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Is everyone done with their Easter egg hunts? Don’t celebrate Easter? Me neither, but I still like to get out there and pick up an egg or two just to keep in practice. Whatever you’re into today, it’s time to take a look at what’s happening in the world of cinema this week. We’ve got kids in the woods, stooges running wild and space prisoners causing problems.
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 what This Rotten Week has to offer.
The Cabin in the Woods
On this holiday weekend, I write this column rather appropriately from my own little cabin in the woods. And while I don’t expect chew-spitting hicks in overalls to give me ominous words about “getting out of town” or even suspect I’m part of some elaborate set designed to kill me in grandiose fashion, watching a trailer for The Cabin in the Woods at least gets the nervous part of me thinking a bit. Wait, what was that noise?! Oh, nevermind, I’m sure it’s nothing. I’ll go outside and check it later.
The “kids getting lost out in the woods with psycho killer(s) on the loose”-genre has had a number of incarnations over the years. Some good, some bad. It’s an inexact science. But if there’s anyone out there I’d (and most fanboys/girls) have faith in tackling and putting a new spin on the same old story, it’d be Joss Whedon. Whedon’s cult-like following will appreciate the writer and producer’s personal flavor on a layered story about camping teens getting slain in the woods by, well I don’t know what is coming after them. That’s half the fun isn’t it? Combine him with co-writer and first-time director Drew Goddard (who wrote Cloverfield-77%), who understands treating the viewer to characters battling the unknown, and you’ve got a winning combination.
The Cabin in the Woods has come out of the gate strong with resoundingly positive reviews. Many critics are lauding the movie’s focus on and appreciation of the nuances in the horror genre. Whedon and Goddard have, in essence, given reviewers something unexpected, a recycled movie concept that scares viewers in a completely new way. I won’t put this one of the resume because so many reviews are already in, but we’ll throw out a score anyway. The Rotten Watch for The Cabin in the Woods is 90%. .
The Three Stooges
Presumably, it’s difficult to be consistently funny. I wouldn’t know of course as I’ve had little issue bringing the laughs week after week, but it’s just something I’ve heard. Just look at the Farrelly Brothers’ with their particular brand of slightly off color, sardonic humor. What worked so well early on with flicks like There’s Something About Mary (83%) has degraded significantly over the years with recent duds Hall Pass (34%) and The Heartbreak Kid (29%).
But even their last couple of stinkers can in no way prepare someone for what they are throwing on screen this week. In fact, judging by the trailer for The Three Stooges, it could spell the end of their careers. What the hell is this thing? Is it supposed to be funny? Is it meant to be a subconscious submarining of their “legacy”? Was it a bet about what they could get into production and they’re quietly laughing behind our backs? I have so many questions.
In my younger days, a trailer (or even a movie concept) like The Three Stooges would have sent me on a profanity-laden rant about the sorry state of “creativity” or even the prospect of our dwindling humanity as it relates to those possibly entertained by this movie. Now, it just makes me sad and without reservation I can say this is the worst trailer I’ve seen since the dawn of this column. Trying to make fun of it is a fools errand as the Farrelly Brothers have left no room for sarcasm or wit. It’s that [email protected]#$ing stupid. And I don’t think it’s intentionally and campy stupid. It’s just stupid. The Rotten Watch for The Three Stooges (and this might be too high) is 9%. .
Listen up potential movie makers, creators, writers or anyone else looking to make a career in cinema. If you make a flick about a “lone wolf” type heading out on a mission to save some person/place/thing from certain death, just go back and use the voiceover from the beginning of this movie. That’s effectively all the creators of Lockout did when putting together their trailer. They just ripped off dialogue from every other corny action movie by using lines like:
“There’s only one man who can get her out.”
“He’s the best there is.”
“He’s a loose cannon.”
In fact this whole production appears cliched to the point of unintentionally comical, taking time-honored (read: stupid) action movie staples (Escaped prisoners! The President’s daughter is kidnapped! It’s in space!!!) and melding them together into a presumably predictable flick. Guy Pearce’s character, Snow, comes right out of the movie cookie cutter mold as the reluctant, troubled, snarky, wiseass hero who also just happens to be the government’s only hope for thwarting evil.
First time feature directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger cut their teeth on a movie that’s been made a thousand times before and will be made a thousand times again. There’s nothing new to see here, the trailer let’s on as much. The Rotten Watch for Lockout is 28%. .
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Recapping last week:
Wasn’t much on the docket last time around but we still had time for one money prediction. American Reunion (Predicted: 50% Actual: 44%) finished behind its predecessors, but didn’t fall completely off a cliff. A nice addition to the resume by Jim, Stiffler, Oz and the rest of the crew.
Next time around its chimp documentaries, Zac Efron getting lucky and a lesson in thinking like a man. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!