This Rotten Week: Predicting Pain & Gain And The Big Wedding Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2013-04-21 15:38:29discussion comments
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Only two movies on the docket this week, but still a ton of stuff to talk about. Itís always interesting when Michael Bay comes into town toting a bunch of explosions and muscles. And for balance weíve got a bunch of fading actors and actresses trying out some diminishing comedic chops. The Tomatometer losses are the Rotten Watch's gain.

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.

Pain & Gain
Michael Bay has directed nine movie before Pain & Gain so we know things about Michael Bay. His movies look awesome. They translate phenomenally to the big screen in their scope and effects. His movies have a distinct, smooth style. We also know that his flicks lack a certain nuance, the dialogue is rough to say the least, acting performances trend toward the cartoonish and many of his filmís major points are bludgeoned over your head. For better or worse, one can spot a Michael Bay movie coming a million miles away.

Itís easy to rip Bay for his overuse of explosions, slow motions, camera sweeps, etc. Hell, the guy will even poke fun at himself. But hereís the thing about Bayís movies. They hold up. They pass the Sunday-afternoon-flicking-around-the-dial litmus test. Theyíre easy to move in and out of, catching moments here and there without worrying about the grander vision. The visuals are the grander vision. The rest is just stuff he had to put in to make it a full movie.

Iíve written about the Michael Bay experience already and if youíre like me (and I suspect you are) youíve watched Armageddon (39%) and The Rock (67%) a combined three thousand times (actual figure). The latter is by far his most critically acclaimed movie and Iím always surprised by the lower Tomatometer score for the the former. Youíve seen them a ton because theyíre always on. (Same with Bad Boys and Transformers). Theyíre always on because they define mindless entertainment. I donít mean that pejoratively; Michael Bay has perfected the inactive viewing experience.

His newest, Pain & Gain is based on a true story. If you want the blow-by-blow details of what actually went down, check out the Miami Times feature about the gym rats who bilked a millionaire out of his assets by kidnapping and torturing the dude. Itís a long, crazy, disturbing and entertaining read. Bayís film seems to hang on to the truth enough to make the whole production, well, his type of film. How the truth fits in to his style will be interesting. I suspect some of it will work and other parts will trend towards over-the-top. And thatís where critics will find fault. The real story of the Sun Gym Gang is a pretty disturbing one, but Bayís picture looks almost comedic. Bay has never been a critical darling and this film wonít change that fact. The real test is whether it starts showing up on TNT every weekend for an easy watch. The Rotten Watch for Pain & Gain is 34%

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