Dave's Rating:


Rhymes with Schmedward and Schmella.

Who's In It: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Kevin Durand, Teresa Palmer

The Basics: Teenage vampire space alien guy meets gorgeous young loner girl. They fall in love and he has to battle the other vampires space aliens who want to kill him because he's too awesome for them to even understand. Teenage space alien guy sparkles glows from his hands and can beat up everyone and stop cars with his mind vibrations. That's helpful when the action starts and everything explodes.

What's The Deal: Can a cynical product entertainment product get a pass for being great fun to watch despite its manipulations? I vote yes. You would have to be blind not to see that it's a calculated, multi-tentacled machine of stolen Stephenie Meyer-isms, alien fighting, hot brooding teens, guys that look like Voldemort, Tranformersy pyrotechnics and mysteriously-motivated beagles (no joke, there's an adorable doggie in this thing and you spend the first two thirds of the movie wondering what his secret intentions might be). But I didn't really care. It moves fast, it's got momentum, it's never boring and, when the action gets going, they rip the whole place into a million little pieces. It's absolutely empty and derivative and kind of a blast and so what? Pass me the Junior Mints.

From The Monetized Minds Of: Michael Bay and James Frey. Frey co-wrote the young adult novel it's based on under a pen name. (Or so we're told. Just Google "James Frey" and "sweatshop" for further examination of his new fiction-writing enterprise.) And then Michael Bay came along to produce it. That's where all the great big loudness and fireballs come from; they look and feel better on screen than on a page. And so yeah, maybe you'll feel like you have to hold your nose while you become a paying participant in all this. Or maybe you won't. It's up to you. It's not like you take a moral inventory of the grill guy at Burger King before you down that Double Whopper.

I Was a Teenage Product Placement: If you're of a mind to be annoyed by nonstop advertising-like product interruptions, you might want to stay away. Because there are moments when it veers hilariously close to being an extended iPhone commercial. They ring so much on the soundtrack--it's a plot point--and there are so many lovingly lit close-ups of the alien guy's phone it's drinking game level crazy.

In For a Penny, In For a Pound: Because I could go for a sequel to this soon. Like right now. It feels like someone gave something addictively tasty and ruining. I want more. I especially want to know what happens to the beagle. And I don't care if any of it's bad for me. And I realize it very much is.


Comments (15)

MrD - 2-19-2011 12:58 PM
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This movies is a medium-tech version of "Men Black" with a love story. It just seems to be another outlet of sciFI for upcoming young heart throbs. Grade "D"

Eric W - 2-19-2011 2:51 PM
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I love your reviews Dave. Movies are entertainment and you always focus on that no matter how many oscars they won't win. Great job!

bill - 2-20-2011 1:25 AM
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dave, i only went to see this movie because of your recommendation. it was total crap. i wonder if you got paid off for your review on this one. seriously. something is totally off with your reviews lately. i mean, Tron was crap and you gave it 4 stars. that's 2 strikes now, and i don't trust your reviews anymore.

Stump - 2-20-2011 9:23 AM
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I guess most people don't realize that this movie is based on a book classified for kids / young adults, and those almost always turn out jacked up. The sequel The Power of Six comes out in August. The dog is a shape-changer, destroys everything.

Supurbia - 2-20-2011 1:36 PM
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As someone who thought the book - and title - seemed dumb...I can't get enthused.

Ronin - 2-20-2011 11:22 PM
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I read this review and then read your Tron review after reading the comment from "bill". Other than a few Tron-expertise quibbles I really liked your Tron review. I get annoyed at how few reviewers truly understand what is going on in the movies they watch. You seem to do a lot better than most. I saw this movie with my 12 year old and she had a great time. She immediately saw the similarities with the Twilight series and enjoyed it all the more for it. I had a great time too. Great action and effects. Interesting premise- I think you movie critics are so high on Twilight you missed the Superman parallels. But your review was pretty much on point from where I sit. So you may have lost 'bill' but you gained me. After reading the Tron review

ronin - 2-20-2011 11:28 PM
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After reading the Tron review I think your the only reviewer other than Ebert that I'll trust enough to read. I can't read reviews by idiots who don't understand what they are writing about!

Mike - 2-21-2011 2:12 AM
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This movie was seriously awful. I concur with the other guy about skipping daves reviews from now on.The ads were misleading, I didnt know it was a kids movie (maybe young adult if theyre socially stunted and from a small town) Its mindblowing to think there will be a sequel..they better hope every 12 year old girl in the country goes or else the studio will lose its a**. Hey dave..from one 'mo to another..really?

aireon - 2-23-2011 1:57 PM
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Hey Dave, your reviews are awesome. Every time i look for a review for a movie, I always check yours out, because you actually go in depth from the perspectives of the age range it's set upon. I haven't seen this movie yet, but I bet I will like it because of what you've mentioned :D

Zenphysics - 2-26-2011 12:50 PM
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Dave i've been reading you for quite awhile....you always get me chuckling. Im taking the kids to see the "4" flick and nab me some Junior mints. Keep up the good work and slick writing.

Louisa - 2-26-2011 7:10 PM
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Mike, really? REALLY? You didn't know it was a kids' movie? Newsflash: I figured out from the commercials that it was starring teenagers and filled with explosions.

Aldon Samaha - 3-02-2011 11:57 AM
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Another movie my wife and I saw in spite of the bad review by USA Today. We loved it, and we also want to see the sequel real soon. Bottom line, we're not even going to read reviews by USA Today anymore, but we find your reviews more to our agreement. I agree with your low assessment of "Hall Pass." I think I'll just in my "home room" instead of venturing into the hall even if I get a FREE pass! You're doing a great job Dave. I shall start reading your reviews more often. "Drive Angry" previews (so far) don't really explain what the movie is all about. I will now go see the movie because of your review.

dj - 3-11-2011 8:17 AM
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I have to say I dont read dave reviews I mostly read the comments because his reviews are so far off the mark for me. What people have to understand we all view movies different and saying that I saw this movie for the action. I was a little disappointed. For the action junkies this movie is not for you. I like the movie its a love story with some action at the end. Take a kid or your girlfriend and go into this movie as you did twilight and I think you like it to. I gave this movie 3.5 stars and not 5 because of the lack of action beside that it is a good movie. I never go see a movie because of reviews I go because I want to see it for myself and so I have a better experience.

Nicole - 3-14-2011 10:42 PM
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For the record I love Dave's reviews, I always have to check here before I go to see something, and 9 times out of 10 I agree wholeheartedly with Dave. I went to see this yesterday and found it totally entertaining, sometimes for all the wrong reasons, but on my way home last night, my friend and I laughed all the way home after seeing this. Mainly due to the unrealistic situations that were in the movie. Example 1: Right when the evil aliens are on there way to get the main guy and girl, rather than run to somewhere safe far away from the evil aliens, they decide to go develop photos at the school, right where the evil aliens can find them. And before you think 'maybe the photos are an integral part of the unfolding story?'...There

Alex - 6-15-2011 1:03 AM
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Marry me Dave.

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