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Boom, Bust, or Meh: February 2020

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:

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.

With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of February vault!

The Results

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

1. The Grudge – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 21%

Audience Score: 23%

Box Office

Production Budget: $10 million

Worldwide: $42 million

Juliana: Everyone seemed to find this soft reboot to be as dull and tired as the ghosts themselves.

2. Bad Boys For Life – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 77%

Audience Score: 96%

Box Office

Production Budget: $90 million

Worldwide: $290 million

Juliana: One of the few times where people went in expecting to be disappointed but were pleasantly surprised by a competent sequel.  

Our review!

3. Dolittle – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 16%

Audience Score: 76%

Box Office

Budget: $175 million

Worldwide: $126 million

Juliana: Ok, given that critics were comparing this film to Cats, I was fully expecting this to be a bust. But to my surprise, that general audience score is actually fairly high. It seems there really is an audience for every film. 

4. Weathering With You – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 90%

Audience Score: 93%

Box Office

Budget: $11 million

Worldwide: $186 million

Juliana: It’s not the best anime feature film in existence, but it still spins a wonderful tale. 

Our review!

5. The Gentlemen – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 73%

Audience Score: 84%

Box Office

Budget: $22 million

Worldwide: $46 million

Juliana: The good news is that Guy Ritchie has returned to form! The bad news is that it’s taking a while for people to notice. The box office is trickling in, whilst critics are a little mixed, lowering the score and negating this film from being declared a boom. 

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (86-66), and Tyler Hummel is at (69-52).

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Rating: R

Release Date: February 7, 2020

Synopsis: After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord. (IMDB).

Director: Cathy Yan

Starring: Margot Robbie, Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (86-66): BOOM! – It’s hard to carve out a spot in an already overcrowded genre, though a strong R-rating combined with a multitude of female characters may just do the trick when it comes to producing something unique. Harley Quinn is frequently lauded as being one of the best aspects of the otherwise bland Suicide Squad, so it stands to reason that audiences will be keen to see what this character gets up to next. Provided the script doesn’t step too far into woke politics—irritating viewers by self-referentially patting itself on the back for its representation—and instead just focuses on telling a good story, then this film is set up for success.

Tyler Hummel (69-52): Meh – I’ve wanted to see this movie ever since I heard Margot Robbie fell in love with her role so much so that she commissioned a script for a film just for her. That said, I’m not enthused by the trailers. Much potential here but I’m not sure where it’s going.

Fantasy Island

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: February 14, 2020

Synopsis: A horror adaptation of the popular ’70s TV show about a magical island resort. (IMDB).

Director: Jeff Wadlow

Starring: Lucy Hale, Maggie Q, Portia Doubleday, Michael Rooker, Michael Peña

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (86-66): Meh – It takes guts to adapt a well-known TV show and edge it into an entirely different genre. It’s a strong concept, one that is reminiscent of Hostel, along with a supernatural dash of the old adage of being careful what you wish for. The real question is whether it’ll be able to tie it altogether in the third act. The bar for horror films has been raised in the past couple of years, and while no one will expect this to be a highly symbolic piece alongside the likes of Ari Aster’s works, some might wish for it to be as wickedly fun as Ready or Not or Crawl. I personally think it will ultimately disappoint, becoming more like this year’s Escape Room—awesome concept and a few cool scenes that are spoiled by a convoluted ending that tries too hard to set up a new franchise.

 Tyler Hummel (69-52): Bust – A Blumhouse horror film from the director of Truth or Dare? Pass…

Sonic the Hedgehog

Rating: PG

Release Date: February 14, 2020

Synopsis: After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help it defeat an evil genius who wants to do experiments on it. (IMDB).

Director: Jeff Fowler

Starring: Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz (voice), James Marsden

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (86-66): Meh – While it earns some brownie points for actually listening to the public’s response and fixing the design of its lead character, I feel the whole debacle has already tarnished this film’s reputation. While kids will still enjoy this movie regardless, the visuals, story and comedic tone seem as dated as Sonic itself. With a trailer that feels like it belongs back in the 90s, unless it can sustain itself purely on the youngest generation of fans, this movie seems to be relying on nostalgia alone.

Tyler Hummel (69-52): Bust – We all know this is going to stink right? I’ve heard some fans of the video game are legitimately excited for this. Shy of 1-2 cute elements, this has mid-2000s CGI animal movie written all over it. Do you actually remember Alvin and the Chipmunks or live action Garfield?

