Sit down and relax Rotten Week-ites. We’ve got a lot to discuss here. After all, it isn’t every week we get to return to the glam metal mess that was the Eighties while also dissecting the mess that is Adam Sandler.
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.
Rock of Ages
There’s no more lampooned and mocked decade than the 1980s. For so long its been the butt of joke after joke after joke. But stretchy pants are getting a stylistic rebirth and a whole host of Eighties fashion trends are mysteriously showing back up, possibly legitimizing a once laughable period of time. Rock of Ages continues the Eighties comeback.
Set in the 1980’s Los Angeles club scene, Rock of Ages--based on the award-winning Broadway production--cherry-picks the songs of the era and boils them down, campy musical style, into a musical summation of the decade.
It’s not lost on me, or most likely anyone else, that if in the 80s we had proposed to Axl Rose, Pat Benatar, Bret Michaels, or Jon Bon Jovi that in a couple of decades their hard-partying, damn the man, big-haired rock would grace the Broadway stage, they’d have probably told you to F@#$ off and then snorted more coke. But times change and here we get the 1980’s canon belted out by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige and a whole host of choral extras. It’s somewhat surreal with out being overly, and unintentionally comical. Just wait a couple of years and we’ll have a play called Seattle Sounds with Justin Bieber and Blake Lively doing their best Kurt Cobain/ Courtney Love impersonation.
Musicals like these aren’t my cup of tea (I famously fell asleep during Wicked on Broadway for mine and Mrs. Rotten Week’s anniversary) but there’s no denying director Adam Shankman has some success in this genre. He directed Hairspray (91%) to serious critical acclaim. Though it is worth mentioning some of Shankman’s other “work” includes flicks like Cheaper by the Dozen (7%) and The Pacifier (20%). This is a classic case of “stick to what you’re good at.” Shankman has proven he can pull off these flicks. With a stellar cast, catchy songs and a proven Broadway component I think this flick hits with critics. It probably doesn’t even need much of a story as long as the crowd is singing along. Hell, watching Tom Cruise belt out “Paradise City” is worth the price of admission. The Rotten Watch for Rock of Ages is
That's My Boy
While writing this column I was working on another project with a buddy of mine. He wasn’t even looking at the computer, but when he heard Adam Sandler’s scratchy-throat, off-putting voice come in the trailer the reaction was startling. He had an almost physical aversion to hearing Sandler put on this schtick for the billionth time and said, “F@#ing-A, when is Sandler going to give it up? I can’t stand it!” I think that pretty much sums up Sandler at this point. I spent more than few words in this old column detailing the demise of Sandler. This latest flick just adds more fuel to the critical fire.
Like I’ve said before, the true problem isn’t so much Sandler’s off-putting cinematic persona but rather that films like Jack and Jill (3%) and Just Go with It (19%) actually make money. There are plenty of artistic hacks out in the world, but few get as much air time. Because as long as folks head out to the theater to see this drivel, we’ll keep getting Sandler in healthy and nauseating doses.
What disappoints me with this latest film is the chance for Andy Samberg to get dragged down in the comedic wasteland that is Sandler’s recent career. Samberg plays Sandler’s son, conceived from an illegal tryst with a hot school teacher. The rest of the flick, directed by Sean Anders (Sex Drive-46%), appears a devolving mess of sophomoric hijinks and obvious “jokes”. Bottom line, it looks horrible and not at all funny. Which isn’t surprising considering Sandler has a heavy role. The Rotten Watch for That’s My Boy is
Recapping last week:
Great week for the Rotten Watch. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (Predicted: 83% Actual: 76%) was a clear win. I don’t have an amazing track record with animated flicks, but this score didn’t disappoint.
Meanwhile, Prometheus (Predicted: 77% Actual: 74%) won’t go on the resume because of a significant head start, but the score went about where I thought it would go. And while we’re discussing it, take a look at some of the work that went up this week about the movie. Quality reads answering questions about the movie and things to know before seeing it in theaters. Good stuff all around.
Next time around Honest Abe fights vampires, Carrell prepares for the end and Disney gets brave. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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