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Whoo baby. The Rotten Watch is coming off a near sweep and feeling good this holiday weekend. This weekend, in honor of our great predictions, fireworks will go off all over this great nation of ours. This time around bosses get their comeuppance and zookeepers find love.
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.
There are two sides to my persona. There’s the guy who enjoys reading and interpreting Pynchon, analyzing the Post-Impressionistic influences of Cezanne and Matisse, and heading down to the wine cellar every now and then for a bottle of Chateau Margaux. Then there’s the guy who laughed more than twice during the trailer for Zookeeper. Suffice to say these to “selfs” are moderately contradictory. In fact one of them has me plain worried.
Now remember, not all movies need underlying levels of sophistication to do well with critics. In fact, some probably think all they need is a few talking animals (hell, who isn’t an anthropomorphic junkie?), moderate levels of screaming, pratfalls aplenty, and the epically farfetched: a fat zookeeper standing even a speck of a chance with her or her.
That said, obviously Zookeeper stands no critical chance. It’s a Kevin James vehicle after all (Paul Blart: Mall Cop - 33%, The Dilemma - 21%), with a little directing “help” from Frank Coraci (Click - 33%). **
** A quick reminder for newish readers: I tend to only go back a decade when analyzing directorial or acting work. I’m a “What have you done for me lately?” - kind of guy and Coraci’s logged a more than a few crappy miles since The Wedding Singer.
Zookeeper is made for one purpose only. Know what it is? Did you say winning an Oscar? Close, but no, it’s to get pre-teens dragging their reticent parents to the theater, where they’ll drop a couple hundred middle class millions at the box office and get everyone paid. Man, actually that is kind of sophisticated. The Rotten Watch for Zookeeper is 27%.
Did you know there is a holiday called Bosses Day? According to this site, Boss’s Day is a time for “workers to appreciate their employers.” This is how we know holidays in the United States have gotten completely out of control. A concept surely originally meant to be monumentally sarcastic and moderately ironic is now given an actual recognized day. What is the world coming to? Although the holiday would make a little more sense if we celebrated it by pulling off what the characters in Horrible Bosses hope to accomplish: icing their superiors. Now that would make October 16th worth it.
It’s tough to get a read on this comedy. On the one hand the cast is close to an all-star lineup, with huge names occupying even the lesser roles. But consider this when watching the trailer: Did you laugh because there is actual comedy happening, or do you just think it looks funny because it should be with all those big names and faces. Those are diverging concepts and it may be that Horrible Bosses suffers from the latter (a comb-over sporting Colin Farrell aside, he looks hilarious). My brain was laughing, but I didn’t even smile.
Remember, comedies need to be complete, top-to-bottom affairs to gain critical success. Acclaimed documentary and panned comedic director Seth Gordon (The King of Kong - 97%, Four Christmases - 27%) helms a movie with fairly high expectations, but critics will see through the big names to a flawed film. I’m gambling here. The Rotten Watch for Horrible Bosses is 44%.
Recapping last week:
Yes sir, the Rotten Watch had a strong showing. For a better part of the week I thought Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Predicted: 36% Actual: 38%) was going to be right on the nose. It ticked up slightly right at the end.
Meanwhile, my sentiments about Larry Crowne (Predicted: 49% Actual: 35%) were right on, even if the score was lower than expected. The film looked a little too good to be true.
Finally, Monte Carlo (Predicted: 30% Actual: 40%) falls just within ten percent. If anything, I thought my prediction was going to be too high. Shocked this many critics enjoyed it.
Next week Harry Potter calls it quits. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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