Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘John Tucker Must Die’ had almost made me stop watching movies forever.  It not that ‘John Tucker’ sucked all that bad, because it didn’t.  It wasn’t that good either.  It was just there.  And therein lies the problem with the vast majority of movies that are now being released by the major studios, they simply exist.  Allow me to apologize beforehand as this is going to be one crappy ass review of ‘John Tucker must Die’ because the film left so little impact that it barely rates a review.  Go on over the and read a real, but probably no less crappy review of JTMD, if you want a breakdown and shit.

JTMD is systematic of all that’s wrong with mainstream movies flooding the theaters today, and audiences are getting pretty tired of it.  Unless, of course, it’s a Pirates of the Caribbean flick.  Why do you cats love those movie so?  In JTMD, we have a bunch of attractive, marginally talented people reading through a hacked out script that has been done a thousand times, with a predictable ending and then let the credits roll.  I’m told that for a script to be noticed in Hollywood it has to be fresh, different, cutting edge.  So are screenwriters writing these fresh, different, cutting edge scripts, submitting then to whomever you submit this stuff too, and then some executive transforms it into yet another JTMD? 

I get it.  Hollywood Studio movies are averaging over sixty million dollars to make and produce, and that doesn’t include marketing.  You drop that kind of jack, you want as close to a guaranteed investment on your return.  It’s not the 1960’s where various artist get together and decide to create something based of whatever kind of crazy idea

that may have leaped into their LSD infested brains.  Today we need safe bets.  Sequels, remakes, TV show redo’s.  Dallas, the movie is now in production.  I kid you not.  John Travolta is J.R. Ewing so I assume they’re playing it straight.  At least the wretched Starsky and Hutch had the decency to make it a spoof.  The thing is that none of these bets are safe.  Fewer people are going to the movies because so few movies are really worth seeing, and dammit, I see almost all of them.

There is also something to be said about a movie that’s really really shitty.  Let’s take Basic Instinct 2, for instance, arguably the worst movie of all time.  But you wanna know what BI2 had going for it?  It elicited some kid of response.  Sure, that response was loathing, disbelief, disgust and hatred… but it did elicit something.  And a really bad flick like BI2 gives you something to talk about once you leave the theater.  After JTMD, the audience left in silence, no one asked each other how the movie was because no one cared as they went on to their fast food destinations of choice.   But, alas, you also have bottom of the barrel flicks like ‘Stick it’, arguably the worst movie of all time, which go by a safe, generic tired formula and still suck ass.

Want to know where the best movies are coming from?  Asia.  Particularly Korea.  Chan Wook Park, director of the brutal, completely unforgiving, but uniformly excellent ‘Old Boy’ takes chances and has found great critical success.  Japan’s septuagenarian Yoji Yamada made arguably the best film of 2004 with ‘The Twilight Samurai’.  A film that focused on relationships and character and not gimmicks or remakes.  

On the evening I was to see JTMD, the adjoining theater was showing first time director Lee Daniels ‘Shadowoxer’ which by most accounts is awful and disjointed.  Regardless, I would have much rather seen that as at least it was edgy, different and took some chances, regardless of the outcome.  Okay, time to jump off this soap box and tell you if you have a date and she wants to see a movie, you can do worse than ‘John Tucker Must Die’.  I only hope in the future, you can do much better too.

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