Categories
Action/Adventure Coming Soon Drama Movies News

Boom, Bust, or Meh: March 2017 – Geeks Under Grace

What up, GUG fans, and welcome to this month’s edition of Boom, Bust, or Meh! With the 89th Oscars now complete, let us take a look at this month’s films! For those who are unfamiliar with BBoM, this monthly article focuses on five various films each month and what our predictions as movie lovers are! As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores:
Boom: A film you wish came out pre-Oscar season so it could possibly get nominated.
Bust: A film that is your stereotypical post-Oscar season flop.
Meh: A film that you are on and off about if whether or not it should have premiered the year before.
With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of March vault!

horizontal-divider

The Results

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

1. The LEGO Batman Movie – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 91%
Audience Score: 85%
Box Office
Production Budget: $80 million
Worldwide: $184 million
Trey: A great follow-up to the LEGO Movie for all ages!
Our review!

2. The Great Wall – Bust.

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 35%
Audience Score: 55%
Box Office
Production Budget: $150 million
Worldwide: $270 million
Trey: Visually interesting, but story and character development was a different story.

3. The Space Between Us – Bust. 

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 17%
Audience Score: 65%
Box Office Production
Budget: $30 million
Worldwide: $7 million
Trey: There certainly was a lot of space between those who hated the film and those who enjoyed it. 
Our Review!

4. John Wick: Chapter 2 – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 90%
Audience Score: 91%
Box Office
Production Budget: $40 million
Worldwide: $96 million
Trey: More guns, more fun! Nearly as great as the first one!
Our Review!

5. A Cure for Wellness – Bust. 

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 40%
Audience Score: 45%
Box Office Production
Budget: $40 million
Worldwide: $11 million
Trey: That definitely took a turn for the worst…literally, it did.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (45-32) and Jonathan’s is (19-14).

horizontal-divider

Power Rangers

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: March 23, 2017
Synopsis: From a story by Executive Producer Roberto Orci and screenwriters Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller comes a modern reinvention of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, a group of ordinary high school kids who find themselves infused with extraterrestrial powers and must harness those powers as a team to save the world (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Dean Israelite
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Naomi Scott, R.J. Cyler, Becky G, Dacre Montgomery, Ludi Lin, Elizabeth Banks

The Prediction

Trey Soto (45-32): Meh … – This was definitely not an easy decision to make. Power Rangers is either going to do great or it’s going to do terribly. Never let nostalgia get the best of you from the story which is why I don’t think critics will give it high praise. I could care less if the dialogue is cheesy since it is aimed at children and those who still praise the television series. I’m just concerned about the story and how each character will develop. While it may not do well with critics and even audiences, I’m predicting it will make a good amount of money, hence why I say it will be a “meh” film. I’m sure fans will love it, but not all will. 
Jonathan Tefft (19-14): Meh… – I was not a fan of Power Rangers growing up but I see this movie being a big surprise. Every time I see a new trailer or poster for this film I get a little bit more excited about it. For a concept as silly sounding as Power Rangers, I think they have been able to adapt it in a way that will please the fans and get people like me who know almost nothing about Power Rangers to go see it.
However, this movie has to be good for it to succeed. I don’t see the Power Rangers fanbase being big enough to support this movie so it is going to have to rely heavily on positive word of mouth from people like me, who aren’t already fans. The really big thing I see holding this movie back is the fact that there are at least three other big movies this month and one of them is Beauty and the Beast, which will definitely attract more families and take a big cut out of Power Rangers’ box office. If it wasn’t for the release date than I would put it as a BOOM! 
horizontal-divider

Kong: Skull Island

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Synopsis: A team of explorers and soldiers travel to an uncharted island in the Pacific, unaware that they are crossing into the domain of monsters, including the mythic king of the island, Kong (IMDb).
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly

The Prediction

Trey Soto (45-32): BOOM! – At first, I was not at all excited due to my love for the original 1933 version and Peter Jackson’s 2005 version. After watching the trailer and seeing the new time period, different take on the story, somewhat good cast, and the update on the CGI effects, I think this film has potential.
I am not fond of John C. Reilly being in this film. That being said, his personality does fit his crazy character. I was quite surprised to see Brie Larson in the trailer along with Tom Hiddleston and I’m still unsure of it, but I am really excited for Samuel L. Jackson and John Goodman in the film. My only concern is that Jordan Vogt-Roberts has not done a film such as this compared to Peter Jackson who had already completed the LOTR trilogy by then and was highly known for his directing. One can only hope that this movie does well. Also, we all know this is a build up for King Kong vs. Godzilla, right? Anyone else? Alrighty, moving on. 
Jonathan Tefft (19-14): BOOM! – I am a huge fan of anything that involves giant monsters and have been highly anticipating this movie! I really enjoyed the recent Godzilla movie released in 2014 and am very excited to know that this new King Kong will tie into it and will eventually lead to a new King Kong vs. Godzilla movie. I also love that they are not just retelling the classic story that ends with King Kong on top of the Empire State Building, which we’ve already seen before. This movie also has a fantastic cast with Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman. John C. Reilly is the only wild card. I can’t tell from the trailers on whether his character will be good comedic relief or just annoying. All in all, this movie has so many great things going for it that I would be very surprised if it turns out to be bad. 

horizontal-divider

Beauty and the Beast

Rating: PG
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Synopsis: Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted (IMDb).
Director: Bill Condon
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens (IV), Kevin Kline, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor
The Predictions
Trey Soto (45-32): BOOM! – It’s not every day that your favorite Disney princess film receives a live adaption. Disney is certainly heading in the right direction by not just adapting their classics, but also adding new details and character development. As long as they stick to the primary source material of the 1991 original, I am sure it will do more than well. Regardless of how hardcore fans will feel about the change and CGI attempts at the supporting cast, it will come as no surprise that this film will succeed financially. That being said, I cannot take Emma Watson’s dress seriously. It looks too modern! Okay, rant over. 
Jonathan Tefft (19-14): BOOM! – I will not be surprised if this is the highest grossing movie of the month. Disney had a rough start with their live action remakes with Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland but they are now on a roll with Cinderella and The Jungle Book. I have no doubt that they can continue their streak with Beauty and the Beast. The trailers have sold me and I love the cast. I think everyone looks and sounds perfect for their roles. Now I have noticed a little backlash against it recently, primarily with the design of the Beast and Emma Watson’s singing. This could potentially affect the box office but not enough to have an impact on its overall success both financially and critically. I personally don’t have a problem and have set my expectations high. 

