Comic book movies don't seem to be slowing down any time soon, and while summer has classically been the best time for superheroes, we're starting the season early in 2017. We've got a big week ahead of us this time around, with Wolverine's curtain call, a teenage Groundhog Day, and an international best-seller hitting the screens. Get ready for Logan, The Shack and Before I Fall. 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.
As we've seen in the not-so-distant past, it isn't easy pulling off the superhero/comic book movie. There's a whole host of issues movie-makers run into adapting fantastical characters to the big screen in a "realistic" way - particularly when the idea behind the movie is to make it dark and gritty. It's a tight rope for sure, but if Logan reviews are any indication (CB's Sean O'Connell gave it five stars in his review), then Hugh Jackman and James Mangold have pulled off what so many others tried and failed to do: they've made a nearly perfect comic book movie.
In the last chapter of the Hugh Jackman-led Wolverine franchise, we find an aging Logan in one last mission, helping a young girl avoid her captors and get to safety. Director James Mangold helmed the second movie in the franchise, The Wolverine (69%) to decent results. He's also given us 3:10 to Yuma (89%) and Walk the Line (82%). This likely ends up his best-reviewed movie yet. It's sitting at 96% through about 80 reviews right now, with critics lauding it for going beyond the superhero genre as it works independent of fandom. Jackman's Logan/Wolverine has always been the lynchpin in the X-Men franchise and seeing him sent off properly feels good.
The story behind the publishing of The Shack is impressive, in that the book was written by William P. Young with no real intention of ever doing anything with the novel except giving it out as a present. And then bam, smash cut to a couple of years later and this new religious tome has sold millions of copies and rolls on the New York Times Bestseller list. And now it's a movie heading to the big screen this weekend.
The Shack centers on a dad who deals with the grief over his murdered young daughter by having conversations with three entities (the relative Holy Trinity) in a shack where the crime was committed. It's a Christian-themed book/movie, obviously, and may come across heavy-handed at times with the central intent. But the cast, crew and story might be enough for it to finish higher on Rotten Tomatoes than other religious wide releases. At it's core it does look like a touching movie if it can overcome beating certain thematic elements over your head.
In what essentially looks like a teenage version of GroundhogDay, the story of Before I Fall centers on Samantha, a teenage girl who is forced to repeat the same random high school day over and over again. It starts out innocently enough, but ends every night with a car crash (presumably) killing everyone. The movie has her replaying this day over and over until she learns (again, presumably) the secret to saving everyone and making herself a better person.
Directed by Ry Russo-Young (Nobody Walks - 40%), Before I Fall likely falls in that teen-drama camp of "good for it's core audience, not great for anyone else." With about ten reviews counted, i's sitting in the positive side right now on Rotten Tomatoes, though the feelings expressed in the reviews are rather polarizing. Some realize it will play well with the teenagers while other thought it just straight awful. I think it ends up in the middle, hence my prediction.
The Rotten Watch went three for three in the game last week, with each movie falling within ten percent of my predictions. We'll take it. First off, Get Out (Predicted: 96% Actual: 100%) earns the vaunted perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. This is no easy feat, and sticking the landing in the horror genre is even tougher. But Jordan Peele nailed it, writing and directing a horror film firmly planted around latent racism. With 134 reviews posted, it's likely Get Out stays perfect, and could go down as one of the best movies of the year.
Meanwhile, Collide (Predicted: 21% Actual: 19%) sucked as expected. This thing just looked so very plain from the short trailer. Sure, it has some bigger names in the "old man" roles, including Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley, but that wasn't enough to overcome a "been-there-done-that, race against the clock" storyline we've seen so many times over.
And finally, Rock Dog (Predicted: 35% Actual: 44%) didn't make the transition from Chinese theaters to the Americas in any kind of critically-impressive way. The story of a Tibetan guard dog making the transition to the big city to pursue his music dreams fell flat, and most critics weren't fans of it - landing the animated feature a "Rotten" score.
Next time around we just have one new film coming out in the form of Kong: Skull Island. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!