Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 4:33 pm
Episode #9: Guilty by Admission
It's already time for a new edition of So You Think You Know James?. I have nothing snide or original to say, so let us begin. This week, we will be predicting the final Tomatometer scores for Spring Breakers, Admission, Olympus Has Fallen, and The Croods. Here we go.
1. Spring Breakers - **1/2
Using the nifty search feature on ReelViews, I have determined that James has never reviewed a film by director Harmony Korine before. That being said, Spring Breakers seems to be doing fairly well on the Tomatometer, although it remains unloved by me. Part of me imagines that James could give this one ***, but upon reviewing the film's score among Top Critics, it seems much less likely. In the end, Spring Breakers falls along the same lines as Sofia Coppola's most recent efforts: pretentious, difficult to enjoy, and inaccessible. Of course, these are James' views, not mine. In the end, I doubt that the film's needless gratuitousness will help. Not even James Franco's compelling performance as a rapper named Alien will be enough to save it. Two and a half stars out of four for Spring Breakers.
2. Admission - **1/2
No one is denying that Paul Rudd and Tina Fey are gifted comic actors. For the most part, however, their cinematic outings have been less than stellar. In the last three years, Rudd has starred in slop such as How Do You Know, Dinner for Schmucks, Our Idiot Brother, Wanderlust, and This is 40, although his turn as the supportive English teacher in The Perks of Being a Wallflower last year was engrossing. Fey, on the other hand, has a much shorter filmography, although her most recent efforts include The Invention of Lying and Date Night. In my honest opinion, this subgenre has collapsed in on itself over the course of the past few years. Comedic stars, such as Rudd and Fey, are only humorous on film provided that they are given the right material. Steve Carell satisfied this axiom this week with The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Two and a half stars out of four for Admission.
3. Olympus Has Fallen - **
This is a tougher one to decide on. The movie looks like garbage, but it could end being a guilty pleasure for some. The cast is strong, but does that really mean much nowadays? Two years ago, James gave Battle: Los Angeles, a film I considered one of the year's worst, **1/2. I cannot see a film starring Morgan Freeman ending up with anything less than **. Aaron Eckhart, also from Battle: Los Angeles, stars as the nation's commander-in-chief. Gerard Butler stars as the punk tasked with saving him. (Couldn't they have kidnapped Congress too while they were at it?) With a better director and a more compelling script, this could be this generation's Die Hard. Based on what I have seen from the trailers, I remain unimpressed. Director Antoine Fuqua also brought us Shooter (***) and Brooklyn's Finest (**1/2). I doubt that this film will end up scoring as high. Two stars out of four for Olympus Has Fallen.
4. The Croods - ***
James currently does not have The Croods listed as an upcoming review, although this could change as the week progresses. Based on early reviews, this looks like the first promising animated film of the year. Granted, it's only competition is Escape from Planet Earth. Perhaps James will end up reviewing it, although he did also skip out on ParaNorman last year. Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, and Catherine Keener are among the talents who lend their voices to this prehistoric tale. I look forward to screening it tomorrow. Three stars out of four for The Croods.
Another poor week for The Rotten Watch. I started off strong with my correct prediction for Stoker, although I was off on The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and The Call by a half-point each. Perhaps next weekend will bode better. James has removed 56 Up from his list of upcoming reviews, so I assume that he will not be screening it anytime soon. The double-or-nothing rule only comes into effect when four or more titles are at stake. Since James only reviewed three movies this week, this does not apply. Likewise, if a minimum of four films are not reviewed next week, then the traditional scoring rules will go into effect instead.
Regardless, I will be offering an additional half-point to that competitor who suggests an original title for next week's thread. As you can probably tell by now, I enjoy naming each thread in honor of that week's releases. For the most part, I use puns as a basis for my titles. To put things into perspective, I often try to imagine the title I choose as the name of a mission from the Grand Theft Auto video games. Next week, James will be reviewing G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Place Beyond the Pines, and The Host. Titles poking fun at Stephanie Meyer and the Twilight series are especially welcome, although I am open to all suggestions. One of my favorite movies of the year thus far is The Place Beyond the Pines, which I screened at TIFF last year, so a title based on that film would also be neat. Be creative.
Don't forget to check the leaderboard for the latest scores. Until then, see you next week.
Sidenote: Just for fun, here are some of the titles I had in mind for next week's thread. Should no one come up with a suggestion that I find fitting, I will go with one of my own instead. Here are the ones I created: A Host of Possibilities, A Host of Opportunities, Pining for Perfection, and Spring Forward. Yes, I know. These are depressingly bad.
Last edited by Sean on Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.