Boom, Bust, or Meh: August 2018

Welcome to the BBoM of August, where we focus on five films of the month and the predictions we have for them! For those who remember me previously writing BBoM last year, I’m back! If you don’t remember me….hello there. Juliana is currently on vacation, so, for the time being, I will be taking over BBoM! 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 forget in T-Minus one day.

Meh: A film that is on the back of your mind and pops up every now and then throughout the year.

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. Ant-Man and the Wasp – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 87%

Audience Score: 80%

Box Office

Production Budget: $162 million

Worldwide: $397 million

Trey: It’s Marvel, so it’s success doesn’t come off as a surprise.

Our Review!

2. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 62%

Audience Score: 52%

Box Office

Production Budget: $80 million

Worldwide: $286 million

Trey: Didn’t even know the third installment was a thing until I started writing this. I guess it did well?

Our Review!

3. Skyscraper – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 48%

Audience Score: 78%

Box Office

Budget: $125 million

Worldwide: $256 million

Trey: It wasn’t bad, but it was predictable. Your typical film starring The Rock.

4. Mission: impossible – Fallout – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 90%

Audience Score: 72%

Box Office

Budget: $178 million 

Worldwide: $184 million

Trey: Just when I don’t want to watch another Mission Impossible movie, I do and enjoy it!

Our review!

5. Teen Titans GO! To the Movies – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes

Critic Score: 90%

Audience Score: 72%

Box Office

Budget: $10 million

Worldwide: $12 million

Trey: I honestly can’t believe this got a boom. It’s the lesser of the Teen Titans! How?!

Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My record is (75-32), Tyler Hummel is at (21-12), and Ian Hancock is at (11-4).

Christopher Robin

Rating: PG

Release Date: August 3, 2016

Synopsis: A working-class family man, Christopher Robin, encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life (IMDb).

Director: Marc Foster

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Jim Cummings, Brad Gerrett, Nick Mohammad, Petter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Sara Reen, Toby Jones

The Predictions

Trey Soto (72-32): BOOM! – It is very rare that I cry during the trailer of a movie, the last one being Les Miserable musical adaption in 2012. Pooh Bear holds a special place in my heart. I grew up watching the movies and T.V. shows and it was absolutely enjoyable and memorable. When I heard about the adaptation, I more excited than ever. Ewan McGregor is perfect for the role along with most of the cast, considering that a number of the voice actors are the original voices for the characters. It’s going to magical!

Tyler Hummel (21-12): BOOM! – I kind of have high expectations for this one. I don’t suspect it’ll break the mold of what Disney has managed to accomplish with its live-action movies thus far (Pete’s Dragon and the Jungle Book being high water marks). That said the incredibly cute trailers with Winnie the Pooh and adult Christopher Robin are so sweet and I’m hopeful for this.

Ian Hancock (11-4): BOOM! – To be honest, I think it’s pretty bold to call a Boom on this one, but Disney has definitely proven effective at making money off nostalgia. Combined with the traditionally slim movie offerings of August, Christopher Robin doesn’t seem like it will have a hard time finding at least a decent audience since familiarity alone will be a significant draw for viewers such as parents.



Alpha

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: August 16, 2018

Synopsis: A story of survival set 20,000 years ago between a lone wolf and a lost villager during the last Ice Age (IMDb). 

Director: Albert Hughes

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela, Jens Hulten, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, Mercedes de la Zerda

The Predictions

 Trey (72-32): Bust. – The first thing that went through my mind was the film 10,000 B.C. (2008) and how much I hated it. I’ll be honest, the visuals look stunning, but films like hardly succeed. Some exceptions are Life of Pi (2012), but Alpha may not be an exception.

Tyler Hummel (21-12): Bust. – All I remember about this is vague memories of a trailer involving CGI buffalo hunting.

