Not a great week of movies. This is for sure a quantity over quality thing happening. And except for a robotic police officer, there is plenty a cornball love-dovey stuff for the Valentine’s Day crowd with tales of winter, endless love and stories about last night.
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.
For some reason, a scene from the original RoboCop that has always stuck with me is the moment in the board room when they are testing the original machine and it malfunctions, killing the junior partner in the demonstration. I always felt so bad for that guy. It probably explains why I never sought employment in a Fortune 500 company. When you’re climbing that corporate ladder in these huge companies, there stands a good chance you’ll at some point get lit up with a thousand bullets by the latest in crime-fighting technology. So, lesson learned. Don’t suck off the corporate tit. You’ll end up as bullet-riddled Swiss cheese in in the crossfire ... all in the name of profit-seeking. See what RoboCop was doing? Teaching us life lessons.
Usually I’m completely against remakes, thinking they offer nearly nothing in the way of entertainment value, wishing a malfunctioning RoboCop would have lit up the movie studio exec meeting as they talked each other into greenlighting another cash grab. It’s no different here. Why do this? I mean, I know why on a surface level: money. But the real reason revolves around ideas. In that, Hollywood is running out of ‘em. And damn quick.
The new RoboCop seems a lot like the old one, with a few modern day updates, a suit with a few more curves, the color black and the same is-he-human?/is-he-machine? question nobody really cares about. The original was a critical darling (89%) full of commentary on the state of government control and freewill. This one is trending down the middle with critics split. In some ways, this is better than I expected. I guess that’s encouraging, but doesn’t solve the initial issue. Come up with new ideas! Stop producing mediocre remakes of decent originals. Where’s that malfunctioning killing machine when you need one? The Rotten Watch for RoboCop is
Love can keep you alive forever? Is this for real? Because if that’s true, my love for Cookies and Cream ice cream should have me good to go for the rest of eternity. Man I love that stuff. Oh and my wife and kid also. They’re great as well. But that Cookies and Cream is going to keep me going for awhile. Of course, in this flick, Colin Farrell doesn’t pine for high cholesterol treats, but for the love of a woman. And that has him spanning a hundred years in New York City.
The trailers are quick to remind you that director Akiva Goldsman won an Academy Award for his screenplay on A Beautiful Mind (76%). He’s also written screenplays for Cinderella Man (80%) and I am Legend (70%). Of course they fail to mention some of his other work like Batman and Robin (12%) and The Da Vinci Code (25%). Hey, you win some, you lose some. The question is what part of his resume does Winter’s Tale fall for Goldsman?
On its surface it all appears a bit too schmaltzy to be taken completely seriously by critics. I get that there’s a mystical aspect to the novel and you need to suspend disbelief to appreciate the central arc of a character who has qualities that allow him to live forever. But even with that in mind, I’d be shocked if critics really took to the production. I think it falls somewhere around the middle as some will latch on to the story and acting (some real nice players in this thing) while others are turned off to the mystical aspect. The Rotten Watch for Winter’s Tale is
About Last Night
Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Thank [email protected]#$ing god because I don’t know about you, but I was just looking for an excuse to head to the theater for a little romantic comedy about the perils and trial and tribulations, of dissecting the ever delicate balances of relationships. A movie that examines the nature of "power" in a relationship. A movie that delves into how couples come to grips with the components of "love" that either spell happiness or doom between two people. A movie that both men and women can enjoy for not only the humor, but also the commentary on modern day romances. Unfortunately this isn’t is because About Last Night looks ridiculous.
How many cliches about relationships can get piled into one feature film? Good news, from the trailers, it looks like we are going to find out. Things like, who should say I love you first? Should you sleep with someone on the first date? When should you commit? How big of a component is sex in a relationship? It’s all been done a million times before, and it’s getting done a million times here. In fact, without having seen it I bet I can, within a few degrees predict the exact arc of this movie. Guy is single. Guy meets girl. Guy isn’t sure if he wants relationship. Guy and girl enter relationship. Friends have horrible advice. Guy falls in love. Something happens that threatens said love. Guy and girl make up. Guy and girl get married. That was easy.
Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine-63%) directs. And while the trailer had a few moments of funny, my bet is there isn’t nearly enough to sustain a whole film. Plus, with possibly nothing new being brought to the table, there’s almost no way critics fall in love (get it?) with the movie. The Rotten Watch for About Last Night is
Oh man. Um. Hmm. Can’t say "Skip". Need to come up with something positive to say here. Gabrielle Wild is pretty. Okay that’s not enough. Hmm. Oh okay, Alex Pettyfer has nice hair. More? The Florence + the Machine version of "Addicted to Love" is a billion times better than the original. Ok I’m out. I can’t think of another nice thing to say.
A remake of the 1981 movie of the same name (scored 23% with critics at the time), Endless Love is about a kid of indeterminate age (my guess is between 18-33) from the wrong side of the tracks (though not that far, the hair gives him away) falling for the sheltered, rich girl. From the trailer it appears they then bang repeatedly making her father none to happy. The boy has a shady past, but probably not too shady. Just shady enough for the rich dad to want him away from his baby girl, but innocent enough to appeal to a teenage audience. Like he probably stole something and got caught, not sold hardcore drugs, that’s too racy. Then I think the boy and girl bang some more. Then something like a fire happens. Not positive. Boy beats up the dad. In the end, I’ll say boy and girl end up together. Though one might die. That wouldn’t surprise me. And I never saw the original. I love speculating about bad looking movies.
This movie is for the Valentine’s Day crowd that is just dumb enough to go out for a pile of garbage, but wants to avoid the "laughs" of About Last Night. Shana Feste directs and her previous work doesn’t lend to a great deal of critical confidence. She’s got Country Strong (22%) and The Greatest (52%), so, yeah. The Rotten Watch for Endless Love is
Which movie will get a higher Tomato score?
Recapping last week:
From an "in the ballpark" perspective last week was strong. Starting off with a direct hit in The Monuments Men (Predicted: 33% Actual: 33%). Love when we can nail one right on the head. Unfortunately it comes at the expense of a movie we should be really excited about, but aren’t. With a cast and crew this strong finishing this low on the Tomatometer is a disaster. What a shame.
Meanwhile, The Lego Movie (Predicted: 78% Actual: 96%) surpassed my already lofty expectations. From the trailer I thought this stood a chance to finish pretty high, but not this good. This is entering the Toy Story territory of critically acclaimed animated films. I understand its for relatively different reasons, but one of the main keys for animated films having this broad an appeal is when they are geared towards children and adults simultaneously. That’s no easy feat, but the Lego crew looks like they did it.
And finally Vampire Academy (Predicted: 21% Actual: 10%) sucked. Thank goodness. I got trashed in the comments section for my writeup on the film. The critics appear to have vindicated my thoughts as it looked just dreadful. Apparently readers here though are really into this book series and vampires in general. They came to defense of both. Maybe one of them can review the film positively (good luck) and sneak my prediction into the ten percent range.
Next time around we have three days to kill and try to escape a volcano. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!