It’s been a traveling summer and This Rotten Week comes to you overlooking the beaches of the Outer Banks. I’ve had a rough prediction time of it the last few weeks and need a little R&R to rejuvenate my Tomato juices. This week we’ve got some weak films with ghosts, bike messengers and witness protection.
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.
Hit and Run
I’m a forgiving dude. That kid who took the swipe at me in fifth grade? Water under the bridge. Ashley from junior year who broke my heart into a million little shards of sadness? It’s all good baby doll. That guy who cut me off on the Turnpike yesterday in the middle of a rainstorm? After I shot the requisite middle finger, we are square my man. And I’m the same way with certain actors. There are dudes who could star in the biggest bomb of all time and I’d still head to the theater for the next work because I just like the cut of their jib. Bradley Cooper and Dax Shepard just happen to be a couple of these guys.
Maybe it’s their bro-ish attitudes. Maybe it’s their permanent, yet undouchey, smirks, like the joke is always on someone else. Maybe I just have a couple of not-so-secret man crushes. But this movie could blow and I’d be out there all, like, “I still got love for ya baby.” (or something equally hip and not at all creepy).
Hit and Run will not be a great movie. In fact, it probably won’t even be all that good. The trailer leaves a great deal to be desired especially in the What’s the Point? kind of way. And while there might be a one-liner or two for some cheap laughs, I can’t imagine they sustain over the course of an hour and forty minutes. Some early reviews comment on the chemistry between Shepard and real life fiance Kirsten Bell*, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to complete the whole film.
*Quick side note: Starring in a film with your fiance/ significant other is such a freaking dice roll with, what I think would be, very little upside. In fact, there are four possible outcomes to this plan. 1. Great chemistry, great movie. (maybe) 2. Great chemistry, crappy movie. (very unlikely) 3. Bad chemistry, great movie (very unlikely). 4. Bad chemistry, bad movie (very likely). Only one of those scenarios offers any chance you aren’t fighting/ breaking up with your love and its far from a guarantee. See what I mean? Lesson for Hollywood types: don’t work with the person you’re sleeping with, it’ll end bad.
Shepard wrote it and co-directed another movie with David Palmer called Brother’s Justice (0%). Admittedly that flick only had nine reviews but it sure doesn’t bode well. While I don’t think it ends up as a total bomb, I think it finishes below the average mark. But I’ll forgive you Shepard and Cooper. The Rotten Watch for Hit and Run is
It’s been awhile since we’ve done a little genre fill in the blank, but hey, it’s summer and I’ve got the time. Feel free to create your very own _______ (horror, thriller, suspense) movie here:
A group of young adults get together for a(n) _________ (trip, experiment, reunion). They have the best of youthful intentions and are incredibly good looking. During their _________ (trip, experiment, reunion) they discover a _________ (serial killer, ghost, paranormal being). At first they don’t believe it, even when one of their own is offed mysteriously. A couple of them pair off and have _________ (sex, hot sex, kinky sex). The _________ (serial killer, ghost, paranormal being) gets more and more creative with how it offs these little shits. At one point a side character gets _________ (strangled by odd object, impaled on household decoration, pulled into another dimension). Then a more important character with a better agent gets _________ (strangled by odd object, impaled on household decoration, pulled into another dimension). The main character avoids death by _________ (running away, outsmarting the evil, looking hot). A wise adult comes around to _________ (offer some advice, retell his/her tale, creep everyone out a little bit) Finally, the main character _________ (gets to the bottom of the problem, discovers the source of the evil, uncovers a secret). An epic battle ensues and the main character beats the evil. The film ends with a hint that the _________ (evil is still exists, killer is still alive, there will be a sequel if the box office turned even a modicum of profit).
Boom. Being a movie executive is crazy easy. The Apparition appears to follow most of this outline. And we’ve seen this flick countless times before. Todd Lincoln, who’s never done anything before and possibly will never do anything again, directs this tale a college experiment, gasp, gone wrong. Some students are trying to unlock the secret to paranormal activity and...Sigh. Who cares. This exact movie will be out again later this year. The Rotten Watch for The Apparition is
The “Famous Bike Messenger” list is short with a tie at the top between Jessica Alba’s, Max Guevara in Dark Angel and Puck from Real World: San Francisco. After that, the “star power” drops off significantly, probably into oblivion. Now Joseph Gordon-Levitt is looking to join this rather elite fraternity. (Could barely get that last sentence out with a straight face.)
Look, Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises-87% 50/50-93%) is an awesome actor who brings a great deal to the screen. That being said, this flick looks atrocious. There’s a reason these bi-pedaled gladiators of the concrete jungle haven’t had a ton of camera time over the decades. Bike messengers are boring, and there’s a hard ceiling on the amount of entertainment available from two wheels and gears. Though this movie takes a plethora of angles to “sexy” up the job including getting hit by cars, umm, getting hit by more cars, hitting cars with chains, spandex, doing some sweet ollies, sliding under stuff, delivering sensitive packages oh and did I mention getting hit by cars? It’s all here. It’s like the writers sat down at the brainstorming session in front of a white board titled “Cool things you can do a bike” and just made a long list. Then everything on that list got filmed.
Starting with the trailer’s opening cliche’d voice over, “I like to ride. Fixed gear, no brakes, can’t stop, don’t want to either,” the rest appears your typical cookie-cutter action film replacing cars or motorcycles with a Huffy. David Koepp wrote and directed Ghost Town-85% , Secret Window-46%) the tale of Gordon-Levitt in possession of something bad people want and by golly they’ll do anything to get it. Unless of course JGL can outride them! (Again, can’t keep a straight face on this one.) The Rotten Watch for Premium Rush is
Recapping last week:
Well it wasn’t all good, but was able to avoid another epic disaster. Let’s start with the positive first:
ParaNorman (Predicted: 81% Actual: 87%)
Sparkle (Predicted: 54% Actual: 57%)
Both quality predictions and begin getting me back on track. Wish I had a gone a bit higher on ParaNorman considering the love I’d heard from a variety of sources, but some early negative reviews held me back. I was worried about those setting the score back.
On the other hand:
The Expendables 2 (Predicted: 41% Actual: 66%)
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (Predicted: 75% Actual: 38%)
These were two healthy misses though I stand by the process on both. Expendables, was a logical prediction considering how the first one fared. While Timothy Green is a complete outlier on Peter Hedges’ resume. So I can’t get too crazy over missing on these two films.
Next time around we break the law, go on a balloon adventure and go haunted antiquing. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!