Boom, Bust, or Meh: February 2017

Happy New Year, GUG fan and welcome to this month’s edition of Boom, Bust, or Meh! I hope you have enjoyed the first month of the new year so far! For those who are unfamiliar with BBoM, this monthly article focuses on five various films each month and what our predictions as movie lovers are! As with every BBoM article, each film receives one of the following scores:
Boom: A film that surprised you. 
Bust: A terrible film that you saw coming yet watched it anyway.
Meh: A film that you’ll probably see again if given the chance.
With that introduction, let’s crank open the February vault!


The Results

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

1. A Monster Calls – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 86%
Audience Score: 85%
Box Office
Production Budget: $43 million
Worldwide: $40 million
Trey: Definitely a film worth seeing while it is still in theaters. Don’t miss it!
Our review!

2. Hidden Figures – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 93%
Audience Score: 94%
Box Office
Production Budget: $25 million
Worldwide: $94 million
Trey: A great history lesson not just about the space program, but the people behind it as they faced racial segregation. Definitely do not want to skip this one. 

3. Split – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 74%
Audience Score: 83%
Box Office Production
Budget: $9 million
Worldwide:  $65 million
Trey: Glad to see your work back on the big screen, Director Shyamalan!

Our review!

4. Patriots Day – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 79%
Audience Score: 89%
Box Office
Production Budget: $45 million
Worldwide: $30 million
Trey: Director Peter Berg is really making something of himself in the films he chooses to execute and create. Keep it up, Director Berg!

5. Live By Night – Bust. 

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 32%
Audience Score: 49%
Box Office Production
Budget: $65 million
Worldwide: $16.5 million
Trey: Looks like 2016 was not Ben Affleck’s year. 

Our review!

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (42-30) and Jonathan is at (17-11). 

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 3.09.32 PMThe LEGO Batman Movie

Rating: PG
Release Date: February 10, 2017 
Synopsis: In the irreverent spirit of fun that made “The LEGO (R) Movie” a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure: “The LEGO (R) Batman Movie.” But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker’s hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Chris McKay
Starring: Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zch Galifianakis, Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, Mariah Cary

The Prediction

Trey Soto (42-30): BOOM! – With the success of The LEGO Movie back in 2014, it does not surprise me that a spin-off would be done with one of its main characters. Based on the feedback and premise, I think this will make a great story for families. I am unsure about teens and adults, but I have my money on them enjoying it as well. Being a huge Batman comic book fan, I am too psyched for this movie. I guess you could say that I prefer the more darker stories, however, I will give it a shot and overall I think it will be successful. 
Jonathan Tefft (17-11): BOOM! – I am so excited for this movie. The Lego Movie really surprised me when it came out and Batman was one of the best parts, so a whole movie based around him is an awesome idea. I love how they are making fun of the many ridiculous or over the top concepts of Batman but still doing it in a tasteful way. Will Arnet did an awesome job as Batman in The Lego Movie. Michael Cera sounds like a great Robin as well as Zach Galifianakis as the Joker. I think this movie will have a great opening weekend and will continue to do great through lots of positive word of mouth.

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 3.10.12 PM

The Great Wall

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: February 17, 2017 
Synopsis: Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure (Rotten Tomatoes). 
Director: Yimou Zhang
Starring: Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal, William Dafoe, Tian Jing, Andy Lau

The Prediction

Trey Soto (42-30): Meh… – During Jr. High, I was fascinated by the Great Wall of China’s history, how it was built, how long it took, and the cost. The idea of gods and monsters in history always had me guessing of what it would look like. The trailer did not come off as incredibly amazing to me but I honestly will give it the benefit of the doubt. In defense of Matt Damon having the main role in a film circling ancient China, I have done my research in the director’s choice for the script let alone the fact that Legendary Pictures was recently bought by Dalian Wanda, a Chinese conglomerate. I do not believe that the film to be whitewashed based on the research given. That being said, I am not too thrilled by it either. We shall see in due time. 
Jonathan Tefft (17-11): Meh – I’m not very interested in this movie which is sad to say since I love fantasy. But the trailers just haven’t wowed me and some of the special effects just look a little too corny for me. However, it is staring Matt Damon who is a really good actor and could turn this movie around for me. It also has a good release date without much competition against it. I don’t think the movie will bomb but I don’t see it doing exceedingly well either. I also expect the critics to be very split on whether it’s a fun fantasy movie or another forgettable fantasy movie.


Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 3.10.40 PM

The Space Between Us

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: February 3, 2017
Synopsis: The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be (IMDB).
Director: Peter Chelsom
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Gary Oldman, Carla Gugino, Britt Robertson, B.D. Wong, Janet Montgomery

The Predictions

Trey Soto (42-30): Bust. – Way to give the story away in one trailer. Overall, The Space Between Us just really isn’t that interesting. Visually speaking, it looks somewhat intriguing, but the story however is not convincing due to the fact that it is easily predictable, both by the plot and the trailer. It’s nothing new that we have not seen in a romance film. I have never really been a fan of sci-fi romance to begin with and this film doesn’t change my mind about it. 
Jonathan Tefft (17-11): Meh – This movie has me very intrigued. I love all kinds of sci-fi but especially sci-fi that isn’t just action in space and more like Arrival (2016) or Star Trek. My main concern is the lead actor, Asa Butterfield. He’s never wowed me in any of his performances, especially in his last movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. However, the movie does have Gary Oldman in the supporting cast who always elevates everything he is in. I expect this movie to do okay but don’t see it drawing in huge numbers and I hope that the critic response will be positive.


Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 3.11.17 PMJohn Wick: Chapter 2

Rating: R
Release: February 10, 2017
Synopsis: In this next chapter following the 2014 hit, legendary hitman John Wick is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, John Leuizamo, Bridget Moynahan, Thomas Sadoski, Lance Reddick, Ian McShane

The Prediction

Trey Soto (42-30): BOOM! – After the surprising success of the first installment, I see a lot of potential in the sequel for John Wick. What made the first one awesome and enjoyable was the fact that it was highly action-based with a simple plot. That is really hard to create and execute correctly and they done did it in the first! With Director Chad Stahelski returning along with writer Derek Kolstad, I am honestly stoked for this film. My only concern is that without Co-Director David Leitch and Co-Writer Joel Zadak on board, this movie could possibly stumble. That being said, my money is on BOOM for this one. Also (spoiler alert), they better not kill off the dog! That just hurt too much in the last one!
Jonathan Tefft (17-11): BOOM! – John Wick was another big surprise for me and many others when it came out. It’s great to see an action movie similar to the great action movies of the 80s and 90s which we don’t get to see very often today. Keanu Reeves was extremely fun to watch kick butt in the first one and by adding things like The Continental Hotel made me want to know more about the world of John Wick. I am very happy to see Laurence Fishburn added to the cast which gives us a Matrix reunion between him and Keanu Reeves. Overall, I see this movie doing very well and will have lots of positive word of mouth from both the general audience and critics.



A Cure For Wellness

Rating: R
Release Date: February 17, 2017
Synopsis: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure (Rotten Tomatoes).
Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Lisa Banes, Ivo Nandi, Susanne Wuest

The Predictions

Trey Soto (42-30): BOOM! – Talk about getting the chills during a trailer. Honestly, I was sinking in my chair just by the intensity of the soundtrack. It doesn’t surprise me that Director Verbinski is behind this film based on the extraordinary visuals, and that’s just the trailer! So far, I am highly intrigued. No spoilers, not major plot details other than a creepy laboratory somewhere in the mountains. I put my money on BOOM and am hoping for the best! 
Jonathan Tefft (17-11): Meh – I’m very interested in seeing this movie. I’m not a big fan of horror unless it’s more psychological than just filled with gore and jump scares. I hope that A Cure For Wellness fits into the psychological category. From the trailer, the visuals and cinematography look really interesting and I hope that Dane DeHaan does well as the lead. Horror movies tend to have low budgets so I expect this movie to make back its budget but I don’t see it doing exceedingly well at the box office. I don’t know how the general audience will respond to it but I expect the critics to react positively to it.


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

Are you looking forward to any of these films? What are you predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in February?

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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