Boom, Bust, or Meh: November 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: Better than strawberry cheesequake ice cream on a hot day.
Bust: Worse than forgetting you bought strawberries and finding them in the back of the fridge, molding, a month later.
Meh: More average than strawberry-flavored Jolly Ranchers.
This month, Nestor Arce and Trey Soto rejoin us.

The Results

Let’s review last month’s performance.

1. Pan – Bust

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 26%
Audience Score: 50%
Box Office
Production Budget: $150 million
Worldwide: $108 million
Chris: What do we learn from Pan? Maybe origin stories aren’t a great of an idea?
Our review!

2. Steve Jobs – Meh

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 85%
Audience Score: 78%
Box Office
Production Budget: $30 million
Domestic: $15 million
Chris: We anticipate the box office numbers will increase after another few weeks in theaters, but maybe not to meet its budget. 
Our review!

3. Goosebumps – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 74%
Audience Score: 74%
Box Office
Production Budget: $58 million
Worldwide: $66 million
Chris: Goosebumps exceeds its budget, and did well enough to garner a “BOOM!”.
Our review!

4. Bridge of Spies – BOOM!

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 92%
Audience Score: 90%
Box Office
Production Budget: $40 million
Worldwide: $58 million
Chris: Bridge of Spies was another wonderful addition to the Spielberg filmography.
Our review here.

5. Crimson Peak – Meh…

Rotten Tomatoes
Critic Score: 68%
Audience Score: 62%
Box Office
Production Budget: $55 million
Worldwide: $62 million
ChrisThis one underperformed a bit, but the more observant critics hail Del Toro for his fascinating visuals and great directing.
Our review!
Each “Boom, Bust, or Meh” article will include each writer’s current record next to their name. My current record is (15-9). Nestor is at (6-13). Trey is at (4-6).

The Peanuts Movieteaser-poster

Rating: G
Release Date: November 6
Synopsis: Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home. (IMDB)
Director: Steve Martino
Starring: Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller, Alexander Garfin, Mariel Sheets
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. Charlie Brown, the world’s most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest, while his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the ICE AGE films, THE PEANUTS MOVIE will prove that every underdog has his day. (C) Fox

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (15-9) – Meh…
My childhood wasn’t necessarily marked by Charlie Brown, but the new animation on display here seems iffy to me. There really is something very charming about the old school “drawn” style of Peanuts animation of yore. That aside, the inclusion of T-Pain and The Who also felt so strange to me in the trailer. Color me skeptical, but I’d love to be wrong. In the same way the Muppets were rebooted a few years ago, I would love to see the same happen with Peanuts.
Nestor Arce (6-13) – BOOM!
I’ve never really been into Peanuts, but the legacy Charles M. Schulz left behind with this series has made a huge impact on American culture, and The Peanuts Movie looks to be like a love letter to that legacy. It does have a massive appeal since audiences who grew up with the franchise and even a curious new generation will most likely give this a go. I’m betting on this to be a box office success.
Trey Soto (4-6) – BOOM!
Growing up, I never once disliked a Peanuts film. Each character was likable and entertaining, from Snoopy’s adventures to Charlie Brown missing the football. It pleases me to see that the trailer shows the characters to their original personalities without changing any details other than the animation style and introduction of the new girl, which both look and sound great. I certainly hope that children will enjoy Charles Schultz’s Peanuts characters as I did. 


Rating: R
Release Date: November 20
Synopsis: The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organised crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s. (IMDB)
Director: Brian Helgeland
Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis
From Academy Award (R) winner Brian Helgeland comes the true story of the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, Reggie and Ron Kray, both portrayed by Tom Hardy in an incredible performance. LEGEND is a classic crime thriller taking us into the secret history of the 1960s and the extraordinary events that secured the infamy of the Kray Twins. (Rotten Tomatoes)

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (15-9) -Meh…
I love Tom Hardy. Like, a lot. I always give him grace if he gets cast in a pretty garbage movie. He’s very talented. Do me a favor and do a quick watch of the first trailer for Legend… Okay, done? Great. This went from maybe something interesting to a gimmicky, MTV snore. I’m bored. The trailer confuses me. Is it trying to feel like The Man from U.N.C.L.E or Goodfellas? I’m dumbfounded, and my interest is gone. Of course people will go see it… Or maybe I just hate the awful trailers Hollywood hires production houses for.
Nestor Arce (6-13) –  Meh …
I love the tone of the film which often tilts between utter lunacy and darkness, not to mention it’s being helmed by LA Confidential and A Knight’s Tale mastermind, Brian Helgeland. Sadly, I don’t think this will be a huge box office hit since movies of this caliber (meaning more adult-oriented) tend to not fair as well at the box office at this time of year (unless your name starts with Quentin and ends in Tarantino). I’m sure this will find some moderate success with some of the more hardcore cinephiles like me, but in a season already saturated with countless family movies that encourage the holiday spirit, Legend could be a hard sell, no matter how many Tom Hardys are on screen.
Trey Soto (4-6) – BOOM!
What’s better than seeing Tom Hardy star in a film? Seeing Tom Hardy star in a film as two twin characters! While the trailer looks very pleasing, don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s a balanced action-drama film. From what my friends tell me in London who have already seen the movie, it is more of a classic mob film that focuses more on the characters and the performance and less on the action. In other words, it is the way a mob film should be. It would not surprise me if Tom Hardy steals the show…twice! (You know, because he’s two characters? You get the joke right?)


