Happy New Year, GUG fans! Hope you enjoyed the holidays and you ready for your first Boom, Bust, or Meh of 2017! For those who are unfamiliar with BBoM, this monthly article focuses on five various films each month and what our predictions as movie lovers are! As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores:
Boom: A film you’d be surprised you enjoyed.
Bust: A terrible film that you saw coming yet watched it anyway.
Meh: A film that you’ll probably see again if given the chance.
With that introduction, let’s crank open the January vault!
Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our December predictions!
1. La La Land – BOOM!
Critic Score: 93%
Audience Score: 89%
Production Budget: $30 million
Worldwide: $45 million
Trey: Just goes to show that Hollywood still has what it takes to deliver powerful stories!
2. Passengers – Bust.
Critic Score: 31%
Audience Score: 69%
Production Budget: $110 million
Worldwide: $50 million
Trey: With the hype that was built around it, it certainly was a major let down for the sci-fi genre.
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – BOOM!
Critic Score: 85%
Audience Score: 89%
Box Office Production
Budget: $200 million
Worldwide: $706 million
Trey: A solid start of the first Star Wars standalone film!
4. Assassin’s Creed – Bust.
Critic Score: 16%
Audience Score: 61%
Production Budget: $125 million
Worldwide: $48 million
Trey: The search for a solid video game film adaption continues.
5. Silence – BOOM!
Critic Score: 88%
Audience Score: 76%
Box Office Production
Budget: $50 million
Trey: Due to its limited release for now, the film continues to gain great positive feedback.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (38-29) and Jonathan is at (14-9).
A Monster Calls
Release Date: January 6, 2017
Synopsis: 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), dealing with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness, a less-than-sympathetic grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), and bullying classmates, finds a most unlikely ally when a Monster appears at his bedroom window. Ancient, wild, and relentless, the Monster guides Conor on a journey of courage, faith, and truth (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: J.A. Boyana
Starring: Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver
Trey Soto (38-29): BOOM! – From the first time I saw this trailer, I became greatly intrigued as to what it had to offer. I always enjoy seeing films where the imagination of a child comes to life through authentic and powerful story telling. It reminds me of the number of folktales I heard and read as a child about people creating their own world. Being able to see it come to life on the big screen is a dream come true.
The cast as well looks promising as Liam Neeson offers his magnificent voice to create the boy’s monster. Felicity Jones also makes a return to the big screen after her recent role in Rogue One. It will be interesting to see this more human side of her acting ability and her character chemistry with her son.
Jonathan Tefft (14-9): BOOM! – This has been one of my most anticipated original movies of the year. I was so disappointed that it was pushed back from October, forcing me to wait till now to see it. Just watching the trailer gets me emotional. There is just something about these kinds of stories that hit me differently than others. Here we have a boy who not only has to face the daily struggles of growing up but also has to deal with trials that no one his age should have to go through. The line in the trailer sums it up perfectly, “A boy too old to be a kid, too young to be a man.”
This movie also has fantastic casting. I don’t think I could think of a more perfect choice than for Liam Neeson to be the Monster. He has a way of sounding both terrifyingly powerful and genuinely comforting at the same time. It reminds me of when he played Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia movies. Add to the cast Sigourney Weaver, who gives credibility to anything she is in, Felicity Jones, who has been one of my favorite actresses since I saw her in The Theory of Everything, and Lewis MacDougall, who looks to have an acting range not common with child actors. I could see this movie easily being the one that everyone is talking about this month and could also be the highest grossing movie of the month.
Release Date: January 6, 2017
Synopsis: Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson,brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Ted Melfi
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kirsten Dunst, Spencer Parson, Mahershala Ali
Trey Soto (38-29): BOOM! – Throughout the past and recent years, films that have to do with space travel or the NASA program have become very intriguing for me. There is just something about reaching beyond the stars and daring to explore the final frontier that is absolutely fascinating to me. With this comes a powerful story about those behind the scenes. I honestly am looking forward to this film as it not only revolves around racism in the 1900s, but also sexism and the idea of where “a woman’s place” should be. It definitely stands out as a powerful film for both men and women alike to remember and continue to recognize that we are all something more let alone something greater than the color of our skin and the sex in our biology.
The main cast appears to be significantly strong not just in the trailer, but in their film history. In the past couple of years let alone past year, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer have starred in multiple films and television series let alone have done a phenomenal job in the process. A large number of these films tend to do a solid job with both critics and audiences. I will not be surprised if it does.
Jonathan Tefft (14-9): BOOM! – It feels like we get a movie like this every year. In 2015, it was Selma, and earlier in 2016 it was Race. I’m talking about a movie based on a true story about an oppressed group of people fighting the system and the prejudice of others to achieve their dreams. I’m not saying these movies are bad, I usually really enjoy them. I’m just saying that they are very popular and are almost guaranteed to be a success because people love these kinds of stories, myself included.