The Call of the Wild

Rating: PG

Release Date: February 21, 2020

Synopsis: A sled dog struggles for survival in the wilds of the Yukon. (IMDB).

Director: Chris Sanders

Starring: Karen Gillan, Harrison Ford, Cara Gee, Dan Stevens

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (86-66): Meh – Children will find this to be a thrilling ride, but will the story be strong enough for adult audiences to overlook the badly-rendered CGI of the main furry protagonist? Probably not. Those visuals will mar an otherwise family-friendly outing at the cinema.

Tyler Hummel (69-52): Meh – Never read the book. Cool that Harrison Ford is in this but I’m not keeping my hopes up.

Emma.

Rating: PG

Release Date: February 21, 2020

Synopsis: Based on the classic Jane Austen novel. (IMDB).

Director: Autumn de Wilde

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Josh O’Connor, Bill Nighy, Tanya Reynolds, Callum Turner, Mia Goth

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (86-66): BOOM! – The latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, this film is certainly appealing to a niche market. As Autumn de Wilde’s directorial debut, as long as she makes clean choices and adds a bit of flair, it should be enough to please both critics and the general public as the source material is already strong. Worst-case scenario is that this rendition falls flat, indistinguishable from all the other incarnations.

Tyler Hummel (69-52): BOOM! – Legitimately my most anticipated film this month! Last time we got a big budget Jane Austen adaptation we got Whit Stilman’s essential adaptation of Love and Friendship in 2016. Now we have a big cast adaptation of Emma from first time feature director Autumn de Wilde. There might be something unique brewing here!

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?

Categories
Articles Coming Soon Movies

Boom, Bust, or Meh: January 2020

Welcome to 2020’s first 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:

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.

With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of January vault!

The Results

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

1. Jumanji: The Next Level – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 71%

Audience Score: 87%

Box Office

Production Budget: $125 million

Worldwide: $481 million

Juliana: The critics know it’s flawed, but have admired this fun sequel nonetheless. Plus it’s doing well at the box office. 

2. Cats – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 19%

Audience Score: 54%

Box Office

Production Budget: $95 million

Worldwide: $39 million

Juliana: While general audiences have warmed to this more than expected (who are you people!?), that won’t save this film’s horrible financial issues. 

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 54%

Audience Score: 86%

Box Office

Budget: $275 million

Worldwide: $761 million

Juliana: It appears the last film in this trilogy is a bad film, but a good Star Wars story that has satiated most fans. 

Our review!

4. Little Women – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 95%

Audience Score: 93%

Box Office

Budget: $40 million

Worldwide: $39 million

Juliana: A heartwarming tale that has come at just the right time–Christmas.

Our review!

5. Black Christmas – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 40%

Audience Score: 30%

Box Office

Budget: $5 million

Worldwide: $17 million

Juliana: If you’re looking for a Christmas flick that’s filled with wonderful female role models… then check out Little Women

Our review!

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (84-63), and Tyler Hummel is at (66-50).

The Grudge

Rating: R

Release Date: January 3, 2020

Synopsis: A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death. (IMDB).

Director: Nicolas Pesce

Starring: Tara Westwood, David Lawrence Brown, Junko Bailey, John Cho

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (84-63): Meh – I’m an absolute sucker for this franchise, as it greatly contributed to the J-Horror genre back when it was all the rage (which then started the weird obsession with adapting Asian horror movies). I am however very surprised to discover that another one has been made (an American production, no less) given that the genre had seemingly run its course, never managing to evolve into something more. As such, I don’t envision this movie achieving anything new or out of the ordinary. Instead it’ll operate like a rehash of the previous films, but now it’s for a new generation.

Tyler Hummel (66-50): Bust – Horror remake coming out in January? Like all January releases, Hollywood is just taking out its trash.

Bad Boys For Life

Rating: R is predicted.

Release Date: January 17, 2020

Synopsis: The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life. (IMDB).

Directors: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Pantoliano

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (84-63): Meh – It looks fine, really. Decent. I’m sure it’ll be somewhat entertaining. Yet it’ll really need a fantastic set piece or tightly choreographed sequence to stand out from the multitude of other action films that grace the screen every month. With two directors that haven’t helmed a franchise as big as this, I personally predict they’ll keep things too safe and make an average film.

