Have you ever loved a movie that wasn’t screened for critics?
Has there ever been a movie that wasn’t screened for critics that you gave a positive review to? —Oliver
That’s a highly relevant question in 2006, when the studios made what seemed like a collective decision to screen less of their third-tier product — or, at least, less of it than ever before. The challenge for critics, who often get their panties in a bunch when a movie isn’t screened for them, is to attend that film, usually on opening weekend, without prejudice. I saw several unscreened films this year I gave positive, if qualified, reviews to, like The Benchwarmers, a pretty funny entry in the slob-nerd genre, and Madea’s Family Reunion, which had the purplish empathy of Hollywood women’s pictures. Before that, I dug Jackass the Movie, which didn’t dare screen for critics (though Jackass Number Two did — go figure). To me, though, one movie stands as the Citizen Kane of films that never screened for critics, and that’s the tensely rousing, still unappreciated Steven Seagal B-movie gem Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.
(Got a question for Owen or Lisa? Post it here.)