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Summer movie season is kicking into high gear. Every week we’ve got a big opening with big budget blockbuster anticipation. We’ve also got an Adam Sandler movie. So, win some, lose some. This time around, it’s the X-Men who are heading back to the future while Sandler and Barrymore get blended.
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
Check out what I mean in the X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer:
It isn’t often you see a film franchise grow in the way X-Men has since that first one fourteen (yup) years ago. A few missteps along the way, Last Stand (59%- not terrible, but not real good), Origins (brutal to start, much better in Wolverine 2) but overall this franchise has held it down. The first two X-Men flicks are great and X2: X-Men United (87%) is one of the best superhero films you’ll see. An eminently re-watchable film.
Re-envisioning the franchise with the creation of First Class, a classier take on the idea behind what Origins might have been, solved a lot of issues with the franchise "aging" gracefully. Mostly in that by heading to the past to give the backstory with younger versions of the characters, it did away with having to (at least in the short term) recast the faces like Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and everyone else who’ve become synonymous with the popular characters. This was brilliant.
This newest one is a bold step into a full ensemble, connecting the entire canon together in one big fight for the future. This film looks awesome. Sure it’s a risk, time travel always presents some cinematic problems that some movies don’t solve well. But from early reviews it appears the the film has very few issues.
Bryan Singer directs and his track record with the franchise is solid. Having helmed X-Men (82%) and X2 (87%) he seems an apt fit to continue on where Matthew Vaughn left off (ignoring for a moment some of his off-set legal issues). The Tomatometer sits at 90% through about twenty reviews with critics seeing a solid flick that continues in the vein of First Class. Judging by the tone of the early reviews, I’d say the score is set to drop, though no precipitously, over the course of the week. The tone is positive, but not completely over the moon.
But all of that is fine. When it’s all said and done we will look back on the X-Men run as a franchise that did it right. A group of movies that work each on their own, but also in succession. I haven’t seen Days of Future Past and I’m already looking forward to Apocalypse.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Hack 1: Okay, let’s brainstorm some rom-com ideas. I’ll kick it off. It’s starts with a blind date.
Hack 2: Ooh, good, okay. Blind dates are great. We’ll have a hot sauce gag in there for sure. And then date goes bad, but the two get back together because of a credit card mix-up.
Hack 1: Nice, yeah and then the two hate each other, but by a twist of insane fate they and their families end up in, hmmmmm. It needs to be somewhere different. Bingo! Africa
Hack 2: Holy shit. The rest of this will write itself. We just highlight every cliche thing ever associated with an entire continent into the flick and call it a day.
Hack 1: Get Sandler on the horn.
Check it out for yourself with the Blended trailer:
If the creative process for this flick went down any other way I’d be shocked. What a mess. Typically, Sandler movies are only insulting to those with brains, or taste, or class. But now he’s taken it a step further, insulting what appears to be an entire continent. Well played.
7, 20, 19, 3, 10. Know what those numbers represent? The Rotten Tomatoes scores for Adam Sandler’s last five films. He also gets a hat tip for his credit as screenwriter on Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, infamously scoring the elusive 0%.
This movie looks absolutely atrocious. It’s what we’ve come to expect from Sandler. I don’t even begrudge the guy. Mostly because I think he stopped trying years ago. Though it should be said that the box office returns have been there which probably speaks to the state of our society more than Sandler himself. I’d keep hammering those checks too.
Frank Coraci directs, not exactly lending any hope to the critical reception. His last couple of flicks Here Comes the Boom (38%), Zookeeper (14%), Click (32%) tell the story on their own. This thing looks like a piece of garbage.
Which movie will you go se this weekend?
One hit and one miss from last week. I took a gamble with Godzilla (Predicted: 64% Actual: 72%), predicting it would fall about fifteen percentage points over the course of the week. It didn’t dip quite that much, but it was enough to get me within ten percent. A lot was written about Godzilla this week, possibly none more glowing that Kristy’s review, a five-star affair ranking the flick up there in the greatest disaster films of all time. No small praise. It crushed the opening weekend box office and proved these kind of movies, big budget monster movies are still very much a part of the discussion. It also effectively wiped out all memories of the 1998 piece of shit. So: double bonus.
Man was I wrong on Million Dollar Arm (Predicted: 39% Actual: 59%). I think I’m disappointed by this, but I’m not completely sure. On the one hand, I want all movies to be good, especially sports movies. And double especially ones about baseball. So from that standpoint, great job Disney. On the other hand, last week I highlighted by problem with "sports" films like this is they hyper-focus on the wrong parts of the sport. Mainly: the agents and front office types rather than the, you know, players and game. It’s weird. Eric gave it two stars in his review, a theme I thought we’d see quite a bit more. But he fell in the minority and the score trended solidly positive.
Next time around we get Maleficent and a bunch of ways to die out west. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!