A few weeks ago friends and I were watching Masterpiece Theater (football) and drinking some Romanée Conti (Keystone) when a trailer for From Paris With Love
came on. After we all got done laughing at John Travolta and sidekick (his goatee and shaved head) trying to beat up those big, bad terrorists, the conversation turned to where this disaster would ultimately end up on RottenTomatoes' Tomatometer. The number we came up with was 18% (epically low). We each gave our justification for why it could trend higher or lower from that median and then placed some modest wagers. I was off by a bit. (Tomatometer hovering at 35% right now, but my boy Josh Tyler at least tried to help me out with his review
Even Jimmy the Greek missed the mark here and there). That conversation, and my subsequent loss, spawned this column. Each week I'll take a look at the upcoming movies and attempt to handicap their place on the infamous Tomatometer
. Then it's up to you to let me know how wrong I'm going to be or more preferably, what a total genius I am.
I'm eager to see this movie released and then subsequently faded off into the ether for two reasons. One: As of right now, I have “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas stuck in my head for 90% of my waking life, thanks to the trailer. This makes me nauseous. I'll be sitting around doing nothing, realize I am softly singing “Tonight's gonna be a good, good night,” get up from the couch, step out to the ledge of my apartment window and lean forward into the great beyond only to have my wife pull me back in while shouting that it isn't my time yet. Two: I'm anxious to see how critics react to a movie so obviously based on another successful movie, that they did everything but call it Love Actually II: Cupid's Revenge.
I'm trending the Rotten Watch a little lower than Love Actually (64%) because I think the anticipation for Valentine's Day is a little higher and the cast is more star-studded, meaning the disappointment will be that much greater. (Side note: How do celebrities who weren't asked to appear in this movie feel? It probably feels being last picked in gym class. Superior.) The Rotten Watch for Valentine's Day is 53%
There are a few distinct things working against this movie before any critic even walks through the doors of the theater. The first is the title: The Wolfman. From what I understand, the movie's a loose remake of the original, with its major distinguishing difference being the elimination of the space between Wolf and Man. (At least they didn't go the Fast and Furious route by calling it The Wolfier Man.) But can you imagine walking into the theater, holding hands with your significant other, waiting in line, taking out 20 dollars and saying, “Two for… The Wolfman.” I started laughing just thinking about it.
As I suspect it will be with, Valentine's Day, it's nearly impossible to remove bias as a factor when reviewing this. In Valentine's Day critics will naturally think about Love Actually. With The Wolfman, they'll be thinking about the title and how Benecio Del Toro may not have needed makeup to play the part of a beast. Trending waaaaaaay down on this one. Rotten Watch 40% .
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
I purchased this book two months ago in anticipation of the movie. I'm the kind of guy that likes to snottily brag that I've "read the book," when people mention the movie. I then scoff at the movie and everything it left out concerning the original text. It makes me feel like I'm better than everyone (which I am). Unfortunately, I haven't even cracked the binding of The Lightening Thief yet. Books like this, in the preteen fantasy genre, are cruel mistresses when being adapted to film. Some hit relative homeruns (Sorcerer's Stone) while others miss the mark by a large margin (Golden Compass). Others are just muddled pieces of trash that I wish I could unsee (The Seeker: Dark is Rising).
I want to think Percy and his group of teeny-bopping demigods will hit it fairly close to the mark as director Christopher Columbus has been down this road before (Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets). The Rotten Watch for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the week's highest at 69%
Which movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?