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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?

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Articles Coming Soon Movies

Boom, Bust, or Meh: December 2019

Welcome to December’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 December vault!

The Results

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

1. Terminator: Dark Fate – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 71%

Audience Score: 83%

Box Office

Production Budget: $185 million

Worldwide: $250 million

Juliana: The critical score and box office earnings could be better, but most people seemed pleased, citing Dark Fate as the best film in the franchise since Judgement Day

2. Midway – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 42%

Audience Score: 92%

Box Office

Production Budget: $100 million

Worldwide: $97 million

Juliana: Audiences may have been impressed, but not critics, as they found it all too easy to compare Midway to similar (and better) fare. 

Our review!

3. Doctor Sleep – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 76%

Audience Score: 89%

Box Office

Budget: $45 million

Worldwide: $64 million

Juliana: This director needs to be commended for combing Kubrick’s stunning but poorly adapted visuals alongside King’s meandering text. A deeply satisfying sequel. 

Our review!

4. Frozen II – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 76%

Audience Score: 93%

Box Office

Budget: $150 – 200 million

Worldwide: $464 million

Juliana: Having everything going for it, this would’ve had to flop hard to not be an overnight success. 

Our review!

5. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 96%

Audience Score: 91%

Box Office

Budget: $25 million

Worldwide: $27 million

Juliana: This is such an Oscar darling! Released only just over a week ago, the box office still has room to grow. Don’t be surprised if this film develops some staying power in cinemas as the 2020 Academy Awards draws nearer. 

Our review!

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (82-60), and Tyler Hummel is at (64-47).

Jumanji: The Next Level

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Synopsis: In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to rescue one of their own, the players will have to brave parts unknown from arid deserts to snowy mountains, to escape the world’s most dangerous game. (IMDB).

Director: Jake Kasdan

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (82-60): BOOM!Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a pleasant surprise as far as sequels go. It playfully expanded and modernized its universe, with a nice dose of comedy, keeping its light-hearted tone in place. If The Next Level manages to tap into that same energy, then there’s no reason to believe it won’t also please audiences. The biggest hurdle will be in regards to whether the screenwriters are able to successfully raise the stakes, allowing this movie to be more than a simple rehash of its predecessor. If it tackles the challenge, then it’ll be a success as opposed to merely being average fare.

Tyler Hummel (64-47): Meh – The long awaited sequel to the remake of a 90’s movie I never watched is finally here! Honestly, the 2017 remake didn’t interest me at all, but people I respect told me it was fun mostly because The Rock is great in it. I’m inclined to take their word on it and I’m sure the sequel will be more of the same.

Cats

Rating: Not yet rated.

Release Date: December 20, 2019

Synopsis: A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life. (IMDB).

Director: Tom Hooper

Starring: Francesca Hayward, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (82-60): Meh – This pains me. I feel like I’m one of the few people that really don’t mind the look of the characters (in some instances, I actually think they’re beautiful), and I can appreciate and understand Tom Hooper’s vision. I strongly believe this will be a wildly eccentric and entertaining journey, and a decent film over all.

However, audiences are stubborn. A lot of people detest the look of this film, and I’m getting the impression this is one of those productions where some will find it more fun to jump on the hate train as opposed to critiquing it fairly. As a result, critics will love this movie, whilst audiences will keep expressing their dislike (possibly even without seeing Cats in its entirety), bringing down its review scores, and forcing me this time next month to declare it as a Meh. I really do hope I’m proven wrong. 

 Tyler Hummel (64-47): Meh – I have no attachment to this particular musical, as it was before my own brief delve into musical fandom. That said, this movie’s reputation precedes it. It looks to be one of the most bizarre studio films of the year.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 20, 2019

Synopsis: The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. (IMDB).

Director: J.J. Abrams

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (82-60): BOOM! – This film will make a lot of money, but will it be any good? After the incredibly divisive sequel, The Last Jedi, there are only a handful of directions this trilogy can still take. One narrative option still available is wildly reformative, evolving the audiences’ understanding of the Force while tying together all of the previous films. Or the story can play it safe, resulting in blandness. Either way, The Last Jedi has managed audiences’ expectations, with many seeming to say they’d just be happy with an average film at this stage. Yet I still have faith in this franchise, and I’m predicting something fantastic.

