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January 14, 2009

Overripe fruit from Rotten Tomatoes


Let's skip right to the bottom, shall we, because is there any need, really, to tell everybody that critics at Rotten Tomatoes loved (loved!) "WALL-E," "The Dark Knight," "Iron Man," "Kung Fu Panda" and "Tropic Thunder?"

Much more fun to see in cold-hard-number detail what they hated in 2008.

Those flicks have been pelted by Moldy Tomatoes by the go-to review aggregator, as opposed to the 10th Annual Golden Tomato Awards that "WALL-E" and its ilk have won. Too-bad-to-be-good movies include four that ranked 0% on the famous Tomatometer, but only one could be deemed the worst of the worst. That's "One Missed Call" (pictured above), causing Larry the Cable guy and his "Witless Protection" (at No. 4) to no doubt cry foul. (There's still chance for a Razzie! Keep hope alive, dude!)

The cellar-dweller 10 contains -- shock! -- the video game-based medieval mess and Razzie party favor, "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale," saying it featured "mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue and shoddy production values" and, for the final kick in the solar plexus, "it fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film." (And for those of you, like us, who may want to throw his name around in vain, it's pronounced oo-vay).

Biggerstrongerfaster_galleryposter The well-trafficked Rotten Tomatoes has a number of categories for its year-end tallies, including wide release, drama, family, sci-fi/fantasy and romance that could serve as a guide for the next trip to the video store or the VOD channels.

At the top of the limited release category sits "Man on Wire," a spellbinding documentary about the wacky Frenchman Phillippe Petit and his highly illegal 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers. It scored 100%, and it's on a major awards roll right now. Oscar, here it comes!

On the other hand, the Golden Tomato picks put the spotlight on films that may not be Serious Awards Contenders or even boxoffice hits. A largely overlooked doc, "Bigger, Stronger, Faster," made the best-of list (with a 97% favorable Tomato rating), and we can only hope such an endorsement will spur movie fans to seek out the pointed and poignant tale of steroids set against one family's doping experiences.

Go here for the full Tomato treatment.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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