horizontal-divider

The Shack

Rating: PG-13
Release: March 3, 2017
Synopsis: After losing his daughter on a camping a trip, a man grieves as he continues to push his family away. During his stage of grieving, he comes upon a mysterious invitation to meet with God himself at a place called ‘the shack.’
Director: Stuart Hazeldine.
Starring: Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Aviv Alush, Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell

The Prediction

Trey Soto (45-32): Bust. – Regardless of the backlash from the church over the questionable theology in the book, I still was not convinced by the trailer. Sure, it looks visually interesting but I’m really not all that impressed. The cast is one thing, but I just feel that audiences and critics will say that they were trying too hard to grab hold of the emotion behind it, let alone the theology. If it does succeed (and that’s a big if), then I won’t mind seeing it. 
Jonathan Tefft (19-14): Bust. – I’m not expecting much from this movie. The premise is only mildly interesting and the trailer didn’t wow me. The only thing that kind of makes me want to see it is Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer. I don’t think this movie will do well financially either. It doesn’t have a really big star that will make people rush out and see it, and it’s surrounded by at least three big blockbusters that are pretty much guaranteed to overshadow it. I think this movie would do better if it came out in April or February where there wouldn’t be as much competition against it. 

horizontal-divider

Logan

Rating: R
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Synopsis: In the near 2029, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces (IMDb).
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook

The Predictions

Trey Soto (45-32): BOOM! – We will all be crying in our seats at the end of this movie. Hugh Jackman has stated that in the past X-Men and Wolverine films, he has not put in his all for the character. In this film, however, in recent interviews and statements, he believes he has. If you’re going to star in one final movie as a popular comic book character, you at least got to make it memorable.
Based on the trailer, early reviews, and the fact that they finally went for an R-rating (Thank you, Fox!). I believe that this will definitely succeed in making audiences cheer and cry at the same time. Thank you for all that you have contributed as Wolverine, Hugh Jackman. We will certainly miss you…but if you can come back to fight Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool, that would be great! 
Jonathan Tefft (19-14): BOOM! – It is crazy to think that Hugh Jackman has been Wolverine for over fifteen years! It will be sad to see him finally retire the character but I think he has earned it and Logan looks to be the perfect way to say goodbye to him. I love how this movie looks like no other comic book movie we’ve seen before. If you removed the fact that he has claws than the movie just looks like a totally awesome action film.
I also love that we finally get to see a Wolverine that can take full advantage of an R-rating. Don’t forget that we are also saying goodbye to Patrick Stewart as Professor Charles Xavier who has been nothing but amazing throughout this whole franchise. I’m already hearing tons of praise for this movie from critics and even with the R-rating, I see this movie being a huge success at the box office. 

horizontal-divider

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 you predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in March?

Categories
Articles Coming Soon Movies News

Boom, Bust, or Meh: April 2016

Hello everybody and welcome to this month’s “Boom, Bust, or Meh,” where we take a look at five upcoming films of the month and give our predictions on how they will perform! Each prediction receives one of the following scores:
Boom: A films that surpasses the original hype.
Bust: A film that barely reaches the level of hype given.
Meh: A film that is a major letdown despite the hype.
With that short introduction, sit back, grab your popcorn, silence your phone, and read our predictions!

The Results

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

1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 29%
Audience Score: 70%
Box Office
Production Budget: $250 million
Worldwide: $ 720 million
Trey: A film that was good, but could have been great. Get your head in the game, DC!
Our Review!

2. Zootopia – Boom!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 98%
Audience Score: 95%
Box Office
Production Budget: 150 million
Worldwide: 808 million
Trey: This really is not surprising that an animated Disney film would be this successful let alone enjoyable.
Our Review!

3. Divergent Series: Allegiant – Bust.

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 12%
Audience Score: 46%
Box Office
Production Budget: $110 million
Worldwide: $137 million
Trey: And so concludes another YA novel film series with an anti-climatic ending.
Our Review!

4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 26%
Audience Score: 65%
Box Office Production
Budget: $18 million
Domestic: $58 million
Trey: Just further proves my stance on unnecessary comedic sequels being released nearly a decade later.
Our Review!

5. I Saw the Light – Bust.

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 19%
Audience Score: 51%
Box Office
Production Budget: $13 million
Domestic: $1 million
Trey: Even Tom Hiddleston’s reputation and success could not save this biography.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (12-12). Chris is at (23-15). Colby is at (5-5).

horizontal-divider

april1

The Jungle Book

Rating: PG
Release Date: April 15,
Synopsis: Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) must leave the only home he’s ever known when the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) unleashes his mighty roar. Guided by a no-nonsense panther (Ben Kingsley) and a free-spirited bear (Bill Murray), the young boy meets an array of jungle animals, including a slithery python and a smooth-talking ape. Along the way, Mowgli learns valuable life lessons as his epic journey of self-discovery leads to fun and adventure. (Film’s Main Facebook Page). 
Director: Jon Fevreau
Starring: Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Neel Sethi, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Christopher Walken.