Tyler Hummel (64-47): BOOM! – No film has more pressure on it than this one, maybe ever. I really enjoy Disney Star Wars (flaws and all) and I loved Last Jedi. I’m confident Abrams will bring the same strengths he brought to The Force Awakens here.

Little Women

Rating: PG

Release Date: December 25, 2019

Synopsis: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. (IMDB).

Director: Greta Gerwig

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (82-60): BOOM! – An Oscar nominated director. A solid cast. A classic story. If you’re into period pieces and the romance genre, then this retelling of Alcott’s famous novel isn’t raising any red flags. It has everything going for it.

Tyler Hummel (64-47): BOOM! – Greta Gerwig surprised the world two years ago with Ladybird and set herself up as one of Hollywood’s best female indie directors. Now she’s adapting one of the best novels of the past few centuries. Could be very good!

Black Christmas

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: December 13, 2019

Synopsis: A group of female students are stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break. That is until the young sorority pledges discover the killer is part of an underground college conspiracy. (IMDB).

Director: Sophia Takal

Starring: Imogen Poots, Cary Elwes, Lily Donoghue

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (82-60): Meh – With all the saccharine-drenched Christmas films flooding television stations and streaming services, I guess there needs to be a more darkly themed movie release to balance things out. A Christmas-themed slasher horror film, it stars only a few recognisable faces and is helmed by a relatively unknown director. The most trustworthy credit is seemingly the production company – Blumhouse – which has repeatedly signed on a surprisingly good amount of quality horror films, earning a reputation for having an eye for talent. This is certainly a wildcard; Black Christmas has the potential to succeed or flop. I’m predicting this certainly won’t be the best horror film of 2019, but it won’t be an atrocity either.

Tyler Hummel (64-47): Bust – So I had to look this up because it wasn’t on my radar, but apparently this is a different film from Last Christmas, the Paul Fieg comedy from earlier this month…and it’s a horror reboot… yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay….

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 December?

Categories
Articles Coming Soon Movies

Boom, Bust, or Meh: November 2019

Welcome to November’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 November vault!

The Results

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

1. Joker – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 69%

Audience Score: 89%

Box Office

Production Budget: $55-70 million

Worldwide: $856 million

Juliana: Proving wildly popular with general audiences, the critical scores actually started to dip, suggesting that this film may lose its appeal over time. But for now, it’s a certified BOOM!

Our review!

2. Gemini Man – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 25%

Audience Score: 83%

Box Office

Production Budget: $138 million

Worldwide: $149 million

Juliana: It’s a bust at the box office, but a surprising amount of love from general audiences is keeping this film from being a total flop. 

Our review!

3. The Addams Family – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 41%

Audience Score: 70%

Box Office

Budget: $40 million

Worldwide: $86 million

Juliana: Critics were bored with the film’s trite message, though it still pleased the movie’s intended audience.

Our review!

4. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 41%

Audience Score: 95%

Box Office

Budget: $185 million

Worldwide: $300 million

Juliana: Yet another massive split between the critics and general audiences. 

5. Zombieland: Double Tap – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 67%

Audience Score: 89%

Box Office

Budget: $42 million

Worldwide: $66 million

Juliana: On the cusp of booming, its sluggish performance overseas is what’s really hindering this comedic horror’s success. 

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (81-56), and Tyler Hummel is at (63-45).

Terminator: Dark Fate

Rating: R

Release Date: November 1, 2019

Synopsis: Sarah Connor and a hybrid cyborg human must protect a young girl from a newly modified liquid Terminator from the future. (IMDB).

Director: Tim Miller

Starring: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes.

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (81-56): Meh – This one has me divided. The Terminator franchise has been steadily going downhill for a while now (though upon reflection, the slope really isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be). The timeline has frustratingly folded in on itself, with this new instalment supposedly wiping out every event after Judgment Day. The first trailer also attracted a lot of ire from a portion of the public, interpreting the female leads as a shallow appeal to woke culture.

Yet if anyone can create authentic female characters, it’s James Cameron. He’s not the director, but as Alita: Battle Angel demonstrated, he can still have a positive influence on the film as a producer (and writer). Though ultimately I feel the franchise has lost too much goodwill, even amongst fans. Its uphill battle against the story’s history and preconceived ideas from the audience will prove too difficult, turning this potential BOOM into a pithy meh.

