If you like comic book movies this has been the summer of your enormous content. And if you’re a dope who likes romantic comedies, well then every summer is amazing (as is every winter, spring and fall). If only the government scientifically engineered a super soldier do away with rom-coms.
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.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Ever get the feeling that the original comic book premises were merely not-so-thinly veiled government trial balloons thrown out there to so see how the general public would react to things like aliens, mutations, extraordinary powers, large scale weapons, and government created super fighting machines. The big boys in power got a comic book artist to throw out an idea like a scrawny kid getting in a machine to give him superhuman powers in order to fight global evil. The public reacts favorably (Just dress him up in the good old Red, White and Blue!) and the secret scientists get to work on the technology to experiment on human guinea pigs in an effort to make them into super soldiers. I’m on to you top secret government agencies! It’s why they’ve never brought the aliens out of hiding, we’re all terrified. (If I mysteriously disappear this week, you’ll know why).
And why wouldn’t we love a guy like Captain America (government experiments aside), wrapped in a spandex-y American flag, with a Stars and Stripes shield, eagle wings on his noggin, umm, pirate boots, practically humming the national anthem when he enters rooms, and the ability to ice Nazis with relative ease. He he should replace the eagle as our national symbol of kickassestry. In the movie version, Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers takes on Nazis during World War II in a flick that looks like American whizbang patriotism at its very best. And while I want to believe this movie’ll be everything we Yanks are dreaming of, there’s reason for concern.
That concern is named Joe Johnston and he’s directing after giving us the underwhelming The Wolfman (33%), Hidalgo (47%), and Jurassic Park III (50%). Since I only really go back a decade for these predictions, it might be safe to say Johnston’s best years are behind him. And while the trailer for CapAm looks entertaining, there’s always room for error amidst the explosions and one-liners, especially in a summer of comic book movie success (Thor - 77%, X-Men First Class - 86%). I think it finishes above average, but below its Marvel brothers. The Rotten Watch for Captain America: The First Avenger is 58%.
Friends With Benefits
Man that Justin Timberlake is a super savvy dude. A secret genius possibly. Or at least his agent and publicist are, because dude has cornered the drooling female crowd at every possible stage of his life. First he woos the elementary school crowd in The Mickey Mouse Club. The he conquers teen-dom with N Sync. Then its on to the college crowd with his solo career and now he’s turned his sights on the late-twenties crowd by ditching the singing and entering into the wacky world of rom-coms. Just f#$%ing genius.
Normally, I’d focus on how this kind quirky-slapsticky-love affair crap rarely crushes in the eyes of critics. Or how director Will Gluck has been a bit hit or miss with hits like Easy A (85%), miss - Fired Up (22%), and sort of in between Hamlet 2 (63%). But, for this I’m willing to bet on Timberlake because he’s the entertainment industry’s version of King Midas. He turns out gold. **
** It’s worth noting that Timberlake’s overall movie career has been less than critically stellar, but he’s never taken a lead role. He’s always been a bit part-type, and he steals scenes in those roles.
Am I done with my not-so-hidden man crush on Timberlake? Nope, because I also went into the trailer fully expecting to think this was the movie that tanked his career. But turns out it kind of looks funny. Sure the premise is ridiculous. The situations far from realistic. And we’re made to believe a guy who looks like Andy Samberg could ever score Mila Kunis. But hey, it’s Timberlake. Critics are going to like it, right? Right? The Rotten Watch for Friends With Benefits is 67%..
Recapping last week
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 (Predicted: 100% Actual: 97%). I went for the perfect score mostly out of the sheer joy of it. Deep down in my expanding gut I knew there was almost no chance it would happen. Six critics out of 224 disliked the flick, including He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. This is still an incredibly high score for any type of movie and will almost surely end as the highest rated flick with over 100 reviews. Finally, the Harry Potter series of books and movies has something to hang its hat on. I always cheer for the underdog that no one’s ever heard of, talked about, or rooted for.
Winnie the Pooh (Predicted: 71% Actual: 91%). I had a strict formula for the prediction on this movie. I thought about 70% of critics would like it after the initial reviews and calculated the 71% as the final based on that assumption. Oops. Seems about 95% of critics liked it after the first ones. I only wrote that to let you know that I actually do have a strategy here and it isn’t just random numbers.
Next week, cowboys shoot aliens, Steve Carell looks for love and little blue annoying things invade Manhattan. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!