The Prediction

Chris Hecox (23-15) BOOM! – I really like Jon Favreau. Like a lot a lot. He is always so smug on-screen, but his directing ability is top notch. Have you seen Chef? Idris Elba and Bill Murray are both equally awesome, so this has the makings of something great. I’m feeling really good about this one.
Trey Soto (12-12) BOOM! – At first, I was unimpressed when I heard the news about this film’s upcoming release. Then I saw the trailer and my mind began to shift. This live-action adaption of a beloved Disney animation classic looks as if it will follow in the successful footsteps of Cinderella (2015) based on how accurate it looks to the original story.
Colby Bryant (5-5) BOOM! – What a cast! So eclectic, yet each can bring something familiar and new to each character. When a live action Jungle Book came out years ago by Disney, it felt so foreign to me, because I had been raised on the animated classic. This looks to retain elements of all the forms that made the story of Mowgli a classic. While Maleficent was personally a bust for me, Cinderella got things on course as a great, great movie. These live-action adaptations from Disney look to be coming steadily for the next few years, so I’m hoping this movie will continue some quality.

horizontal-divider

April

God’s Not Dead 2

Rating: PG
Release Date: April 8, 2016
Synopsis: A sequel to 2014’s faith-based film God’s Not Dead, a high-school teacher risks her career and reputation as she defends and fights for her rights in court to discuss Jesus in her public classroom  (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Harold Cronk
Starring: Melissa Joan hart, Jesse Metcalfe, Hayley Orrantia, David A.R. White

The Prediction

Chris Hecox (23-15) Bust – Hmmm… It’s so cliche to hate on Christian movies, but we need to be absolutely honest about this kind of thing. There is a gaping issue with a Christian film, where its prequel grasped at the idea that Christians are better, or more worthy than an atheist. We have a big disconnect here. Without soapboxing, Christians, listen: WE ARE NOT SUPERIOR TO ANYONE. So long as heavy-handed, theologically incorrect, Christian movies like this franchise exist, we are going to have problems explaining our faith to those who don’t know Jesus.
Trey Soto (12-12) Bust – I could go on a really long rant of why I greatly disliked Christian films let alone disregard Christian films as film quality, but I will keep it short and simple. This film, similar to the last one, focuses so much on the overall Gospel message that it nearly disregards the overall storytelling and character development. If you really want to reach your audience with a message, you cannot disregard the quality. Along the lines of this, the film also embraces the Christian stereotypes while it gives off the vibe that all atheists are God haters. Way to make us look bad…again.
Colby Bryant (5-5) Meh… – I was surprised a couple of years ago during a special pre-release screening for pastors by how much I enjoyed God’s Not Dead. Yes, it was corny, but I got wrapped up in what it was trying to say (possibly as the protagonist’s story resonated with me and my own college experiences). Still, this film just isn’t doing it for me with its trailers. I don’t know if it’s the actors or if this just seems to be going back to the same, but I just don’t see this one connecting like the first one did.

horizontal-divider

april2

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: April 22, 2016
Synopsis: Freya the Ice Queen brings her sister Ravenna back to life, and the powerful evil siblings plan to conquer the Enchanted Forest. Only the Huntsman and his secret lover Sara can stop them in this sequel continuing the inventive twist on the Snow White fable (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Cedric Nicholas
Starring: Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Chris Hemsworth

The Prediction

Chris Hecox (123-15) Bust – Nope. I’m also confused. Yep. I also thought Snow White and the Huntsman just came out last year. I do like fantasy movies picking up big name actors and trying to sell themselves to an audience. I think it’s fun to see fantasy take the spotlight in a genre where it’s hard to compete with The Lord of the Rings legacy. Those things said, this doesn’t have enough fan base. I’m actually quite surprised the original warranted a sequel.
Trey Soto (12-12) Bust – Was not impressed with the first, still am not impressed with this one. While the visuals look interesting, the story appears to be all over the place. Well-known actors can only make a film go so far in being successful when the story is not compelling.
Colby Bryant (5-5) Meh… – I couldn’t get into the original film, so I have no anticipation here. I love Chris Hemsworth, but so far, he hasn’t been much of a box-office draw as a star thus far. Maybe this one will connect, but I just don’t think there is a fan-base large enough to get this film’s hype rolling to make that big of an impression. Maybe the troubled sisterhood between Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt’s characters will resonate with audiences, but at this point, who knows?
horizontal-divider
april3
The Man Who Knew Infinity
Rating: PG-13
Release Date: April 29, 2016
Synopsis: Based on the untold story of one of the greatest minds of his generation, The Man Who Knew Infinity charts the incredible life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, whose genius for mathematics takes him from the slums of India to Trinity College, Cambridge University in the early 20th-century. Spurred on by his mentor G. H. Hardy, Ramanujan overcomes racism and the rigidity of academia to revolutionize the field with his startlingly original theorems, which he attributes to divine inspiration.
Director: Matt Brown
Starring: Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Northam

The Prediction

Chris Hecox (23-11) Meh… – I’m tempted to just assume this will flop. Being an indie drama, I feel it could make back its budget. However, even with a strong cast, I can only imagine a slow, meticulous plot that doesn’t add up to much. This isn’t built for action, but the story just seems uninteresting.
Trey Soto (12-12) Meh… – Great cast, no doubt. But due to the fact that it is an indie film, I do not believe that it will do well among large audiences and in the box office. This is not to put down indie films because I greatly appreciate them, but in the area of predicting the box office success and general audience, it may be just an okay film…for them, at least.
Colby Bryant (5-5) Meh… –Tough to call. The cast looks great with Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons convincing me of a friendship just from the trailer, and the subject matter looks to make a compelling story. Still, I hadn’t heard anything about it prior to this. I don’t see audiences coming out in droves, as this is surely a limited release, but still for those interested, I think it will make a good show for them. I would probably watch on disc later, as it will likely never come close to me in theaters.
horizontal-divider
april4
Hardcore Henry
Rating: R
Release Date: April 8, 2016
Synopsis: A man wakes up in a Moscow laboratory to learn that he’s been brought back from the dead as a half-human, half-robotic hybrid. With no memory of his former life, a woman who claims to be his wife tells him that his name is Henry. Before she can activate his voice, armed thugs storm in and kidnap her. As Henry starts to understand his new abilities, he embarks on a bloody rampage through the city to save his spouse from a psychopath who plans to destroy the world (Film’s main Facebook page).
Director: Illya Naishuller
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth

