Welcome to Boom, Bust, or Meh, ladies and gentlemen! This is where we focus on five films released during the month and have some fun predicting their success! As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores from each participating GUG film critic:
Boom: A film you’ll remember for the rest of the year.
Bust: A film you’ll regret watching.
Meh: A film that entertains during the moment, but has no lasting impact.
At the end of each month, each of the films will be arbitrarily judged and the critic’s ongoing tally will be updated (the score is written beside their name: correct predictions – incorrect predictions).
Let’s see what August has to offer after we look at last month’s results!
Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our June predictions!
1. Minions: The Rise of Gru – Meh
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 70%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 90%
IMDB Score: 6.9
Production Budget: $80 million
Worldwide: $710 million
Juliana: Becoming a Tik Tok trend and annoying the general public, Minions: The Rise of Gru stayed in the headlines throughout the month. Yet whilst there was a lot of positive trolling, ultimately many agreed that it was an above average addition to the franchise though it was best suited for younger crowds.
2. Thor: Love and Thunder – Meh
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 66%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 78%
IMDB Score: 6.8
Production Budget: $250 million
Worldwide: $662 million
Juliana: In a wicked twist of events, Minions: The Rise of Gru proved to be the more successful movie, despite this being a MCU film. Its constant string of jokes warped the tone whilst the inconsequential action grated the audience’s patience, making this a wearied entry in this mega franchise.
3. Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank – Bust
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 54%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 66%
IMDB Score: 5.5
Production Budget: $45 million
Worldwide: $17 million
Juliana: Even though it’s still rolling out to the big screen across the world, it still looks like it won’t make back its budget. With way too many crude jokes littered amongst a questionable plot, this animated film won’t be remembered for too long.
4. Where the Crawdads Sing – Meh
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 34%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 96%
IMDB Score: 7.1
Budget: $24 million
Worldwide: $62 million
Juliana: Critics found this film to be listless, though many fans of the book were pleased by this close adaptation.
5. Nope – BOOM!
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 81%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 69%
IMDB Score: 7.5
Budget: $68 million
Worldwide: $80 million
Juliana: Some members of the general public were caught off guard by the film’s tone, but for those that were willing for anything, they had a great time.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (104-87), Tyler Hummel’s is (85-75), and L.J. Lowery’s score is (9-11).
Release Date: August 5, 2022
Synopsis: Five assassins aboard a fast moving bullet train find out their missions have something in common. (IMDB)
Director: David Leitch
Starring: Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock
Juliana Purnell (104-87): Meh – As the film that gives off the blockbuster vibe the most this month, Bullet Train does look fun. No doubt there will be many creative and quirky fight sequences set within tight spaces. Yet I doubt this film will have the depth to elevate it from being just an entertaining story to an exceptional and memorable one. A lot of people say that February is the month where studios dump their duds—I think it happens in August as well. Bullet Train will draw a crowd, but it wasn’t good enough for a more prime position on the release schedule.
Tyler Hummel (85-75): Meh – I’m always fascinated by comparing the trajectories of artist partners who go their separate ways. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch went their separate ways after the critical success of John Wick in 2014. Stahelski then helmed the incredibly successful John Wick: Chapter 2, John Wick: Chapter 3, and next year’s John Wick: Chapter 4. Leitch has bounced across mid-tier Hollywood blockbusters with abandon, directing Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Hobbs and Shaw, and writing the screenplay for Nobody. His work is bizarre, workmanlike, and not very good. I liked the trailer for Bullet Train and the premise of assassins trapped on a Japanese moving train but I don’t have hopes that it’ll accomplish much.
L.J. Lowery (9-11): BOOM! – I do not doubt this movie will be the most widely enjoyed film on this month’s BBoM list. I expect it to be as fun as watching a John Wick movie. We won’t expect a groundbreaking action movie here, but it will be a fun ride—pun intended. No matter how well the movie is received by critics, I believe that viewers will have a great time and leave the theaters pleased.
Bodies Bodies Bodies
Release Date: August 5, 2022
Synopsis: When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong. (IMDB)
Director: Halina Reijn
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott
Juliana Purnell (104-87): Meh – You can just tell a screenwriter noticed that Among Us gained an insane amount of popularity recently and so they decided to capitalize on that format’s success. This looks like a fun whodunnit serial killer set up, but I think it’s going to be pushing that suspension of disbelief fairly hard as to why they can’t leave the house. It’ll be an entertaining watch, but nothing more than a substandard slasher.
Tyler Hummel (85-75): Meh – I always appreciate that A24 films are always swinging for the fences. I can never hold it against them that they are taking risks and trying new things. That said, sometimes their output is annoying, gross or just incomprehensible, and the trailer for Bodies Bodies Bodies manages to make it look like all three with its teen-speak dialogue and vague horror tone. The self-aware jokes about Pete Davidson’s sex life and the overt commentary about millennial myopia all come across as tedious.
L.J. Lowery (9-11): Meh – This movie looks extremely unoriginal and seems to be nothing we haven’t seen from slasher films before. I hope the fact that A24 is backing this one means that there is something special behind it. The trailer itself screams meh.
