Boom, Bust, or Meh – February 2023

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!

The Results

Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our January predictions!

1. M3GAN – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 94%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 78%

IMDB Score: 6.5

Box Office

Production Budget: $12 million

Worldwide: $146 million

With a glorious box office return, critics found this horror-comedy to be a fun experience, though many in the general audience may have been disappointed by the lack of scares.

2. Plane – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 76%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 94%

IMDB Score: 6.9

Box Office

Production Budget: $25 million

Worldwide: $31 million

Audiences found this Gerald Butler-fueled action movie to follow the standard tropes, though many believed it was more fun than most.

3. The Devil Conspiracy – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 27%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 52%

IMDB Score: 4.5

Box Office

Production Budget: $5 million

Worldwide: $765 thousand

The Devil Conspiracy hosted a number of potentially good ideas, though the cheap production quality overrode some aspects and parts of the narrative were executed poorly, leaving many disappointed.

4. Alice, Darling – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 83%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 45%

IMDB Score: 6.4

Box Office

Production Budget: Data not available

Worldwide: $106 thousand

A lot of critics praised the film’s subject matter, as the movie does well to show the difficulties of leaving an abusive relationship, though the general public were still left wanting more, finding the story lacking.

5. Missing – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 84%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 91%

IMDB Score: 7.4

Box Office

Budget: $7 million

Worldwide: $18 million

A story that narrowly misses from going completely off the rails at times, many found this fast-paced mystery to be engaging.

New Releases

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (118-102), and Tyler Hummel’s is (92-82).

The Quiet Girl

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: February 3, 2023

Synopsis: Rural Ireland 1981. A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. She blossoms in their care, but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one. (IMDB)

Director: Colm Bairéad

Starring: Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett, Catherine Clinch

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (118-102): BOOM! – The Quiet Girl is Ireland’s entry for the Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category. So right away, this film already has the honour of theoretically being the best the country has to offer over the past year. Since it has earned a nomination in the category, it means it has also already beat out most of the top picks from around the world. The International Feature Film category is a fierce competition, and they usually end up being powerful pieces of cinema—it’s never a waste of time to check out the all nominated films in this category if you’re not horrendously opposed to reading subtitles. I don’t predict a win, but I do sense that The Quiet Girl is a strong drama, one that’s very moving and possibly uplifting that will be well worth a look. Since it’s a foreign drama film, it won’t appeal to everyone, but I think the audience that will track down this film will know what they’re signing up for, and love it accordingly.

Tyler Hummel (92-82): Meh – I don’t mind quiet stories, quiet dramas, or otherwise not exciting and CINEMATIC movies (considering I gave A Hidden Life a very positive review and it is three hours of contemplative montage). That said, a film can also just be kind of sentimental or shallow. And I kinda sense that’s the case with A Quiet Girl; a film with a perfectly fine-looking trailer and premise that also just feels like the Hollywood version of itself at a glance. Maybe it’s good and works, or maybe it’s forgettable. 

Knock at the Cabin

Rating: R

Release Date: February 3, 2023

Synopsis: While vacationing, a girl and her parents are taken hostage by armed strangers who demand that the family make a choice to avert the apocalypse. (IMDB)

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (118-102): Meh – Difficult to judge. From the trailer it’s easy to see that Knock at the Cabin features a gay couple, where the antagonists could be overt analogies to religious fanatics, providing audiences with the standard and overused plot of homosexuals versus intolerant religious folk. Basically, it exudes the whiff of Wokeness, where the message could be oversimplified to the point of insulting the audience’s intelligence. However, it is directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who after having a few theatrical box office bombs, has been funding his own projects outside of Hollywood as of late, and is also a “spiritual” person (he describes himself as agnostic, and with an open, curious, and questioning heart, tends to be respectful in his films towards religious beliefs as a whole, unlike others). So he might not have that pressure to appease the perceived masses with Woke ideology. It’s a film that is advertised heavily, so despite Shyamalan’s past failures, it seems the distributor at least has faith in him, but I’m still going to pick straight down the middle and choose “Meh”—Shyamalan is notorious for his twist endings, and I’m not convinced he will pull one off that will satisfy the enormous build up.