The Prediction

Chris Hecox (23-15) Bust – This looks cool… But so did the FPS sequence in DOOM. I’m sure action fans will pack theaters, but I’m not convinced it will be a smash hit outside of its target audience. That being said, I love seeing a new direction for action movies, but I just hope this isn’t a trend that catches on. It seems fun for the moment, but no one wants twenty more copycat FPS films in the next year or two.
Trey Soto (12-12) Bust. – Wow, Hollywood is really desperate in action films lately. I really cannot take first person films seriously due to the camera shaking and the overall lack of camera quality. The story sounds interesting but not compelling.
Colby Bryant (5-5) BOOM! – A first person adrenaline ride from start to finish? This looks like a ton of fun. While I’m sure this movie will have tons of adult content, the draw for me is almost too much to handle from the trailers I’ve seen. Now, I’m sure the story will leave much to be desired, but when was the last time we got an action movie for action movie’s sake? While the allure will probably be lost on a second viewing, I honestly can’t wait to see what’s in store.

horizontal-divider

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 you predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in April?

Categories
Articles Coming Soon Movies

Boom, Bust, or Meh: October 2015

Welcome back to another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh.” If you are new to the series, “Boom, Bust, or Meh,” is a monthly article that looks at five different theatrical releases, then our staff predicts how each film with perform, both financially, and critically.
Each film receives one of the following scores:
Boom: So good it explodes.
Bust: So bad it breaks.
Meh: So average that you start feeling average.
This month, Nestor Arce and Trey Soto rejoin us. Enjoy.
horizontal-divider

The Results

Let’s review last month’s performance.

1. Black Mass – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 75%
Audience Score: 77%
Box Office
Production Budget: $53 million
Worldwide: $45 million
Chris: Black Mass didn’t reach Goodfellas level of crime drama, and it also didn’t hit the box office as hard as hoped.
Our review!  

 

2. Everest – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 72%
Audience Score: 76%
Box Office
Production Budget: $55 million
Domestic: $100 million
Chris: On my radar, but haven’t seen it yet. Everest has quietly gained its budget back, and didn’t totally fail at the box office either.

3. The Visit – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 62%
Audience Score: 60%
Box Office
Production Budget: $5 million
Domestic: $67 million
Chris: Sort of hailed as an M. Night comeback, but it’s going to take more movies to bring back his old glories.

4. Sicario – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 92%
Audience Score: N/A
Box Office
Production Budget: $30 million
Worldwide: $70,722,000
Chris: Sicario had an extremely promising limited screening opening. We can only expect great things from here out.

5. Hotel Transylvania 2 – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 52%
Audience Score: 78%
Box Office
Production Budget: $80 million
Worldwide: $82 million
Chris: No one was expecting Inside Out, but Hotel Transylvania 2 performed as well as expected to the audience it expected.
Our review! 
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (13-6). Nestor is at (5-9). Trey is at (2-3)
horizontal-divider

Panpan_ver6

Rating: PG
Release Date: October 10
Synopsis: The story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny–to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. (Rotten Tomatoes)
Starring: Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Rooney Mara
Pan “reboots” the Peter Pan franchise, but mostly tries to put a new spin on a very familiar character. Hugh Jackman steps into a villainous role as Blackbeard. Director Joe Wright has experience from Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, and Anna Karenina.

 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (13-6) – Bust
I don’t feel good about this. CGI looks over the top and let’s be honest, it’s really difficult for a child to carry a film, even if it’s a movie shot for the family. I could be wrong, but I also think Hugh Jackman might regret signing on for this one. I’m not totally sure what seems off to me, but I suppose time will tell.
Nestor Arce (5-9) – BOOM!
Origin movies have been all the rage the past couple of years, but who would have thought that an origin story based on Peter Pan would look good? I’m actually interested in watching this to see how the rivalry between Pan and Captain Hook began. Judging from the trailer it looks like the movie might hit some pretty dark territory regarding this aspect of the movie. I’m in and I’m gonna bet that the film will be a box office success.
Trey Soto (2-3) – Meh …
Within the past 3-5 years, live adaptations of classic Disney animation films have either failed miserably or were mediocre. This idea that, “What if [insert character name here] had a backstory portraying why they are who they are?” is starting to become a real bother. Is a backstory really necessary? The characters are fine the way they are and have been successful being that way so I don’t see the need for a backstory here either. While the visual effects are amazing, I am not convinced that Pan will succeed as a live action prequel adaptation due to the plot and change in characters.
horizontal-divider

steve-jobs-movie-poster-800px-800x1259Steve Jobs

Rating: R
Release Date: October 23
Synopsis: Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. (IMDB)
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet
His passion and ingenuity have been the driving force behind the digital age. However his drive to revolutionize technology was sacrificial. Ultimately it affected his family life and possibly his health. In this revealing film we explore the trials and triumphs of a modern day genius, the late CEO of Apple inc. Steven Paul Jobs. (IMDB)

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (13-6) – BOOM!
Oh, good. A gritty Steve Jobs drama to trump Ashton Kutcher from a few years back. I love Michael Fassbender, and director Danny Boyle and writer Aaron Sorkin have a great track record. I’m not sure I can see this going horribly wrong, but it might not be amazing. Look for great casting and directing, and remembering how great Apple used to be.
Nestor Arce (5-9) – BOOM!
Another Steve Jobs movie, although this one looks to be more true to form than the one that was released with Ashton Kutcher in 2013. Danny Boyle directs, and judging from the trailers it doesn’t seem to pull any punches in its seemingly mean-spirited, but vulnerable portrayal of the technological wizard himself. Michael Fassbender stars as Jobs himself. If the cards are played right, this could be a decent contender come Oscar time.
Trey Soto (2-3) – BOOM!
Despite the box office of Jobs back in 2013, Hollywood is trying again to get a movie revolving around the life of Steve Jobs. Based on the trailer, the soundtrack, and the actors, I believe that this will not only be a step up, but a major improvement that will become a hit on its own. Michael Fassbender’s appearance and acting for the roll of Steve Jobs looks believable as well as accurate, from having a young appearance to wearing the tight blue jeans and black turtle neck sweater.
horizontal-divider

