Boom, Bust, or Meh – July 2024

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).

The Results

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

1. Bad Boys: Ride or Die – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 64%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 97%

IMDB Score: 7.0

Box Office

Production Budget: $100 million

Worldwide: $333 million

The film exceeded expectations with an entertaining story that chugs along, although critics lamented that it offered nothing new and was merely a placeholder in cinemas until something greater arrived.

2. The Watchers – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 32%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 52%

IMDB Score: 5.7

Box Office

Production Budget: $30 million

Worldwide: $51 million

While The Watchers delivers an intriguing premise and tends to stick in the mind after the credits roll, it is heavy-handed with its themes, clumsily arriving at only a somewhat realized conclusion.

3. Inside Out 2 – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 90%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 96%

IMDB Score: 7.9

Box Office

Production Budget: $175 million

Worldwide: $1 billion

The pacing is a little off at times, but that’s only a small quibble; Inside Out 2 is easily one of the best films of the year thus far.

4. Kinds of Kindness – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 73%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 58%

IMDB Score: 7.0

Box Office

Production Budget: $15 million

Worldwide: $5 million

People either loved it or hated it, or loved to hate it. Some appreciated Yorgos Lanthismos’ analysis of humanity, whilst others found it tedious and couldn’t wait to leave.

5. A Quiet Place: Day One – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 86%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 74%

IMDB Score: 6.8

Box Office

Budget: $67 million

Worldwide: $102 million

Many have praised this prequel, though there’s also a smattering of criticism; it’s predictable, the characters make bad decisions, it feels disjointed, and it offers nothing new to the franchise.

New Releases

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (164-137), and Tyler Hummel’s is (96-94).

Despicable Me 4

Rating: PG

Release Date: July 3, 2024

Synopsis: Gru, Lucy, Margo, Edith, and Agnes welcome a new member to the family, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad. Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal and his girlfriend Valentina, and the family is forced to go on the run. (IMDB)

Directors: Chris Renaud, Patrick Delage

Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Pierre Coffin

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (164-137): Meh – I’ve watched this franchise out of morbid fascination, as I’ve tried to understand their appeal, only to conclude that I just don’t like these films. Then again, I’m not the target demographic. The plots are basic and overrun with the annoying sidekick minions. I just don’t find them that funny. The second trailer focusses a lot more on them, which suggests this fourth entry into the main series is gag heavy, using the slapstick of the supporting cast as a crutch to compensate for a lack of genuine dramatic tension in the main storyline. I have no doubt kids will love it, but the paying adults may only mildly enjoy their time, appreciating the fact the kids are entertained more than taking pleasure from the movie itself.  

Tyler Hummel (96-94): Meh – Fourteen years has given us six films in a franchise that has proven to have surprisingly long legs. The strange appeal of the Minions and the series’ ability to become a meme have carried what should feel exhausting and painful now into something that continues to be successful. Maybe that’s not surprising, as most animated films do well at the box office. But the studio with a reputation for annoying hyperkinetic kids movies seems to know more than we think. 

Longlegs

Rating: R

Release Date: July 12, 2024

Synopsis:  In pursuit of a serial killer, an FBI agent uncovers a series of occult clues that she must solve to end his terrifying killing spree. (IMDB)

Director: Oz Perkins

Starring: Maika Monroe, Nicolas Cage, Blair Underwood

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (164-137): BOOM! – I don’t know what to expect from this movie, and that’s what excites me. FBI hunts of serial killers usually belong in the crime thriller genre, but this film seems to have an interesting mix of stronger horror elements. Basically, it’s going off script, making the story unpredictable, and hence, more scary. Nicolas Cage is going through a renaissance with his career at the moment, picking really great independent projects, and Longlegs looks like another well-chosen production.

Tyler Hummel (96-94): BOOM! – Neon is a fascinating little studio. The low-budget studio constantly takes interesting swings and misses. And this looks to be no exception. Crime thrillers have a great deal of interesting thematic space to work with, and this story of an FBI agent stumbling onto an occult serial killer has a lot of potential to speak on fascinating themes.  