Tyler Hummel (92-82): Bust – The Shyamalan train has already left the station. Not to mix metaphors, but I have long since packed it in and given up hope that he will ever produce a film on par with The Sixth Sense or Signs ever again. We already saw what happened when he tried to resurrect the Unbreakable trilogy he’s been sitting on since the 1990s… 

Some horror-style violence is depicted in this trailer.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey

Rating: Not yet rated

Release Date: February 15, 2023

Synopsis: It follows Pooh and Piglet as they go on a rampage after Christopher Robin abandons them for college. (IMDB)

Director: Rhys Frake-Waterfield

Starring: Gillian Broderick, Paula Coiz, Chris Cordell

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (118-102): Bust – With A.A. Milne’s classic work now in the public domain, it was only a matter of time until a wild reimagining of the source material took place. Blood and Honey is a gimmick of a concept at its core, turning beloved childhood characters into horror movie killers. Independently produced, this low budget-appearing film looks unpolished, as though this first-time director wanted to rush this production out as fast as possible before someone else beat him to the concept. It could easily become a cult classic, though the low production quality will turn off anyone that’s not completely on board with the idea. As copy cats will no doubt follow as more mega characters eventually have their copyright licences lapse, Blood and Honey may earn the accolade in cinematic history for being one of the first in this upcoming subgenre, but it won’t be on the grounds of its production quality or storytelling.

Tyler Hummel (92-82): Meh – If there were ever an argument to be made that copyright infringement should be tightened… I can’t say this movie will be good or bad but this is exactly the kind of movie that ought to have been expected the moment Disney lost the exclusive right to make Winnie the Pooh content. Sure, the Christopher Robin movie from a few years back was cute and everyone loves the original cartoons, but this is an exploitation movie in the most simple terms. It’s exploiting the cuteness of the original books for a quick profit. I can’t be mad at it. It isn’t trying to be creative.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: February 17, 2023

Synopsis: Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible. (IMDB)

Director: Peyton Reed

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (118-102): Meh – After a lacklustre Phase 4 which didn’t appear to have any semblance of cohesiveness or much forward momentum, this latest MCU offering represents the beginning of Phase 5. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania needs to be a BOOM for the studio, as Marvel’s die hard fans are really starting to question whether their loyalty to the brand is paying off anymore. This film is said to finally introduce the universe’s next big bad, but I personally worry the story will demonstrate these higher stakes with yet another character death. If it’s Ant-Man, where his replacement is his daughter or some other random side character, then I think we can say goodbye to the MCU; they need to keep at least some legacy characters, and if Ant-Man goes, they’ve tipped the balance too far, expecting audiences to remain connected to characters with little to no establishment or mainstream interest. I’m not sure where they are planning on going with this film, and while I hope the MCU can start turning things around, I’m not convinced it’ll be accomplished with this movie.

Tyler Hummel (92-82): BOOM! – Marvel movies are a pretty sure thing, but if there were ever a time to be iffy, it would probably be with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, where the premise seems to be going for a Guardians 3-style emotional finish to this trilogy but with a character who has always been the butt of the joke for the entire franchise thus far. Ant-Man is a solid comedic and supporting character, but using him as the launching pad for the big meta-story about the evil lord of the multiverse’s war against The Avengers feels… wrong? Maybe a waste for a character whose movies were always lighthearted breaks between more intense movies. 

Jesus Revolution

Rating: Not yet rated

Release Date: February 24, 2023

Synopsis: The true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970’s and its origins within a community of teenage hippies in Southern California. (IMDB)

Directors: Jon Erwin, Brent McCorkle

Starring: Jonathan Roumie, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Kelsey Grammer

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (118-102): BOOM! – It took a while, but faith-based films are finally hitting their stride. They used to be painfully overt with their messaging and would sanitise any perceived flaws of their characters or narratives in the hopes of converting the masses, yet the disingenuousness of process always reeked, and eventually Christian filmmakers realised more success could be gained from simply telling a good, honest story. Ironically, it’s now the Woke-adherents that are currently going through those growing pains, where sometimes mainstream Hollywood films feel more preachy than what is coming out within the Christian subgenre. The directors for Jesus Revolution also brought us I Can Only Imagine and I Still Believe, both uplifting and bold films. They have shown they know how to adapt biographical material. I’m not familiar with this new story they’re adapting, so my only hesitation with this film is that I hope the resulting message is still bound firmly within the tenets of Christianity—I hope it doesn’t travel down the secular route where suddenly everything is permissible because “Jesus is love”. Yet if it’s anything like their previous films, there’s no reason Jesus Revolution won’t be a hit amongst its intended audience.

Tyler Hummel (92-82): Meh – Oh hey another Christian movie… I hate to say that so derisively but the genre, writ large, but this genre is so picked clean at this point with Hallmark-esc sentimental low-budget dramas, that I have a hard time feeling any emotion towards it other than boredom. But hey, Frasier meets The Chosen is an amusing idea. Jonathan Roumie is a really great actor and seeing him subvert his career defining role of Jesus Christ to be a hippie who finds Jesus is one of those ideas that is actually clever.

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 your predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in February?

Juliana Purnell

After obtaining a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts, Juliana Purnell has enjoyed a successful acting career, working within theme parks, businesses, and on film sets. She has also taken on crew roles, both in film and theatrical productions. When Juliana isn't working, she enjoys watching movies of all genres at the cinema, writing, and playing with Samson, her pomeranian.

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