GoosebumpsGoosebumps-Movie-Poster

Rating: PG
Release Date: October 16
Synopsis: A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Greendale, Maryland. (IMDB)
Starring: Jack Black, Odeya Rush, Halston Sage
Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah (Odeya Rush), living right next door. But every silver lining has a cloud, and Zach’s comes when he learns that Hannah has a mysterious dad who is revealed to be R. L. Stine (Jack Black), the author of the bestselling Goosebumps series.
It turns out that there is a reason why Stine is so strange… he is a prisoner of his own imagination-the monsters that his books made famous are real, and Stine protects his readers by keeping them locked up in their books. When Zach unintentionally unleashes the monsters from their manuscripts and they begin to terrorize the town, it’s suddenly up to Stine, Zach, and Hannah to get all of them back in the books where they belong. (Sony)

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (13-6) -Meh…
So, I actually feel pretty optimistic about this. It’s not revolutionary, but the trailer feels and looks fun for a kid’s animated horror comedy. I adore Jack Black, and this will definitely be a better movie than Adam Sandler’s Pixels. Adam? Are you listening? If you ever want to adapt something again, take notes.
Nestor Arce (5-9) – Meh …
Strangely enough, I actually liked Goosebumps as a kid. I loved the cheesy horror elements that the show wasn’t afraid of pulling on its young audience. Sadly though, this film adaptation looks to be more of a cookie-cutter CGI fest. I’ll pass.
Trey Soto (2-3) – Meh…
While the film does look fun and enjoyable, I am unsure if it will capture the magic of the actual books. Just by watching the trailer, there looks like there will be an awful lot of witty one-liners and a cheesy, up-beat soundtrack. It looks almost as if it is a Night of the Museum knock-off than a new type of film for families.
horizontal-divider

bridge_of_spies_movie_poster_1Bridge of Spies

Rating: R
Release Date: October 16
Synopsis: An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union. (IMDB)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda
Bridge of Spies is packed full of talent. The Coen brothers team up with all-time great, Steven Spielberg. There is a lot going for this one, and some might decry it as Oscar bait, but Bridge of Spies feels very unique.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (13-6) – BOOM!
Something feels off about Bridge of Spies. I’m going to label it a BOOM, but something seems different about this one. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are absolutely great together, and we must mention the Coen brothers on writing credits. Everything on paper looks great, but do yourself a favor and skip the trailers. Go see this one blind. I also want to drop a plug here for Twilight Struggle, which is a great situational-strategy game from GMT about the Cold War. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Nestor Arce (5-9) – BOOM!
 I dare you to name one, just one time, where a Hanks-Spielberg collaboration has failed… I thought so.
Trey Soto (2-3) – BOOM!
You can never go wrong with a film that is based on a true story during one of the most darkest and dangerous times in world history. This is not the first time that Director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks have worked together in a film and when they have, they have not failed to disappoint. A film with this good of a cast let alone plot and time period in history, it looks just about impossible for this film not to succeed.
horizontal-divider

Crimson Peakcrimson-peak-tom-hiddelston-character-banner-tom-600x889

Rating: R
Release Date: October 16
Synopsis: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska
When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay: a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak. From the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro comes a supernatural mystery. (Universal)

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (13-6) – BOOM!
Guillermo Del Toro is a master of his genre craft, and we know this because of Pan’s Labyrinth. Here we have a stacked cast with an insane trailer just busting at the red band seams. Del Toro is plenty graphic with his storytelling, and Crimson Peak fulfills its bloody title just by one watch of the trailer. This likely won’t be a must-see for most audience members, but I’m excited to see the incoming early reviews.
Nestor Arce (5-9) – BOOM!
Guillermo Del Toro is one of the most talented (and sadly, often underrated) visionaries in Hollywood today. I tend to be very picky with horror movies, but when done right, they can often be a real treat. Del Toro is a man that knows horror (in fact, his name is synonymous with the genre at this point). Crimson Peak has been getting some good early buzz and I hope that enough people watch it so Warner Bros. and other studios can regain confidence in going forward with Del Toro’s future projects like Pacific Rim 2 (and Hellboy 3, perhaps? A boy can only dream…)
Trey Soto (2-3) – Meh…
While it looks as if there will be jump scare scenes, that looks like all there will be. The acting looks okay as well as the plot. Nothing that will really stand out for audiences from the looks of it other than another okay scary movie to put on the shelf.

Thanks for reading this month’s edition. What are some of your predictions? Are any of these movies on your must-see list? Join us next month for another addition to “Boom, Bust, or Meh!”

Categories
Articles Movies

Boom, Bust, or Meh: August 2015

Welcome back to another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh.”
If you are new to the series, “Boom, Bust, or Meh,” is a monthly article that looks at five different theatrical releases, then our staff predicts how each film with perform, both financially, and critically.
Each film receives one of the following scores:
Boom: So good you spend your month’s paycheck on tickets for you, your boss, and his grandmother to see the matinee everyday.
Bust: Leaves you with a worse feeling than illegally passing a school bus.
Meh: So basic you feel like a teenage girl starting her day fifteen minutes earlier than usual to order Starbucks new mini-frappe, because… like, cute!
I am joined once again this month by Christian Living Editor, Nestor Arce.
Enjoy.
horizontal-divider

