Some weeks you got it, and some weeks you think a movie about a train will be, wait for it, a car wreck. Alas, the Rotten Watch missed by a wide margin on Denzel's second foray into the choo-choo world in as many years. That being said, we were right on with Skyline's crappiness. But does any of this really matter? No it does not. Because this week Harry Potter returns to theaters and all is right in the world. Just remember, I'm not actually reviewing these movies, but rather determining the Tomatometer score. Let's take a look at what this week has to offer.
It doesn't take a Tomatometer genius like me to predict where this movie will score. It will hit 80% almost directly on Professor Snape's hook-like nose and we'll call it a day. After all, it's a Harry Potter movie and he always seems to score in the 80's like a good little wizard. Hovering this high for a movie franchise is a ridiculous feat especially considering the expectations levied by roughly a billion Harry Potter fanatics (this writer included).
At the risk of waxing giddy/ philosophical, the Harry Potter franchise represents a literature-to-film phenomenon the likes of which we've never seen and will likely never see again. The hype around both book and movie are media history. And they rarely disappoint. Do the movies measure up to the books? Not on a depth level of course. But in terms of bringing the world of Hogwarts (and beyond) to life on screen, well they clearly get it right.
J.K. Rowling wrote the books so a reader could begin sometime in grade school and grow up alongside Harry, Hermione, and Ron, through all the nonsense that is middle school and high school (assuming one has an evil wizard bent on killing them hanging around). The movies are much the same, growing darker and more ominous as the series moves towards closure. And now we reach The Deathly Hallows, a movie so big they needed two parts to tell the whole story.
Luckily, David Yates is back on board directing. He helmed Half-Blood Prince (83%) and Order of the Phoenix (78%). There's no reason to suspect Deathly Hallows will be any different.
The Harry Potter books and movies are more than media. They are a generational landmark. And we're close to marking the end. The Rotten Watch for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is 80%.
Is there anything in the world easier to escape from than prison? So many flicks have given us the blueprint on how to bust out of the joint, I can't even imagine it'd be a difficult task at this point. In fact, it's amazing we're able to keep any prisoners inside the walls. I mean they can dig tunnels through walls, tattoo escape maps all over their body, bribe guards, sneak in weapons, use cell-made ropes to pull levers that open doors. There is literally no end to ideas for breaking out of the clink.
And now Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks are going to give it a shot. The Next Three Days, based on the recent French movie Pour Elle, pits Crowe's character against the entire prison system in his quest to get Banks the hell out of jail. Paul Haggis directs and has me legitimately torn about a final score. One the one hand, Haggis's directing resume reads well with movies like In the Valley of Elah (73%) and Crash (75%). He also has a number of screenwriting credits that should boost his score. On the other hand, a few early reviews are in for The Next Three Days and there's cause for concern. When words like "over-long," "muddled," and "over worked" are used to describe a flick, it's hard to go too high on the score.
In the end, I think Crowe busts Banks out of jail, we get a bunch of high speed chases and critics fall somewhere in the middle in their reviews. The Rotten Watch for The Next Three Days is 46%.
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Raise your hand if you thought Unstoppable (Predicted 43% Actual 87%) would score close to 90% on the Tomatometer. Ok, now put those hands down because you are huge liars. This score has me legitimately shocked. Not so much that a Denzel movie could be this high, but rather that a movie about a high speed train chase could garner this much critical acclaim. Prediction: we'll see about one thousand more movies involving trains in the next five years based on the success of this one.
Meanwhile Skyline (Predicted 23% Actual 10%) was predictable in its awfulness. I always hesitate on going too low with my predictions, but this is one I really wanted to rank close to zero. Mack Rawden says pretty much everything you need to know about the flick right here. I laughed no less than five times while reading his review. It's worth a look.
Finally, Morning Glory (Predicted 76% Actual 56%) was a bit off, but really with everything else going on in the film world does anyone even care? Most seemed to have forgotten this even came out. Who has time for the morning news when we've got aliens, trains, prisons and wizards to think about?
Next week is all over the place with The Rock hunting down bad guys, Cher and Christina Aguilera getting naughty, Rapunzel receiving a facelift and Jake Gyllenhaal hawking penis drugs. It's going to be a Rotten Week!