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This Rotten Week: Predicting Ant-Man and Trainwreck Reviews

We have two movies hitting the big screen this wee,k with a somewhat unlikely superhero and Judd Apatow making a return. We’ve got Ant-Man and Trainwreck both heading to theaters this weekend, ready to do battle for the number one spot at the box office.

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.




Rotten Watch Prediction


If I could shrink myself to the size of an ant (or smaller), I’d want to explore so many new places. Places like an ear canal to figure out why I get so much wax. Or an ATM machine to see exactly how it spits out those 20’s. You know, the important places in the world. Behind the curtain sh@#. Hank Pym and Scott Lang have different ideas, and apparently just want to do silly stuff like save the world. Different strokes.

See what I mean in the trailer for Ant-Man below:

It’s an interesting time for Ant-Man to be coming out. On the one hand, we might be coming dangerously close to the saturation point where the genre is concerned. When guys like Paul Rudd start pulling starring roles in action/comic book films, the industry could be reaching critical mass. And look, I love Paul Rudd. He’s one of my favorite actors. I could watch him eating a bagel and reading a book and probably think it was hilarious. I just think it illustrates just how many of these movies are hitting the screen, how much Hollywood is scraping along the comic book world and just how many characters they’ve commissioned into movies.

This isn’t all bad necessarily, I love the genre, and Ant-Man is a key character in the history of Marvel Comics - so it makes total sense to me from a Universe standpoint. But it makes me wonder how the movie will do with critics. This film does diverge a little from the rest of the Marvel universe in that it appears to go for many more laughs than your typical Avengers-style fare (hence the casting of Rudd), and maybe there’s a slot in the genre for these more comedic films with superhero backdrops. Comic books are meant to be fun after all. Not everything need have the brooding and morose tone of a Dark Knight. Movies like Iron Man proved as much with Robert Downey Jr./Tony Starks’ snark proving a winning formula. There are plenty of room for laughs.

The problem this film seems to run into (though the reviews are generally positive so far) is that some critics feel the action and laughs fall into an in between state with neither totally landing. This is not to say it looks bad, as it will finish on the positive side of the scale. I just sense this movie will be quickly forgotten. Though Ant-Man will show up in other places along the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I think this movie is destined to hit the screen, make a few bucks and rarely get mentioned going forward.



Rotten Watch Prediction


Let me just come right out and say it: Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck looks hilarious. Usually I like to start these write ups with a super interesting quip or just a fascinating look inside my brain. But not this one. Count me among the folks who want to see comedies like this succeed in a big way with real names in comedy carrying the weight.

See Amy Schumer go wild in the trailer for Trainwreck below:

After a tepid return to directing with This is 40 (51%), Judd Apatow looks like he’s back bringing the real truth. Early reviews for the film are outstanding. It’s sitting at 100% after twelve reviews, with critics loving just about every part of it. A great deal of credit here seems to go to Schumer, who’s playing a slightly different role than we see in many romantic comedies, and also wrote the script. Whereas it’s usually the fuck-up guy looking to right his ship by finally getting "serious" in a relationship, this time it’s Schumer who’s sworn off monogamy in order to live the successful single life in NYC. It doesn’t seem like this should be a big change for the genre, and yet here we are in 2015 getting what looks like a winning comedy with the roles slightly reversed.

Apatow has had an eye for the female side of things for a while. The aforementioned This is 40 examined the mid-life crisis (from both sides), but really honed in on Leslie Mann’s struggle through this time in her life. Meanwhile, Knocked Up did much of the same, just from a younger perspective as characters came to grips with a new reality. He’s had a flare for capturing what it means to truly transition in life, from both sides of the gender aisle. He appears to have done it again.

It helps that Schumer is a comedy dynamo, and many critics are praising her transition out of the stand-up/TV world and into playing a character. While it doesn’t appear too wildly divergent from her actual demeanor, it’s nice to see she can still pull off the punches on the big screen. And while I don’t think it ends at a perfect score (flicks rarely do, even the very, very best ones), it will land in the upper tier.


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last rotten week

It was a rough one last week for the Rotten Watch. Really rough. First off, Minions (Predicted: 73% Actual: 54%) finished well below my expectation. This one I had a head start on and still came up off the mark, as a flurry of negative-ish reviews poured in later in the week. The concerns about these little yellow guys carrying a whole movie on their own cropped up with more than one critic. Cinema Blend’s own Gregory Wakeman thought it was fine enough in his review, though he admitted the Minions-as-leads wore thin by the end.

Meanwhile, The Gallows (Predicted: 52% Actual: 14%) was a total bomb. I feel like sending myself to the gallows for this prediction. I should have been tipped off when nary a review had come in at the time of my post last Sunday. This is almost always a very bad sign for critical consensus. I was aware of this, but chose to ignore it. I thought the trailer looked scary, and made a wildly horrible prediction.

And finally, I think we’ve already all forgotten about Self/Less (Predicted: 19% Actual: 20%). This movie is fast-tracked to late night cable a couple of years from now when you are flipping through the stations, read the description, have a faint recollection of hearing about it sometime in the past, turn it on and remember that it sucked. But at least my prediction was on the money.

Next time around we see Paper Towns, Pixels and Southpaw. It’s gonna be a Rotten Week!

Doug began writing for CinemaBlend back when Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles actually existed. Since then he's been writing This Rotten Week, predicting RottenTomatoes scores for movies you don't even remember for the better part of a decade. He can be found re-watching The Office for the infinity time.