The Results

Let’s review last month’s performance.
1. Terminator Genisys – Meh…
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 26%
Audience Score: 64%
Box Office
Domestic: $85,666,000
Worldwide: $305,066,000 (2x budget)
Chris: Terminator Genisys more than doubled its production budget, but missed the mark as a summer blockbuster.
2. Self/less – Bust
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 21%
Audience Score: 56%
Box Office
Domestic: $11,862,000 (Under budget)
Chris: No surprises here. Move along. 
3. Mr. Holmes – Meh…
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 88%
Audience Score: 77%
Box Office
Domestic: $6,432,000 (Budget information N/A)
Chris: Mr. Holmes received a limited release and after a great early showing, is opening to a wider audience.
4. Pixels – Bust
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 18%
Audience Score: 58%
Box Office
Domestic: $24,000,000
Worldwide: $49,400,000 (Budget information N/A)
Chris: Just because a studio gets the rights to use the likeness of nostalgic arcade characters that will never imply the movie will be actually worth seeing. Pixels will probably recover its budget, and I guess that’s good for the economy or something.
5. Southpaw – Meh…
Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 58%
Audience Score: 82%
Box Office
Domestic: $16,500,000 (Budget information N/A)
Chris: Southpaw has not had enough theater time make a good assessment on its performance. Reviews are average at the moment.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (7-3). Nestor is at (1-4).
Last month, Inside Out almost tripled its budget, so as Pixels, Southpaw, and Mr. Holmes have more time in theaters, I will update our scores accordingly.

horizontal-divider

Fantastic Fourf4-characters-poster-us

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Synopsis: Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save earth from a former friend turned enemy. (IMDB)
Starring: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell
 
In an age where no settled comic franchise is safe, Fantastic Four gets a reboot. This time, our heroes are played by younger actors, each having proved their chops in previous films. This being an origins story, and being produced through 20th Century Fox, I can’t help but wonder about X-Men cameos.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – BOOM!
I really do feel optimistic for this franchise. The other two films from the 2000s were sort of shoddy and didn’t capture the Marvel vibe well. I’m a big fan of each actor selected for their roles, so I’m expecting a big financial turnout. Expect an average critical rating, but a standing ovation from audiences… Especially if Wolverine makes a post-credits appearance.
Nestor Arce (1-4)  Meh…
Doesn’t convince me. Perhaps it was the bad taste that the first two poor attempts left in my mouth. The more I see of this movie, the less I’m interested in it. It just feels like too much of a departure from the original source for me (and, no, please don’t bring out the Human Torch “race bait” debate; this has nothing to do with it). Maybe it’ll surprise me one day when I eventually watch it on TV, but at this point I’d rather stay with my comics for some good ol’ FF action.
 horizontal-divider

 

UnderdogsUnderdogs_2013_animated_film_poster

Rating: G
Release Date: August 14, 2015
Synopsis: A young man named Amadeo sets off on an unexpected adventure with the players of his beloved Foosball game. (IMDB)
Starring: Matthew Morrison, Ariana Grande, Nicholas Hoult, John Leguizamo
 
Originally developed and released in Argentina, Underdogs set records and became the highest grossing Argentine film premiere. This happened over two years ago. The greedy Weinstein’s snatched up the rights and our U.S dubs for the film to include some fun, but not incredible voice acting. While this might be a year or so too late to catch on with the World Cup craze, the story feels right at home in the hearts of those in pursuit of playing fütbol.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – Bust
I can’t call Underdogs a flop, but even though soccer is gaining considerable popularity, I just can’t see this doing well. The opening weekend in the US won’t compare to the Argentine release, and there aren’t enough celebrity voice actors to carry it by name alone. 
Nestor Arce (1-4) – Meh…
Kids might love it. I could care less about another generic CG family movie. Here’s a second idea: Go watch Inside Out again instead. Without your kids this time.
horizontal-divider

Ricki and the FlashRicki_and_the_Flash_poster

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Synopsis: A musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom returns home, looking to make things right with her family. (IMDB)
Starring: Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep, Sebastian Stan
 
Meryl Streep continues to destroy everyone in her path, this time taking up the mantle of an old boozed-out rocker. Lots of old rock tunes, along with great casting for Streep and Gummer together. Writer Diablo Cody has come a long way since Juno in 2007, and even though big laughs are given up in the trailer, you can’t go wrong with Meryl Streep.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – Bust
So, Meryl Streep will be the defining character of this one, and she always carries her movies. The plot is spoiled in the trailer, and Flash doesn’t look like anything completely spectacular. I’m sure there will be some fun music numbers, and Streep will ruin the foolish men who hurt her daughter, and everyone will come together at one of Ricki’s concerts to end the film. 
Nestor Arce (1-4)  Meh…
Meryl Streep is one of the best actresses in Hollywood (you can all put your hands down now). But there just seems to be something a bit generic about this whole trailer. If I could remember, isn’t there another similar film starring Al Pacino being released soon about an aging rock star trying to mend his relationship with his kid (Danny Collins)? Who knows though, this may be a hit with critics with Diablo Cody (Juno) writing and Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) directing. Meryl Streep could find herself walking off with, yet, another Oscar next year (keep your hands down, please).
horizontal-divider

The Man from U.N.C.L.EhiV4dZX

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: August 14, 2015
Synopsis: In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, that is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer
 
Drawing similarities to The Lone Ranger from two summers ago, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. reboots another old 60s television series, with similar style and actors (Hammer). Cavill isn’t new to summer blockbusters, playing Superman from Man of SteelI should mention director Guy Ritchie wrote and directed the two Sherlock Holmes installations, starring Robert Downey Jr., so I feel this film will have a similar vibe.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – Meh…
This won’t be the summer hit everyone will be talking about for months, but I think it safe to say it will make its production budget. 
Nestor Arce (1-4)  Meh…
Warner Bros. and Guy Ritchie try to recapture that edgy Sherlock Holmes magic with a remake of the popular 60’s series. The thing is that one of the main reasons why Sherlock Holmes worked so well was due to Robert Downey, Jr.’s iconic performance as the world’s greatest detective and Jude Law’s endearing charm. Whether Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer can reproduce the bromance formula remains to be seen in the trailer. I’m personally more excited about Ritchie’s six-movie King Arthur project. Yes, six movies.
horizontal-divider

Hitman: Agent 47B_Fr49ZUwAExJhB.jpg-large

Rating: R
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Synopsis: An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
Starring: Zachary Quinto, Rupert Friend, Ciarán Hinds
 
Films based off gaming franchises are notoriously bad, but director Aleksander Bach hopes to change the stereotype. One wonders why marketing cheapens the Hitman lore for an action movie, when it deserves to be a thriller. This will be Bach’s first credited director chip, so who knows how this will perform.
 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (7-3) – Bust
As stated, video game adaptions are rarely worth a buck, and spending eight sounds obscene. There are a lot of reasons this could go horribly wrong, and getting caught sneaking around won’t be one of them. I suppose we could be surprised, but the synopsis couldn’t be any more vague and boring. I want to be wrong. 
Nestor Arce (1-4) – Bust
Another video game movie. Enough said on this one.

