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 February 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 January predictions!
1. The 355 – Bust
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 25%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 86%
IMDB Score: 4.9
Production Budget: $40-75 million
Worldwide: $21 million
Juliana: Despite an impressive cast, critics found this spy action flick to be lacklustre. While general audiences managed to find the film entertaining enough, The 355 ultimately didn’t get the word of mouth it needed to save it from becoming a box office bomb.
2. Scream – BOOM!
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 82%
IMDB Score: 7.1
Production Budget: $24 million
Worldwide: $106 million
Juliana: It might be the fifth film, but Scream surpassed expectations and delivered another strong entry to the franchise, swiftly making a tidy sum at the box office as well.
3. The King’s Daughter – Bust
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 20%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 81%
IMDB Score: 5.1
Budget: $40 million
Domestic: $1.5 million
Juliana: Delayed for eight years with an over-blown budget, general audiences found Pierce Brosnan’s lost mermaid movie to be cute, though many critics didn’t feel it was worth the wait.
4. Redeeming Love – Meh
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 10%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 94%
IMDB Score: 6.8
Worldwide: $6 million
Juliana: A retelling of the book of Hosea, Redeeming Love was always going to attract unfavourable reviews. Yet those within the film’s demographic have really loved this faithful book adaptation. It has also over performed at the box office given this small production was only predicted to earn $5 million if it was lucky.
Error: Movie not found!
It seems the film industry is still not stable. After publishing last month’s Boom, Bust, or Meh article, Morbius‘ release date was pushed back to 1st April, 2022 like a cruel early April Fool’s joke.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (90-71), and Tyler Hummel is at (73-57).
Release Date: February 4, 2022
Synopsis: In Moonfall, a mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurdling on a collision course with life as we know it. With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler is convinced she has the key to saving us all – but only one astronaut from her past, Brian Harper and a conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman believe her. These unlikely heroes will mount an impossible last-ditch mission into space, leaving behind everyone they love, only to find that they might have prepared for the wrong mission.(IMDB, Centropolis Entertainment).
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley
Juliana Purnell (90-71): BOOM! – Wow, this feels like a blast from the past. Moonfall is a ridiculous disaster flick directed by Roland Emmerich. These types of films used to be considered the big blockbusters of the day prior to the MCU’s domination at the box office and the prevalence of franchise releases. Some of Emmerich’s past films were pretty goofy, but I’ve found over the years if I stumble upon one whilst flicking through television channels, I’ll stay and watch. They’re a guilty pleasure of mindless entertainment, and I think Moonfall has come at just the right time. Whilst we’re now two years into the pandemic, people are still processing the world we’re in, where horror films have surprisingly continued to draw in audiences despite seeming counterintuitive as the genre is used as an outlet for people to try and tame their fears. I think disaster flicks will re-emerge for similar reasons; the world seems like it’s falling apart and people will search for a safe place to engage their morbid thoughts, much like how everyone watched Contagion when the pandemic first broke. Fixing society and the planet is more at the forefront of people’s minds, and the success of Don’t Look Up demonstrated there’s now a market for disaster films once more. People who watched Don’t Look Up and want more of the same will check out Moonfall. There’s also just been a shortage of spectacle cinema, where people are keen to watch an endless barrage of CGI effects on a stupidly large screen, no matter how dumb the subject matter. If Moonfall hits its tone right, critics will also appreciate a big, dumb action flick provided it doesn’t try too hard to be anything else, much like how Crawl was praised for being true to itself. There’s a market for this and everyone I’ve spoken to is keen, even though they know very well Moonfall will be dumb.
Tyler Hummel (73-57): Meh – I was honestly kind of surprised to see Rolland Emmerich return to his wheelhouse of BIG, DUMB spectacle blockbusters so soon after his extremely successful WWII film Midway. The film is releasing on the heels of the similarly themed Netflix film Don’t Look Up and I’m curious if Emmerich, famous for inserting his politics into his blockbusters, is going to take a similar thematic approach with this film that Don’t Look Up took to the issue of climate change. Regardless, I’m expecting this film to be massive and dumb.
Release Date: February 4, 2022
Synopsis: After 11 years, the Jackass crew is back for their final crusade. (IMDB).
Directors: Jeff Tremaine
Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Chris Pontius
Juliana Purnell (90-71): Meh – I don’t know how I feel about these movies. It just seems like one of the lowest forms of entertainment. I’ve never watched an episode in its entirety, but I remember my brothers absolutely loving these guys back in the day and they owned a number of their exploits on VHS. I’d be a hypocrite to say I’m not somewhat intrigued; I’m a sucker for Red Bull-funded snowboarding and surfing sport movies (which look amazing on the big screen) where professionals push their bodies to the limit to achieve crazy dreams. In a way, the Jackass troupe are like the crazy backwater offshoot of the extreme sport subgenre. If these consenting adults wish to challenge themselves into pulling off brainless stunts to achieve the heights of stupidity, then I guess that’s their choice. I’ll be interested to see what demographic Jackass Forever does manage to pull into theaters, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a deeper thematic element this time around concerning the aging male psyche, similar to what’s explored in Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s The Trip franchise which resonated with men from Generation X. It’s not ashamed or misadvertizing what it is, so critics might be lenient, though I don’t think a lot of people will feel compelled to watch this at the cinema.
