Late October is a strange period of the year for the movie world, as it's right in the middle of award season, while also being the perfect home for horror titles. This week is a perfect example of that, as we've got a trip to the bloody suburbs, a gory franchise back in time for Halloween, and soldiers returning home from war. Let's take a look at Suburbicon, Jigsaw and Thank You For Your Service.
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.
Rotten Watch Prediction
For all of its fancy sets, great cast and "commentary" on suburban life, Suburbicon looks like a real mess. Sometimes movies come along that try to get a little too cute for their own good. I suspect this film is a perfect example. Wanting to make a statement about Cleaver-style perfection of life in the suburban 1960's, the trailer suggests a rambling mess of violence, tropes and tongue-in-cheek jokes that don't land. I honestly couldn't figure out what was going on, and critics have many of the same misgivings. It's sitting at 41% right now, and the tone of the reviews has me thinking it ends up dropping even more over the course of the week.
George Clooney is back behind the lens instead of in front of it for Suburbicon, and while he's had some great films in the position like The Ides of March (84%) and Good Night, And Good Luck (93%), but when he ventures into more of a comedy space the flicks seem to miss. Take The Monuments Men (40%) and Leatherheads (53%) as examples. This one looks sure to join them, and likely ends up as the biggest stain on his directorial resume.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Can you believe Jigsaw is the eighth movie in the Saw franchise? What started as a low budget ($1.2 million) horror film back in 2004 is now a franchise that'll have taken in more than a billion at the box office once the ink is dry on this latest movie. In the movie, there's a guy out killing a bunch of people for reasons unknown. We know the major beats of the franchise - the big question this time is whether it's the old Jigsaw (who has been dead for years) or a new one pulling the strings. The real draw is the gore and violence, because I can't imagine there's anything much new being brought to the table story-wise here.
The Saw franchise hasn't fared will with critics with the movies averaging 27% on the Tomatometer (the original Saw's 48% was the best of the group). I think that average score is a good place to start with for my Jigsaw prediction. Maybe they breathe some new life into the franchise, but I doubt it.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Miles Teller is back for the second week in a row starring in a movie about scarred heroes struggling with the need to continue a dangerous service while also being there for the family who loves him. Last week he was as a firefighter in Only The Brave, and now he's a soldier returning from war in Thank You For Your Service. This one tells the tale of a group of soldiers returning home from active duty and struggling with the transition back to civilian life.
Director Jason Hall has experience with this kind of film after writing the screenplay and producing American Sniper (72%). That movie had pretty much the exact same themes: career soldier comes home and struggles with the reality of possibly wanting to go back. This latest has all the same concepts. I suspect critics land somewhat in the same range. Movies about war don't always play well with critics because thematically they can be pretty polarizing. I suspect it trends generally positive on the Tomatometer, but doesn't hit with everyone.
The Rotten Watch was a big hit last time around, hitting four out of the five movies within 10 percent, and even getting one exact match.
Only The Brave (Predicted: 95% Actual: 90%) was a big hit with critics in telling the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighter company. Between the cast and the story, this looked like a sure-fire critical hit from the get-go. That being said, critics did see some flaws in the formulaic writing and the pacing of the story. But that is likely nitpicking and it was an overwhelming favorite on the Tomatometer.
Meanwhile, The Snowman (Predicted: 19% Actual: 9%) sucked as expected. The movie poster of the awkward looking snowman head was the first sign that this flick would struggle with critics. And it was really only downhill from there with it scraping the bottom of the critical barrel. Scoring in the single digits means it's a near universal bust.
Speaking of disasters, Geostorm (Predicted: 30% Actual: 13%) was a disaster of a film about a disaster on Earth. If I could keep using the word "disaster" I would. My mistake was not bringing the score in even lower. I knew this flick would be bad, but coming out with predictions in the teens isn't something I do often (and I made an exception twice last week). Kudos, though, to the folks who sold a Hollywood studio on a movie about satellites that rein down ecological terror on Earth.
Same Kind Of Different As Me (Predicted: 20% Actual: 20%) was a direct hit. These don't come around all that often, so it's always a warm and fuzzy feeling when we have an exact match. This thing looked like a cornball mess from the trailer, and it didn't disappoint. Critics thought it shoved the schmaltz and "inspiration" down the viewers' throats to diminishing returns. This movie will soon be forgotten.
And finally, Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (Predicted: 15% Actual: 8%) was an easy one. This is where Tyler Perry movies fall on the Tomatometer. We have a pretty big sample size of his movies sucking. These are the layups.
Next time around we've got only one movie, but it's a big one in Thor: Ragnarok. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!