Boom, Bust, or Meh: December 2015

Welcome back to another edition of “Boom, Bust, or Meh.” If you are new to the series, “Boom, Bust, or Meh” is a monthly article that looks at five different theatrical releases, then our staff predicts how each film with perform, both financially, and critically. Each film receives one of the following scores: 
Boom: Something something Star Wars.
Bust: Something something Nic Cage.
Meh: Something something something.
This month, Trey Soto rejoins us.

The Results

Let’s review last month’s performance.

1. The Peanuts Movie – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 86%
Audience Score: 83%
Box Office
Production Budget: $99 million
Worldwide: $128 million
Chris: New animation styles dont deter old fans, they make new ones.
Our review!

2. Legend – Meh (Not yet wide released)

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 60%
Audience Score: 73%
Box Office
Production Budget: N/A
Domestic: $500k
Chris: Legend was pushed back to December 11, but early reviews aren’t incredibly promising.
Our review! 

3. Trumbo – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 70%
Audience Score: 82%
Box Office
Production Budget: $15 million
Worldwide: $3 million
Chris: Trumbo is decent, but not great.

4. Secret in their Eyes – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 40%
Audience Score: 47%
Box Office
Production Budget: $2 million
Worldwide: $14 million
Chris: Do we need more evidence that remakes arent always a great idea?
Our review!

5. Creed – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 93%
Audience Score: 96%
Box Office
Production Budget: $44 million
Worldwide: $35 million
Chris: I was so wrong about my prediction on this one. 
Our review!
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (17-11). Nestor is at (9-14). Trey is at (6-8).

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip21031407803_d67f641fe5_o

Rating: G
Release Date: December 18
Synopsis: Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother. (IMDB)
Director: Walt Becker
Starring: Christina Applegate, Kaley Cuoco, Anna Faris
 In June 2013, 20th Century Fox announced that a fourth installment, Alvin and the Chipmunks 4, would be released on December 11, 2015. In August 2014, Randi Mayem Singer signed on to write the fourth installment. On December 18, 2014, it was announced that Walt Becker signed on to direct and that the film would be released on December 23, 2015. It was also announced that the film would be titled Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (17-11) – Bust
I’m still flabbergasted. Who ordered another squeakwel? Oh, that joke was already taken in a previous outing? Darn. So I think this goes without saying your money is probably better spent purchasing old collector’s editions of Alvin and the Chipmunks VHS tapes on Ebay and giving them away as white elephant gags. My sister buys a dollar DVD from the Dollar Store annually for me, so I’m sure this would start a fun tradition between you and some friends. Seriously though. Spend your money somewhere else. Anyone? Can you read this?
Trey Soto (6-8) – Bust
Apparently Fox Studios has not learn from its last mistake with Alvin and the Chipmunks in 2009. Nothing but a forced comedy with unfunny dialogue and over the top “laughable” moments. Parents, there are way better movies to take your children to go see.

heart-sea-movie-posterIn the Heart of the Sea

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: December 11
Synopsis: Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for ninety days, thousands of miles from home. (IMDB)
Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson
In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story.
In the Heart of the Sea reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down. (IMDB) 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (17-11) – BOOM!
Ron Howard is great. He’s great at telling a story and he’s great at bringing actors together. In the Heart of the Sea feels like more than an action or historical piece. Truly, you should expect a beautiful score and delicious cinematography. December is the best time of the year for big movies, so this is one you can’t miss.
Trey Soto (6-8) – Meh…
I am curious to see how this film will be executed. A film that takes place primarily at sea can either be a hit or miss. Miss, because of the limits of what can be done on a boat. Hit because the cast will go beyond audience expectations. With the exception of Chris Hemsworth, I am not sure the cast will really standout, leaving Hemsworth to carry the film along almost by himself. I hope to be proven wrong since the trailer is intriguing, but I have my doubts.



