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The powers that be tried their damnedest to stop the critical prediction train from storming onto the internet even sending an actual snowstorm in late October replete with hazardous conditions and giant tree branches knocking out power to my whole neighborhood for two days. But fear not loyalists, the Rotten Watch is back (albeit a day late) to kneed your doughy, movie-ravaged brains with predictions aplenty. This week Stiller and company get all caper-y and our favorite bong hitting duo returns for some holiday cheer.
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.
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
Forget Michael Moore. If you are looking for movie-makers who speak to the American people (especially generation Generation Y-ers), stand up to the man, and actually make fair points on the ills of society then look no further than good old pals Harold and Kumar. In the first movie, the duo explored the societal trappings of post-college, mid twenty-somethings, adrift in a world without borders and exemplified how the young, unfettered mind can accomplish goals when they believe the ends ultimately justify the means. Then, in the second flick, the pair ran commentary on the nature of race relations in America, the folly of conventions like marriage and exposed and lambasted the government for justifying their own freedom-making ends through strictly unconstitutional means. Oh yeah, and they did it all while getting blazed to bejeesus at every turn and partying with Neil Patrick Harris. Hell, Kal Penn even got a job with Obama for his weed-smoking anti-institutionalism. These guys are geniuses.
And needing to strip down more of the things idiot Americans think are “important” and “real” the two finally get to tackle holidays and religion. Have at it boys. Both are frontiers of the mindless sheep and perfect examples of why America is going to hell (pun intended). And don’t even be subtle about it. Shoot Santa with a shotgun and make Jesus an over-entitled rich kid. It’s all fair game.
From a critical angle, the boys’ first two trips, one to White Castle (74%) and the other to Guantanamo Bay (53%), were better than could be expected of movies (at least on the surface) about two dudes getting high. But just because I love the flicks, doesn’t mean critics will be over the moon for a third installment. In fact, critical scores tend to dip over time. First time feature director Todd Strauss-Schulson now takes the pair into 3D in an effort to explore the medium while also seemingly breaking the fourth wall in an effort to expose it. Why not? These guys make fun of everything. The Rotten Watch for A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas is 49%.
I’m not much of a thief. In fact, here is a list of things I’ve stolen in my life: one pack of baseball cards from Toys R Us at the age of eight (got caught), a copy of my biology midterm in high school (got away with it, but still got a C somehow), the sanity and logic of a hot chick way out of my league (got married, boom). So I’m not the kind of guy who could put together a large, layered, multi-faceted caper.
And I would never have thought dudes like Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck and to a much, much lesser extent Michael Pena would get together to pull off a movie heist a la, Danny Ocean, Rusty and crew, but this flick might have some legs, comedic and otherwise. The movie’s big boys (Stiller and Murphy) may have cashed out most of the comedic compounding interest built up from early in their respective careers, by either being in everything that comes across his agent’s desk (Stiller) or just starring in some very off-putting flicks (Murphy). But that doesn’t mean the coffers have completely run dry. These are still two funny dudes, and put in the right flick, the laughs are still there.
Brett Ratner (Rush Hour 3-19%, X-Men: The Last Stand-57%) may not have put together a perfect movie, (some early mixed reviews), but the cast is there, some laughs are there and, in terms of straight up comedy, I think you can do much worse. Is that a compliment? I think it is. The Rotten Watch for Tower Heist is 60%.
Recapping last week:
Coming off the end of the competition, the Rotten Watch turned in another strong performance. Check out these predictions:
In Time (Predicted: 35% Actual: 36%)
Puss in Boots (Predicted: 77% Actual: 82%)
The Rum Diary (Predicted: 65% Actual: 50%)
I knew something smelled fishy with the Justin Timberlake vehicle. Dude’s still got plenty of talent, but action films might not be in his wheelhouse. That’s fine. No one is good at everything. Meanwhile The Rum Diary kept falling and falling throughout the week, finally settling at the halfway point. It was just a bit out of range for me. Overall though, another resume-building week.
Next week, Theseus gets all Greek-y on us and Adam Sandler stars in a movie with himself. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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