Memorial Day weekend is when I make my annual pilgrimage to the racetrack for its opening day. What better way to spend my hard-earned CinemaBlend dollars than on the ponies? But before I head off into a devolving mess of booze, gambling and the end of my kid’s college fund, we better check in on this week’s flicks. I mean come on, we’ve got fairy tales and fairly- crazy fish to fry.
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.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Sometimes I watch my one year old daughter prance flightily around the living room and wonder when she’ll be ready for a healthy dose of fairy tales. When I’ll pass along the classic stories of good and evil. Of love and loss. Of princesses and frogs. Of evil witches and dungeon towers. Stories with morals and lessons and feelings. And then I watch a trailer like the one for this flick and say, “Fuck it, my stories will be boring as hell. Just watch this movie, you’ll get it kid.”
Hollywood, by and large, loves to take fairy tales and put there own “spin” on them. Studio execs want nothing more than to “update” something old and worn out. Hell, look no further than Mirror, Mirror (50%) for another play on Snow White just this year. But even with the recycled factor, I think this movie has a chance. Trailers do not a movie make, and better critical prediction writers* than this guy have fallen victim to the allure of 120 second movie capsules. But I think this movie has the goods.
*Kidding, I’m the best and only one out there.
This flick’s got action, adventure, Charlize Theron, sorcery, swordplay, Theron, axes, beasts, Theron, thematic elements of “destiny” and oh yeah, Theron. That’s a winning combo. And sure there’s first time director, and first time, well, anything, Rupert Sanders behind the lens. But the cast is quality, it’s a new take on the tired old fairy tale theme, and if nothing else, hopefully this flick means Hollywood won’t come out with another Snow White movie for at least a decade. That’s enough for me. The Rotten Watch or Snow White and the Huntsman is 72%.
There’s an old saying in the critical prediction biz that goes something like this: Fool me once with a campy horror movie starring CGI’ed, psycho, bloodthirsty piranhas, shame on you. Try and fool me twice, well you get the idea, I don’t remember the whole quote.
The original Piranha 3-D (Predicted: 18% Actual 73%) represents one of my greatest misses ever. In fact it’s difficult, even if trying, to whiff by this many Tomatometer percentage points. At the time, I didn’t totally understand the movie-makers were going for over-the-top campy horror. It just looked like an awful movie. But Piranha 3-D worked as an almost an ode to B-movie cheap thrills. And critics kind of, don’t pardon the pun, ate it up.
But it ain’t happening again, even with the return of Hasselhoff. I’ve got a bit of a head start here and early reviews have Piranha 3DD (You need to at least applaud their choice of title) as having the elements of awful I expected for the original. This one looks unapologetically bad. Director John Gulager (Feast-56%) seems to have taken the fun out of the premise, or whatever fun can be had with piranhas pureeing up humans over and over and over again. No one’s fooling me this time. This time a piranha movie critically tanks. The Rotten Watch for Piranha 3DD is 13%.
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Recapping last week:
So-so week for the Rotten Watch with one hit - Chernobyl Diaries (Predicted: 34% Actual: 26%) and a slight miss - Men in Black III (Predicted: 52% Actual: 68%). The former fell right into the Horror Zone. It’s tough for these flicks to garner a whole lot of critical acclaim. They either need to be off the charts scary or bring something completely new to the table. According to Mack’s review, Chernobyl Diaires didn’t really seem to do either.
Men in Black III picked up critical steam as the week went on which is unfortunate. I thought it would dip towards the middle with critics, especially considering the low score for the second installment of the franchise. What I needed was more reviews like Eric’s whose opinion is summed up with this line, “It has far too many problems to be considered good...” Come on critics, where were the rest of you on this movie?
Next time around we head back to Madagascar and experience the awesomeness of Prometheus. It’s going to 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.
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