By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 23, 2011 at 4:02AM
3 films opening this weekend that we've covered because they involve black talent, whether in front of, or behind the camera...
My feelings towards Machine Gun Preacher are already well-documented, so I won't rehash (trying to keep the trolls away for a bit). Abduction, directed by John Singleton, doesn't deserve your $13, and it looks like my feelings towards it match other critics/reviewers who've seen it. According to Rottentomatoes.com, based on the 34 reviews submitted thus far, Abduction scores a 6% rating. 6%!!! That has to be near some kind of record for a film this high-profile.
The consensus: "A soulless and incompetent action/thriller that not even a veteran lead actor could save, let alone Taylor Lautner."
That about sums it up for me. Sorry Mr Singleton.
Although, the studio and John are already talking franchise for Lautner, meaning, if this does well at the box office, expect to see Abduction 2. And based on the fact that the film enjoys a 78% audience rating, also according to RottenTomatoes.com (showing that disconnect between critics and audiences once again), I expect Abduction to open at #1 this weekend. How well it does after that, who knows. Word of mouth could kill it. But we'll see.
Keep in mind this is John Singleton's first big screen directing gig since 2005 - 6 long years ago. Cha-ching, I guess.
As for Machine Gun Preacher, its RottenTomatoes.com rating isn't much better; currently, after 31 reviews submitted, it's at a 16% rating. Not good at all.
Consensus: "There's a complex man at the center of Machine Gun Preacher but the movie is too shapeless and emotionally vacant to bring his story to life."
By the way, Monique interviewed co-star of Machine Gun Preacher Souléymane Sy Savane, and they discussed the concerns that many of us have expressed with regards to films of this nature. It's worth reading HERE.
A film that could really use your $13 is the Jamie Foxx-exec produced documentary Thunder Soul, which "follows the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band, who return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old Conrad “Prof” Johnson, their beloved band leader who broke the color barrier and transformed the school’s struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s."
The film's RottenTomatoes.com rating so far? 100% with 10 reviews in! Let me say that again, 100%!
The award-winning film debuts in New York this weekend, and will open in additional theaters beginning on October 7, 2011.
So, New Yorkers, you're encouraged to see it. The rest of you, hopefully you'll get an opportunity in coming weeks...
Here's its trailer again: