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It's a year and a week for the Rotten Watch and what a week it is! Martin Lawrence puts on the fat suit again, teenagers get some superpowers and Liam Neeson's world is turned upside down.
Remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but just predicting their final Tomatometer score. Let's take a look at what this week has to offer.
I Am Number Four
I'm a sucker for certain things. To name a few: Land Rover 4X4's, argyle sweaters, girls in high heels, and movies about people with superpowers. It's easy to hold out great hope for these kind of flicks. Trailers make them look exciting, a bunch of good looking people are run around the screen acting like comic book heroes, and there's always a little evil to fight. But ultimately, the movie ends up being a great, big disappointment. Consider recent I Am Number Four doppelgangers Push (23%) and Jumper (16%). In a two minute trailer they appear awesome. In a 120 minute movie, they missed the mark.
That said, there's some reason to hope I Am Number Four will at least have entertainment value. Director DJ Caruso has the Shia Labeouf-led Disturbia (68%) as well as Eagle Eye (27%) which is critically divergent but at least watchable. He's brought in relative newcomer Alex Pettyfer as our hero and my personal man-crush, Timothy Olyphant, as the wise mentor. And, an encouraging tidbit, the creators of Smallville wrote the screenplay. So there's a little teenage/ superhero pedigree.
Here's hoping this latest installment teenager/ superhero fights against the world finally hits the critical mark (unlikely). The Rotten Watch for I Am Number Four is 42%.
Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
Why? I mean really, why? Does Martin Lawrence have some kind dirt on some studio executives? Does the movie industry just enjoy putting unwatchable crap on screen while basically telling movie-goers, "We think you are morons, and you'll prove it to us by seeing this thing we're about to put out." I'm going with the last sentiment.
So we get Big Momma's House: Like Father, Like Son; a movie so resoundingly awful looking that I won't bother summing up the plot. Martin Lawrence brings his toilet bowl of a movie resume (highlight of the last 10 years: Open Season - 47%) to the screen so he can make another mortgage payment on his mansion. I used to think this guy was funny. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me fifty times in a row with sh#$%y films, well, shame on me.
And then we have director John Whitehall. Do you think when this guy is trying to get a reservation at a local Hollywood hotspot he says things like, "What do you mean there aren't any tables available? It's John Whitehall for God's sake. Haven't you ever seen Deck the Halls (6%), Big Momma's House 2 (6%), or Malibu's Most Wanted (30%)**. I own this town godamnit!"
**In the last year, I've probably looked at around 500 Rotten Tomatoes movie pages. This was the most surprised I've been at the Tomatometer. Not to say I didn't laugh during this flick, but that 3 out of every 10 critics liked it is some kind of miracle.
It doesn't take a card-carrying member of Mensa, like me, to throw this prediction close to the gutter. The Rotten Watch for Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son is 10%.
Who can't empathize with Liam Neeson in this movie? One minute he's married to January Jones and living the life. The next minute he wakes up in a hospital, and not only does Jones pretend to not remember him, but now she's banging Aidan Quinn. That'd be enough to drive any man crazy. That a bunch of people are out trying to kill Neeson as well, that's just icing on the terrible cake.
Unknown has the same feel as another Neeson movie, Taken (57%), with more of a psychological twist and hopefully a slightly lower body count. (I think Liam killed twelve hundred dudes in that movie.) Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan - 54%, House of Wax - 25%) is at the helm of this identity-replacement thriller. He's not a critical powerhouse, but that doesn't mean this film will end up in the Rotten Watch dregs. There appears to be more than enough action and intrigue to keep even the most pessimistic critic at least little interested. The Rotten Watch for Unknown is 48%.
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Two hits and two misses last week for the Rotten Watch. Gnomeo & Juliet (Predicted: 64% Actual: 54%) was one of those typically decent, but not great, animated features that kids will eat up.
Meanwhile, Sandler and Aniston did not disappoint this Tomatometer junkie. Just Go With It (Predicted: 27% Actual: 19%) was predictably awful. These two just don't have it in them to make decent comedies anymore. Or if they do, they've chosen to go a different route.
The Eagle (Predicted: 63% Actual:33%) was the first big miss of director Kevin MacDonald's career. When you consider that before this Channing Tatum-led mess MacDonald's career Tomatometer average was a whopping 90% (yep), The Eagle is something he probably wishes could be stricken from the record. It's an outlier for sure.
Finally, Bieber-mania continues its steamroll across America with a documentary, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Predicted: 26% Actual: 64%), that actually appears to hit the critical mark. Granted, 55 reviews is a relatively low number for a wide release, but it's definitely enough. Congrats, Justin. That kid just might make it.
Next week Nic Cage is somehow starring in another movie (does this guy have a clone or something?), husbands get a free sex pass, and a horror movie filmed in 2008 finally hits the big screen. It's going to be a Rotten Week!
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