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The fanboy crowd has been waiting quite some time for this week with a return of the replicants and the chance to get another venture into a future, rainy Los Angeles. But that's not all, as Hollywood is also delivering some survivalist romance and an animated feature from a very popular brand. This time around we've got Blade Runner 2049, The Mountain Between Us and My Little Pony.
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.
Blade Runner 2049 is the much-anticipated sequel to Ridley Scott's cult classic Blade Runner, which saw Harrison Ford hunting down rogue androids and coming to grips with his own humanity. The sequel picks up 30 years later with Ryan Gosling fighting many of the same battles - taking on an investigation that could have dire consequences for the world at large. It looks awesome, and early reviews are overwhelmingly positive (96% through almost 47 reviews) and critics are loving the tone, story and visual style.
Director Denis Villeneuve is about as good as you'll find in the business right now, and it looks like he was the perfect choice to make Blade Runner 2049. His resume is littered with fantastic flicks like Arrival (94% - a masterpiece), Sicario (94% - ditto), and the lesser-seen but still fantastic Enemy (75%) and Prisoners (81%). It looks like he has yet another critical hit with his latest.
If you live in a city or suburban environment, it may be weird to see a survival movie in our modern world - mostly because you'd think that our technology might render that issue completely implausible. But there are still tracts of land where humans tend to avoid, and The Mountain Between Us crashes a plane right in the middle of one such example. Idris Elba and Kate Winslet star as a doctor and journalist, respectively, who find themselves stranded in the Utah wilderness and need to trek to safety come hell or icy water.
Early reviews for The Mountain Between Us are generally positive (71% through 15 reviews), with critics applauding the performances by the two leads who have to carry the entire flick on their own. The bulk of the film is apparently just Idris Elba and Kate Winslet surviving thin ice, badass cats, steep hills and sexual tension. Sounds like a pretty good time at the theater.
For a middle-aged man, I know a surprising amount about My Little Pony, with Little Rotten Week rocking Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy and Applejack figurines all over the house 24-7. I know way more about this franchise than anyone (male, female, adult, kid, whatever) should, and it's a shame. Perhaps needless to say, the My Little Pony Movie looks awful. It's clearly a grab on the moderately popular rebooted series. The story follows the exploits of the ponies in Equestria where some other pony is threatening their independence. There isn't a moment of legitimate humor in the trailer, and even my kid failed to laugh or really show any interest. I'm not encouraged about its chances.
This has been a rough year for cinema in the animation department, and it doesn't look like The My Little PonyMovie is going to save the day. It doesn't appear to have any redeeming qualities, and is strictly marketed to kids like mine who don't know any better (I'll try to be a better dad going forward).
We had one hit, one miss and one N/A (I think that's a first) from This Rotten Week last time around. American Made (Predicted: 85% Actual: 87%) fell within range, and was a hit with critics across the board. Tom Cruise is at his best when the action is well-paced and he's allowed to get into a comedic frenzy. That seems the case with this movie, which had critics liking the style and Cruise's ability to keep the subject matter light and manic at the same time. I had a bit of a head start so I can't take full credit, but this is definitely a bounce back for the guy considering how bad The Mummy was received this summer.
Meanwhile, Flatliners (Predicted: 30% Actual: 3%) was the perfect chance for critics to use every combination of words related to death and lying dead on a hospital table in their review. What a pile. The movie was stuck at 0% for a long time, but even 3% is rarified air, and the film will rank as one of the worst-reviewed movies to come out in the last decade. The original had the feel of horror and slickness with a a great cast and creepy ass storyline. This one just flat out sucked.
And finally, Til Death Do Us Part (Predicted: 15% Actual: N/A) just didn't have anyone go to see it. At all. No one. No one went and saw this movie. That's a fate worse than Flatliners. It's one thing to stink. It's another to just get completely ignored.