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).

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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.

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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.

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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?
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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.
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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.

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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?

Trey Soto

Trey Soto holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Biola University, emphasis in Interpersonal/Rhetorical Theory. He has been a Film Critic/Analysis for over a year at Geeks Under Grace and other websites such as Temple of Geek. In his spare time, he enjoys comic book literature, screenwriting, production assistant freelancing, photography, cosplay, and hosting his own film podcast T.V. Trey on Podbean and iTunes.

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