 Tyler Hummel (66-50): Meh – Not the worst looking action movie trailer ever, but there’s little reason to be hopeful. If the studio thought they had a latent hit they’d give it a February-April release date or release it in August. There’s little chance it’ll be on par with the two Michael Bay movies in the franchise.

Dolittle

Rating: PG

Release Date: January 17, 2020

Synopsis: A physician discovers that he can talk to animals. (IMDB).

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (84-63): Bust – As an animal lover, I feel like I should have more of an affinity with any sort of Dr. Dolittle property. Yet they’ve always left me cold. Once the novelty of being able to speak to animals wears off, there’s usually nothing left to keep the story afloat. This version appears to be a big budget spectacle piece, though the trailer is relying very heavily on its stunning visuals, only dropping hints towards its saccharine-drenched narrative. I’m sure it’ll look gorgeous on the big screen, but it will leave much to be desired in other areas.

Tyler Hummel (66-50): Meh – Robert Downey Jr.’s first post-Avengers role takes place within a CGI adventure film with talking animals. Seeing the trailer for this really makes me wonder why he even wanted to leave the MCU for a role like this…

Weathering With You

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: January 17, 2020

Synopsis: A high-school boy who has run away to Tokyo befriends a girl who appears to be able to manipulate the weather. (IMDB).

Director: Makoto Shinkai

Starring: Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori, Sei Hiraizumi

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (84-63): BOOM! – I fee like I’m cheating because I’ve already seen this one. It has been living in cinemas for a number of months in Japan, whilst the United States is one of the last to enjoy its worldwide release. No, it’s not as good as Makoto Shinkai’s previous smash hit, Your Name, but it’s still a film that will greatly please its niche audience.

Tyler Hummel (66-50): BOOM! – A film following up the success of the ultra-successful and internationally acclaimed, Your Name? Color me interested!

The Gentlemen

Rating: R

Release Date: January 24, 2020

Synopsis: A British drug lord tries to sell off his highly profitable empire to a dynasty of Oklahoma billionaires. (IMDB).

Director: Guy Ritchie

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (84-63): Meh – The trailer has me worried, mainly because after watching it several times, I cannot discern what the actual plot is about. It seems to be a rather derivative story with a shiny veneer. Otherwise this film has a lot going for it: great cast, Guy Ritchie’s dialogue, and out of all of the January releases, this is the one I’ve seen advertized the most. Yet this isn’t always a recipe for success, and sometimes a movie can be too big for its boots. The Gentlemen will either be a return to form for Guy Ritchie, or a horrid incoherent mess. Unfortunately I’m getting the impression it’ll be the latter.

Tyler Hummel (66-50): Bust – I don’t like Guy Ritchie films…

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 January?

Categories
Articles Coming Soon Movies

Boom, Bust, or Meh: October 2019

Welcome to October’s 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:

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.

With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of October vault!

The Results

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

1. It Chapter Two – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 63%

Audience Score: 78%

Box Office

Production Budget: $79 million

Worldwide: $398 million

Juliana: A popular film, though it certainly didn’t impress as much as the first, and “it” couldn’t escape the inevitable comparisons between the two.

Our review!

2. Ad Astra – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 83%

Audience Score: 42%

Box Office

Production Budget: $100 million

Worldwide: $54 million

Juliana: Critics thought it was thoughtful and mesmerizing, whilst the general public saw it as boring and obtuse. Do you agree with critics or that audience score?

Our review!

3. Abominable – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 80%

Audience Score: 95%

Box Office

Budget: $75 million

Worldwide: $6 million

Juliana: It has only just released, so those box office figures should improve in the coming weeks. But what an entry! Those reviews are nothing but positive so far!

4. The Goldfinch – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 24%

Audience Score: 73%

Box Office

Budget: $45 million

Worldwide: $6 million

Juliana: When I heard critics saying this was the worst film they’ve seen all year, I thought this would definitely be a bust. But it seems that the general public have taken a liking to it. Go figure?

5. Downton Abbey – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 84%

Audience Score: 95%

Box Office

Budget: $20 million

Worldwide: $89 million

Juliana: Personally I was a little bored, then again, this film wasn’t made for people like me. For fans of the show, this movie was everything they expected. 

Our review!

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (80-52), and Tyler Hummel is at (60-43).

Joker

Rating: R

Release Date: October 4, 2019

Synopsis: A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society. (IMDB).

