Happy Father's Day to all you poppas out there. In honor or of your big day, the summer movie season takes a week off from the wall-to-wall action, slows it down some with some laughs at our educational system's expense and revisits Lightening McQueen. So, in other words, not really much to get excited about.
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.
Bad Teacher One of my biggest life regrets is not graduating from college… er… high school. Though I never walked down the vaunted halls of anywhere with the last initials, H.S., the dreamy, but mostly irreverent, part of me always imagines post-elementary education to have been the place where dreams came true. Because I never got to experience the real thing, movies have had to pick up the slack. So when I see on-screen instructors like Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake roaming the halls, up to all sorts of hi-jinks, I'm certain that I should have spent more time reading Red Badge of Courage and less screwing around with my billionaire father's trust fund. High school is too amazing to have missed.
Or maybe not, because I suspect there are more teachers out there like Cameron Diaz in this flick (except a lot less hot), endlessly hammered, not giving an iota of a crap, and doing anything in their power to be out of the classroom, than we would ever like to admit. Hey, those who can't, am I right? Am I right?
So we get Bad Teacher telling the tale of an educator who doesn't want to be there (do any of them?) gunning for the hot, rich (huh?) substitute in order to quit the kids and get into the high life. Jason Kasdan (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story-74%, Orange County-46%) has some comedic chops (or at least comedic moments), but early reviews have the critics split. Not a surprising when I consider that I didn't really laugh that much in the trailer (bad sign for a comedy). I think more critics who hate it end up outnumbering the “I liked it, but…” crowd. Comedies have it tough with reviewers. If they aren't totally and completely hilarious across the board, with a great story to boot, the scores trend low. The Rotten Watch for Bad Teacher is 44%.
Cars 2 Some would think that a movie world inhabited only by cars is some kind of far-fetched, lunatic fringe, left-wing anti-oil propaganda machine. But if you're like me and have been bumper to bumper on the Garden State Parkway for two hours because some guy put his hazards on and pulled off into the shoulder causing a seven mile backup, then this thing where cars take over the world doesn't seem quite so outside the realm of possibility. (Sort of like how Wall-E's rampant consumerism turned garbage dystopia seems plausible after walking around Walmart for twenty minutes. The Pixar folks might be the modern day Nostradamus's).
Having never seen the first Cars (my readers know I don't really do animation, although I've made some exceptions for Pixar), it's hard to know if their furthering Lightening McQueen's story and dealing with the “big” questions concerning his role in the animated auto zeitgeist (assuming such a thing exists) as he ventures out of Radiator Springs and across the big pond. **
Quick sidenote: here's how I know this whole movie premise fake. American cars are going to Japan rather than the other way around.
So let's just go with the facts here. John Lassetter, he of the epic Toy Story's fame (100%, 100%, 99%) gets back under the hood after directing the original Cars (74% and by far the lowest score on his resume). Lasseter is the animated movie equivalent of the Ferrari (those are still cool and expensive right? I'm not a car guy) and though sequels rarely outperform their predecessors, I think this flick edges out the original by a bumper-length. The Rotten Watch for Cars 2 is 75%.
Recapping last week...
Green Lantern (Predicted: 35% Actual: 25%) Though I'm sorely tempted to walk down the metaphorical aisle with my metaphorical middle fingers waving in the metaphorical air towards my not so metaphorical, vitriol spewing commenters from last week, I'll take the high road because I'm the bigger man. On second thought, no I won't. The Rotten Watch knew critics would rate this movie as a terrible, cheesy and utter waste of time, and they did. In fact, it appears to be even worse than I suspected. Some words used to describe the film include: “disjointed,” “dorky looking,” “egregious shoddiness,” “substandard.” You get the point.
Mr. Popper's Penguins (Predicted: 27% Actual: 45%) was better than expected. The fact that a movie about a dude trapped in a Big Apple penthouse, dancing around and raising penguins came very close to splitting critics down the middle is a feat of such epic scale that it's unlikely ever to be repeated. Does this mean Jim Carey is the most talented working actor alive? I see no other reason why idiocy like this could work, even if you factor in a family movie, wholesome loving bump.
Next week, Tom Hanks heads back to college, Selena Gomez is off to Monaco and the big screen gets transformed (again). It's going to be a Rotten Week!