Yes, that was another pun.
Mack & Rita
Release Date: August 12, 2022
Synopsis: A 30-year-old writer (Elizabeth Lail) spends a wild weekend in Palm Springs and wakes up to find she has magically transformed into her 70-year-old self (Diane Keaton). (IMDB)
Director: Katie Aselton
Starring: Diane Keaton, Martin Short, Dustin Milligan
Juliana Purnell (104-87): Bust – This story feels like a morality tale from a bygone era, back in the days of Click and 13 Going On 30. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with a twee little movie like this, and sometimes they can be a guilty pleasure thanks to their gimmick. However, from a cultural standpoint, it’s not coming out at a great time. These types of stories are very heavy on the nose with their messaging, and considering that art in general is currently rife with Woke themes which is essentially criticized for its head-bashing delivery that disrespects the audience, it’s hard to see modern viewers taking a shine to the cousin of this narrative storytelling style. I’m finding more of a revival in subtle and nuanced presentations instead. I think Mack & Rita will be gimmicky enough to be referenced in pop culture, but it won’t actually be a good film.
Tyler Hummel (85-75): Bust – I didn’t know Hollywood still made 1990s-era gimmick comedies anymore but here we are…
L.J. Lowery (9-11): Bust – I feel bad for this movie because I like the message that it is trying to tell. However, it tries to mimic a particular comedy gimmick of putting a character in another body which feels kind of old hat at this point. I could see it doing well a few decades ago, and I feel like it simply doesn’t have the chops to be very appealing to audiences in this day and age.
Release Date: August 19, 2022
Synopsis: A father and his two teenage daughters find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the Savanna has but one apex predator. (IMDB)
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Starring: Idris Elba, Sharlto Copley, Iyana Halley
Juliana Purnell (104-87): Meh – I do love a good natural “monster” flick, and Crawl demonstrated there’s still life in this horror subgenre. Sharks have Jaws, crocodiles have Rogue, snakes have Anaconda, and lions have The Ghost and the Darkness. That’s right! That’s my go-to lion flick. Love that movie, and I even travelled all the way to Chicago’s Field Museum so I could stare into the taxidermized eyes of the lions of Tsavo. Read the book and everything. So Beast has big shoes to fill, even though I am excited to see another murderous lion story on the silver screen. I think it’s going to be what Deep Blue Sea was to Jaws; it’s not going to be the best killer lion flick, but it’s still going to be very entertaining with some wild scenes. It’ll be too stupid to gain critical acclaim, but it may win the hearts of general audiences as a B-grade horror movie.
Tyler Hummel (85-75): Meh – Okay I like the premise! Idris Elba and the dude from District 9 get hunted by a giant wild lion! There’s promise here. It looks like a B-movie but there’s a promise!
L.J. Lowery (9-11): Meh – As much as I look forward to this movie and its similarity to The Ghost and the Darkness, I don’t expect it to move the needle. Idris Elba is an actor that people look forward to seeing on screen, but I can’t see Beast being more than an intense popcorn thriller.
Release Date: August 31, 2022
Synopsis: A lonely scholar, on a trip to Istanbul, discovers a Djinn who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. (IMDB)
Director: George Miller
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Idris Elba, Pia Thunderbolt
Juliana Purnell (104-87): BOOM! – Ooooooh, a genie movie (although technically it’s a djinn). Don’t see this every day! With Disney’s Aladdin practically hogging this narrative market singlehandedly, it means there’s a lot that can be explored. Stylistically it’s giving off Everything Everywhere All at Once and The Fountain vibes in that it’s not going to be a straight forward narrative, where instead it will tell multiple stories over a vast expanse of time and space. Little vignettes, which is always fun. No doubt this will be a deep dive, and an almost comprehensive look as to what is the best thing to wish for given one must always be careful. I just hope the central storyline still has some sort of agency and the entire project is cohesive, as it’ll feel listless otherwise. George Miller is an acclaimed director, but he doesn’t always land hits. But I’m predicting a BOOM over a meh as I think critics will appreciate the risk he has undertaken.
Tyler Hummel (85-75): BOOM! – I genuinely don’t know what to do with this one. Early indications seem to be that it’s going to be a wash but the credibility behind this film is astonishing. This is George Miller’s first film since finishing Mad Max: Fury Road, not including his upcoming Furiosa film that’s currently in production. I want this movie to be good so badly. I want Miller to spend the rest of his career releasing masterpieces that run circles around the entirety of Hollywood. I’m not sure he’ll succeed. The early stuff makes this film come across like a more hedonistic version of Everything Everywhere All at Once, and I hope it has more to say than mere epicurean existential musings. I’m going to allow myself to be hopeful though!
L.J. Lowery (9-11): BOOM! – I’m taking a shot in the dark with my prediction with this one. George Miller is a legendary director, but I can’t see this movie holding mass appeal. It has an eccentric feel to it in a way that I don’t think will be everyone’s cup of tea. However, it could be an Everything Everywhere All at Once situation in which people won’t know what to expect but will have their minds blown. I won’t go out of my way to see this one, but I look forward to how audiences feel about 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!”