Are you dealing with a post-Halloween candy hangover? Got all of those scares out of your system? Good, because we're into November, the clocks have been set back, and a bunch of movies are hitting the big screen. This week we have Dr. Seuss's The Grinch, Overlord and The Girl in the Spider's Web.
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 suppose the powers that be didn't want the lasting image of The Grinch to be the incredibly off-putting, and disturbing Jim Carrey version (53%) that came out 18 years ago - which notably hasn't aged well in the slightest) Now we get an updated animated version from Illumination Entertainment, the studio that brought us the Despicable Me franchise (81%, 74%, 60%), Sing (72%) and The Secret Life Of Pets (74%). That's a decent run of animated movies, all with solid storytelling, and solid critical marks.
The Grinch, meanwhile, is the story you're well familiar with already. It's the story of the titular green monster and his dealings with the folks in Whoville around Christmas time. There's nothing really new about any of it except the animation style to bring it to a new generation of audiences. I suspect it does fine with critics, though the straight up retelling likely means it won't be a total critical success.
If you thought the World War II era genre had been tapped out, think again. Now we have producer J.J. Abrams tinkering with it, leading to some creative reimagining of the template and a new flick with a sci-fi/horror twist. In Overlord, a group of American soldiers find themselves way behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France right before D-Day. But instead of it being your run of the mill shootout with the Nazis, we get a film wherein the soldiers find themselves knee deep in an experimental lab deep in the basement of a church where mutant zombie members of the Third Reich are being born. It looks creepy and action-packed at the same time.
Though J.J. Abrams is attached as a producer, it is filmmaker Julius Avery (Son Of A Gun - 63%) at the helm of Overlord, and critics are already giving the movie solid praise. It's sitting at 90% on the Tomatometer through 21 reviews. Most agree that it hits every checkmark for this genre. There's tons of action, plenty of scares, a solid background/story, and an ensemble cast that pulls it all off. This one's going to be a win in the end.
The Girl In The Spider's Web is the fourth film/book in the Millennium series, but the second in the realm of American adaptations that exist separately from the three Swedish versions. Got all of that? This latest acts as something of a sequel to David Fincher's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (86%) for the American viewer, but has cast a whole different set of actors than the original just to make things that much more confusing.
In this one, Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy), she of the tattoo, and her "partner" Mikael Blomkvist (Sverrir Gudnason) are up to their usual investigative intrigue, breaking down corruption and living life on the proverbial edge (in Sweden no less). Director Fede Alvarez has a recent major win with Don't Breathe (88%) as well as the remake Evil Dead (61%) on his resume. Early reviews on his latest are generally positive (68%) without completely crushing it. I suspect we see The Girl In The Spider's Web'a score dip some over the course of the week, to the point where its gets labeled "Rotten" instead of "Fresh."
I had a solid week last time out, with two of the three movies falling within the predictive range. Bohemian Rhapsody (Predicted: 50% Actual: 59%) just hung on within 10%. It didn't fall as much as I assumed it would considering the nature of the reviews at the time I wrote the piece were vanilla. Most seemed to lament that the film didn't dive deep enough into Freddie Mercury's life off the stage, and primarily consisted of music biopic tropes. But it still ended up just short of being fresh on the Tomatometer.
Meanwhile, another Tyler Perry flick ends up in the lower quartile. When it comes to making Rotten Tomato predictions, it is as easy as it gets with this guy. Nobody's Fool (Predicted: 25% Actual: 25%) ended up as a direct hit mostly because I just averaged out his other movies. In this statistical game, this is called having a good sample size. Critics rarely enjoy Perry's work, and this is another primary example.
And finally, The Nutcracker And The Four Realms (Predicted: 60% Actual: 35%) was a major miss. I thought the content and appeal to holiday cheer aimed at kids would win the day with critics. I was way off. Critics pretty much hated it, with some even calling it borderline scary. That's likely a bit of an overreaction, but the consensus was still firmly in the negative.