Director: Todd Phillips

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (80-52): Meh – I’ve second-guessed my prediction at least a dozen times. The reviews from the Toronto Film Festival have been extraordinary, yet the wildcard aspect is how the general public are going to respond. I’ve had friends that love McDonalds and other fast food burger eateries. Wishing to expand their tastebuds, I’ve treated them to some of Sydney’s top restaurants, only for them to admit they don’t see the difference in quality, even preferring the cheap burger. In the same way, the average person only sees seven films at the cinema each year, and now it’s such a commercialized business that their cinematic diet and tastes can be dictated by a single studio.

So how are people going to react when they’re expecting (and used to) a certain tale, only to receive a heavy character study that’s only loosely based on the source material they love? Judging from people’s lack of excitement in the lead up to this release, I’m guessing we’ll have another Birdman here: a brilliant, Oscar-worthy film that just doesn’t connect with the Average Joe. Yet if it is popular, then expect to see “Clark Kent” or “Bruce Wayne” the movie, where studios realize they can dust off an old script, slightly tweak it to link it to a popular franchise, then make heaps of money at a fraction of the cost of a CGI-laden action film.

Tyler Hummel (60-43): BOOM! – This movie is gonna inspire the most obnoxious film discussion of the year, as even just the few reviews we’ve gotten from film festival goers suggests. Still this DC Comics by way of Scorsese approach to filmmaking is totally unique and exciting!

Gemini Man

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: October 11, 2019

Synopsis: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself. (IMDB).

Director: Ang Lee

Starring: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (80-52): BOOM! – To be honest, I wasn’t that hyped to see this film. Then I learnt that it’s directed by Ang Lee, it’s shot in 120fps, with many early reviewers saying that it’s magnificent in 3D. If its word of mouth continues to grow–that this is one film that you NEED to see in the cinema–then I can easily see the popularity soar. Particularly when this is the standout standard action movie that’s being offered this month, catering to people who may shy away from the gore found in Zombieland: Double Tap.

 Tyler Hummel (60-43): Bust – Ang Lee, what a tragedy your career has become. No contemporary great filmmaker jumps in quality more frequently than Ang Lee. Who else can drop qualitatively from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon… to Hulk? Gemini Man looks like Shyamalan’s After Earth levels of pretentious and dumb…

The Addams Family

Rating: PG

Release Date: October 11, 2019

Synopsis: An animated version of Charles Addams’ series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family. (IMDB).

Directors: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Finn Wolfhard

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (80-52): BOOM! – It seems that the older kids have a few options this month. I can’t say that I’m a fan of this franchise; merely just a passing interest. Yet for those who are, it seems that this animated film finally unlocks a lot of potential in terms of comedy and wild plot ideas. The story’s ultimate message may sting of mediocrity, but the script sounds witty enough to keep it afloat. There may be questions as to how suitable this is for kids, but for the most part I feel it’ll be unique enough to impress critics whilst also satisfying long-time fans. 

Tyler Hummel (60-43): Bust – Looks cheap. Can’t possibly be as good as the Broadway Musical remake of the series.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Rating: PG

Release Date: October 18, 2019

Synopsis: Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play. (IMDB).

Director: Joachim Rønning

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (80-52): Meh – Another month. Another live action Disney film. Granted, this one has paved its own path and is the first sequel of its ilk. The first one was interesting, though it was marred by some questionable themes. Judging from the trailer, it seems that this time Maleficent’s motives are shallower, and closer to that of a straight villain (either that or the plot is horribly contrived to make her look like the good guy in the end). Too dark for littlies anyway, if you want to understand the mindset of a villain, then this month it may be best to stick with Joker.

Tyler Hummel (60-43): Meh – Uhhhhhhhhh…. It’s a sequel to Maleficient? That film was weird and mostly forgettable back when it came out and launched live-action Disney remakes (which has become a cancer on the film industry…). Can’t say I care at all about this…

Zombieland 2: Double Tap

Rating: R

Release Date: October 18, 2019

Synopsis: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family. (IMDB).

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Starring: Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (80-52): BOOM! – As a monster, zombies have worn out their welcome in recent years, thanks to The Walking Dead’s undying yet decaying run. Yet Zombieland shines like a beacon in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, with its blend of comedy providing just enough relief for people who love the genre but are simultaneously currently sick of it. This sequel appears to keep the same light-hearted tone, and in a month that’s seemingly filled with more serious picks, the general public will enjoy its humorous respite.

