February 4, 2011, - 4:32 pm

Weekend Box Office: Sanctum, The Roommate

By Debbie Schlussel

It’s another rental weekend at the box office.  Neither of these new films, opening today, is worth the ten bucks, two hours, and–in the case of many around the country–braving the cold.

*  “The Roommate“:  I liked this much better the first time . . . when it was called, “Single White Female.”  This wasn’t screened for critics, so I knew it would be bad when I paid to see it, so I could review it for you.  It wasn’t as bad as I expected, but it was pretty bad.

You know the drill:  creepy, nutty, needy chick roommate stalks fellow chick roommate and attacks her boyfriend and everyone else in the fellow roommate’s life, when the normal one tries to leave.  Like I said:  “Single White Female.”  In this case, the story takes place on a college campus with freshman and has a cheap insertion of a gratuitous lipstick lesbian make-out scene.  But other than that, it’s the same story . . . with more S-words.  Come on, Hollywood, come up with something original.  In this go-round, Leighton Meester plays the insane one.  Major League Baseball actress-girlfriend-of-the-month (currently dating Derek Jeter) plays the object of the obsession. It also features anti-American, anti-Semitic Billy Zane in a small role. In his last role, he was defaming American soldiers in a movie produced by Turkey and shown to the Muslim world, so he’s movin’ up in the world.

Utter dreck, totally predictable, and not scary in the least.  But it does provide a shower scene that’ll teach moronic girls not to get their belly buttons pierced.  Or maybe not.  The age group at which this is aimed–teens and 20-somethings just won’t be that discerning because, hey, they’re wasting life and dollars on this movie.  I’m sure they’ll eat it  up like cotton candy.  I’ve rarely had a 93 minute movie seem so long.

Not a FOUR MARXES movie, since it’s mildly entertaining as a guilty pleasure for being crappy enough.  But, then again, it’s mostly garbage, so it gets .  .  .


Watch the trailer .  .  .

*  “Sanctum“:  This one surprisingly DID get screened for critics.  But don’t let it fool you.  It was sadistic, long, slow, and boring.  Not to mention, pointless, not scary, and not even a great action adventure.  The “action” was mostly slow and consisted of water falling and people walking in an underground cavern, while yelling at each other.  And there was little adventure.  A lot of people die.

The story:  a selfish, playboy billionaire finances a diving and underwater expedition in one of the world’s deepest underwater caves, deep in a jungle somewhere near the coast of Australia.  But, soon, disaster strikes.  Oxygen tanks fail, people drown, and a rain storm starts to fill the cave.  Soon there is no way out and the Aussie leader of the expedition must help, his son, and others, including the billionaire get out through some other way in the tunnels and streams of the cave.

I didn’t enjoy this, though I generally love disaster/exploration thrillers like this.  That’s because it was just mostly sadistic, bloody for no reason, and stupid.  I mean–really?–a woman would rather risk her life and refuse to put on the wetsuit of someone who has already died?  Not believable.  And just illogical.

Also, like almost every other movie these days, it’s in 3D, which wasn’t necessary and adds nothing.  Produced by James Cameron, director of “Avatar”  (read my review).

Not worth your time and money . . . and I can’t believe I braved a snowstorm to see it.


Watch the trailer . . .

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7 Responses

Thank you for helping us save some bucks and experiencing the torture of sitting through a bad movie. Keep up the great reviews our precious friend!

Love, Amedeo

Amedeo Bianchi on February 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm

I am through with James Cameron anyway. Looks like I won’t miss much. It’s unfortunate that Cameron is set for life and can produce whatever he wants to.

samurai on February 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm

2 more movies to miss. It’s become a standard theme. Thanks for suffering for us.

P. Aaron on February 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I’ll go along with your description of The Roommate as “mildly entertaining as a guilty pleasure” (even though you took it back as soon as you wrote it). Actually I thought it was a fairly effective thriller, maybe not geared towards my demographic, but not awful, and was puzzled as to why critics seemed to loathe it so utterly and completely. I discovered why three quarters into the film. The roommate turns out to be lesbian. How dare there be a movie that shows a lesbian as a psycho killer! Homophobic!

I’ll admit I liked Sanctum better than you did. Knowing it was produced by Cameron, I was expecting something atrocious, but I found it a solid adventure-into-the-exotic story, with appealing values (such as sympathy shown to old-fashioned values like character and grit). One advantage I had: after watching for half an hour with 3D glasses, I realized the 3D experience was miserable (too dark to enjoy the cave, for one). So I went to a 2D theater, ditched the glasses, and only then really began to enjoy the story.

Burke on February 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I didn’t want to go to either of these anyway but now I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY don’t want to.

I heard about someone putting you down on some website long ago and then saw you on Twitter. I knew I’d like you.



anthony on February 4, 2011 at 11:44 pm

I hadn’t heard of either of these movies, and I love cinema.
Just recently watched “The Exorcist” on blu-ray and it was great.

Doug on February 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Thanks, deb !!
You just saved me some money !!!

Shootist on February 7, 2011 at 7:30 am

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