This Rotten Week: Predicting Don Jon, Baggage Claim And Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2013-09-22 16:54:11discussion comments
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With this beautiful fall weather descending upon us I want nothing more than to sit in my darkened man cave and consider the movie world for an afternoon. Who needs the crisp fall air when you’ve got guido libidos, rom-coms and meatballs in the sky?

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.

Don Jon
“There’s only a few things I really care about in life. My body. My pad. My ride. My family. My church. My boys. My girls. And my porn.” - Doug Norrie, I mean, um, no, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Don Jon. Yeah him, he said that.

And though the above sentiments only represent seventy-five percent of the “important” things in my life (can you guess which ones?), there is something to be said for honesty. It’s the way the world is going. Everything is on the table, good and bad. The saturation of counter-realism in our society, perpetuated by, well just about everything from Facebook (everyone’s lives are f@#$ing perfect and here are the pics and statuses to prove it) to the endless supply of “feel good” rom-coms (fictionally flawed people meet, fall in love, have a hiccup in relationship, fall even more in love) means that there’s a possibility that something like porn is no longer sitting alone on the societal fringes. Everything else is also fake so a dude like Don Jon (Josepth Gordon-Levitt) can come up on board with his love for the skin flicks because hey, how different are they than the rom-coms his lady friend (Scarlett Johansson) fantasizes about? The gap is closing.

JGL pulls the trifecta here: writing, directing and starring in a movie about a dude coming to grips with the vapid nature of his existence and the difference between love and what transpires in smut films. Conceptually I love, and even from the trailers, Levitt appears to put the full acting chops on display. Basically, he seems perfect for the role. That he wrote it for himself and coordinated the whole production is even that much more impressive. He’s been pretty great in every major role up until this point (50/50-93%, Looper-93%, Premium Rush-76%, to name a few) and this movie will most likely only serve to solidify his status at the top tier of, at least acting, talent in Hollywood. But there are some flaws here.

Granted, early reviews are more than positive with the Tomatometer sitting at 83% after debuting at Sundance but the not-so-subtle overtones of the movie might make it tough to maintain this score over the long haul. Back in January, Katey offered up less-than-flattering review, calling into question just how far the movie goes to make its point about our brainless society. There’s a good chance other critics finding, as she calls it, “offensive.” It is a review like hers that makes me think the score drops over the course of the week. There’s just too strong a chance others see Levitt’s movie in the same light and are turned off by the message (even if, like I said above, bro’s priorities are all in the right place). Ah hell, the Rotten Watch for Don Jon is 69%

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