Tyler Hummel (60-43): Meh – The first Zombieland rung in the 2000s decade. Now its sequel is finishing out the decade. I can’t imagine there’s any significance to that though. This looks pretty disposable and repetitive.

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 October?

Categories
Articles Coming Soon Movies

Boom, Bust, or Meh: September 2019

Welcome to September’s 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:

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.

With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of September vault!

The Results

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

1. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 67%

Audience Score: 88%

Box Office

Production Budget: $200 million

Worldwide: $590 million

Juliana: If it were any other movie, then these figures would look more than okay. However considering Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious both cracked the billion at the box office, it becomes painfully obvious that this spin-off is less of a boom and will be remembered as more of a “meh.”

2. Dora and the Lost City of Gold – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 83%

Audience Score: 88%

Box Office

Production Budget: $49 million

Worldwide: $63 million

Juliana: While the box office leaves much to be desired, both critics and audiences are loving this film’s sense of self-awareness, fully embracing its adventurous absurdity.

3. The Angry Birds Movie 2 – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 74%

Audience Score: 85%

Box Office

Budget: $65 million

Worldwide: $77 million

Juliana: Released only two weeks ago, this sequel is still completing its international rollout, though its final box office numbers won’t end up being too impressive. But what is impressive–those unexpectedly above average review scores! People are just loving its light-hearted non-sensical brand of humor. Who wudda thought?

Our review!

4. Angel Has Fallen – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 39%

Audience Score: 94%

Box Office

Budget: $40 million

Domestic: $27 million

Juliana: Still early days for the box office, not that it necessarily has any bearing on quality. But it seems that critics are already hating it… and general audiences don’t care what they have to say!

Our review!

5. Blinded by the Light – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 88%

Audience Score: 92%

Box Office

Budget: $15 million

Domestic: $8 million

Juliana: Critics and general audiences are loving this film, and so far it seems its only crime was that it was released too close to Yesterday–another movie in a similar genre, which could explain the fatigued box office results.

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (76-51), and Tyler Hummel is at (59-39).


It Chapter Two

Rating: R

Release Date: September 6, 2019

Synopsis: Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. (IMDB).

Director: Andy Muschietti

Starring: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (76-51): BOOM! – I have no doubt this film will be a financial success, given the popularity of the first movie. The question is more about whether it will be a hit amongst audiences and critics. In the telemovie and book, the adult storyline is the weaker half, as Pennywise doesn’t feel as threatening, and most the action involves the characters just standing around and reminiscing in a library.

There’s also a lot of weird stuff about tongue biting rituals and an inter dimensional turtle… which would be interesting to see, though it’s one of those narratives that doesn’t translate well to screen. I have no doubt that director, Andy Muschietti, is aware of these issues, and judging from the seemingly new content in the trailers, he has taken the right steps to ensure that this story will work in a visual format.

Tyler Hummel (59-39): BOOM! – I’m a little worried about this. The best part of the first movie was the kids and the constant undercurrent or paranoia. The adult section of IT is all about eldritch abominations and space turtles. Pennywise in the original version got more comical and less serious half to my knowledge. The cast looks great but what’s gonna hold all this craziness together?

Ad Astra

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: September 20, 2019

Synopsis: Astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe. (IMDB).

Director: James Gray

Starring: Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler, Tommy Lee Jones

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (76-51): Meh – Tough to predict. James Gray’s previous film, The Lost City of Z, had a lovely sense of mystery to it, though its resolution left much to be desired with audiences. As a result, it wasn’t popular outside of critics. I’m getting the same sense with Ad Astra, as though it’s going to be viewed as a poor man’s Interstellar. Sci-fi tends to attract both action lovers and high concept thinkers, and I don’t think the plot will have enough excitement or intellectual stimulation to please either crowd. But I’m sure the critics will love this film regardless for its quieter, more reflective approach.

 Tyler Hummel (59-39): BOOM! – Okay so I’ve never seen The Lost City of Z or this director’s other works but I’ve heard really solid things! Also the trailer for this is spectacular!


Abominable

Rating: PG

Release Date: September 27, 2019

Synopsis: A magical Yeti must return to his family. (IMDB).

Directors: Jill Culton & Todd Wilderman

Starring: Albert Tsai, Chloe Bennet, Sarah Paulson

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (76-51): BOOM! – There’s no other children’s film in contention for this month, so it should do well at the box office. The animation looks beautiful and the trailer hints at a more emotionally layered plot, so I’m predicting this will be above average for the genre.

