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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 giant sea monsters appear from the bottom of the ocean and start destroying the world's major population centers, it's unrealistic to think the human race could eradicate such a menace in one little feature film. This is the kind of thing that definitely needs some kind of sequel. So it goes with Pacific Rim Uprising, the follow up to Guillermo del Toro's original, 2013's Pacific Rim (71%). Now we get the crew of the Jaegers led by John Boyega, fresh off defending the Galaxy from the First Order, as he attacks menaces both intergalactic and domestic.
The original Pacific Rim fared fine enough with critics, but I can't imagine the sequel outperforms it. Led by director Steven DeKnight whose work primarily has been in television, this latest has all the action-y hallmarks without (seemingly) any real stakes. I suspect it finishes much lower and critics are generally nonplussed. Plus, it all looks just a little too cartoonish for a big budget action film.
I like that Steven Soderbergh just couldn't stay retired. It would have been a shame to lose one of the best directors of a generation just because he was getting bored. Dude announced he was done in 2013, but came back less than four years later with Logan Lucky (93%). Now he's going more of the psychological thriller route with Unsane. It looks creepy and unrelenting all the way through.
Soderbergh's gift, among others, is that he's genre-less. He can make comedies (Magic Mike - 80%), action films (Haywire - 80%), ensemble masters (the Ocean's films) or really just about anything between. Few directors are this versatile. And while it doesn't look like Unsane will quite live up to his previous works, it is still doing fine with critics. It's a psychological thriller that leaves the viewer wondering what is real and what is imagined when the main character checks herself into a mental institution. Critics are warm on it (74% through reviews) and it's likely to stay fresh when all's said and done.
For a young woman whose skin hasn't seen the light of day (literally) her entire life, Katie Price looks remarkably healthy and put together. Pulling off a rear window kind of thing for her childhood, she's watched Charlie go past her house and fallen secretly in love with him all while suffering from a rare disease that forces her to stay inside during the day. But in her nightly, artistic excursions the two inevitably meet and fall in love. She just needs to get home before dawn. The concept of Midnight Sun is silly and the flick looks even sillier.
Director Scott Sheer helmed Step Up Revolution (42%) which at least had tight dance numbers. This one looks like it follows every predictable young adult storytelling beat. The girl has a problem. She meets the guy and falls in love but doesn't tell him her problem (somehow keeping ver vampiric ways a secret). Eventually, she must tell him or get scorched (literally and figuratively). Young teenagers might like it, but I doubt it goes over with anyone else.
Think Jim Caviezel might be gilding the Biblical lily just a bit? First, he plays Jesus in the Passion of the Christ (49%) and now he's rocking the role of Luke in a retelling of the Apostle Paul's story as the latter sits rotting away in the prison. It looks like your standard biblical "epic" with the drama built out of the Luke and Paul pairing trying to get controversial documents out of Rome and into what becomes the Bible.
This flick appears specifically marketed and made for the Christian crowd as I doubt it has very little cross-cultural appeal. Director Andrew Hyatt's other work comes in this genre but none of his films have been widely released or reviewed. The trailer looked a bit plodding, and like I said, it would be surprising to have the secular crowd get on board.
Would anyone be completely shocked to find out that the "creative" process for pumping out this franchise of movies was to first just find famous stories where the word "gnome" worked in seamlessly and go from there? First, we got Gnomeo and Juliet (55%). Now, Sherlock Gnomes. I'll save the guys and gals some work. Here are a few more suggestions for further on down the line.
Mad Max: Beyond ThunderGnome
Gnome on the Range
You're welcome, everyone. There are your next three movies if you want. Just crap out a script and you're gnome free. This movie looks silly at best, horrible at worst. Director John Stevenson has Kung Fu Panda (87%) under his belt so I think it trends more toward the middle. But it's likely forgotten just as quickly.
We went two out of three with the predictions last week, with one notable miss on Tomb Raider (Predicted: 26% Actual: 49%). As I outlined last time around, movies based on video games almost always score in the critical basement and none had finished above 36%. Until now. This reboot of Lara Croft will finish as the highest-rated video game film, which isn't saying much, but it's something.
Meanwhile, Love, Simon (Predicted: 90% Actual: 91%) landed right in range though admittedly I had a head start on the reviews leading into the prediction. From the trailer, I'm a bit surprised this finished so high on the Tomatometer. It looked engaging without being amazing. A rather simple story of a young man working to keep his homosexuality a secret in the minefield that is high school. For sure it looked good, but without some reviews already in the can, I never would have predicted this high of a finish.
And finally, I was right on two fronts with _I Can Only Imagine _(Predicted: 60% Actual: 58%). My prediction was nearly a direct hit, missing by only two percentage points. But I also correctly guessed that almost no critics would lay eyes on this thing. It finished with only twelve total reviews, crazy low for a widely released film. But so goes movies with a heavy Christian bent. They play out in theaters without getting much in the way of wider media coverage.