It was only a couple of weeks ago that Hollywood delivered us the latest superhero blockbuster - but now we have the next one already upon us. After years of waiting, DC Comics is ready to finally deliver their big team-up feature, and there a few other notable titles coming out as well. The long-awaited Justice League is here uniting the group of heroes for the first time on the big screen, along with the adaptation of the bestselling novel Wonder, and the animated nativity retelling in The Star.
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.
Following the divisive Man of Steel (55%), the disappointing Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (27%), the ultra-clunky Suicide Squad (26%), and the surprisingly great Wonder Woman (92%), we stand at something of a crossroads with Zack Snyder's Justice League. The DC Extended Universe stands in stark contrast to Marvel in tone, and critical success. Expectations have been high, but outside of Wonder Woman, the returns have been mediocre at best - flat out bad at worst. The stakes are pretty high for this film, in which we finally see a majority of the League on screen together, including Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg. Consider me skeptical.
Zack Snyder directed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is a reason to be concerned about Justice League. Early reactions to the film are tepid at best, with the theme seeming to be how most were apologizing away the flaws while claiming to have fun. I suspect critics focus in on the former, and scores come in along the same lines of the pre-Wonder Woman flicks. Zack Snyder is back after directing those two and I suspect the score is right in the same range.
Being different can be a curse, and growing up in our current time it can almost be an affliction. This is the case for August Pullman, the protagonist of Wonder, who was born with massive birth defects that make him difficult to even look at. The movie is based on the best-selling novel by R.J. Palacio, and tells the story of August's transition to going to school for the first time, and the pain involved for everyone.
Director Stephen Chobsky has adapted another book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (86%), and received critical acclaim. He took some liberties with the original text in the movie version for that one, and I suspect the same is true here. But adhering to the original story about August, his tribulations with being "different," and how it affects the lives of those who love him should make for an excellent movie. And the trailer seems to point to this being the case. The movie looks touching and honest without delving completely into the sappy.
We are coming up on the holiday season, evidenced by mainstream media beginning the annual onslaught of seasonal movies, television episodes and commercials.This feature, The Star, is a retelling of the nativity story through the eyes of Bo (Donkey from Shrek's twin brother from the looks of it), and his story of attending the birth of Jesus. Faith-based movies aren't rare, though a big studio taking one on is something of change of scenery for these kinds of movies.
Sony Picture Animations has been fine at the box office, but critically a complete mess of late with The Emoji Movie (9%), Smurfs: The Lost Village (37%), and Hotel Transylvania 2 (55%). Now they are going a slightly different direction, trying to hit up the Christian crowd close to the holidays. It could work, though I doubt critics are huge fans.
We had one hit and one miss last week with the Rotten Watch. Daddy's Home 2 (Predicted: 30% Actual: 16%) was right in the theme of it sucking, but the prediction fell outside of the 10% range. This thing was a total and complete mess, and looked that way from the trailer. When there isn't a laugh to be found during the 150 seconds trying to sell the movie then the writing is basically on the wall. It was a money grab meant to get some big names up on the screen and possibly usher in the comedy career of Mel Gibson. It failed.
Meanwhile, Murder on the Orient Express (Predicted: 54% Actual: 58%) fell right in range as likely a forgettable film with an exceptional cast. Most critics agreed that the cast was the high mark with the clunky story being not quite up to the all-star talent and classy setting. Honestly, from the tone of the reviews it's really surprising this finished on the right side of positive.
Next time around we've got the latest from Pixar with Coco. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!