 

Thanks for reading this month’s edition. Let us know your predictions in the comment sections. Join us next month for another addition to “Boom, Bust, or Meh!”

Categories
Articles Coming Soon Movies Reviews

Boom, Bust, or Meh: July 2015

Dearest Readers,
Our good friend Michael Kirksey has stepped away from his position here at Geeks Under Grace. He worked to produce engaging and informed monthly predictions on upcoming cinematic releases, and he will be missed.
In his stead, I will be continuing this series with the same quality that Michael strived for. I look forward to helping you guys figure out what to see, and what not to see. I’m thankful for Michael because it is through meeting him at International TableTop Day (huzzah!) that I came to know about Geeks Under Grace. I will still play board games with him weekly, don’t worry. Thank you, Michael, for your work. That being said, let’s kick into gear.
First, a quick intro to those new to the series. “Boom, Bust, or Meh,” is a monthly article that examines five different theatrical releases, and our staff chimes in to predict the performance of the film, both monetarily and critically.
Each film receives one of the following scores: 
Boom: So good you want a miracle to heal your grandma’s diabetic eyesight so she can watch it with you.
Bust: So bad you’d rather pogo stick through a library while wearing chainmail.
Meh: So average you’d wish you spent money on something else like… a pet rabbit or a bag of skittles.
This month, I will be joined by Christian Living Editor Nestor Arce.
Enjoy. 

horizontal-divider

The Results

Let’s review last month’s performance.

1. Spy – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 95%
Audience Score: 91% 
Box Office
Domestic: $91,346,058
Worldwide: $197,346,058 (3x budget)
Chris – A surprise smash. Melissa McCarthy melts critics’ faces with vengeance.

2. Love & Mercy – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 90%
Audience Score:  91%
Box Office
Domestic: $9,650,698
Chris – Paul Dano and John Cusack perform wonderfully and hit well with critics. Production budget was unavailable at the time of writing, we anticipate a number near its budget, so due to box office, we give a Meh…

3. Jurassic World – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 71%
Audience Score: 83% 
Box Office
Domestic: $520,362,305
Worldwide: $1,265,861,759 (8x budget) 
Chris – #1 opening weekend all-time, #1 second weekend all-time, #1 opening week all-time, #5 all-time worldwide.
Jurassic World creature featured the trash out of the worldwide box office and continues to perform well. Critics weren’t in love, but if you read my review, you’ll learn why it’s great.

4. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Meh… 

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 82%
Audience Score: 90%
Box Office
Domestic: $2,397,245 (-$6 million under budget) 
Chris – Not at all a great box office performance, but unless you headline Shaileene Woodley, your lesser known actors usually won’t carry the torch. Great critical performance across the board, but still lands itself a “meh.” 

5. Inside Out – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 98%
Audience Score: 92%
Box Office
Domestic: $ 208,335,932
Worldwide: $289,835,932 (Under-budget)
Chris – My co-worker informed me he was crying in a ball during this one. Bother, I suppose we should go see it if we haven’t already… And I haven’t. Let’s change that. I’m going out on a limb to assume Inside Out will recover at the box office after being given a little more time in theaters.
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name, but I’m sort of a lone wolf for the moment. My current record after one week is (4-1). If Inside Out can’t recover, I’ll adjust.

horizontal-dividerTerminator Genisysterminator-genisys-poster-411x600

Rating: R
Release Date: July 1
Synopsis: John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be. (IMDB)
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke
I like Arnold Schwarzenegger, even though I have to use spellcheck every time I attempt to write his last name. Terminator is a semi-strong franchise with a lot of history. I love seeing Arnold coming back into Hollywood because no one cares how old he is. He carries action movies. Though he might be old school, he’s one of the few old 80’s action hero superstars that keeps bringing it.
My biggest fit with this new film is the marketing campaign. I’m not getting on a soap box, but Hollywood has to stop giving away plot points in movies. People like surprise, and I think that might affect audience members that are looking forward to this one. 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (4-1) – Bust
Everyone knows the line, “I’ll be back.” Everyone knows the familiar ear-pounding roar of the Tyrannosaur from Jurassic Park. Where Jurassic World brought back the franchise and smashed into the box office with a bloody rampage, I don’t see the same happening here. Terminator arguably has a more narrow target audience, and even though we all love Arnold, this looks a bit dull. Extra negative points for marketing companies that completely spoiled the film’s plot with early trailers. If you plan on going to see it, do me a solid and don’t watch these moronically cut together teasers. It’s stupid.
Nestor Arce – Bust
Let’s be real here: There hasn’t been a good Terminator movie since 1991, and you know it. Genisys seems like another over-the-top CG snooze-fest and the recent controversies and negative reviews surrounding it have done nothing to dissuade me from this opinion. Yeah, James Cameron was quoted saying that he was a fan of the film, but then again, James Cameron is still too busy counting his Avatar money to actually care. I’ll wait for it to hit cable then I may be able to tolerate it a bit more.

