The fall season is always home to a wide variety of different releases, and this weekend offers a whole lot of options. There's tick-ticking going on behind the drywall, a love story that wants to get you weepy and a Michael Moore documentary. Get ready for The House With A Clock In Its Walls, Life Itself, and Fahrenheit 11/9.
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.
In a cinematic landscape where filmmakers want to take the horror levels to new extremes, it's nice to see a flick like The House With A Clock In Its Walls, a movie geared toward a younger crowd that also looks like it has some legit shocks. It follows a young boy named Lewis who moves into a house with his oddball uncle (Jack Black) where a clock ticks in the walls and a whole bunch of weird shit regularly goes down. It looks entertaining for sure.
Eli Roth isn't exactly known for family-friendly films. He's more of a gorey horror dude with flicks like Death Wish (17%), Knock Knock (36%), and Green Inferno (36%) among his more recent work. There aren't any early reviews posted yet for The House With A Clock In Its Walls, but I think this finishes better than the majority of his other work. Jack Black looks perfect for the role and I suspect the story carries it.
I'm all for sappy, love stories - the kind in which characters experience genuine and real moments that life throws at you. The movies that feel like you could have lived them. That being said, Life Itself isn't really the kind I'm talking about. It wants to be that movie, but looks like it misses the mark. A big tell is the over-written, never-in-a-million-years-would-anyone-actually-talk-like-this dialogue that comes through even in the trailer. I'm all for love stories,but this one looks overly sappy, and the critics seem to agree.
Life Itself is sitting at just 20% with 15 reviews posted, and the articles posted thus far find critics agreeing the movie works way too hard to get the viewer into an emotional state without ever organically getting there. They further add that Dan Fogelman is trying so hard for the pain and anguish that come with love that it ends up ringing hollow and false. It's a shame because these kinds of films (especially with this all-star cast) can really work when done well.
Michael Moore has always had a story to tell about America, and he will go to some serious extremes to get that narrative across. He's a polarizing figure and that will likely come across in the box office sales for his latest film. It's been the case throughout his career, and now we have his latest release: Fahrenheit 11/9, a documentary about the Trump administration and what Moore sees as its ills and negatives.
It should be recognized that Michael Moore's other films have been met with great critical acclaim. Documentaries like Capitalism: A Love Story (75%), Where To Invade Next (78%), Sicko (92%) and Fahrenheit 9/11 (83%) all worked to tell stories at critical junctures in America's history, picking tough subjects and driving towards truth. This one is following a similar critical path as his others and will likely finish in the same range.
It was a really bad week for the Rotten Watch last time around, with all three movies falling out of range of the prediction. The Predator (Predicted: 59% Actual: 34%) dropped in a major way over the course of the week. After coming out of the gate strong with early reviews, nearly everything that came in afterward was negative, and the score dropped mightily over the course of the week. What a bummer, because I had medium-hopes that this franchise would keep going strong.
Meanwhile, White Boy Rick (Predicted: 45% Actual: 63%) had the opposite happen. It started with its early reviews trending around the middle, and then slowly crept up over the course of the week. Critics mostly liked what they saw, and the performances of the leads helped win the day. I had it trending in the opposite direction, and took my lumps accordingly.
And finally, A Simple Favor (Predicted: 62% Actual: 82%) just came out excellent. I probably should have been a bit more bullish on this film considering the players, content and its sleek look. I tried to trend on the side of positive with my prediction, but didn't go high enough. Critics really took to the tone and intrigue, leaving it as one of the better-review wide releases that you'll see.