The 2011 film year really kicks into gear this week (we can't count last week's Nic Cage disaster can we?) with a little romantic comedy and some superhero hi-jinx. Seth Rogen puts on a mask while Vince Vaughn is stuck in a Catch-22.
Remember folks, I'm not actually reviewing these movies, but rather telling you exactly where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer.
It's easy to picture Seth Rogen as the lovable, albeit crude and egotistical, loser. And why not? He's spent his career playing the guy who's just blindly confident enough to not realize the joke is actually on him. And he does it perfectly. But while on the surface it seems odd to cast Rogen as a superhero, when you look at his career you see many of his characters were really just a cool car and genius sidekick away from hitting the streets and fighting crime.
In The Green Hornet he gets the chance to take his Hollywood cache to the next level, putting on the mask to star in an action film that looks pretty freaking cool. He and writing partner Evan Goldberg (Superbad - 87%, Pineapple Express - 68%) penned a script based on the television and radio character then teamed up with director Michel Gondry (Be Kind Rewind- 65%) to make an action film which promises to be both funny and visually engaging.
Outside of the Chris Nolan-led Batman films, superhero movies work best if they don't take themselves too seriously, when they combine the surreal and the sublime with action sequences that light up the big screen. Rogen and company seem to understand as much. The Rotten Watch for The Green Hornet is 64%.
This movie asks what Vince Vaughn should do when he finds out his best friend's wife is sleeping around on the sneaktip. This movie would make a little more sense if it weren't for the fact that Vaughn's best friend is Kevin James and his wife is Wynona Rider. No one could have seen that coming a million miles away. Rider is smoking hot. James is about a four. I hate when couples are too far-fetched.
Ron Howard is back in the comedy game after screwing up Angels and Demons (36%) and The Da Vinci Code (25%) but crushing Frost/ Nixon (92%) and Cinderella Man (80%). In fact, Opie hasn't really brought the laughs since the late nineties with EdTV (62%). Here he takes a used-to-be-funny Vaughn, a really-not-funny-outside-of-standup James, a little controversy and a tattooed Channing Tatum to make a film that looks decent but not spectacular.
Generally, I trust Howard's ability to put out a critically acclaimed flick. He has enough of a track record to earn the benefit of doubt. That some of the jokes in the trailers look cliche and forced is a troubling sign, but I don't see critics destroying it outright. The Rotten Watch for The Dilemma is 51%.
The Heart Specialist
I really wanted to find something nice to say about this movie. Really I did. But after watching the trailer twice (no easy feat) and checking out the resumes of the major players (relatively uninspiring or non-existent except for Avatar's Zoe Saldana), it was easy to make the call that this movie is going to blow. I predict it'll be nearly impossible to watch if for some reason you actually show up in one of the 500 theaters it's showing in to see it.
The Heart Specialist follows a group of doctors as they make bad jokes, regurgitate cliche lines about romance, act poorly, deliver stiff dialogue, do some stand up comedy for some reason to create a brutal looking movie.
First time director Dennis Cooper doesn't appear to make a convincing case for a long stay in Hollywood, while the rest of the cast looks like they're just happy for the work. The Rotten Watch for The Heart Specialist is 19%.
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
In the comments section of last week's Rotten Week I mentioned that if a movie falls under the 10% threshold we could instantly start discussing it as the worst movie of the year. Coming in under that number is extremely rare, though not impossible. Last year only five movies total finished with scores under 10%. They were Furry Vengeance, My Soul to Take, Vampires Suck, The Last Airbender. and The Bounty Hunter.
But only a week into 2011 and Season of the Witch (Predicted: 21%, Actual: 4%) has made a strong case for the bottom of this year's barrel. In fact, at one point during the week it was sitting at a solid 2% until a critic came in late yesterday, somehow liked it, and bumped it up a couple of points. Congrats.
Next week, Ashton Kutcher somehow gets another gig while Colin Farrell escapes from a World War II prison. It's going to be a Rotten Week!