This Rotten Week: Predicting Abduction, Moneyball, Killer Elite And Dolphin Tale Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2011-09-18 11:14:34discussion comments
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This Rotten Week: Predicting Abduction, Moneyball, Killer Elite And Dolphin Tale Reviews image
I’m giddy. I’m jumping around the room. I can barely contain myself. What a freaking week this is for making fun of movies. I mean we’ve got a shirt-wearing Lautner. A finless dolphin. A moneyless baseball team. And a never harmless Jason Statham.

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.

Abduction
Taylor Lautner is proof of a highly-specific, much-tested, perpetually-proven, universal truth: young teenagers are idiots. Like really, really stupid. Scary dumb. (Other proof of this includes: YouTube Fred, huffing, and skinny jeans.) There’s no other way to explain Lautner’s Cro-Magnon-esque, stiff as a board, deer in headlights, teenage angst “acting” style gaining popularity.

Think I’m wrong? Already scrolling down to the comments section to pepper me with an anti-Doug, pro-Taylor response? Pause for a second and watch the trailer for Abduction. It’s an acting abomination. Keep a keen eye and ear out for the times Lautner is tasked with doing high level acting things like “Saying lines with normal inflection,” or “Looking comfortable on camera” or “Showing emotion.” These acting conventions are a struggle for the kid, and this is the trailer where the highlights of the flick are showcased. What’s the rest of the film like? But hey, at least he’s the star of the movie.

John Singleton (Four Brothers-52%) gave himself the unenviable task of making a movie with this kid and at least did an admirable job of throwing competent talent around the margins in Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs, and Mara Bello. I don’t know if they can even out the scales, but it’ll at least be an interesting acting seesaw. The Rotten Watch for Abduction is 22%.


Moneyball
A movie based on a book about a middling, cash-strapped, completely nondescript, baseball franchise that employs the use of sabermetrics (advanced statistics) to create a competitive (but not championship-winning) team during the early 2000’s? Sign me the hell up.

Look, Moneyball is the kind of book that really never had any business becoming a movie, to the point I can imagine author Michael Lewis getting the phone call and saying something like, “You optioned it? Like into a movie?” Chuckles “Yeah, okay, good luck, should be gripping. Send the check.”

But here’s the thing, and I really can’t believe I’m about to type this: Moneyball appears to be an actual, honest to goodness, good movie. Good, as in, the words “Oscar” and “nomination” have been bandied about (albeit quietly and without too much conviction), but the consideration alone is a feat in itself. And is almost directly analogous to the story the movie tells: a longshot doing something unconventional and outside the norm in order to produce a winner.

Bennett Miller, (Capote-90%, and another unconventional film about a dude writing a book that eventually turned into a movie) might have pulled off what Billy Beane did in Oakland: zigging when everyone else is zagging and coming out near the top. Oh, and having Brad Pitt doesn’t hurt. The Rotten Watch for Moneyball is 79%.


Dolphin Tale
Oh boy. It’s easy to imagine how the pitch for this little number went:

Movie Exec: Ok lay it on me

Pitchman: Well it’s easy really. Picture a combination Free Willy and Brian’s Song. This dolphin loses its tail and everyone writes it off as good-as-dead. That is except for a crack team of bleeding heart liberals. They save it, with a catchy soundtrack to boot.

Movie Exec: (Nodding head vigorously) Oh yeah. Loving it. Loving it. Are we looking at a heavy spine-tingling chill and tear count?

Pitchman: Hell yes. See everyone’s going to be cheering for the dolphin. But we’ve also got a dude with no leg to root for. And of course there’s a fatherless kid to feel bad for. Every other scene is going to tug on the heart strings.

Movie Exec: Boom. This thing’s a winner. Make sure it’s in 3D, give it a catchy title and cast Harry Connick Jr. That dude just screams intense aquatic rehabilitation to me.

Pretty much sums it up I think. Nothing else really needed to greenlight this flick. Charles Martin Smith (Stone of Destiny-53%) targets the weepy, feelgood, sappy loser crowd by throwing the kitchen sink of sympathetic characters at us in an effort to illicit misty eyes across the board. I’m not buying it, although it’ll probably get a little dusty in the theater for me, assuming I’m the kind of person who’ll shell out cash for this film. Which I’m not. I’m tough. Seriously, I am. The Rotten Watch for Dolphin Tale is 32%.


Killer Elite
I don’t have time to cultivate this idea because I’m a fairly important person with a great deal of responsibilities, but one of you out there can feel free to take this and run with it. It’s the Body Count Fantasy League. Basically it works like this: Get a bunch of friends together and have a draft of actors/ actresses. Your sole goal is to produce the “team” with the highest movie kills. Past performances can count if you choose, but we’re really looking for a well-rounded group of dudes that love the thrill of the kill. (It also wouldn’t be bad to just start a blog tallying up movie kills. I’d actually like to read those statistics). My first pick would be Jason Statham, both for historical statistics and potential going forward.

** Some of my other picks would include: Arnold Schwarzenegger (very impressive resume, and possibly the overall leader), Bruce Willis (The Die Hard franchise was a bloodbath), Liam Neeson (a sneaky late round pick based on Taken alone), and Robert Pattinson (who mostly just kills people by boring them to death).

Jason Statham’s adding to that body count with this new movie. To be honest, I didn’t even bother figuring out what the plot is. I’m just assuming he’s out to kill a bunch more people who wronged him in some way or are out to get him. Guy knows his wheelhouse and icing other actors is the way to go.

Director Gary McKendry makes his big screen debut with a savvy move. Turn the reins over to the Maestro of Massacre and let him conduct his symphony. The Rotten Watch for Killer Elite is 55%.


Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?

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Recapping last week

Great week for the Rotten Watch. We’ll start off with a perfect prediction.Straw Dogs (Predicted: 37% Actual: 37%) was an exact bullseye. Boo-yah. Haven’t had one of these in awhile but will file it away in my Greatest Hits.

Meanwhile, Drive (Predicted: 96% Actual: 93%) is right up there with the best. I had a bit of a head start on this one, but we’ll take it.

Finally, I Don’t Know How She Does It (Predicted: 43% Actual: 20%) was an unfortunate miss considering I bagged the whole premise in my writeup. Need to do better about following my gut.

Next week Gordon-Levitt fights cancer, cops go Christian, a house gets haunted, and Anna Faris looks back at old dates. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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