Tyler Hummel (63-45): Meh – I’m so utterly torn about the sixth entry in the Terminator franchise. On one hand, there hasn’t been a legitimately good entry in this series since the second movie. On the other, James Cameron has a hand in this and he’s currently coming off the success of similarly producing Alita: Battle Angel to solid effect. It could go either way.

Midway

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: November 8, 2019

Synopsis: The story of the Battle of Midway, told by the leaders and the sailors who fought it. (IMDB).

Director: Roland Emmerich

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (81-56): BOOM! – Thanks to Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, war movies are back on the map. They bridge a demographic divide between people looking for action, and others who are looking for more biographical/historical stories. A lot of critics are waiting with baited breath as to whether this film deserves an Oscar nomination, with some pundits already putting it amongst the Best Picture list. Is it truly deserving? Only time will tell. It’s possible this could rate as highly as the much-derided Pearl Harbour. But for now, it has its reputation intact. 

 Tyler Hummel (63-45): Meh – I don’t trust Rolland Emmerich movies. He’s one of our most consistently schlocky mainstream action directors and his last film was Independence Day: Resurgence. Then again this also looks quite honorable and well meaning so who knows?

Doctor Sleep

Rating: R

Release Date: November 8, 2019

Synopsis: Years following the events of “The Shining,” a now-adult Dan Torrance meets a young girl with similar powers as his and tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot who prey on children with powers to remain immortal. (IMDB).

Director: Mike Flanagan

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (81-56): Meh – This seems to simultaneously give homage to Kubrick’s famous film, whilst also stepping into its own territory. I’m keen for it. I’m sure a lot of other cinephiles are curious as well. However, horror films typically attract young adults; a demographic that is unlikely to have had the time to visit The Shining or appreciate it, unless they are big on the genre itself and not simply casual viewers. I’m also a little wary of the antagonists seen in the trailer–this seems to be a story that could easily turn silly. I want this film to succeed, but I think its appeal is too narrow for general audiences.

Tyler Hummel (63-45): BOOM! – I haven’t heard good things about the book version of Kubrick’s follow-up to The Shining but this adaption being both a followup to the controversial book and film versions is being helmed by Mike Flannigan (House on the Haunted Hill, Gerald’s Game, Oculus) got bumped up several months into awards season. It seems the studio is confident in it.

Frozen II

Rating: PG

Release Date: November 22, 2019

Synopsis: Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom. (IMDB).

Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (81-56): BOOM! – It’s a sequel to a ridiculously popular kids film. A worldwide catastrophic event that prevents people from going to cinemas would have to occur in order for this film to not make money (unless it stupidly pulls a Show Dogs). But just because it’ll break the box office doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be any good, right? Disney’s had a good track record as of late, and instinctually knows when a story is best left to home release. They’re confident in this project, and so am I. It’ll boom, and BOOM big!

Tyler Hummel (61-45): BOOM! – What is there even to say about this sequel at this point? Six years on from one of the largest Disney princess films EVER we now have a fully formed, non-straight-to-DVD sequel that the studio seems to have thrown their full force behind. Last year’s Ralph Breaks the Internet suggests that Disney animation may have trouble with direct sequels but this is going to be one of 2019’s biggest films by default.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Rating: Currently not rated

Release Date: November 22, 2019

Synopsis: Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. (IMDB).

Director: Marielle Heller

Starring: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson

The Predictions

Juliana Purnell (81-56): Meh – As an Australian, I have no idea who Fred Rogers is. I didn’t grow up with him. I don’t know his backstory, or why he’s famous. I have no cultural connection with him whatsoever. The danger with this film is that it’s going to rely on that nostalgia–those fuzzy feelings–which simply isn’t present within the international community (unless Fred Rogers made it big in the UK; I have no idea). So international critics are going to view this film with absolutely no preconceived ideas, using an unbiased lens, and without the reminiscent feel-good vibes.

What they risk uncovering is a shallow, twee story used as a blatant Oscar grab for Tom Hanks, who seems to make a desperate dash for the little golden man this time every year. I’m sure Fred Rogers is a lovely man, but unless this film has the foresight to go a little deeper in order to cater for newcomers, then it won’t engage international audiences or the box office.

Tyler Hummel (61-45): Meh – Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers is too saccharine and lovely a pitch to ignore. Granted, this looks like obvious Oscar-bait centralized on one magnificent lead performance. I fear the rest of the film will be somewhat vapid.

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 November?

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?