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Spring has sprung. Time to get outside and frolic. That is right after you check out some of the movies we’ve got going this week. It’s the NFL Draft, haunted mirrors and a return to Rio.
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.
Rotten Watch Prediction
The NFL draft as a flick? Peep the Draft Day trailer to see what I mean:
It’s one thing to make a sports movie. We know the ins and outs of those. It’s another thing to make a sports movie about the inner machinations of a subculture (think: Moneyball). That takes some deft maneuvering and a solid script. But it can be done. It takes a whole other thing to make a movie about a semi-significant, but completely overrated aspect of a sport that derives almost no drama even in the best of circumstances. The NFL draft is a stale, zero end game eventuality that only the most die hard of sports fans cares about for more than the thirty seconds when your team picks. Drag it out over two hours on the big screen to find out who the Browns take? Are you kidding me? This is a movie? What have we become?
Ivan Reitman has gone too far. This is so drilled down that I am having trouble coming up with the words for my confusion about how it got made. And if it’s well received critically I’ll be even more confused. Reitman’s resume is spotty at best with a winner like I Love You, Man (84%) and a bunch of middling work like My Super Ex-Girlfriend (40%) and No Strings Attached (49%). I’d almost guarantee his latest falls in the latter category. It would need to work miracles for the macro plot to work in movie form. The NFL Draft? What’s next? A movie about executives getting together to discuss instant replay in baseball?
Rotten Watch Prediction
Here, ruin your day and night with the trailer for Oculus:
Even more concerning is that critics really like this thing so far, which means it’s scarier than shit. High critical scores are reserved for only the most terrifying of movies. I’m sick thinking about how much I won’t sleep after seeing this.* Even more concerning is how someone took a "haunted mirror" plot and turned it into something anyone would want to see.
*Anyone who knows me knows this is "tough guy" talk. I don’t watch scary movies. I’ll just tell people I saw it and that it was good. Life’s more settled that way.
Directed by Mike Flanagan, who’s new to wide releases, Oculus is scoring well with critics because it is appears, at its core, to have a solid story about siblings working to clear the name of their murderer father. They think he iced mom because of a haunted mirror. Standard. The reviews are strong because it appears the scares are secondary to a tight script with human elements surrounding the supernatural. That’s the key for flicks like this working. Everything else needs to be on point for the scares to really pay off. It looks like they do and I’ll take everyone’s word for it.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Peep the trailer for Rio 2:
Carlos Saldahna is back directing the sequel. He helmed the original, Rio (72%) which scored favorably with critic. Saldanha’s got a bunch of experience in this realm. Some good like Rio, Robots (64%) and Ice Age (77%) while others like the followups to Ice Age (57% and 45% respectively) were merely meh. This latest is scoring fine with critics, currently at 70% through twenty reviews. It’s fine I guess.
If I sound non-plussed it’s because movies like this just seem so uninspiring, middling around the "decent" zone but really adding nothing to the animated canon of great flicks that’ve been produced in the short term. It’s filler, a payday for some of the voices and a source of cheap laughs for kids.
Which movie will get a higher Tomato score?
Only one movie on the docket last time around with Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Predicted: 95% Actual: 89%). Hard to count this as a win because when I made my prediction there were already a number or reviews already in. I knew the score wouldn’t change too much. What has changed my mind is the direction of the Marvel Universe. Shifting it to the more darker and more dramatic (humanizing it if you will) is the way I want to see all comic book movies go. The human/ superhero juxtaposition is what works best. Anytime a studio or filmmaker is pushing that direction with a comic book movie, I’m on board. Next time around we’ve got bears, heaven, transcendence and haunted houses. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!