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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

not screening for critics: the 2009 list — latest: ‘Armored,’ ‘Transylmania’

UPDATED 11.30: Just cuz it’s awards season doesn’t mean there isn’t crap to be found…

UPDATED 10.16: When will someone make a horror movie that can stand up to the critics?

UPDATED 9.21: Another horror movie, not screening for critics…

UPDATED 9.09: Two more not-at-all surprising additions to the list…

UPDATED 8.21: Shocking news! End-of-August horror movies won’t screen for critics!

UPDATED 7.26: Oh, man, this is beautiful! Paramount will not be screening G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, my rep from the studio informed me on Friday. The buzz on this one could not get any worse, could it? But never fear: If there’s midnight screenings on August 6, I will attend and report as soon as possible afterward. If no midnight screenings, then it’ll be the first show of the morning of the 7th for me, with reportage ASAP afterward. (Also: I note a total lack of Eccleston-ness at the Sydney and London press events for the film. Looks like he won’t be in Seoul, either. Good on him.)

UPDATED 7.6: Taking I Love You, Beth Cooper off the list — 20th Century Fox has relented, and will screen the movie for critics…

UPDATED 6.27: Been a while since I had to add a movie to this list. Look for it to pick up again in August, the next dumping ground…
You’ve heard me talk about this before in passing: that the big studios are, in many instances, simply not screening fims for critics before they open. The trend has gotten more pronounced in recent years, to the point where it feels like almost every week, there’s at least one wide release opening “cold.”

What’s also happening, though, too, is that some movies are opening “lukewarm” — that is, they’re being withheld from critics in some markets but being shown to critics in others. Which is truly bizarre. Because when it comes to movies, there’s barely such a thing as a local market anymore. Just because critics in New York and Los Angeles don’t get to see Gory Horror Movie III: The Bloodening doesn’t mean that the review by the critic who does see it in Portland or Boston won’t be all over the Internet for everyone everywhere to read anyway.

So I’m going to highlight here all the studio films in 2009 I won’t get to see before they open because they’re not being screened for New York critics (or because I’ve been told that they won’t be screened for New York critics even though they are). I’ll also link to my review, if I do subsequently cover the film anyway.

If you have info that screenings of a certain film did occur in some markets, feel free to let me know, and I’ll add that info.

(This was originally posted on Thursday, March 5. It will keep getting bumped up as I add new films to the list.)

Saw VI
The Stepfather
Sorority Row
Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself
Gamer (I reviewed it anyway)
The Final Destination (I reviewed it anyway)
Halloween 2
Aliens in the Attic (I reviewed it anyway)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (I reviewed it anyway)
I Love You, Beth Cooper (will screen after all, and I reviewed it)
Obsessed (I reviewed it anyway)
Crank: High Voltage (I reviewed it anyway)
Dragonball Evolution
12 Rounds (I reviewed it anyway)
Race to Witch Mountain (“we are not screening the film,” a Disney rep told me by email today [03.05], though I know for a fact that some cities are getting screenings next week) (I reviewed it anyway)
Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail
Friday the 13th
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
My Bloody Valentine 3D
(I reviewed it anyway)

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movie buzz
  • Arthur

    I’d think — given the titles you’ve listed — that you’d be grateful. ;-)

  • PaulW

    I’ve been hearing horror stories about how bad the new Street Fighter movie is: that it makes the JCVD/Raul Julia version look like Dark Knight by comparison. So, yeah, be grateful you didn’t screen it.

  • Ryan

    I do appreciate knowing which movies are doing this…if only because it means there is like a 75% chance that they will be terrible.

  • Depending on how you feel about it, you could just torrent the movie and continue to render their plans ineffective.

  • MaryAnn

    I would not download a movie I could see in some legitimate way. If I see *12 Rounds,* it’ll be because I bought a ticket on opening day.

  • RogerBW

    Greater love hath no critic than this: that she lay down her mind in the path of 12 Rounds for her readers. (And pay for the privilege!)

  • But never fear: If there’s midnight screenings on August 6 (for GI Joe), I will attend and report as soon as possible afterward.

    MaryAnn! Nooooooooooo! (throws himself on the grenade)

  • Jason

    Hi, Mary I’m a long time follower of your reviews and I think they are the best out there coming from a critic who has extremely good taste. The reason I am posting this is because I was wondering if you’d be willing to go ahead and review Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2. I’m familar with the fact that you don’t care for John Carpenter’s original finding it to be “boring”, but I just thought I’d ask.

  • Jurgan

    You’re a long time follower, but you don’t know her name? (Hint: It’s “Maryann-” she hates it when people call her “Mary”).

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