Subscribe To This Rotten Week: Predicting Neighbors, Moms' Night Out and Legends Of Oz Reviews Updates
With summer in the air we have some bigger and bigger movies hitting the silver screen. No better way to escape the sunshine, sweet call of birds and fresh air than to get over to your local cinema and spend a few hours in the climate controlled darkness. I love this time of year. This week we’ve got bad neighbors, moms hitting the town and Dorothy returning to Oz.

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.

Neighbors
Rotten Watch Prediction
As a guy who lives in a neighborhood with some less-than-desirable neighbors (really just one awful house), I know it only takes one bad seed to ruin the whole block. Consider the folks across the street. I call it the clown house, with a neverending cast of characters going in and out. It’s a husband, girlfriend, his ex-wife, her boyfriend (you read that correctly) and about six kids I’ve seen grow up into, well, I don’t know they’ll become, but they won’t be Rhode Scholars. On an otherwise quiet street, their garbage, constant noise, five hundred cars and general trashiness threatens all that we hold dear (like our property values). So yeah, I understood how bad neighbors can disrupt your way of life.

Check out how one house can ruin the block in the Neighbors trailer:



Frankly, this movie looks right up my alley, the perfect combination of hijinks, snarky comedy, a bad-boy Zac Efron shifting away from his High School Musical phase, Seth Rogen basically playing himself, and ever-escalating pranks between the young parents and a group of cliche’d (in a good way) fraternity brothers.

Director Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall-84%, Get Him to the Greek-73%, The Five-Year Engagement-63%) has comedic chops and looks like he takes some of it to the limits in Neighbors. The trailers alone have babies eating condoms, dildo fights, airbag whoopy cushions and so many other forms of suburban warfare that it’s kind of difficult to summarize. Which is fine. Movies like this, that rely on the absurd to drive home points about the differences between youth and adulthood, can meet on a perfect point of the graph if done correctly. This looks to be the case with Neighbors. Early reviews are crazy strong, sitting at 94% through about 35 reviews following an early debut at SXSW. That’s an unreal number for a comedy. Especially one of this ilk. The reviews for a raunchy comedy like this mean the genre still has something to offer, and that Rogen and his gang can still bring the fastball. Maybe now I need to make sure my neighbors fall through the floor when they’re taking a crap. That’ll get them out of here.
Moms' Night Out
Rotten Watch Prediction
As one of the greatest fathers of all-time (documented), it pains me to see movies portraying fathers as bumbling morons who can’t navigate even the simplest of waters when it comes to taking care of their kids. I get it that Moms’ Night Out is supposed to be about something else equally moronic, but the theme of fathers as imbecilic when it comes to child-rearing struck a chord with me. Because I’m such an amazing, award-winning dad.

Check out some solid parenting in the Moms’ Night Out trailer:



Moms’ Night Out appears to have been created in a "creative" atmosphere devoid of any solid ideas, but rather with a dartboard of cliches the writers took wild aim at, incorporating whatever ridiculous idea that’s ever been associated with parenting. This movie seems to stand in sharp contrast to Neighbors in that both are dealing with the idea of leaving youth behind to raise a family. The difference is when you get funny people to make one of those movies (Neighbors) and not-so-funny people to create the other (this flick). Like Neighbors, there are some well-worn cliches about parenting as well as escalating shenanigans. What’s the difference? Delivery is part of it. Writing another. But most likely it’s the difference between understanding aspects of real life and transposing the ridiculous and sublime over it rather than embedding the characters in an already cliche’d life and moving outward.

Brothers Jon and Andrew Erwin direct Moms’ Night Out after teaming up to helm October Baby (22%). I can’t imagine this finishes much better. The jokes seem canned, the premise (moms go out and things go wrong) seems tired and at no point during the trailer did I even crack a grin. This is what happens when a premise overtakes the message. It turns into a long, laughless crazy night. And the dads look dumb. So I hate it even more.
Dorothy's Return
Rotten Watch Prediction
One of the stipulations in my rather lucrative contract with Cinema Blend is that each week I’ll write about every movie coming out in wide release. Most times this isn’t an issue as I can basically expound on any topic/ movie/ piece of art that’s ever been created. But every once in a while my limits are tested. Every so often I go back and check in the fine print in our agreement. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return is one such flick. Sorely tempted to write, "Skip" and move on, I know I can’t. Partly because I’m a hero. And also because it would be in strict violation of my contract. So here we go. This thing gets a write up.

If you’re younger than the age of four (mentally or physically) enjoy the trailer for Legend of Oz: Dorothy’s Return:



Little Rotten Week is a fan of the Oz characters, and we spent a solid week pretending to be them until she got her eyes on Frozen and then an old copy of The Lion King. Let’s just say I’m well versed in the soundtracks (and dialogue) of both. I’m on a mission to keep this Oz film away from her for fear of ending back down the rabbit hole of me pretending to be the Tin Man as she screams at me that I’m not saying "Oil can" correctly. So no, I won’t be taking her to this one.

Dorothy’s Return posits the age old question of "What if she went back?" You haven’t wondered? Well good, because it appears the writers didn’t really take much time to think about it either, bringing us a scenario where the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow call on Dorothy to return to Oz in order to save it from an evil jester of some sort. That’s about as far as I got in the trailer.

Directed by Will Finn (Home on the Range-54%) and Dan St. Piere, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return will probably test perfectly with its demographic and no one else. I can appreciate an animated movie that appeals to kids, but also knows adults will be taking those kids to see it. Many animated flicks take this into account and are great. This doesn’t appear to be one of them. I have a feeling that kids will love it, but adults? Not so much. And don’t tell my daughter about it. She doesn’t need to know.
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last rotten week The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Predicted: 70% Actual: 54%). Oof, this thing dipped off the cliff as the week wore on. What a shame. Though I should have properly accounted for the early screeners being the most positive, I didn’t think the score could drop so much as more critics got to see the movie. I accounted for a slight downturn, but the score came down more than twenty percentage points from the time I posted last Sunday.

Eric wrote a fantastic review outlining many of the issues that cropped up in this sequel. He says that while visually there is a lot to like about what happens, the plot and tone are hodge podged together. That the film never really "picks a lane". This is unfortunate and a theme of many reviews for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. As a comic book movie fan, I’ll be seeing it because hey, it’s still Peter Parker. But for those hoping this would fall in line with some of the other great comic book flicks? Sorry.

Next time around Godzilla makes his return and we seek out a million dollar arm. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!

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