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The fall movie season is offering up a little bit of of everything this week, with a big book adaptation, historical drama, and something for the tweens arriving in theaters. Coming this Friday, we've got The Girl On The Train, The Birth of a Nation, and Middle School: The Worst Year of My Life. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!
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 This Rotten Week has to offer.
The Girl On The Train was a novel that looks like it was basically written to become a movie. It's a nail-biter with a super-focused plot centered on Rachel, an alcoholic daily train passenger who fantasizes about a couple she she has spent years watching. Unfortunately, it's this daily action that gets her caught up in a mystery surrounding the woman's disappearance.
Do I buy Emily Blunt as the down-in-the-dumps blackout alcoholic whose life is in shambles like from the book? Nah, but this is Hollywood after all. The movie looks well-paced and suspenseful with an excellent cast. Director Tate Taylor adapted another popular book, The Help (75%), into a watchable flick and it appears he's done the same here with The Girl On The Train. No early reviews are out yet, but I suspect it finishes well on the Tomatometer based on the source material
If you're able to get through the trailer for The Birth Of A Nation without feeling steady chills and maybe even getting a little teary eyed, then I'm not sure I even want to know you. We can't be friends. Even the 90 second glimpse into this film is deeply moving. Considering the issues and the current backdrop of race "dialogue" in our country right now it appears a timely historical piece. The films is about the life of Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion during the early nineteenth century. Nate Parker directs, produces and stars as Nat, pulling the trifecta that could land him very much in the center of Oscar discussion come the turn end of the year. The movie was lauded at Sundance, and is coming out right around the start of the awards' season.
The Birth Of A Nation is currently sitting at 83% on the Rotten Tomatoes scale, with close to forty reviews registered. I think it actually climbs through the week. I don't often set flicks on that course, but after reading the negative reviews as opposed to those who loved it, I think the latter wins out. I suspect we're hearing about this movie for quite some time.
I get that Middle School: The Worst Year of My Life is supposed to be a "send up" of middle school, in that it creates this crazy rules-based school that no kid would ever want to attend. The unintended irony (I'm assuming) is even this crazy school seems pretty damn close to what's true in the real world. Kids will latch on to the rebellious nature of the proceedings likely without realizing that this is actually their everyday life.
Director Steve Carr's had his hand in a number of pieces of crap over the course of his carrer, including Paul Blart: Mall Cop (33%), Daddy Day Care (27%), Next Friday (20%), and Rebound (13%). He's averaging a 24% Tomatometer score in films he's directed, which is nearly inversely proportional to the bank his features make at the box office. The dude brings people to theater, which is more a testament to our viewing culture than his prowess at film making. I don't see his latest standing out from the rest of his filmmography.
It was a fantastic time around for This Rotten Week last Sunday, with each movie falling within range. First off, Deepwater Horizon (Predicted: 75% Actual: 82%) scored great with critics. Telling the human side of an epic disaster can be tricky business, but they pulled it off with this one. Critics were in "heavy-like, not love" even with the movie, with most weighing in about it getting the job done without anyone really overtly loving it.
Meanwhile, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Predicted: 72% Actual: 64%) was a narrow win. Critics were fine with the movie, mostly saying the visuals carried the day with the plot being both choppy and having a hole or two. Still, it's a pretty decent win for Tim Burton, who has been getting much better receptions in recent years.
And finally, Masterminds (Predicted: 42% Actual: 38%) completed the trifecta as another underwhelming comedy in 2016. Slapstick-y flicks like this don't always hit with critics especially if they laughs don't all land. That looks the case here, with the most critics calling it some form of "dumb". That looked to be the case from the trailer and it appears the rest of the film followed suit.