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Hollywood is still living in the wake of Avengers: Infinity War, so we don't have any major blockbusters on tap this week. What we do have, however, is two very different movies about moms: one heading back to college, and one trying to protect her family from a crew of home invaders. Get ready for Breaking In and Life of the Party.
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.
Imagine if your mom and dad got divorced and then your mom decided to drop everything and enroll in college with you. I know, I know. It's horrifically easy to picture - and that's what makes Life of The Part__y ultra-realistic. Melissa McCarthy goes to get some higher learning, this time with her daughter, and they navigate the world of sex, partying and (probably) academics along the way. It looks ridiculous and not in the "super funny and out there" kind of way, but in the "very stupid" vein. I suspect there are some redeeming elements, but way too many silly joke-seeking moments to make the film redeemable.
This is the third director-writer team up of Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, who also happen to be husband and wife in addition to producing partners. The first two didn't go all that well, as both scored less than 25 percent on the Tomatometer (Tammy - 24%; The Boss - 22%). I doubt this latest does much better.
If the movies can be believed (and I think they can), then secluded cabins come in only two forms: the decrepit and dilapidated kind that's terrorized by evildoers, or the ultra-modern and tech-infused kind that's terrorized by evildoers. There's really no middle ground with these places, and no matter if you're staying in the 5-star or 1-star Airbnb rental in the woods, you're still getting terrorized. It kind of just comes with the territory, so you might as well stay in the nicer place. That's the case with Breaking In, in which Gabrielle Union takes the kids to her deceased father's place and robbers take over the compound. Now she's got to fight to get the kids safe.
James McTeigue kicked off his directorial career with the well-received V for Vendetta (75%), but it's been all downhill hill from there. Subsequent films, including Ninja Assassin (25%), The Raven (22%) and Survivor (9%), all fell well short of Fresh. This latest looks like it will finish along the lines of McTeigue's most recent work. It looks slick enough, but we've been down this road many times, and I don't suspect this film brings anything new to the table.
I went two for three last week with my predictions, and it was not a bad showing all around. Tully (Predicted: 80% Actual: 89%) ended up being an overwhelming critical success and another win for Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody as director and writer. It's not easy getting "real" about modern-day motherhood, with most movies opting for cliche and unrealistic looks at the pressures. It doesn't look like this film fell victim in that sense, and critics had near universal praise for everything from the tone to the writing to the performance by Charlize Theron.
Meanwhile, Bad Samaritan (Predicted: 52% Actual: 56%) was another predictive win. Often these kinds of thriller/suspense/horror films finish low on the Tomatometer because they are all gore/ scares and little substance. I suspected this one had just a little more in the tank based on the story, cinematography, and tone. I was right, and it finished just above the halfway mark. Honestly, for this genre, this is a pretty damn good score.
And finally, Overboard (Predicted: 10% Actual: 30%) stunk, but not as bad as I thought. The film looked like a bottom-of-the-barrel offering with almost no redeeming qualities, but just enough critics were able to give it a thumbs up to keep the movie out of the basement. It still goes down as a stinker on the Tomatometer, but I honestly thought it had a strong chance to finish in the single digits.