There are some weeks were there is only one new release, with all other movies scared away by the potential competition. That is not the case this time around. There's a little something for everyone this week on the big screen, with weather machine action, firefighters, serial killers, inspirational drama, and Tyler Perry fare all hitting theaters. We've got Geostorm, Only The Brave, Same Kind Of Different as Me, The Snowman and Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween. 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.
Dean Devlin's Geostorm seems like it's following right in the footsteps of The Day After Tomorrow, in presenting an end of days scenario involving weather that that will wipe us all out unless some group of good-looking scientists can stop it in time. I'm sad these kind of movies are on their way back into the public consciousness. It feels like a step in the wrong direction.
Unlike some other disaster flicks, Geostorm puts the onus on the Earthlings who made satellites to deflect huge weather catastrophes - but don't be surprised if there is some kind of connection to global warming involved. Regardless, though, it looks like it is going to suck. It looks seriously campy and stupid, and unless it winds up being incredibly self-aware, I can't imagine critics liking it at all.
The firefighters at the center of the story in Joseph Kosinski's Only The Brave are some of, well, bravest people you'll ever hear about - making you wonder if it might be impossible to bring the requisite amount of gravity to the big screen. Seriously the movie can't do these guys enough justice. But early critical returns have it sitting in an excellent position with a 100% rating through 11 reviews. I suspect it stays up an around this range over the course of the week.
At this rate, Only The Brave will almost definitely end up as director Joseph Kosinski's best critical work after he helmed Oblivion (52%) and Tron: Legacy (51%). He picked a good subject in what should almost assuredly be a solid flick. We'll see if reviews remain as positive throughout the week, but as of right now I expect the percentage to only drop to 95%.
There is probably a good movie wrapped up in the bowels of the premise for The Snowman, but man is it hard to see. After all, you have a marketing campaign wrapped around the weird shape of a snowman's head and the terrible title coming along with it. It's a real shame, because everything else about the flick (the trailer, the premise, the cast) looks intriguing as hell. You have a super dark movie, with presumably the story to go with it, about a killer who strikes at the first snowfall. But that's basically where it all stops, because in the end it looks like your standard horror fare without any real backbone.
This is the kind of movie where it seems kind of dumb, but is given some weight because of the players involved. Michael Fassbender is obviously the real deal and director Tomas Alfredson has flicks like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (83%) and Let The Right One In (92%) under his belt. But early reviews have this as the worst of his career, with critics completely underwhelmed by the story.
The biggest surprise for me watching the trailer for Same Kind Of Different As Me was realizing that Greg Kinnear's film-wife was actually Renee Zellweger. Man, does she look different. After that, I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on with this flick. It looks like it's about people who are struggling with something or other, but what that "struggle" is is less than clear.
That kind of confusion in the trailer is reflected in the release schedule. Same Kind Of Different As Me was slated to come out in April 2016, but got pushed back to February 2017. Then it got pushed even further back to this fall. This kind of thing doesn't typically happen with good films that the studio wants you to see. There's a strong suspicion that this flick sucks. It's a muddled mess of feelings without any real story. I suspect the reviews reflect as much and it comes in near the bottom of the barrel.
Tyler Perry is back with his particular brand of awful film-making for Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween. No one really does it like this guy when it comes to scraping the bottom of the critical barrel. Here's a look at his last seven movies where he directed (and usually had even more of a hand):
The Single Moms Club (19%)
A Madea Christmas (18%)
Madea's Witness Protection (21%)
Good Deeds (30%)
For Colored Girls (32%)
Why Did I Get Married Too (32%)
That's an average of 24%, which is pretty damn terrible. Tyler Perry just makes pieces of critical trash, and it doesn't look like Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween will be any different.Last year's iteration on Halloween, Boo! A Madea Halloween (21%) sucked, and this one will too.
Oof, not a good week at all. The only win was The Foreigner (Predicted: 55% Actual: 57%), which fell right in the zone. Critics weren't completely turned off by Jackie Chan's performance where he was doing his best Liam Neeson impersonation. I don't know if this is Chan's career path going forward, though it does fit his transition into the elderly ranks. You can't kick ass forever, but when you have "skills" it makes the move easier.
I completely misread Happy Death Day (Predicted: 25% Actual: 64%), which looked fun but I thought would miss with the critics. That was a mistake, seeing as critics liked the Groundhog's Day-turned-horror premise. I thought it would be too schticky to earn any great critical praise, but reviewers liked the tone and concept enough to rate it well in the positive.
My issue with Marshall (Predicted: 59% Actual: 87%) going in was I thought it wasn't giving the story the proper treatment. Thurgood Marshall cut such a stark figure that giving him a tough-guy run on the big screen struck me as the wrong way to go. It looks like I was wrong on that front, with critics praising the hell out of this story and screen play.
And finally, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (Predicted: 70% Actual: 87%) was a movie I thought would be good, but not this good. It ended up near the top of the critical charts, and makes Wonder Woman a multi-time winner during the course of this year.