Boom, Bust, or Meh – May 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 May 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 April predictions!

1. The Super Mario Bros. Movie – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 59%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 96%

IMDB Score: 7.3

Box Office

Production Budget: $100 million

Worldwide: $1 billion

Capturing the essence of the games and pleasing long-time fans with its many references, the critics have misjudged this film as it’s clearly a success in every way.

Our review!

2. On a Wing and a Prayer – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 17%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 62%

IMDB Score: 5.6

Box Office

Production Budget: $18 million

Worldwide: N/A

What should have been a moving true story is tainted by too many theatrics and heavy-handed messaging.

Our review!

3. The Pope’s Exorcist – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 50%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 82%

IMDB Score: 6.2

Box Office

Production Budget: $18 million

Worldwide: $55 million

A forgettable and average demonic possession plot is saved by an outstanding performance by Russell Crowe.

4. Renfield – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 58%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 79%

IMDB Score: 6.7

Box Office

Production Budget: $65 million

Worldwide: $22 million

An amusing time, Renfield is a wonderful farce, though for a film that’s trying to be innovative, it leans too heavily on the tropes it’s trying to spoof, dulling itself at times.

5. Big George ForemanThe Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 45%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 96%

IMDB Score: 6.7

Box Office

Budget: $32 million

Worldwide: $3 million

Critics thought the film played things too safe, though as a faith-based movie, many found the story to be uplifting. A new release, its box office numbers should continue to climb as it finds its way overseas.

New Releases

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (129-107).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: May 5, 2023

Synopsis: Still reeling from the loss of Gamora, Peter Quill rallies his team to defend the universe and one of their own – a mission that could mean the end of the Guardians if not successful. (IMDB)

Director: James Gunn

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (129-107): Meh – The Guardians are one of the more popular entities in the MCU, though personally I’ve never really taken a liking to them. I like the actors more than the characters they portray. I’m not particularly hyped for it, but there are a lot of people that really love this intellectual property and are sadly bracing themselves for a satisfying conclusion. On its own, I think the film will be embraced by fans, though in a wider context, I don’t believe it will achieve much in getting the MCU back on track. There’s just too much homework now, and not much in way of motivation to continue watching these films either, considering phase four was often criticised for feeling directionless, where Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is also seeming like yet another self-contained adventure. It might be a case where it develops a positive glow surrounding its release, though upon reflection its popularity will sink. A BOOM for now, but it will be remembered as a meh by the end of the year.

The Mother

Rating: R

Release Date: May 12, 2023

Synopsis: While fleeing from dangerous assailants, an assassin comes out of hiding to protect her daughter she left earlier in life. (IMDB)

Director: Niki Caro

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Paul Raci, Gael García Bernal, Joseph Fiennes, Omari Hardwick

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (129-107): BOOM! – The compulsory Mother’s Day offering on this Boom, Bust, or Meh list, although The Mother is certainly different in this field. It’s an action-packed JLo revenge flick that no one knew they needed until now. It looks epic. JLo can be hit or miss, but given the right role, she possesses an admirable amount of talent. The Mother could easily turn out to be silly or generic, but I think this might be a quiet hit on Netflix, that gets enough positive attention to call this a BOOM!

Fast X

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: May 19, 2023

Synopsis: Dom Toretto and his family are targeted by the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes. (IMDB)

Director: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Momoa, Jason Statham, John Cena, Michelle Rodriguez

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (129-107): Meh – Speaking of franchises that require homework, a lot of my friends are surprised when I tell them I don’t watch the Fast & Furious movies. Why? Because there are ten of them now. Ten! Only long-time fans will watch this film, though thankfully for the studio the fanbase is loyal. Critically these films don’t tend to perform well, but it’s the fans that keep the series alive. The Rotten Tomato split will be huge between the two types of audiences.

The Little Mermaid

Rating: PG

Release Date: May 26, 2023

Synopsis: A young mermaid makes a deal with a sea witch to trade her beautiful voice for human legs so she can discover the world above water and impress a prince. (IMDB)

Director: Rob Marshall

Starring: Halle Bailey, Jonah Hauer-King, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Awkwafina

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (129-107): Bust – Eeeeurrggghhhhh… There is so much cultural junk surrounding this film, that it has become genuinely difficult to guess, identity politics aside, whether the movie will actually be any good. Despite the casting controversy, I think Halle Bailey will surprisingly be the best thing about it—she has an amazing voice and so far it seems her spirit shares that same carefree longing as Ariel’s character. I don’t hold much hope for the rest of it; it’s shaping up to be yet another soulless live action remake. There are rumours the ending has been changed, and I don’t trust Disney to provide a decent conclusion to this tale. We’ve also been treated to a recent array of films set underwater, with Aquaman’s sound mix setting great expectations, and Avatar: The Way of Water placing the bar way too high. The Little Mermaid can’t compete.

Warning: This is the red band trailer. Drug usage, headshots, and several uses of the f-word are featured.

The Machine

Rating: R

Release Date: May 26, 2023

Synopsis: Bert’s drunken past catches up with him 20 years down the road when he and his father are kidnapped by those Bert wronged 20 years ago while drunk on a college semester abroad in Russia. (IMDB)

Director: Peter Atencio

Starring: Mark Hamill, Martyn Ford, Jimmy Tatro

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (129-107): Meh – Difficult to judge. The entire premise behind this film is quirky and eccentric, which could result in a maddening lack of cohesive elements, or it could be a really fun ride. I’ve chosen to split it down the middle. I think a lot of people will simply watch this for Mark Hamill—he looks like he’s having a blast! If the critics don’t take this one too seriously, then it could be a BOOM! I think the presentation will plateau and drag at too many points to achieve that level of greatness.

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 May?

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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