When I kneel down at the side of my bed tonight and pray to Odin I’ll only be asking for one thing. That is: can Thor just please actually come to life, take his hammer, and crush any evidence or footage of the other two movies coming out this week. I don’t want him to destroy them in a metaphorical, box office kind of way. I want him to actually cause physical damage. Thank you Odin. Amen.
Just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer Let's see what This Rotten Week has to offer!
People around the office always ask me, “Doug, do you feel you’re more a god-like man? Or a man-like God?” A tough, but fair question if there ever was one. The idea of riding the fence between the mortal and deity worlds is a difficult thing to explain. But it looks like the team behind Thor got it just about right.
Though I find the Thor story one of Marvel’s least intriguing (let the deluge of hate mail commence) and was super skeptical about a movie adaptation, it appears it’s not only good, but may be borderline great. Not bad for the story of a bratty little God getting put in timeout by his father. And what bigger cesspool, crap hole to send your whiny son than Earth? But at least the kid came singing “If I Had a Hammer” at the top of his lungs and carrying this thing just in case anyone needed a little home remodeling along the way.
Sitting at 94% after fifty reviews is no joke and Thor could join the likes of Iron Man (94%), Dark Knight (94%) and Spider-Man 2 (93%) on the shortish list of comic book adaptations that weren’t depressingly underwhelming. And if it joins those others (looking more and more likely) it enters that rarified air of movies I’ll end up watching 10,000 times over the next half decade or so.
Though helmer Kenneth Branagh’s resume skews more towards acting directing, all signs point to him have ushered in the summer season with a bang, of a hammer (see what I did there?). Though American critics might not keep up the early, positive pace set by international reviewers, it’s unlikely this movie drops off much, if at all. The Rotten Watch for Thor is 92%.
Want to write a romantic comedy? No problem. The bar has been set so disgustingly low, that by following this fairly easy to replicate template you’ll be churning out scripts in no time.
First, you need characters. That’s easy. Your main character should be someone moderately attractive (not too hot or we’ll never believe they can’t find someone, not too ugly or they wouldn’t be in Hollywood so don’t bother). This character should be just entering their thirties and realizing he/she will never find someone (or at least not the person of their dreams). The main character should have a best friend who is either A) incredibly successful with the opposite sex or B) woefully inept when it comes to getting laid. Please nothing in between.
Next, the main character needs someone of the opposite sex and equally attractively neutral in their lives. This person is most likely the main character’s confidant (but not a love interest, they’re just friends!). Make sure they live in a city and give everyone good, but not great, jobs. Upwardly mobile corporate lawyers, journalists, techies and one of the friends should definitely own some kind of art studio. Those places always make for great backdrops.
Now, throw all these people together, write in some close romantic calls, a bunch of double entendres, an epically bad date here or there, at least one big blowout fight twenty minutes from the finish, a musical montage, the confidants falling in love and everyone remaining friends in the end. Voila! You did it.
And so did the writers of Something Borrowed. I mean they strayed a little bit from my template, but not much. Luke Greenfield (Role Models - 77%), I expected more from you. The Rotten Watch for Something Borrowed is 25%
Remember everything I just said about romantic comedies? There’s an equally mundane set of rules for wedding comedies too. Wedding comedies are like the rom-com’s embarrassing little brother who pops up every once in awhile to tell the same old tired jokes and pick his nose. When church bells start ringing you can expect certain things. The couple’s families will be from opposing backgrounds: One rich, the other working class (don’t you dare say poor). The individual fringe family members (aunts, cousins, etc) will be more annoying and less funny than everyone in your family combined. At some point the wedding will be in jeopardy, usually over the chasm of differences between the two families. A brother or sister from one side will get drunk and do something stupid like sleep with the nutso, fringe cousin from the other family. The closing scene will be the wedding reception where everyone is getting along. And then my wife will wrestle a fork out of my hands before I put it through my eye.
And I think that pretty much sums up Jumping the Broom. I doubt I missed much. And if I did, rest assured it was only because I rarely watch these kinds of movies start to finish. Director Salim Akil takes his first shot at the big screen in what will surely be one of the most forgettable movies this summer. The Rotten Watch for Jumping the Broom is 14%.
Recapping last week:
Fast Five (Predicted: 67% Actual: 78%!!!). I didn’t see any chance of this racing movie keeping up the wildly positive critical pace it first accelerated with. Yet, whenever Vin Diesel and Paul Walker hit the screen, something homoerotically magical happens. I watched Fast and Furious today just to remind myself of that simple fact. Judging by the box office numbers, this franchise isn’t going an-eee-where.
Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil (Predicted: 30% Actual: 10%) Too stupid to write about twice.
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (Predicted: 30% Actual: 7%) was worse than just about anything else this year. What a shame, as I’d hoped some critics might find camp value in it. I guess not.
Prom (Predicted: 30% Actual: 39%) had me a little worried early in the week when it came out of the limo at over 50%. Thankfully reviewers came around and realized that real teenagers aren’t happy about anything, especially school dances.
Next week, it’s the female version of The Hangover and a priest fights vampires. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!