horizontal-divider

Self/lessselfless-poster

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: July 10
Synopsis: In this provocative psychological science-fiction thriller, an extremely wealthy man (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the secret organization that will kill to protect its cause.  (Rotten Tomatoes)
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley
I’m trying to be gracious, but Ryan Reynolds is so uninteresting to me. I’m also not huge on action movies with boring movie trailers that don’t do anything exciting (cue reader eye-roll). That being said, this movie sort of reminds me of Face Off, which isn’t actually a good thing.
Director Tarsem Singh directed Mirror Mirror and Immortals, so we know he has plenty of big budget movie experience. Writers David and Alan Pastor co-wrote this film, Carriers, and The Last Days. It looks to be a creepy pharmaceutical thriller with pill popping and medical references abound the sexuality that the newly born Ryan Reynolds will experience.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (4-1) – Bust
Blah, blah, blah. I’m bored. 
The trailer is chock full of spoilers so nothing will be a surprise. Ryan Reynolds is consistently predictable, and Ben Kingsley likely took this role at gunpoint or for a fat paycheck. Expect a painfully low critic rating and an audience that won’t care enough to prove them wrong. 
Nestor Arce – Meh
Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kinsley pull a Freaky Friday in another cliché movie premise pretending to be “original” that begins to preach about sci-fi concepts half-way through. Pass. Although as I re-watched the trailer on YouTube, I read people commenting on the fact that, indeed, the film’s premise is highly similar to an old-school sci-fi film called Seconds from cult director John Frankenheimer and starring Rock Hudson. I think I’ll stay in and check that one out instead.

horizontal-divider

Mr. HolmesMr-Holmes-Movie-Poster-Teaser

Rating: PG
Release Date: July 17
Synopsis: An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes looks back on his life, and grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman.  (IMDB)
Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Hiroyuki Sanada 
This one seems a little atypical of your usual Sherlock Holmes flair. We have grown to anticipate heightened action sequences and a man so witty that others around him feel insignificant. With a PG-rating, I wonder if the quips and bullets we are used to will be absent.
At any rate, Mr. Holmes not only seems family-friendly, but also has a tighter air of realism. Maybe after this, we will all find ourselves a bit more intelligent after watching. Speaking of, if you haven’t heard of or played Ystari’s reprint of the classic Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, you really must. It’s fantastic.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (4-1) – Boom
More the makings of a drama rather than a mystery, Ian McKellen looks to play a wonderful addition to the long list of splendid actors to live the role of Sherlock Holmes. I expect a high critic rating and the audiences that go will love it as well.
Nestor Arce – Meh
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on Mr. Holmes with my “MEH” rating. The trailer packs a certain warmth and charm to the film and Ian McKellan as an aging Sherlock Holmes seems like brilliant casting. I also like that they are making this film out as a sort-of “franchise capper” as the premise involves the legendary character battling the”one last case” scenario and even his own mortality. But it’s summer, I wanna see stuff go “BOOM!” and maniacal villains get owned. This is more something I’d watch on a sleepy Saturday afternoon on my Netflix account. I’ll pass… for now.

horizontal-divider

Pixelspixels_ver3_xlg

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: July 24
Synopsis: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games. (IMDB)
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan
Now, I very much enjoyed Adam Sandler at one point. Not reluctantly, I will admit that those were my years when potty jokes were hysterical. That being said, among certain friend groups, those jokes are irresistible… But not on-screen.
Adam Sandler has a wealthy history of grown-up adolescent comedies, with a couple star performances, like in Reign Over Me, or my Sandler favorite Punch Drunk Love. I love video games, and classic gaming at that, but after watching Anthony Davis toss a basketball like a baseball at a centipede during NBA playoff commercials, I think I’m missing the point.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (4-1) – Bust
Adam Sandler, realizing he can’t cash in on Grown Ups 3 quite yet, has decided to garner attention from the nerd bomber crowd. This will probably be the most underwhelming thing you won’t see this summer. Set your expectations low, and then drop them another 10% because there is nothing to see here. If you really want old-school video game charm modernized, go watch Wreck It Ralph again. 
Nestor Arce – Meh
Oh, here we go – Hollywood went and done did that Pac-Man movie it’s been itching to release for many years now. They even decided to cast Billy Madison, Tyrion Lannister, and Paul Blart in lead roles.  In all reality, Adam Sandler as lead does little to get me very excited for this movie as his track record is usually more miss than hit. There is a ray of hope as Chris Columbus is directing, so it could be quite a surprising bit of fun, but I’m keeping expectations to the ground for the time being.

 horizontal-dividerSouthpawsouthpaw

Rating: R
Release Date: July 24
Synopsis: A boxer fights his way to the top, only to find his life falling apart around him.(IMDB)
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker
I’m a sucker for good sports dramas like Warrior. I’m also a big fan of actors who evidently care about what they do. Jake is very good at this. This doesn’t necessarily have the same vibe as Warrior but I think Southpaw looks to have some good emotional kick to it. Hate the trailer though. 
Director Antoine Fuqua is responsible for Training Day and Tears of the Sun, so I feel we are in good hands. I’m iffy on music choice, but perhaps I’m horribly out of line. Also, a good sports drama is accurate, so let’s hope for accuracy on that front.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (4-1) – Meh
Jake transforms himself. If you watched Nightcrawler last year and then flipped over to Southpaw, you will see what I mean. This guy is astounding at what he does. That being said, I just don’t see this performing incredibly. It seems a bit too niche to hit a wider audience.
Nestor Arce – Boom
If Rocky and Death Wish had a baby, it’d probably be called Southpaw. I’ve always been a sucker for redemption stories, and it seems this film is aiming to be this year’s crowd-pleaser. I think the concept of a revenge tale told through the style of a boxing flick is pretty original and refreshing. I find it a bit awkward that they’re releasing this in the middle of the summer along the likes of Mission Impossible and Ant-Man (you’d think this is more Oscar season material), but with Jake Gyllenhaal as lead (who has been riding a movie tsunami the past few years) this could be the thing to elevate Southpaw to become this year’s sleeper hit. I’m certainly looking forward to it!

 

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”!