However, the cynic in me wonders if will be rated highly for its plot, script, and other technical elements, or whether its popularity will stem more from its Asian representation. There’s a lot of demand and support to see more Asian leads in American-lead productions, so despite any narrative flaws, expect to see a lot of praise regardless, which could overinflate its critical reception.

Tyler Hummel (59-39): Bust – I’ve long since started ignoring family animated movies but this one looks fairly lukewarm and unremarkable.

The Goldfinch

Rating: R

Release Date: September 13, 2019

Synopsis: A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (IMDB).

Director: John Crowley

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Poulson, Ansel Elgort

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (76-51): Meh – Despite attracting a high profile cast, this film has been rather quiet in regards to its advertising. It’s based off the book of the same title, so this movie will naturally appeal to its fans, though that is still a rather niche market. I predict it’ll be a fine, satisfying drama, which will please critics, though it will be overlooked by mainstream audiences.

Tyler Hummel (59-39): Meh – I must applaud my co-writer’s ability to consistently track down art films that are completely off my radar, usually I’m the guy who has the year’s movie Calendar memorized (anybody else hyped for A Hidden Life?). Could be good. It’s being shot by Roger Deakins!

Downton Abbey

Rating: PG

Release Date: September 20, 2019

Synopsis: The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century. (IMDB).

Director: Michael Engler

Starring: Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (76-51): BOOM! – I’ve never seen the show, but every second person I know has. Downton Abbey has been hugely popular where I live, and a lot of those fans consist of self-funded retirees. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again; never underestimate this demographic at the box office. When I used to work at a cinema, I always noticed that the elderly just love to make a day out of it. They’re not the type to stay and wait for Netflix. So expect them to come out in droves, with sold out sessions just awash with a sea of lovely silver hair. This film is going to be a treat for its many, many followers.

Tyler Hummel (59-39): Meh – I’m not the right audience for this. Like movies such as the Entourage movie, The Simpson’s Movie, Veronica Mars, or Serenity, the experience is tailored to suit the needs of the audience of the show which I’ve never seen.

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 September?

Categories
Articles Coming Soon Movies

Boom, Bust, or Meh: August 2019

Welcome to August’s 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:

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.

With that introduction, let’s crank open the month of August vault!

The Results

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

1. Spider-Man: Far From Home – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 90%

Audience Score: 95%

Box Office

Production Budget: $160 million

Worldwide: $1+ billion

Juliana: It seems that Marvel is still able to pull off their magic! 

Our review!

2. The Lion King – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 53%

Audience Score: 88%

Box Office

Production Budget: $260 million

Worldwide: $999 million

Juliana: Sure, it made money, but the critics have caned it all the way to the box office. Aside from its experimental foray into photorealistic CGI, this isn’t the version that will be remembered. 

Our review!

3. Crawl – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 83%

Audience Score: 75%

Box Office

Budget: $13.5 million

Worldwide: $46 million

Juliana: Who would have thought that this serious-but-outlandish horror was just what the critics craved?

Our review!

4. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 84%

Audience Score: 72%

Box Office

Budget: $90 million

Domestic: $45 million

Juliana: Only four days out and it’s tracking reasonably well at the box office so far, considering it hasn’t completed its international release yet. Divisive, it isn’t Tarantino’s greatest work, but it is his boldest. There’s still enough love here from critics and audiences to call this a BOOM!

Our review!

5. The Art of Self-Defense – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 83%

Audience Score: 62%

Box Office

Budget: N/A

Domestic: $2 million

Juliana: Critics are loving this indie film, but general audiences just aren’t digging it, with the box office reflecting its obscurity. It may pick up speed if/when word gets out. 

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (75-47), and Tyler Hummel is at (56-37).


Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: August 2, 2019

Synopsis: Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. (IMDB).

Director: David Leitch

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (75-47): BOOM! – I have a confession to make: this is one of the few franchises that I haven’t gotten around to watching. Nine films deep, including this spin-off, there’s just too much homework associated with it now. Yet for those that have been following along, this is an insanely popular franchise that, like the Mission: Impossible series, has matured well over the years. Despite being a side-story this time around, it looks like a lot of fun, with big stars, and doesn’t face much competition in regards to other major blockbusters.