But my main problem with Hidden Figures is that it doesn’t seem to be adding much that makes it stand out amongst the rest. However, there are a few things in this movie that have me a little interested. I’m a fan of Taraji P. Henson and she looks pretty good in this. The story also has me interested, but again that’s true for most of these kinds. I’m sure this movie will do fine, if not great, with critics and the general public but for me, I think I’ll pass or just wait to rent it.
Release Date: January 20, 2017
Synopsis: While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. Though Kevin has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher, there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey, Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him–as well as everyone around him–as the walls between his compartments shatter apart (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Jessica Sula, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Bett Buckley, Kim Director
Trey Soto (38-29): BOOM! – During the mid-2000s, I felt saddened at how Shyamalan’s film career went downhill. In his recent films however, he has not only gone back to his roots, but also added more of the scary into the thriller side. In his recent film The Visit (2015), I was surprisingly intrigued as to what he brought to the big screen. After watching the trailer for Split, I was anxious yet piqued while I sat at the edge of my chair. And that was just the trailer. From Band of Brothers (2001) to the X-Men series, I have never seen James McAvoy method act on this level to where it is just plain disturbing and horrific to watch. One can only imagine what M. has brought as he always creates twisted endings. We shall see very soon! Welcome back, Shyamalan!
Jonathan Tefft (14-9): BOOM! – I have seen early reviews for Split, and it seems like Shyamalan is back! He started his comeback with The Visit last year, and it looks like he is continuing it with Split. The trailer for this movie has me very interested since I am more a fan of psychological horror than horror movies that are just a gore fest. This movie makes me think of something Rod Serling would make into a Twilight Zone episode.
James McAvoy is a big reason I’m excited for Split. He’s a fantastic actor, and I want to see what he can do with playing a character that has 23 different personalities. Most horror movies tend to be a financial success simply because they’re not that expensive to make and the really good ones can become some of the most profitable movies. So no matter what I don’t see this movie failing at the box office and hope it helps Shyamalan continue his comeback.
Release Date: January 13, 2017
Synopsis: An account of the Boston Marathon bombing, Patriots Day is the powerful story of a community’s courage in the face of terror. In the aftermath of an unspeakable attack, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, J.K. Simmons, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan, Jimmy O. Yang, Melissa Benoist
Trey Soto (38-29): BOOM! – Peter Berg has been doing well in finding his place in film as a director. His recent films Lone Survivor (2013) and Deep Water Horizon (201) have done not only significantly well but have also created discussion that has been needed such as the relationships with Muslims and the American military, the value of oil in the United States, and the safety of the employees. Due to how recent the Boston Marathon Bombing was, this will definitely create more needed discussion and, from the looks of it, will appear to be accurate as to how the events unfolded.
Jonathan Tefft (14-9): Meh … – Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg might become one of the best actor/director team-ups in Hollywood. They both did an awesome job with Deepwater Horizon, and it looks like they’re doing it again with Patriots Day. The only reason I say Meh is because Deepwater Horizon didn’t do as well as it was hoped to, even with the critics praising it. Also, there is the question of whether this movie was made too soon after the tragedy in Boston. With it being so close to the event it makes it relevant, but it also puts it at a time when people are still hurting from the event and that may push people away from seeing the movie. I myself am very much looking forward to it because of the cast and director involved. Not only do you have Mark Wahlberg there’s also J.K. Simmons, John Goodman, and Kevin Bacon, who are all fantastic.
Live By Night
Release Date: January 13, 2016
Synopsis: Ben Affleck writes, produces, and stars in this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s sprawling crime novel centering on the prodigal son of a prominent police chief, and his gradual descent into the criminal underworld (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Ben Affleck
Starring: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Sianna Miller, Chris Messina
Trey Soto (38-29): Meh… – While I am a fan of Ben Affleck, I am honestly not really interested in his latest work. While the cinematography and costume/design look great, the story does sit well with me. I probably will see it, but most prohibition films I have seen appear to be action-packed in the trailer but turn out to be really slow, which is something that has to be handled well for it to succeed. A good friend of mine saw it a year ago before its release and from their words, it was not as it appeared. I hope to be surprised by Affleck on a personal level since his latest has been successful, but for this one, I just am not feeling it.
Jonathan Tefft (14-9): BOOM! – This movie has so many things that make me want to see it. I grew up loving shows like The Untouchables and have since developed a great love for gangster films, especially those set in the early 1900’s. But what really has me excited for this movie is the director and lead actor, Ben Affleck. Affleck has grown to become one of the best actors/directors working today. Every film he’s directed has turned out great, and I hope he can keep his success up both in acting and directing. He also is acting opposite of Zoe Saldana, who I have been a fan of since Guardians of the Galaxy. The cinematography of this movie also looks fantastic. Everything from the shot of the boat on the water to the gun fights. It all looks beautiful. Show me any moment from the trailers and you have my interest. I’m sure that the critic response will be very positive and hope that his movie is a big hit at the box office, I know I’ll be seeing it.
Thanks for reading this month’s edition! Let us know your predictions in the comment section. Join us next month for another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh!”
Are you looking forward to any of these films? What are you predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in January?
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