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 September 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 August predictions!
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem – BOOM!
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 97%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 90%
IMDB Score: 7.5
Production Budget: $70 million
Worldwide: $138 million
Hitting the right tone with its humor and animation style, many loved this latest version of the turtles.
2. Meg 2: The Trench – Meh
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 29%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 73%
IMDB Score: 5.2
Production Budget: $129 million
Worldwide: $354 million
While critics found this sequel to be lacking any charm, it seems it still delivered its promise of a silly time for viewers, ending up with an impressive box office return as a result.
3. Gran Turismo – Meh
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 98%
IMDB Score: 7.4
Production Budget: $60 million
Worldwide: $58 million
Solid racing film, however critics felt this adaptation lost its way throughout the runtime.
4. Blue Beetle – Meh
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 78%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 92%
IMDB Score: 6.7
Production Budget: $104 million
Worldwide: $84 million
It seems the cast and the film’s family-friendly appeal saved what was initially predicted to be a dud.
5. The Hill – Meh
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 38%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 97%
IMDB Score: 6.7
Budget: Not disclosed
Worldwide: $3 million
It may have been too cliche for critics to enjoy, but general audiences still found this film to be heartwarming.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (139-117).
The Equalizer 3
Release Date: September 1, 2023
Synopsis: Robert McCall finds himself at home in Southern Italy but he discovers his friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends’ protector by taking on the mafia. (IMDB)
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Eugenio Mastrandrea
Juliana Purnell (139-117): Meh – Did anyone ask for this to be a trilogy? I’ve watched the previous two films, but honestly, I can barely remember them. They passed the time and were entertaining enough, but this series has always been a bit on the bland side. Washington’s character is almost too competent, leaving little room for the burst of excitement that’s supposed to come from watching the fight sequences. It’s all very smooth, but teeters on boring at the same time, causing this franchise to pass undetected amongst better films in the genre, namely John Wick. Considering Keanu’s similar role wrapped recently, the comparisons will no doubt be unavoidable for Denzel Washington’s venture, and I predict the former action film franchise will tarnish the feelings towards this movie.
The Nun II
Release Date: September 8, 2023
Synopsis: 1956 – France. A priest is murdered. An evil is spreading. The sequel to the worldwide smash hit follows Sister Irene as she once again comes face-to-face with Valak, the demon nun. (IMDB)
Director: Michael Chaves
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Storm Reid
Juliana Purnell (139-117): Bust – I personally didn’t like The Nun, and I thought it was one of the weaker films in the Conjuring Universe. Therefore, I don’t have high hopes for this sequel. I think the jump scares will be silly and predictable, and the theological component will be rather trash as well; too much power will no doubt be given to the forces of darkness, making it distracting and not vindicating for Christian viewers that find enjoyment in watching good vs. evil horror flicks. It will draw a crowd, but The Nun II won’t add much to the franchise.
Release Date: September 15, 2023
Synopsis: Inventing flying contraptions, war machines and studying cadavers, Leonardo da Vinci tackles the meaning of life itself with the help of French princess Marguerite de Nevarre. (IMDB)
Directors: Jim Capobianco, Pierre-Luc Granjon
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Matt Berry, Marion Cotillard
Juliana Purnell (139-117): BOOM! – This film looks sweet. It’s great to see a revival of this animation style, and I think audiences are keen to experience a return to wholesome entertainment. The Renaissance period and the life of Leonardo DaVinci hasn’t been explored in cinema all too recently, and with animation allowing a greater sense of whimsy, this has the potential to be an uplifting and partly educational film the entire family can enjoy. If narrative doesn’t adopt too many tropes, and the story and tone feels fresh, there’s no reason to believe this won’t be a hit within its target demographic.
A Haunting in Venice
Release Date: September 15, 2023
Synopsis: In post-World War II Venice, Poirot, now retired and living in his own exile, reluctantly attends a seance. But when one of the guests is murdered, it is up to the former detective to once again uncover the killer. (IMDB)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Dornan
Juliana Purnell (139-117): Meh – Third in the series regarding Kenneth Branagh’s rendition of Agatha Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot, A Haunting in Venice appears to take an even darker turn compared to its predecessors. Not content to remain in the mystery and crime genre, it looks like this time around it will take a dive into horror. Despite their impressive casts, Branagh’s previous films have been relatively mediocre, receiving only a lukewarm reception. Tapping into an adjacent genre might be the breath of fresh air this franchise needs, however it does come with a risk—murder mystery fans aren’t always fans of horror as well. A lot of people don’t like jump scares, intense feelings of dread, or gore, yet murder mysteries have a way of circumnavigating those issues to deliver its thrills. I think A Haunting in Venice will be an interesting film, but it may alienate its already established audience. I also think the reveal will be yet another muddled mess as well.
Release Date: September 22, 2023
Synopsis: The Expendables will square up against: an arms dealer who commands the might of a massive private army. (IMDB)
Director: Scott Waugh
Starring: Jason Statham, 50 Cent, Megan Fox
Juliana Purnell (139-117): Bust – A lot of my friends know I’m a Stallone fan, though I personally wouldn’t adopt the description; I have a great deal of respect for this actor, but I haven’t gotten around to watching all of his work. Yet even though I possess a bias, I still don’t harbour much love for the Expendables franchise. I think I’ve seen all three so far… Like The Equalizer films, I barely recall what happened in them. They’re just generic big-budget outlandish action films, where the cast list is more interesting than the plot. Expend4bles will mark the beginning of a new trilogy, with the mantle passing over to a new generation headed mostly by Jason Statham. Unless this film can find a way to be memorable and make full use of its talented cast, then I don’t see Expend4bles making any more of a mark than the previous ones in the franchise.
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!”