Rating: R
Release Date: November 6
Synopsis: In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood’s top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. (IMDB)
Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Alan Tudyk, Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, John Goodman
The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. This film tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (15-9) – BOOM!
Hollywood finally gets its shot to pull up its bootstraps and take a stand against the American government and the closed-minded naysayers of the nation. Seriously though, Bryan Cranston is good at everything… Unless of course he dies ten minutes in and Trumbo is a garbage movie that markets Cranston, riding on the coattails of Breaking Bad (*cough* Godzilla *cough*). Okay, but Trumbo feels sort of ambiguous to me. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’ll be there.
Nestor Arce (6-13) – Meh …
Heisenberg takes on free-speech and goes for the Oscar gold. Could this movie be a box office success? Only time will tell, but I’ll most likely play it safe and be moderate about this one.
Trey Soto (4-6) – BOOM!
If you have an appreciation for screenwriting and/20th Century U.S. history, you may want to turn your attention to this film. Based on the true story of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, this film focuses on a man who defies the system by expressing his right of having a voice, despite accusations and rumors of being a Communist. You can never go wrong with a film where a character takes a stand against his own government. With a cast this solid, not only does Trumbo look promising but possibly might even be Oscar worthy.

MV5BMjE0ODU1NDE0Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzc4Njc3NjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Secret in their Eyes

Rating: PG-13
Release Date: November 20
Synopsis: A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered. (IMDB)
Director: Billy Ray
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman
This adaptation of Juan José Campanella’s 2010 Argentinian film of the same name is helmed by Billy Ray. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, and Nicole Kidman star in this dark drama thriller about a team of FBI agents investigating the murders of teenage girls. (Rotten Tomatoes)

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (15-9) -Meh…
DON’T WATCH THE TRAILER FOR THIS MOVIE. I’m sick of these garbage trailers. Can you tell I get more frustrated the more you read my writing? This one looks interesting, sort of like Prisoners from a few years ago. A great cast stars here, and you can likely expect plenty of twists. Overall a good effort on drama. Look for it.
Nestor Arce (6-13) – Bust
So, this is a re-make of a 2009 Argentine flick of the same name (which also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film)? Kinda feels like someone directed an adaptation of a crime novel for a Saturday night Lifetime Original Movie event. Yeah, the cast looks good, but the trailer is trying hard to make this movie to look better that it’ll actually be. I think I’ll just stay in and watch the original instead.
Trey Soto (4-6) – Meh…
I am not too sure of how I feel about this film. I say this because this is actually a remake of the 2009 foreign language Oscar winner The Secret in Their Eyes. Hollywood is already unnecessarily rebooting and remaking classic films and now they are aiming towards foreign films? Probably not a good idea. If that is not bad enough, the cast looks okay. Sure, they are pretty well-known but I don’t think any of them will stand out, even Julia Roberts herself who portrays the primary character. 


Rating: PG-13
Release Date: November 25
Synopsis: The former World Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa serves as a trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.
Director: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Maria Breyman, Michael B. Jordan
Adonis Johnson never knew his famous father, world heavy weight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa. Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo–the fierce rival who became his closest friend.

The Prediction:

Chris Hecox (15-9) – Bust
I’m one of those cinema sinners that hasn’t seen any of the Rocky franchise. However, I have seen Fruitvale Station, one of those “true stories” about police brutality, where Coogler and Jordan teamed up in 2013. Fruitvale is a great film, and my understanding is that Coogler performs well in a smaller budget, more independent situation. I worry for this, and I don’t have the highest of hopes for it. It’s sort of fun to bring back Stallone, but I fear it to be more tacky than useful as a story element.
Nestor Arce (6-13) – BOOM!
If any movie deserves the title of “Rocky for a new generation,” it most likely be this one. Undoubtedly, it will be one of the biggest hits this holiday season at the box office. Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone both look spectacular in this, not too mention the concept sounds mighty intriguing and looks to bring the Rocky franchise to a new generation.
Trey Soto (4-6) – Meh…
As much as I enjoyed first installment of Rocky, they really dragged that story too far with the sequels. You can debate whether or not the fourth installment was a good idea, but the fifth and sixth did no justice to the original. While this film takes most of its focus off of Rocky and puts it more towards the son of Apollo Creed, I honestly cannot stand behind this movie and say that it will be successful. Hopefully, I am proven wrong but I have my doubts.
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 November?




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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