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Still recovering from your Oscar hangover? Still debating Seth MacFarlane’s performance? Still reveling in the year that was? Well guess what, it’s time to move on. Because the movies don’t stop. This week we’ve got dead men down and a trip to Oz.
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.
Oz the Great and Powerful
While for some getting sucked up in a cyclone-ing vortex and hurtled at deathly speeds through the atmosphere would be one of those “Uh-oh” situations from which nightmares are created, there are a couple of feel good stories thrown in here and there. (Though I’d suspect a bunch of Midwest folks would probably take a little umbrage with the implication of any tornado “upside”.) For those few who came out the other side of the twister and actually landed in Oz (and not say the farm or trailer park down the street), the circling winds even portended a bit of greatness.
Oscar Diggs’ trip in the balloon, down the Yellow Brick Road and into the Emerald City meant the beginning of a monarchy ruling over witches, munchkins, flying monkeys, and presumably, these dudes. Not a bad little getaway.
Drag Me to Hell-92%, Spider-Man 2-93%), Oz the Great and Powerful goes prequel style, (a couple of years B.T.-Before Toto) and appears to cover familiar Frank L. Baum turf while possibly leaving out the political intrigue Wicked imagined. Starring James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, and Rachel Weisz, this latest take on Oz uses CGI to create a more elaborate world than Dorothy and crew ever could, and early reviews are positive. While those sentiments may dip over the course of the week, it does appear Raimi has created a fun movie, imagining Oz as a bigger, more magical place than we’ve seen before. I think critics end up on the right side of the meter. The Rotten Watch for Oz the Great and Powerful is
Dead Man Down
Why is it gangsters insist on hurting people and then leaving them alive? Haven’t they learned these same people will become hyper-focused, revenge-seeking, inordinately-talented killing machines with no other purpose in life but systematically tearing down the very fabric and infrastructure of your criminal enterprise; eventually coming for you in a fiery, endgame shootout. Haven’t these bad guys ever seen movies before? It’s fairly well spelled out. This makes me think many movie no-gooders lack the kind of forward thinking needed for a sustainable, well-scaled, thriving criminal enterprise.
Terrence Howard in Dead Man Down appears no different. Not only does dude [email protected]#$ up Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace in some way, but they’re both freaking neighbors, creating creating a two-on-one situation that even the best movie criminal can’t realistically survive. What ensues is an emotive, noir-laced bloodbath as they work their way through the criminal underworld eventually (presumably) wrapping things up at the top.
Directed by Neils Arden Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-86%), this flick looks like it employs many of the same revenge thriller tropes but, possibly, to greater cinematic gains. The film appears sleek and Farrell, when cast correctly and given strong material, has shown the ability to pump out a quality product. I don’t expect this film to cover any new ground necessarily, but that doesn’t mean it can’t go positive with critics. I think it ends up positive, though not overwhelmingly so. If these gangsters would only learn to just do it right the first time, a bunch of energy could be saved over the long term. The Rotten Watch for Dead Man Down is
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Recapping last week:
Fifty percent on the week, with the other two in the ballpark but slightly off the mark. Not bad all things considered.
First off, Jack the Giant Slayer (Predicted: 47% Actual: 52%) was close to the money. It just looked like the giants, the corny jokes and the general CGI’d feel would hold it back. Bingo. What I really should have done is make a prediction for how many critics would use some version of “Fee-fi-fo-fum” to voice their opinion of the flick. To her credit, Katey did not, but the overall number is probably somewhere around twenty-five percent.
Meanwhile, Phantom (Predicted: 27% Actual: 21%) was equally close. A big warning sign for a movie like this is hearing absolutely nothing about it leading up to release. It usually means the studio’s out of cash or the movie sucks (or both). The informational and advertising void meant it wouldn’t be lighting the world on fire.
The Last Exorcism Part II (Predicted: 39% Actual: 15%) finished way, way below its predecessor and hopefully spells the end of using ill-fitting and dishonest titles for movies.
Finally, I thought 21 and Over (Predicted: 15% Actual: 31%) and it’s irresponsible message would have it more in the basement. Granted the thirty percent range is bad, I just thought it would be awful. All in all, not a bad week.
Next time around we get a call and meet Burt Wonderstone. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!