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After a slower couple of weeks with new releases, the fall movie season really gets underway with some interesting flicks hitting the big screen this Friday. We've got the return of some famous aliens, the story of a young FBI informant, a strange disappearance, and a spiritual sequel. Get ready for The Predator, A Simple Favor, Unbroken: Path to Redemption and White Boy Rick.
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.
I'll give this Predator species credit: no matter how many times they come to Earth with nefarious intentions and fail at the hands of some determined humans, the dreadlocked dudes just keep coming back for more. You really have to admire their tenacity, even if their results leave a lot to be desired. In this one, they enter a small town and a group of mercenaries are tasked with protecting the suburbs.
Shane Black is at the helm of fourth Predator movie after directing The Nice Guys (92%), Iron Man 3 (79%) and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (85%). Early opinions of his latest are generally positive with the Tomatometer sitting at 64% through 24 reviews. Some appreciate its attempt at tongue-in-cheek one-liners and over-the-top action, while others didn't really get fully into the spectacle. I suspect that means we keep seeing the score drop over the course of the week, but not to any great degree.
When I was 14 my primary issues were how to eradicate a tremendous amount of zits and avoid the attention of seniors who had little issue making life hell for underclassmen. It was a far cry from Richard Wersche's onset of teenage years featured in White Boy Rick when he first started a hustle selling guns, moved into heavy drugs, and became the youngest ever FBI informant.
White Boy Rick stars Richie Merrit as the titular character and Matthew McCounaghy as his father who gets caught up in all of the nonsense as well. Director Yann Demange has one other movie under his belt, 71 (95%). It doesn't look like his latest will finish anywhere close to his first work. Through 12 reviews it's sitting at 50% with critics generally enjoying the performances of the leads without caring all that much for a jumbled story. I suspect we see the score drop even more over the course of the week as it moves further out of Fresh range.
In A Simple Favor, a flick that seems to have a very Gone Girl feel to it, Anna Kendrick is a small-time blogger who's able to work her way into a friendship with a mysterious (and apparently rather wealthy) character - played by Blake Lively - who promptly disappears. The rest of the flick looks like one of those mind-fuck style whodunnits in which you don't even know if the missing person is playing some kind of scheme or there's really some bad stuff that went down.
Director Paul Fieg is generally known for his comedic work with films like Ghostbusters (74%), Spy (94%), The Heat (65%) and Bridesmaids (90%). This time he's exploring a much darker kind of film. It looks intriguing, and Kendrick appears to play a very different role than we're used to seeing. I suspect critics latch on to the style and performances and keep A Simple Favor afloat with a Fresh score.
Back in 2014 director Angelina Jolie brought us the film Unbroken, telling the story of runner-turned-solider-turned-POW Louis Zamperini in an amazing and harrowing story of perseverance. But while the movie ended with Louis returning home after being freed from the Japanese POW camp, the book the movie was based on, written by author Laura Hillenbrand, also describes his experience when he first came home. That's where Unbroken: Path to Redemption picks up.
Of course, it should be noted that this release is a completely different feature than its predecessor, as it features a heavy Christian bent - with much of the focus being on Zamperini dealing with inner demons and ultimately finding religion. The fact that this is directed by Harold Cronk, who also helmed God's Not Dead _and _God's Not Dead 2 (14% and 8%, respectively) has me with low hopes for the critical reception. It will for sure appeal to its direct target audience, but I can't imagine many other folks latch on.
Oh baby, did I ever blow it last week. Two movies were released and both were so, so, so far off from the predictions. Peppermint (Predicted: 52% Actual: 13%) turned into an unmitigated disaster. I should have seen this coming considering the timing of release. Movies coming out leading into Labor Day weekend tend to be ones studios are looking to unload rather quietly while folks enjoy the last couple days of summer. Critics panned the hell out of Jennifer Garner's vigilante turn. I don't see a franchise coming here.
Meanwhile, The Nun (Predicted: 59% Actual: 28%) suffered a similar fate with critics being not too happy with the fifth installment of The Conjuring franchise. The general consensus was there were some scares but the plot was meandering at best, nonexistent at worst. It was another release that I shouldn't have been so bullish on projecting.