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We’re in full summer gear folks. It’s hot, the beers are on ice and there’s more than enough summer movie fare to go around. This week its all about the kids. Some are stuck in a horror film and the others got to be in a JJ Abrams flick.
And 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.
Super 8 There are certain dudes (and gals) out there whose names carry a certain amount of cache, whose reputations float above us in media rarified air (the Kickassosphere I think is the scientific term), whose s#$% most definitely do not stink. J.J. Abrams is one of those guys. Part of it comes from developing the single most (pleasantly) frustrating television program in history **, giving us Sydney Bristow, rebooting Cap Kirk with a vengeance, using a handheld to document the alien takeover of NYC and just generally being on my short list of DILFs (Directors I’d Like to Friend). Hell, this is a guy whose name gets cheered when it just appears in a trailer for some movie you didn’t come to watch. That’s legit.
**the most unpleasantly frustrating show ever was Cop Rock. Cops singing? Come on Steven Bochco.
His newest, an apparent homage to Spielberg, if E.T. didn’t want to phone home, but instead just wanted to kill Elliot and replaced Reese’s Pieces with big ass explosions, has critics reacting favorably if not totally over the moon. CB’s Eric Eisenberg lays his thoughts out in his review and what he writes mirrors what many other critics think: the visuals are amazing, the action is gripping, and the story has some decently-sized holes. Hell, that’s fine, it’s a summer movie after all.
The Tomatometer has the flick sitting at 85% and if I’ve learned nothing from writing this Pulitzer Prize nominated (one of these days) column its that the first batch of reviewers to see movies like this usually like it the most. While I don’t think it derails (train reference), there are certain critics who’ll hone in on the flaws enough to drop the score. It’s all right J.J., you keep doing what you’re doing. Us MENSA folks always appreciate it. The Rotten Watch for Super 8 is 74%.
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Though I was sorely tempted to just write “Pass” here and move on to recapping last week for a couple of reasons (like A: very few people reading this site would ever consider seeing this film and B: the word “Bummer” is involved in the title), I’m putting in the effort because of a certain meta-level genius on the part of movie executives that I just can’t ignore. That genius involves Heather Graham, and this marks the first time the word genius and her name were ever found in the same sentence.
See, the people who will want to see this film are younger girls. They love the Judy Moody books and fall head over heels for the chance to see the hi-jinks involved in these kind of prepubescent run-arounds. But these kids need someone to take them to theater and here’s where Heather comes in. Movies like the The Hangover test super well with the 30-40 year old male crowd because they imagine themselves up to the same kind of adult nonsense and those same guys now picture Heather as a super-hot escort who doesn’t mind marrying uber-dorks like themselves after a night of binging. Or even better they just think of Roller Girl. And director John Schultz (Aliens in the Attic - 30%, The Honeymooners - 14%) gets this. Or at least I want to believe that he does.
So these dads’ daughters ask them to see Judy Moody and the fathers relent. That is until they watch the trailer and see Heather as the hot aunt running around with the kids, just looking attractive. So these dads think that maybe they’ll go check out the movie for the hell of it. Because wouldn’t it be great if Heather Graham showed up to babysit your next door neighbor’s kids for the summer? Now that’s the dream. See, movie execs get it. But the movie will still blow. The Rotten Watch for Judy Moody and the Not Summer Bummer is 36%
Which Rotten movie will have the highest Tomatometer score?
Recapping last week
Charles and Eric did their very best to keep X-Men: First Class (Predicted: 93% Actual: 87%) close to my score, but a few negative critics got in the way of the dream. That’s fine, six percent is close and comic book flicks with scores this high enter my pantheon of movies I’ll watch until the end of time. Win win. Next week Jim Carrey puts on his penguin suit and Ryan Reynolds puts on a green ring. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!