinematic equivalent of a comic, thin on the sociological conflict, heavy on gunplay and hand-to-hand combat." Full Review

B

New York Times
A.O. Scott

"'X2'... honors both the allegorical grandiosity of [its] source and the moods and anxieties of the superpower-endowed individuals who inhabit its universe." Full Review

B

Village Voice
J. Hoberman

"The movie is funny, reasonably crazy, and unpretentiously faithful to its source." Full Review

B

 

Matrix: Reloaded (List and Quotes Collected by MSN Entertainment)

 

Critics' Reviews

 

Report Card

Overall Grade: C+

Source

Quote from the review

Grade

Chicago Sun-Times
Roger Ebert

"It is an immensely skillful sci-fi adventure, combining the usual elements: heroes and villains, special effects and stunts, chases and explosions, romance and oratory." Full Review

A-

Chicago Tribune
Mark Caro

"Although the technical aspects don't disappoint, the human ones do. Action scenes can't be heart-stopping if the story hasn't gotten your ticker going to begin with." Full Review

C-

Los Angeles Times
Kenneth Turan

"If a concept is to sustain itself over a multipart story, it must make an emotional connection, and this 'Reloaded,' especially with stars cast for their lack of affect and affinity for blankness, cannot do that." Full Review

C

MSNBC
Kirk Honeycutt

"The Wachowskis may have… started to believe in their own semimythological status, for the brothers seem to be taking themselves way too seriously." Full Review

C-

New York Times
Elvis Mitchell

"[The Wachowski brothers] relentless love of movies, junk-food mythology and thoughtful reimagining of a future endangered by mass consumption and proliferation of pleasure to the point of soullessness makes for a heady and unusual mix." Full Review

B-

Slate
David Edelstein

"'The Matrix Reloaded' is as messy and flat-footed as its predecessor is nimble and shapely. It's an ugly, bloated, repetitive movie that builds to a punch line that should have come an hour earlier (at least)." Full Review

D

 

 

 

 

 

Now color me objective, but I am not even quite sure how to read ratings like this.  I mean, in high school, a B was great, and I was appreciative of the grade when ever my gym teacher gave it…that coupled with my long term love affair with Marvel Comics, going to see Xmen 2: Xmen United was a no-brainer.  As far as the C+ that The Matrix sequel received, well…for me…in high school a C meant that I didn’t get a D which was all to close to an F or that horrible new-fangled E which was like the F but with the possibility of Summer school present.  All things being equal though, I assumed that here, a C+ might not be worth my time.  Worse yet, I sincerely considered THESE ratings in particular, before replacing pork chops with pasta on my grocery list just so I could fund last Sundays movie excursion.  Thankfully, The Matrix was such a great experience the first time around that I decided to go with my gut instinct and saw Reloaded anyway.  I again traded down on a grocery item…the pasta for soup, and went for the double header.  No disappointments here…and based on the scores you Numbers readers gave both these movies…you all whole heartedly agreed!

 

The Numbers Raters-Get It Right

 

Below are the ratings readers of the The-Numbers gave to both X2: X-Men United and The Matrix: Reloaded.  Here is a break down of how you all rated the two flicks as of 5/19/2003.

 

Movie Rating Breakdown for X2: X-Men 2

Votes: 105 Average Rating: 8.48

10:

( 46.67%)

9:

( 20.00%)

8:

( 18.10%)

7:

( 4.76%)

6:

( 0.00%)

5:

( 1.90%)

4:

( 0.95%)

3:

( 0.95%)

2:

( 0.00%)

1:

( 6.67%)


Ratings by Age Group

Under 18:

( 4 votes, 7.50 rating)

18 to 24:

( 24 votes, 9.00 rating)

25 to 34:

( 17 votes, 8.59 rating)

35 to 44:

( 9 votes, 9.22 rating)

45 to 54:

( 1 vote, 8.00 rating)

55 to 64:

( 1 vote, 1.00 rating)

 

For the most up to date ratings, just click here!

 

Movie Rating Breakdown for Matrix Reloaded, The

Votes: 83 Average Rating: 8.67

10:

( 55.42%)

9:

( 16.87%)

8:

( 13.25%)

7:

( 2.41%)

6:

( 2.41%)

5:

( 2.41%)

Source: www.msn.com; www.rottentomatoes.com; www.the-numbers.com