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I’ve got a matinee appointment with Batman, Bane and the crew so forgive me if I’m little amped up. But before heading off to the theaters there’s some flicks to cover. This week we’ve got the neighborhood watch and some hot-bodded dancers stepping up once again.
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.
Comedy is a tough critical nut to crack. Just look at some of the latest flicks from the leads in The Watch. Ben Stiller (Tower Heist-68%, Little Fockers-10%), Vince Vaughn (The Dilemma-24% ,Couple’s Retreat-12%) and Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street-85%, The Sitter-23%) have all seen their ups and downs. These are legit funny dudes and yet the critical consistency in their comedies leaves a great deal to be desired.
And writing is no different. Seth Rogen penned this script and his last three writing credits include The Green Hornet (44%), Pineapple Express (68%), and Drillbit Taylor (28%). That’s not exactly a fantastic resume. The idea here being each of these dudes have a ton of funny in them, but it doesn’t always translate to Tomatometer success.
So where does that leave The Watch? While the movie has already been needlessly associated with the real world tragedy of Trayvon Martin's shooting, the idea behind a local neighborhood watch busting up an alien invasion is something that could bomb miserably if not put in the right hands. But judging from early looks, especially the red band trailer, this flick might be good, if not hilarious. The team of actors, and more specifically Stiller and Vaughn, are at their best when the laughs are derivative of raunchy, over the top nonsense. The Watch appears to hone in on this with numerous discussions devolving into overtly sexual gives and takes (alien semen, Trojan condoms and Jonah Hill promising to pleasure an old man if it helps solve a mystery being just a few examples).
Akiva Schaffer (Hot Rod-39%), of Saturday Night Live and The Lonely Island fame heads up this group-of-buddies comedy and could be another example in the “ya win some, ya lose some” comedy world. Hell, he’s got “Dick in a Box” on his resume which is good enough for a lifetime. I think his latest movie gets him moving toward cinematic, critical positivity. The Rotten Watch for The Watch is
Step Up: Revolution
I have two dance moves. The first is a Hall of Fame quality Robot which I bust out at weddings to bring the house down and steal focus away from the newly betrothed. My other move is where I stand in the corner away from the dance floor, nursing a beer, silently lamenting that I can’t dance at all. I don’t Step Up. I tend to Step Off and sit down.
I’ve written about the Step Up franchise in this old Rotten Week but it’s worth republishing a certain number. $430 million at the box office. Yup, you read that number correctly meaning with this newest film *ahem* stepping up, a set of flicks about dudes and dudettes flinging their bodies around in choreographed perfection will eclipse the half a billion mark in ticket revenue. Yikes.
For what they’ve accomplished in getting everyone rich, this franchise isn’t what you would call a “critical darling”. The first two installments Step Up (20%) and Step Up 2 the Streets (28%) were about where one would expect. But then Step Up 3-D (46%) mini-spiked making for a wild swing and miss in that old Rotten Week. What happened, I believe, was many critics walked into the theater with expectations at near rock bottom levels. And though the flick is basically devoid of plot, those same critics said, “Who cares, let’s dance!” allowing them to overlook many flaws and focus on the pop-blocking strengths. I don’t think that will happen again.
First time feature director Scott Speer, who helmed an installment of the web series The League of Extraordinary Dancers, seeks to accomplish something that truly means we’ve moonwalked into a new era: combining the ideals of the Occupy movement with flash mobs dancing. These dancers want to stop a 1%-er from using his big, bad wallet. The theme is commendable in its sheer, idealistic lunacy, but I can’t imagine critics come out impressed with anything other than the krumping and b-boying. The Rotten Watch for Step Up: Revolution is
Recapping last week:
This has been a tough week out in the real world. I won’t pretend to comment on senseless tragedy and its link to cinema. Katey does that eloquently in this piece. It’s not what I do around these parts preferring to just crack wise and call it a day.
The Dark Knight Rises (Predicted: 96% Actual: 87%) was a close one and could drop out of the ten percent threshold by the time its all said and done. Enough critics were left unimpressed by Nolan’s final installment that we can avoid the critical trolling debate which reared its ugly head early in the Tomatometer process. What we can probably agree on is The Dark Knight Rises falls in the “Really, pretty f-ing good” range just missing out on the “Epic masterpiece” title I thought critics would give it. Either way, Mrs. Rotten Week and I are off to see it right now!
Next time around kids get wimpy and Colin Farrell gets recalled. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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