Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 4:33 pm
This Rotten Week: Predicting the Weekend of March 8, 2013
It's a wrap for the 85th Annual Academy Awards, meaning that we can finally stop reminiscing about 2012 as a year for a film and start planning ahead for the (you guessed it) 2013 MTV Movie Awards. I'll see you all back here in a little over a month. (This comment is supposed to be seeping with sarcasm.)
It's a new week for some middling releases. Among this week's titles are the year's soon-to-be-first blockbuster, as well as the English debut for a respected Danish director. Here are my predictions for the week:
1. Oz: The Great and Powerful - 60%
No one dislikes The Wizard of Oz. No one. It is a benchmark in fantasy filmmakng treasured by millions the world over. Hence, my general disappointment with Oz: The Great and Powerful, which I had the opportunity to see yesterday. I have always been a fan of director Sam Raimi, with Spider-Man 3 being the only stain on his otherwise stellar resume. Nonetheless, Oz simply did not work for me. Everyone felt too forced, too juvenile, too cloying; none of the wit or ingenuity of the original was left to be seen. That being said, critics will probably trend towards the positive side of the Tomatometer, but only by a hair. Some will be delighted, while others will be let down. The film has an excellent cast in the form of James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz, yet its over-reliance on CGI and its lack of an engaging story will not help it in the long run. The film currently rests at an 70%, but I doubt that it will hang that high for long. 60% for Oz: The Great and Powerful.
2. Dead Man Down - 69%
I actually got the chance to see Dead Man Down at the world premiere several days back, and I still am unsure what to make of it. With no reviews in, Dead Man Down is an especially hard nut to crack. The director, Niels Arden Oplev, responsible for helming the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (86%), has never made a bad film before. Meanwhile, the film's screenwriter, J.H. Wyman, has never written a notable script before. That being said, Dead Man Down is not a dreadful film, nor is it one that will sink too low on the Tomatometer should it end up on the "Rotten" side. It probably will not end up with a "Certified Fresh" rating either, but it should still do fine with critics. 69% for Dead Man Down.
Now, let's take a look back at last week's numbers.
1. Jack the Giant Slayer - 52% (Predicted: 51%)
Almost. So close. Just off by this much. Had I bumped up my prediction for Jack the Giant Slayer by just 1%, I would be ecstatic right now, as it would mark the second time in just weeks that I could knock down my own score by 100%. Alas, that is not the case today. Despite the split amongst critics, however, Jack the Giant Slayer is already on the fast track to becoming this year's John Carter. Never a good thing.
2. 21 and Over - 31% (Predicted: 18%)
Off by just over 10% here. I thought that 21 and Over would wind up sinking lower than Project X, which opened on this same weekend last year, seeing as it carried none of the high-school nostalgia that some (more than likely intoxicated) critics used as a justification for giving it a positive score. I was wrong. 21 and Over did not end up in the critical basement, yet it was still bad enough to receive a 31%. Deservedly.
3. The Last Exorcism Part II - 14% (Predicted: 36%)
Basing my earlier prediction around the previous film's high Tomatometer score (73%), I decided to give The Last Exorcism Part II some sympathy. Poor decision on my part. A 14% Tomatometer score lands this sequel to the 2010 tale of demonic possession right next to Texas Chainsaw 3D and Dark Skies in the pantheon of the year's worst horror films.
4. Phantom - 22% (Predicted: 17%)
No one saw this movie. No one cares about this movie. No one will remember this movie. James liked it. I hated it. I was off by 5%. Moving on.
5. Stoker - 70% (Predicted: 67%)
Critics warmed up to Stoker, the English debut of South Korean director Park Chan-wook, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. I was delighted with what I saw and personally believe that the film is worthy of a marginally higher score. Nonetheless, another win in my book.
Next week, we will be predicting the Tomatometer scores of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and The Call. Best of luck until then.