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During the summer months, it's common for one or two wide releases to claim a single weekend for competition at the box office, but this week is special because that magic number has been bumped up to four. We're deep in the summer season now, and we're about to see the launch of Cars 3, Rough Night, 47 Meters Down, and All Eyez on Me. 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.
When it comes to the Tomatometer, Pixar Films is basically locking up scores in the 80's and above on the regular. You can almost set your watch to how they finish in the critical realm, with one very glaring exception: Cars 2 (39%). The 2011 film represents their only miss in a long run of critical darlings. In fact, it's the only movie from Pixar that's finished under 74% - which was the low-water mark set by the first Cars. The big question now is if Cars 3 can help redeem the brand.
Cars movies have been incredibly successful in the toy realm, but we'll have to wait and see if Cars 3 can redeem the series cinematically. The third iteration features Lightning McQueen hobbled after a crash and wondering about his role in the automotive racing world. I want to think Pixar picks it back up here, but it's tough to trust after the last effort. But I'm willing to bank on the studio that's given us some of the best movies of the last decade. I'm going to predict that this one winds up with a score similar to the first in the long-running franchise.
If some movies can be believed, it's practically a bachelor/ bachelorette night tradition to kill a stripper accidentally. The party just wouldn't be "epic" without it - and that's the basic plot of the new comedy Rough Night. A group of women get together for a big night of partying before one of them gets hitched (think an all-female The Hangover) and what ensues is a night of full on debauchery replete with drugs, booze, dancing, and a pending murder charge. It looks pretty hilarious.
Lucia Aniello directs her first feature film with Rough Night after working on Broad City with Ilana Glazer, one of the ill-fated quintet in this flick. The rest of the cast is strong with scene-stealer Jillian Bell crushing it even in the trailer and of course Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz and Kate McKinnon rounding out the rest of the group. I'm on board, mostly because I love watching booze and drug-fueled escapades play out to their hilarious conclusions.
For me, there's a long list of things that don't seem in anyway worth it at all from an upside/downside perspective. This is a list that includes sky-diving, bungee jumping, parkour, hang-gliding, and scuba-diving into a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. That last one you can partially blame on the new thriller 47 Meters. In the film, Mandy Moore and Claire Holt have the misguided idea to get into a cage and submerge themselves around a group of great white sharks. Funny enough, it goes poorly and soon they find themselves just trying to survive. They are left fighting for air and their lives while (presumably) killing the scuba diving industry permanently.
Unfortunately, the movie may have a bit of trouble finding critical appreciation (even if critics did dig on the shark thriller The Shallows last summer. Director Johannes Roberts previously made The Other Side of the Door (39%) and Storage 24 (42%), so it's not the greatest track record. After reading a couple of early reviews I think critics come in around the same range for this one.
Ah, the biopic. Often done, rarely done well. In recent years, for example, the rap game has turned into strong source material for some movies (Straight Outta Compton - 87%), while not working out so well for others (Notorious - 51%). While I find the story and life behind Tupac Shakur to be fascinating, I'm worried that All Eyez On Me is laying it on extra thick where simply the truth would be good enough.
Starring Demetrius Shipp Jr. (who truly does look exactly like Tupac Shakur), All Eyez On Me tells the story of the artist's rise to fame, struggle with the law and (still unsolved) murder on the Vegas strip. Again, the story itself is almost good enough to watch without any extra drama added to the proceedings, and maybe that's what happens here, but the trailer seems to suggest something else: something that looks like more of a poetic and possibly patronizing look at 2Pac's life. I sure hope not. Director Benny Boom (Next Day Air - 21%) doesn't look like he took the stripped down approach to Shakur's life, and it could cause some negative critical reactions.
It wasn't a bad week last time around, all things considered, as two of my predictions hit, while one missed badly. I admittedly had a head start on It Comes at Night (Predicted: 89% Actual: 86%), so it's hard to take a ton of credit there. Critics kept the score high over the course of the week, loving the film's paranoid atmosphere and how it plays on the emotions of the viewer. Director Trey Edward Shults now has two critical darlings on his resume (Krishna - 97% - being his first) and this one counts as a win for the Rotten Watch.
Meanwhile, Megan Leavey (Predicted: 85% Actual: 79%) touched all the right notes for critics with a story of a female soldier and her battle-injured dog. Movies like this can bomb hard if the tone is wrong, but that doesn't appear the case here, as writers liked the interplay of the human-canine relationship and Kate Mara's portrayal of a tortured soul in the titular character.
And finally, The Mummy (Predicted: 40% Actual: 17%) sucked. I said as much in my breakdown last week, but didn't have the guts to put the score all the way in the basement. The movie attempts to launch a brand new cinematic universe on the big screen, but wound up disappointing in a big way. Even the star power of Tom Cruise couldn't save this one.
Next time around we've got Transformers: The Last Knight. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!t