Some weeks you have it and some weeks you don't. The Rotten Watch was overdue for a loss and last week was a total blowout, ten run, mercy rule bombardment of suck. Hey, it happens. Unfortunately, it happened against an army of Bella and Edward fans who cheered all the way to the box office window and were able to get a tick more than half of critics to say Eclipse was worth the watch. Breathe easy Twilight-ites, some people liked the movie as much as you (well, probably not as much as you. You are the biggest fan out there). Meanwhile, The Last Airbender piled on the terrible in ridiculous fashion firmly entrenching M. Night Shyamalan as a two (or three) hit wonder.
This week, those hockey mask wearing aliens are back. This time they are hunting humans on Predator turf. Meanwhile, Gru plots to steal the moon and do God only knows what with it. Let's check out what this week has to offer.
I think we will end up calling the twenty first century (assuming we see the end of it) “The Century of the Reboot.” Studios, directors, producers and writers alike cannot help themselves at the thought of banging out something someone else did awhile (or not too long) ago. Sometimes it works out (Star Trek, Batman Begins) and sometimes it fails miserably (The Pink Panther). For Robert Rodriguez, I think it works out. (Although, this is technically considered a twenty years later sequel, I think we can agree they are rebooting the franchise).
I love the original Predator as basically a big flexing contest, replete with killing, blood, a camouflaged alien and Arnold out-running a small nuclear blast. But I don't mind the reboot; in this case throwing the Adrien Brody and company into the predators' world and making them fight for survival. Robert Rodriguez took something cool, and looks to have made it even cooler.
As a producer Rodriguez inspires a decent amount of confidence when putting out a movie like Predators. He's got more than a few quality products (Sin City, Desperado) on his resume and I'm willing to look past the occasional The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D. He needs to feed his family too, right? This time he teams up with director Nimrod Antal (I'm sure this guy's school years were a real treat) to put the Predator back into our lives and make Brody an action star. By the looks of the trailer, they got it right.
No other way around it from my perspective, Predators looks to be worthy of the original. The Rotten Watch for Predators is 71%.
There are already some reviews in for Despicable Me which helps in making a prediction, but by no means locks up the score. That said, even without the tiny head start, there are a lot of reasons to think this animated flick from Illumination Entertainment will be a winner (not the least of which is I smiled throughout the entire trailer).
Chris Meledandri runs Illumination Entertainment after leaving 20th Fox Century Animation where he put out movies like Ice Age (77%), Robots (63%) and Fantastic Mr. Fox (93%). For Despicable Me, he teamed up first time directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud with writer Ken Daurio (Horton Hears a Who - 78%) to make a movie that I want to go out and see right now.
Just judging from the trailer, everything about Despicable Me seems to work. Laughs? Check. A villainous main character who is equal parts intense and comically misguided? Check. Cool visuals? Check. A little kid who I want to have around for extra laughs? Big check. A ton of big names (Steve Carrell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand) adding their pipes to the production which probably doesn't matter, but is worth mentioning? Check. What else does a movie like this really need?
Despicable Me tells the story of Gru and his plot to steal the moon with the help of his underground minions. That is, until some kids muddle up the whole plan (don't they always?). What happens next is, by all accounts, a fantastic movie that anyone can enjoy. Some folks will come along disliking the production, but not many. The Rotten Watch for Despicable Me is 93%.
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Recapping last week: As I eloquently summed up at the beginning, last week was a bloodbath for the Rotten Watch. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Predicted 23%, Actual 52%) crushed the box office and was able to keep critics from poking their eyes out like I thought they would. Nice job everybody. To be honest, this new installment has a pretty good distinction coming its way. As far as I can figure, Eclipse is the most critically improved movie over its predecessor in a franchise series (New Moon - 27%). That's no easy feat. Hey look, I was able to say something nice about the Twilight movies. We all win.
The Last Airbender (Predicted 43%, Actual 8%) heads into the “epically bad” category even though Cinemablend's Josh Tyler liked what M. Night rolled out there. (His review lead me to thank him for, at the time, being one of only two people who thought it worth watching. My boy was just trying to help a brother out.)
Next week, the dreamy Leo D takes us into another dream world and Jay Baruchel channels his inner Harry Potter. It's going to be a Rotten Week!