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Around the Rotten Week offices we’ve been battening down the hatches, stockpiling survival gear and praying we aren’t swept away with Hurricane Sandy. But just because the storm of the century is knocking at the door like a character in a bad horror flick doesn’t mean we can’t take a crack at this week’s slate of movies. Not when we’ve got Denzel taking flight, RZA going kung fu and Ralph wrecking it.
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.
If God (or Zeus, or Santa Claus, or whatever you believe in) had intended me to fly He’d have strapped some feathers to my ample biceps and triceps, given me a more aerodynamic figure and given me a slightly bigger beak. But instead He made it so even stepladders appear like a Home Depot-supplied Mount Everest and planes, well you can pretty much forget it. Get into the equivalent of a soda can with wings that carries along a packed fuselage just waiting to explode? Hell no, God. Nice try and hell no.
And do you think Flight is the kind of flick that’ll get me heading up into the friendly skies anytime soon? A drunk pilot (aren’t they all?), channels his inner Sully Sullenberger and saves the day by barrel-rolling his 747 in order to pull out of a dive, surviving a midair catastrophe. Supposed to be inspirational I guess.
All aerophobia aside though, this thing is a Denzel Washington and Robert Zemeckis pair up and formulaically, that spells success. Flight deems itself a mystery drama centered around Washington’s in-air heroics contrasted with the proposition he was tuned up on booze at the time of takeoff. For Denzel? Well, dude can act and there’s some feeling around these parts that he’d be among the likely contenders for the Oscar. For Zemeckis, this movie represents a move back to reality (think Cast Away-90%) and away from the motion capture style that’s defined the last decade of his films (Beowulf-71%, Disney’s A Christmas Carol-54%, The Polar Express-57%). Critics are seeing a good, just a hair short of great, return for Robbie Z.
Cinema Blend’s Katey Rich, liked the film (though hated the ending, a common theme even among the most positive reviews) and it’s at 87% right now on the Tomatometer. That’s a healthy score but one that’ll dip a bit over the course of the week. The positive reviews all had a “yeah, but” feel and those will translate to some downward trending. But it’ll all just reaffirm my affinity for good old terra firma. The Rotten Watch for Flight is
In modern day America, under an ever-looming cloud of financial layers that define much of how we interact with the world, among a culture in which “work” defines us more and more, and with a constant search out going for the entrepreneurial spirit that supposedly worms its way through our inner American core, Wreck-It Ralph may very well stand to show us the path towards self-enlightened freedom, serving as a metaphor for how we envision the future of “us” as a workforce. Oh and also it’s got Q*bert in it. So win-win.
Time for a completely honest, non-sarcastic comment: I freaking loved this trailer. It might have been my favorite (for sure on the animated front) trailer since I started writing this column oh so many years ago. Between the story (video game bad guy wants something more in his life), the animation and the references to the Atari and Nintendo games that defined my childhood, I got very, very excited. That it appears to straddle the thick line between adulthood and childhood (it seems every age could watch this thing and take something from it, think Toy Story for the video game culture) could be a testament to what animated movies can produce when committing to stories. Again, can you tell I’m excited?
Director Rich Moore leaves the television world to helm his first feature film. On his resume he’s got the iconic Futurama and the completely underrated and short-lived Sit Down, Shut Up. Both are examples of animated fare leaning more adult and this film seems to follow suit. Count me in. The Rotten Watch for Wreck-It Ralph is
The Man with the Iron Fists
Back when Robert Fitzgerald Diggs was just a young pup entering the 36 Chambers with the rest of the Wu Tang Clan, I’m sure the thought of him writing, directing and starring in a kung fu flick of his very own could only have been the faintest glimmer in his ridiculously ambitious eye. And man that eye is ambitious. The RZA’s run through the entertainment industry (rapper, producer, actor, writer, director, headliner, is there anything else to accomplish?) is comprehensive and frankly, staggering.
That the Wu Tang Clan always grounded themselves in a metaphoric kung fu structure doesn’t make RZA’s decision to go balls to the wall in a modern day martial arts film/ ridiculously excessive bloodbath all that far of a reach (in many ways it makes complete and total sense, a full circle sort of venture). And along with Eli Roth (Hostel-59% Cabin Fever-63%) he’s created a film right out of the Quentin Tarantino (Q’s “presenting” it, whatever that means) mold using over-the-top and elaborate fight scenes to define a flick about, well, a guy with big metal fists (rappers are nothing if not literal).
The star power outside of RZA and Roth includes Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu among others and is almost enough to make me feel like this flick’ll finish on the positive side of the Tomatometer. I don’t love just factoring in the on screen talent, but without much else to go on, that’s helping inform my prediction. That and the RZA, that guy just does about everything right. The Rotten Watch for The Man with the Iron Fists is
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Recapping last week:
Well, it wasn’t close to perfect, but it wasn’t all bad either. First off, Cloud Atlas (Predicted: 83% Actual: 62%) grossly underperformed as the week went on, dipping drastically with each passing day. Not everyone had the same love for it as Katey. If they had, this prediction would look a hell of a lot better.
Meanwhile, Fun Size (Predicted: 20% Actual: 27%) and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (Predicted: 10% Actual: 7%) were right on the money. Two nice wins for the resume. Most times I can see crappy flicks coming from a million miles away.
Most times. Chasing Mavericks (Predicted: 15% Actual: 33%) just barely got over the “epically crappy” hump to finish in the mid-thirties. It was still bad, but just not bottom of the barrel like I thought.
Next time around it’s Bond, James Bond. Be safe in that storm everyone. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!