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As we get into the dog days of summer the movie landscape starts getting a little sparse, with a few tumbleweeds drifting across the view. Many of the big names have already hit the big screen. And though there are a few more anticipated movies coming down the pike, every week can’t be a blockbuster. This is one them. We’ve got a couple of guns and little blue things to talk about.
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.
Here’s the thing. You could pitch me a movie about two traveling Encyclopedia salesman in worn out, polyester brown suits who basically just walk the streets and chat, and I’d say, “Are you nuts? Why would I like that?” Then you’d say, “starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg,” and I’d be in line buying tickets.
Though the concept behind 2 Guns appears fairly canned (unlikely buddy cop movie about two agents reluctantly paired up to clear their names), the result could be a 1+1=3 sort of deal. Both Washington and Wahlberg have a knack for taking average material and bringing it up a few notches with their respective chops. Though they go about it in different ways, Washington’s lackadaisical intensity against Wahlberg’s nice guy/ tough guy mix, both dudes have been known to elevate mediocre movies into the level of “Hmm, I think I’d watch that again” territory. Here I’m thinking flicks like, Contraband-51%, Shooter-48%, The Book of Eli-48%, and my personal guilty pleasure Man on Fire-38%. Now understand, these are not their best movies any means, nor are they their worst. Rather these are the kind of movies, that left with a different non-Wahlberg, non-Washington protagonist would have surely disappeared into the ether never to be seen again. Instead, they are basic cable, spend your lazy Sunday with them kind of flicks because these dudes just bring it on screen.
Director Baltasar Kormakur worked with Wahlberg on Contraband as well as helming a bunch of other Icelandic films I can’t pronounce. Here he takes another crack at the American action flick, appearing to essentially throw Washington and Wahlberg up on screen hoping they can carry the film past a story that looks like an infinite number of other cop/ government agent movies. I like its chances for finishing right in the middle, a movie that without these two players would surely disappear, but could become a guilty pleasure, boom-boom vehicle with a few cheap laughs. That’s what Washington and Wahlberg can provide. The Rotten Watch for 2 Guns is
The Smurfs 2
Though I was sorely tempted to just write “SKIP” in this space and move on, my obligation as a professional is to provide “analysis” even when a movie in question looks like a sky blue piece of s#$%. This is one of those times.
The Smurfs movie is one of those trail markers sitting right at the intersection of “Mass Market Avenue” and “Our Society is Heading the Wrong Way on the IQ Bell Curve Street. (The Grown Ups franchise is mailbox on this corner). Raking in more than half a billion (with a “B”) dollars at the box office while sporting a solid 22% on the Tomatometer, The Smurfs illustrates (uh huh) exactly how far we’ve fallen in the quest for producing “art” on a broad scale. A hybrid animation/ live action flick based on the cartoon from the Eighties, The Smurfs franchise poses the question of what would happen if tiny blue creatures, who dwell in mushroom houses came to our world and fought an evil sorcerer? Is your answer: Who cares? Good, there’s still hope for you.
Awhile back we ran this piece, detailing how uncreative animated movie posters had become. This flick continues the recycled nature of the movie industry, following up the original with another round of bad jokes and ah, whatever, like I said: Who cares.
Raja Gosnell directs and his next positively-reviewed movie will be his first after bestowing on us the like of the original Smurfs, Beverly Hills Chihuahua (41%), Yours, Mine and Ours (6%), Scooby Doo (30%) and a couple of other ones that never should have seen the light of day. At least he’ll keep things consistent, as this will surely come in under the original. Like I said, “Skip.” The Rotten Watch for The Smurfs 2 is
Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Recapping last week:
Nice. The Wolverine (Predicted: 63% Actual: 67%) came in right on the mark. I had a bit of a head start going into the prediction as a few reviews were already up, but as guessed the score dipped just a bit over the course of the week. Resident comic book expert Eric Eisenberg gave the movie three stars enjoying how they handled Jackman’s character as well as how it greatly outshined the original film. Though, to him, the story was a bit disjointed with a few opportunities missed. I’ll take my comic book movies above average, just not wanting them to be complete bombs. It looks like the movie and my prediction fell right in line on that end.
Next time around we head to Elysium, catch up with Percy Jackson, get on planes and go on a trip with the Millers. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!