This Rotten Week: Predicting The Cabin In The Woods, Three Stooges And Lockout Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2012-04-08 10:49:05discussion comments
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Is everyone done with their Easter egg hunts? Donít celebrate Easter? Me neither, but I still like to get out there and pick up an egg or two just to keep in practice. Whatever youíre into today, itís time to take a look at whatís happening in the world of cinema this week. Weíve got kids in the woods, stooges running wild and space prisoners causing problems.

Just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer.

The Cabin in the Woods
On this holiday weekend, I write this column rather appropriately from my own little cabin in the woods. And while I donít expect chew-spitting hicks in overalls to give me ominous words about ďgetting out of townĒ or even suspect Iím part of some elaborate set designed to kill me in grandiose fashion, watching a trailer for The Cabin in the Woods at least gets the nervous part of me thinking a bit. Wait, what was that noise?! Oh, nevermind, Iím sure itís nothing. Iíll go outside and check it later.

The ďkids getting lost out in the woods with psycho killer(s) on the looseĒ-genre has had a number of incarnations over the years. Some good, some bad. Itís an inexact science. But if thereís anyone out there Iíd (and most fanboys/girls) have faith in tackling and putting a new spin on the same old story, itíd be Joss Whedon. Whedonís cult-like following will appreciate the writer and producerís personal flavor on a layered story about camping teens getting slain in the woods by, well I donít know what is coming after them. Thatís half the fun isnít it? Combine him with co-writer and first-time director Drew Goddard (who wrote Cloverfield-77%), who understands treating the viewer to characters battling the unknown, and youíve got a winning combination.

The Cabin in the Woods has come out of the gate strong with resoundingly positive reviews. Many critics are lauding the movieís focus on and appreciation of the nuances in the horror genre. Whedon and Goddard have, in essence, given reviewers something unexpected, a recycled movie concept that scares viewers in a completely new way. I wonít put this one of the resume because so many reviews are already in, but weíll throw out a score anyway. The Rotten Watch for The Cabin in the Woods is 90%.

The Three Stooges
Presumably, itís difficult to be consistently funny. I wouldnít know of course as Iíve had little issue bringing the laughs week after week, but itís just something Iíve heard. Just look at the Farrelly Brothersí with their particular brand of slightly off color, sardonic humor. What worked so well early on with flicks like Thereís Something About Mary (83%) has degraded significantly over the years with recent duds Hall Pass (34%) and The Heartbreak Kid (29%).

But even their last couple of stinkers can in no way prepare someone for what they are throwing on screen this week. In fact, judging by the trailer for The Three Stooges, it could spell the end of their careers. What the hell is this thing? Is it supposed to be funny? Is it meant to be a subconscious submarining of their ďlegacyĒ? Was it a bet about what they could get into production and theyíre quietly laughing behind our backs? I have so many questions.

In my younger days, a trailer (or even a movie concept) like The Three Stooges would have sent me on a profanity-laden rant about the sorry state of ďcreativityĒ or even the prospect of our dwindling humanity as it relates to those possibly entertained by this movie. Now, it just makes me sad and without reservation I can say this is the worst trailer Iíve seen since the dawn of this column. Trying to make fun of it is a fools errand as the Farrelly Brothers have left no room for sarcasm or wit. Itís that f@#$ing stupid. And I donít think itís intentionally and campy stupid. Itís just stupid. The Rotten Watch for The Three Stooges (and this might be too high) is 9%.

Listen up potential movie makers, creators, writers or anyone else looking to make a career in cinema. If you make a flick about a ďlone wolfĒ type heading out on a mission to save some person/place/thing from certain death, just go back and use the voiceover from the beginning of this movie. Thatís effectively all the creators of Lockout did when putting together their trailer. They just ripped off dialogue from every other corny action movie by using lines like:

ďThereís only one man who can get her out.Ē

ďHeís the best there is.Ē

ďHeís a loose cannon.Ē

In fact this whole production appears cliched to the point of unintentionally comical, taking time-honored (read: stupid) action movie staples (Escaped prisoners! The Presidentís daughter is kidnapped! Itís in space!!!) and melding them together into a presumably predictable flick. Guy Pearceís character, Snow, comes right out of the movie cookie cutter mold as the reluctant, troubled, snarky, wiseass hero who also just happens to be the governmentís only hope for thwarting evil.

First time feature directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger cut their teeth on a movie thatís been made a thousand times before and will be made a thousand times again. Thereís nothing new to see here, the trailer letís on as much. The Rotten Watch for Lockout is 28%.

Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?


Recapping last week:

Wasnít much on the docket last time around but we still had time for one money prediction. American Reunion (Predicted: 50% Actual: 44%) finished behind its predecessors, but didnít fall completely off a cliff. A nice addition to the resume by Jim, Stiffler, Oz and the rest of the crew.

Next time around its chimp documentaries, Zac Efron getting lucky and a lesson in thinking like a man. Itís going to be a Rotten Week!
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