Depending on whether or not you’re a calendar purist, this coming weekend is either the first weekend of summer movies or merely the weekend right before the summer truly begins; either way, there are two big releases coming up in the forms of Toy Story 3 and Jonah Hex.
The two aren’t exactly in direct competition — most young children wouldn’t be able to handle the sight of Jonah Hex/Josh Brolin’s facial scar, much less Megan Fox’s acting — but the gulf between the two movies in terms of the reviews they’re getting is shaping up to be an event unto itself: In short, Toy Story 3 has been getting great reviews, and Jonah Hex has been getting reviews so awful, we wonder if it’s the next horrible cult movie in the making.Currently, Toy Story 3 has a 100% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a “very favorable” 87% rating on Metacritic, making it the best-rated film currently in wide release; meanwhile, Jonah Hex has a Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever-like 00% “fresh” Rotten Tomatoes rating and an awful 27% rating on Metacritic.
With that in mind, guess which movie the following review snippet applies to: Answers at the end.
1. The Playlist:
Its incoherence, its clear contempt for physics, logic, human behavior, story structure, or even naked spectacle are partly the result of someone … who shouldn’t be allowed to direct traffic on a one-way street, crippled even further by the maddeningly dada edits provided by a few studio butchers people should hide the silverware from.
The film never lets banter, visual gags, or the usual manic … running about interfere with its more delicately handled thoughts on loyalty, longing, broken relationships, and generational continuity. It honestly earns its emotion, moment by painstakingly executed moment.
The 81 minutes (including credits) of … footage that made it to the screen look like something assembled under a tight deadline, and possibly under the influence. One flashback makes three appearances. A fight scene with no dreamlike elements, apart from a sky tinted red in post-production, repeatedly appears as a dream sequence. A chunk of [either Jonah Hex’s or Woody’s] origin is told by way of animation for no apparent reason. Narration comes and goes. Whole elements, like [Jonah Hex’s or Woody’s] supernatural powers and [Megan Fox’s or Bo Peep’s] prostitute-in-distress, could disappear without anyone noticing. And that’s without even mentioning the Native American village that shows up at random.
It’s easily the best film of the summer so far … if not the entire year.
[Jonah Hex or Toy Story 3] is a salute to the magic of making believe.
In what is possibly a confused stab at allegory, [Jonah Hex or Woody] finds himself trying to prevent [John Malkovich or Emperor Zurg] from blowing up the Capitol Building with a Super Weapon. In scenes set in the Oval Office, the U.S. President is concerned by this threat by [John Malkovich or Emperor Zurg], who is an embittered Confederate general, and decides that the wanted outlaw [Jonah Hex or Woody] is the only man who can prevent the plot from being carried out.
(Answers: 1: Jonah Hex. 2: Toy Story 3. 3: Jonah Hex. 4: Toy Story 3. 5. Toy Story 3. 6. Jonah Hex.)
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