Rating: PG-13
Release Date: November 6
Synopsis: Joy is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty. (IMDB)
Director: David O. Russell
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro
Joy is the wild story of a family across four generations centered on the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence, and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce.
Allies become adversaries and adversaries become allies, both inside and outside the family, as Joy’s inner life and fierce imagination carry her through the storm she faces. Jennifer Lawrence stars, with Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramirez, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, and Virginia Madsen. Like David O. Russell’s previous films, Joy defies genre to tell a story of family, loyalty, and love. (TV)

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (17-11) – BOOM!
David O. Russell has quite the track record with using the same actors over and over again. Many lambast Russell for what they call pointless scenes and hollow character writing, but when you break down American Hustle or Silver Linings Playbook you recognize the genius of his directing and character development. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are stunning alongside each other. This reeks of Oscars.
Trey Soto (6-8) – BOOM!
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradly Cooper return to the big screen together, ready to take audiences by storm once again. Not only does their chemistry mix well on screen, but the film is under the direction of David O. Russell, who brought us Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and American Hustle (2013), both academy award-winning films. The storyline of Joy fits Russell’s portfolio, from casting to overall plot. I’m smelling a possible Oscar Nominee. 

horizontal-dividerhateful-eight-poster-kurt-russell-jennifer-jason-leighThe Hateful Eight

Rating: R
Release Date: December 25
Synopsis: In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive? (IMDB)
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Channing Tatum, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen
Set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive Daisy Domergue, race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren, a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix, a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff.
Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren, and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob, who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray, the Hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all… (Rotten Tomatoes) 

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (17-11) – BOOM!
I’m a huge Tarantino fanboy, so this is truly a Christmas present to me. I will have just returned from my honeymoon only to taste the delicious, electrifying, and nutritious dialogue Tarantino writes. With rumors of a complete fifteen minute intermission, the film split into acts, and a huge cast of stars, I couldn’t be more excited. Tarantino excels at breathing new life into old movie stars, so hopefully Kurt Russell can come back to life. I will miss the omission of Christoph Waltz, but few things excite me like the release of this movie… Minus the next one on the list.
Trey Soto (6-8) – BOOM!
What I enjoy about Director Quentin Tarantino is the amount of time he takes to develop his scripts. He is very private about his work, about his projects, and so on. The Hateful Eight has the Tarantino feel, from casting choice to the storyline. You have a sense of what the movie will be about, yet the trailer doesn’t give much away, from the plot to the action and execution. This could be another Academy Award winning film for him.

horizontal-dividerStar Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakensstar-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: December 18
Synopsis: A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.
Director: J.J Abrams
Starring: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac
The Star Wars saga continues with this seventh entry–the first under the Walt Disney Co. umbrella. The film will act as the start of a new trilogy set after the events of Return of the Jedi. J.J. Abrams directs from a script by Michael Arndt.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (17-11) – BOOM!
This is the grandaddy of the year. If you aren’t excited for Star Wars, then you haven’t seen these. Yeah, blah blah, A New Hope came out at the perfect time, with the most time-honored story structure in film history (See The Hero’s Journey), but the cultural impact is huge. The marketing for Star Wars has been very good, but I’m on the fence on whether I’m okay with the Disney logo instead of the Fox spotlights.
This movie has so much talent  behind it that I would be a fool to call it a premature flop. We truly are entering the age where Star Wars escalates beyond relevant, and becomes “the thing” to talk about. Our children will scream for joy, and as they reach their older years, they will hear the familiar trumpets and see the opening credits and feel naught but a rush of nostalgia over them, as they watch their favorite Star Wars film once more.
Trey Soto (6-8) – BOOM!
The original Star Wars cast is back under the writing and direction of J.J. Abrams in an all new upcoming trilogy, reminding loyal and hardcore fans that Star Wars is still alive and well. The fact that the trailer does not give any major key points, from the overall plot to characters backgrounds, it only makes it more intriguing and more exciting. With the amount of money that has been made in ticket sales and the amount of the hype that has been going on for the past year, it would but a great disappointment if this film were to fail in exceeding expectations. I seriously doubt that will happen though. 
Thanks for reading this month’s edition. Let us know your predictions in the comment sections. Join us next month for another edition to “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 December?



The Bottom Line



Chris Hecox

Chris enjoys the simple things in life, like teaching his wife the newest review game, looking up Ketogenic recipes, and playing 10 hour long indie games on Steam. If he's not thinking about the oil drum components from Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, playing Player Unknown: Battlegrounds with his college buddies, or dwelling on the release of Daredevil Season Three, he's probably shooting or editing video, because that's what he does for a living.

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