Tyler Hummel (73-57): Bust – The Jackass franchise exists from a relative moment of cultural malaise and boredom in the late 1990s and early 2000s that hasn’t aged well. I know a lot of people that LOVE the original movies and their various offshoots like Bad Grandpa, but I can’t for the life of me understand what purpose this film serves in 2022. Is the world not crazy enough already? Do we really need extreme gags and dangerous stunts to feel in danger in light of the world we live in? Will it even work with the stars aged up an additional 20 years? I’m predicting mediocre results.
Release Date: February 11, 2022
Synopsis: Music superstars Kat Valdez and Bastian are getting married before a global audience of fans. But when Kat learns, seconds before her vows, that Bastian has been unfaithful, she decides to marry Charlie, a stranger in the crowd, instead. (IMDB).
Director: Kat Coiro
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Owen Wilson
Juliana Purnell (90-71): Meh – With its release timed with Valentine’s Day, I think producers are hoping this will be the movie that women will supposedly drag their boyfriend along to watch for a romantic outing. Unfortunately I’m not convinced they’ve targeted the right demographic. JLo and Owen Wilson are older stars that resonate more with viewers over the age of 30, since that’s the age group that grew up watching their most prominent work. To stereotype and grossly generalize, this is an age group that are either busy with their family or they don’t feel the need to celebrate Valentine’s Day; they’re unlikely to make the trip out to the cinema. Even though I love these actors, a younger cast may have been a better choice. However, I am looking forward to seeing a film that not only represents a middle-aged romance, but also seems to positively portray the effort and traits that are required to make a marriage and relationship work. I think it’ll be a cute film, but it’ll struggle at the box office, unless those nostalgic for 00s-style romcoms come out in force.
Tyler Hummel (73-57): Meh – I don’t watch a lot of romantic comedies but this one at least has a neat premise. A fabulously wealthy and famous pop diva decides to marry a random concert attender after her fiance is caught cheating on her. That’s a neat idea! As far as Valentine’s Day throwaway films go, that sounds tolerable!
Death on the Nile
Release Date: February 11, 2022
Synopsis: While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress. (IMDB).
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Kenneth Branagh, Gal Godot, Russell Brand
Juliana Purnell (90-71): Meh – Murder on the Orient Express had a fantastic cast, though if I were to be honest, I found the film to be disappointingly underwhelming. Not sure if it was the pacing, editing, or the story itself, but the film lacked the spark it needed to elevate itself to the next level. Now outclassed by movies like Knives Out, I don’t think Death on the Nile will be any different. It’ll be reasonably entertaining but otherwise meh.
Tyler Hummel (73-57): Boom! – Murder on the Orient Express was a completely underrated 2017 film that I happened to quite enjoy! It was bookish, beautiful to look at, and lined with a dozen great performances by some of our largest actors and actresses in modern Hollywood. A direct sequel to that is hard to pass up and I’ve been excited to see it for the past four years, after it’s been delayed half a dozen times.
Release Date: February 18, 2022
Synopsis: Street-smart Nathan Drake is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan to recover a fortune amassed by Ferdinand Magellan and lost 500 years ago by the House of Moncada. (IMDB).
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Tom Holland, Sophia Ali, Mark Wahlberg
Juliana Purnell (90-71): Bust – I don’t know much about the Uncharted games, but I do know that Tom Holland is an odd choice to play Nathan Drake. I also know that gamers can be pickier than book lovers when it comes to adaptations, where deviations from the source material are often heavily criticized. If this film upsets the gamers, then who is the target audience? For those unfamiliar with the games, this film will come across as just another generic action film, much like the recent Jungle Cruise. I predict gamers will hate it and sink this film’s chances of success through bad word of mouth.
Tyler Hummel (73-57): Bust – The trend of adapting big video game franchises into middle-tier action blockbusters has already run it’s course. We got Tomb Raider a few years ago and now we’re stuck with an Uncharted movie too, with Tom Holland as a bizarrely aged down Nathan Drake in a film that steals some of the best action beats from the game franchise. I don’t know who this is designed to appeal to but I can’t imagine that fans of the game are going to rush out and see this, especially after the adaptations of Assassin’s Creed, Rampage, Mortal Kombat, Need for Speed and Warcraft failed.
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!”