Fly Me to the Moon

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 12, 2024

Synopsis: Marketing maven Kelly Jones wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis’s already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as back-up. (IMDB)

Director: Greg Berlanti

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Woody Harrelson

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (164-137): BOOM! – I was tossing up between a Meh or a BOOM, but what won me over was actually the studio; Apple tends to produce solid films, some of which have gone on to win awards. Fly Me to the Moon appears to be your typical well-told biographical drama with a sprinkling of comedy mixed in. If it dares to explore deeper themes (and this story could potentially be rife with commentary regarding conspiracy theories) then it will stand out above the rest in its genre.

Tyler Hummel (96-94): BOOM! – In an age when conspiracy theories run rampant, it is always curious to see shows and movies that turn them into plots. From the flat earth in Pirates of the Caribbean to the Deep Underground Military Bases in Godzilla vs. Kong, and now a biopic about the marketing agent who filmed a “fake” moon landing for NASA to help promote the real one. That’s an interesting premise for a movie in the year of our Lord 2024, and here’s hoping that its bravery gives it legs to be a great comedy!  

Twisters

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 19, 2024

Synopsis: A retired tornado-chaser and meteorologist is persuaded to return to Oklahoma to work with a new team and new technologies. (IMDB)

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Glen Powell, Anthony Ramos

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (164-137): Meh – The original Twister will always hold a special place in my heart. It was one of the first true blockbusters that specialised in spectacle, wowing audiences with its CGI at the time. I saw it multiple times at the cinema. It was a pioneer of its genre and revolutionised cinema, which was the main reason it was successful. Now its sequel is released during a slump of the era the original fostered, where audiences have grown weary of CGI-laden flicks, and instead have expressed a return of practical effects, signalling a boom in martial arts, puppetry, and hand drawn animation. Twisters won’t have the added benefit of that spark of fascination from viewers, but if it is a well-told story that’s suitable for the family demographic—creating an environment where children can experience their first cool disaster flick—then the film can hope to secure modest returns.

Tyler Hummel (96-94): Meh – I don’t know how to feel about this movie. The original Twister is a movie I watched numerous times growing up, at the height of culture’s fascination with epic disaster films. Being from the midwest, it was also a film that had some resonance, having spent more than my fair share of evenings hiding from tornado sirens. A late sequel decades later is a strange idea. Even with some of the creators and stars of Top Gun: Maverick behind it, I can’t help but feel skeptical.

Warning: the f-bomb is dropped in this trailer.

Deadpool & Wolverine

Rating: R

Release Date: July 26, 2024

Synopsis: Wolverine is recovering from his injuries when he crosses paths with the loudmouth Deadpool. They team up to defeat a common enemy. (IMDB)

Director: Shawn Levy

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Emma Corrin

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (164-137): BOOM! – The latest phase of the MCU has consistently missed the mark, leaving audiences less than enthused about any future projects in this realm. Except for Deadpool & Wolverine. The hype is strong with this one, and really is the make-or-break moment for viewers regarding whether they will continue to invest their time into the MCU. With the reveal of four cameos from past classic yet adjacent Marvel movies, they’ve got the nostalgia factor at play, which benefitted Spider-Man’s No Way Home and was part of the reason if its success. If the trailer delivers what it advertises, then it will be a hit, although I hope it isn’t overhyped that it has no chance of meeting expectations at this point.

Tyler Hummel (96-94): BOOM! – For only the second time since the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, only one MCU film is releasing this year and it is a doozy. Due to last year’s writer’s strike, the majority of Disney’s superhero films have been delayed, including Captain America: Brave New World, Thunderbolts, and Avengers: Kang Dynasty. The fact that this year’s only MCU film is the overdue Deadpool sequel just makes the year feel more bizarre. The trailers look good and there’s a lot of opportunity for a chance to blow off steam and superhero fatigue. 

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 July?

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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