Ian Hancock (11-9): BOOM! – This is clearly an inspirational, feel-good movie, but its success will depend on whether it takes itself seriously enough to be believable. If it devolves into a melodrama fueled by contrived emotion, it’s going to tank. An honest exploration of early humanity’s relation to the world, however, would be something worth watching. While the box office returns won’t be massive, I expect the critics to like this one.

The Meg

Rating: PG-13

Release: August 10, 2016

Synopsis: After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.

Director: Jon Turtletaub

Starring: Jason Statham, Ruby Rose, Riann Wilson, Jessica McNamee, Bingbing Li

The Predictions

Trey Soto (72-33): Bust. – It’s Jaws on steroids….that’s basically it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Jaws for what it was as a film. But this is nothing like it. 

Tyler Hummel (21-12): Meh… – Jason Statham is a wonderful schlockmeister. He’s made good movies like Transporter and Crank but most of his filmography is average. That being said, the trailer for this movie looked ridiculous and I’m dying to see it now. 

Ian Hancock (11-9): Bust. – Has the shark-movie industry really not been beaten to death yet? Or has the ironic popularity of shark week given Hollywood the wrong idea? Either way, the tone in the trailer seems wildly out of sync with the subject matter in terms of the audience they’re trying to target. People who do want to see more suspenseful undersea monster movies may be turned away by the attempted humor, and those who are simply interested in the self-reflexive cheesiness of shark movies don’t really need this one. It doesn’t look like there’s a commitment to either side of the fence, which just might result in losing both of sides.


Mile 22

Rating: R

Release: August 17, 2018

Synopsis: An elite American intelligence officer, aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of the country.

Director: Peter Berg

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Ronda Rousey, John Malkovich

The Predictions

Trey Soto (72-33): Meh… – Director Berg’s recent film work has resulted in solid achievements, primarily Deep Water Horizon (2016), and Lone Survivor (2013). Though this one looks action-packed and dramatic, I’m not entirely sold. It looks a little over the top, and predictable to a certain degree. Do I think it will succeed? Not really. Does it look like fun? Kind of. I probably will see it but my prediction of how well it will do in the long run is low. 

Tyler Hummel (21-12): Meh… – I wrote a ridiculously long article about Peter Berg on my old blog back in the day. Long story short he’s a visually appealing director with a great sense of gritty “realistic” storytelling that’s made his recent films fascinating. He’s also incompetent as a storyteller who fetishizes “realism” at the behest of how stories are actually told. I don’t imagine this will turn out great but it will look cool! 

Ian Hancock (11-9): This might be one of the more down-to-earth premises for an action movie in recent times, which would normally raise my confidence in its ability to form a well-written story, but Mile 22 really seems to lack any sort of unique selling point. While actor Iko Uwais has gained something of a cult fan following, I don’t think this film has garnered enough interest to really come steaming out of the gates.


5. The Darkest Minds 

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: August 3, 2018

Synopsis: Imprisoned by an adult world that now fears everyone under 18, a group of teens form a resistance group to fight back and reclaim control of their future.

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson 

Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Mandy Moore, Miya Cech, Gwendoline Christie

The Predictions

Trey Soto (67-39): Bust. – Didn’t know that YA movies were still a thing. It got old really fast and became quickly disinteresting, especially the romantic subplots. Similar to what Tyler said below, it looks like an edgy X-Men knock-off. Just not interested really. 

Tyler Humml (21-12): Bust. – Not impressed by the trailer. This looks like a bizarre combination of out of date YA dystopian, bad X-Men powers, and edgy youth politics. I don’t expect to be hearing much good out of this.

Ian Hancock (11-9): Meh… – As far as YA dystopian goes, this isn’t all that original of a premise. Add on the fact that YA dystopian as a genre has been waning in popularity in the publishing industry, and it starts looking like Darkest Minds might have trouble attracting a wide viewership. The acting looks like it will be at least decent, but younger casts don’t often fare too well. I can smell the ashes of this world–er, movie–already.

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?

Positives

Negatives

The Bottom Line

 

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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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