Tyler Hummel (56-37): Meh – Okay so I’m slightly optimistic about this film. It looks like just another FnF film but without the massive ensemble cast. The two leads are usually the best parts of every movie they’re in respectively so there’s a chance this could be a lot of fun!

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Rating: PG

Release Date: August 9, 2019

Synopsis: Dora, a teenage explorer, leads her friends on an adventure to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a lost city of gold. (IMDB).

Director: James Bobin

Starring: Isabela Moner, Eva Longoria, Q’orianka Kilcher

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (75-47): Meh – This appears to combine the social dynamics of Mean Girls with the fun-spirited adventure of Jumanji. There is a niche for kids’ films like these, appealing to young children while still entertaining those that are a bit older. They’ll love it. However the latest trailer, with its horrible CGI animal characters, hints that this movie may be too saccharine-drenched and cheesy for adult audiences. Sure, it will succeed at the box office, but considering it’s the adults that typically critique and rate films, and they aren’t the target audience, expect Rotten Tomatoes scores to be less than kind.

 Tyler Hummel (56-37): Meh – I’m morbidly fascinated by the trailer for this film. I simply can’t believe they made a semi serious Indiana Jones knockoff out of Dora the Explorer. Yet it looks kind of fun….? Safe bet say it’s gonna stink though.


The Angry Birds Movie 2

Rating: PG

Release Date: August 14, 2019

Synopsis: The flightless birds and scheming green pigs take their beef to the next level. (IMDB).

Director: Thurop Van Orman

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (75-47): Meh – I have another confession to make: I absolutely adored the original film. Red is my spirit animal (if I were to believe in spirit animals). It was light, amusing, and had just the right amount of absurdity. I predict this sequel is going to capture that same vibe. However the first film did receive a lot of negative bias because it is based on a mobile game. This will be a reasonably entertaining film, though people will judge this one by its concept, automatically placing it alongside The Emoji Movie.   

Tyler Hummel (56-37): Bust – I don’t care at all about this…

Angel Has Fallen

Rating: R

Release Date: August 23, 2019

Synopsis: Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat. (IMDB).

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Starring: Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Piper Perabo

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (75-47): Bust – Olympus Has Fallen was a gung-ho, wildly entertaining romp set within the White House. The President was in danger yet again in London Has Fallen, though despite being set on foreign soil, the story came across as oddly patriotic and amusingly xenophobic, with a similar vibe and drop in quality as Taken 2. Now in Angel Has Fallen, the President has his life threatened… again, though the plot seems to lack a cool location to distinguish it from any other narrative that shares this seemingly common problem.

Hobbs & Shaw is already taking the “big dumb action film” spot for this month, and will overshadow this rather bland offering from a floundering franchise. It will still be entertaining, but critically panned, relying mostly on domestic audiences as it’s too derivative to appeal internationally.

Tyler Hummel (56-37): Meh – Okay so I’m basically the entire audience for this weird third film in the Fallen trilogy. The first film was a odd, dark action movie that I actually kind of connected with when it first came out and the sequel was a decentish retread if you liked the first one. At this point I’m down to see it just for the ridiculous title alone!

Blinded by the Light

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: August 14, 2019

Synopsis: In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen. (IMDB).

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Starring: Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (75-47): BOOM! – Over 250 films screened at the Sydney Film Festival this year, and only a handful gained the reputation of being “must-sees.” Blinded by the Light was one of them. It was one of the first films to sell out. Word on the street was overwhelmingly positive.

I’m personally not a huge fan of this new trend of love letter musicals or extended music video dramas seen in the likes of Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, and Yesterday. I find if you’re not into the particular artist they’re featuring (this time it’s Bruce Springsteen’s turn), then the rest of the plot feels shallow and bottoms out. Yet if Gurinder Chadha manages to recreate the heart-warming tone of her hit film, Bend It Like Beckham, and Springsteen’s songs help to roll the plot along as opposed to interrupting its flow, then this film will be popular amongst critics and fans alike. Bruce Springsteen is more of a niche taste, so box office numbers will be on the lower side, but the people who do seek out this film will end up loving it.

Tyler Hummel (56-37): BOOM! – I’m not gonna lie, I thought this was a Christian movie based on the title sounding like every other Christian movie title in the past two years… What can I say about it beyond (checks Wikipedia) it’s a Bruce Springstein movie. Apparently some critics like it though so I’m gonna guess it’s good.

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 August?