Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Results: Batch 10

Time for results. I haven't had the time to do any new previews for the past couple of weeks because i've been working on a new business. I will try and spend some more time getting new ones up.


1. Fast & Furious - Predicted 40-59%, actual turned out to be 36%. Don't feel too bad about this one, I was pretty close and it could have gone either way.

2. Dragonball: Evolution - Predicted 0-19%, actual turned out as 30%. I am surprised about this one, simply because the movie just looks so incredibly terrible it's hard to comprehend how any critic was able to give this a thumbs up. I suppose I may have underestimated the camp/ironic factor....but come on that can only carry a movie so far before it wears off and you realize that you're trapped in the same darkened room with this movie.

3. Hannah Montana: The Movie - Predicted 60-79%, result 46%. I overestimated the value of the wholesome appeal here, once again I should have stuck to my newly developed rules about children's movies.

4. Observe and Report - Predicted 40-59%, result 54%. Spot on, nothing interesting to comment on here.

Only 1 out of 4 this time, not a good set of results. Although I feel I should at least have 2 out of 4 because whoever Dragonball: Evolution as a thumbs up was clearly high. Until next previction.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

4-in-1 Extravanganza! It slices, it dices, it previcts!

Fast & Furious
Why not 4Fast, 4Furious? I really feel that title would intrigue people much more as well as capture the feeling that the series just keeps getting more fast and more furious...er.

I can't say the movie looks terrible, especially compared to its brethren, but that does not mean its good. Vin Diesel always brings a fun amount of grit to a role so I feel his re-appearance here will salvage some points for this otherwise braindead franchise . 40%-59%

The Ugly Truth
The plot for Ugly Truth has been done a million times over, that is evident in the first 15 seconds of the trailer. That is an immediate point deduction for predictability (*COUGH* Slumdog Millionaire). However, Butler and Heigl do appear to have some chemistry brewing between them which could save it from critical panning. 40%-59%

Hannah Montana the Movie

Hannah Montana is actually from Tennessee despite her name and she gets dumped back there for a lesson in good ol' country values. This movie is really hard to call as I never have any idea how critics respond to kids movies.

The Hannah Montana movie looks decent enough with passable acting from Miley Cyrus and a decent enough story. Despite my personal revulsion for most of the new Disney franchises i'm going to have to give this a 60%-79%.

Observe and Report
New Seth Rogan material, think Paul Blart but slightly less slapstick and slightly more man-child humor. It has potential but the pacing looks slightly weird with some shots that deviate from the normal comedy look, but they look funny enough. I'm going to take a chance it score it one level higher than I think it will be. 60%-79%.

Results - Batch 9

Results time! Apologies for the (basically) month long hiatus on predictions and results, things have been busy and watching trailers fell by the wayside.

1. Race to Witch Mountain - Predicted 40%-59%, ended up as an average 46%. Nothing too surprising here. The Rock does not disappoint.

2. Sunshine Cleaning - Predicted 60%-79%, average critic score of 66%.

3. The Great Buck Howard - Predicted 40%-59%, average critic score of 68%. I'm not too disappointed by this one, it was hard to call since it all depended on the quality of Malkovitch's performance which could have been hit or miss.

So there you go, only three results today. I have scores for "All About Steve" and "The Horsemen" waiting to be compared, but for some reason Tomatoes and MetaCritic don't have scores despite the release (wide in both cases too) date already passing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Results: Batch 8

Results time! Another successful batch. 3 of 4 guessed correctly.

1. Fired Up - FU didn't fail to live up to the cookie cutter expectations

2. Madea Goes to Jail - My guess was close but didn't quite make it at 40% compared to the 39% that happened. At least I know a baseline for Tyler Perry movies now.

3. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li - It was as bad as it looked and then some.

4. Watchmen - Spot on. Unwilling to interpret means unable to cop any love from the critics.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Watchmen: By the Book, Perhaps Too Much...

Ok, here's the big one, the whole enchilada, the full monty, and other such things...I'm going devote a decent amount of time here to previewing the Watchmen movie, afterall it is my namesake.

Watchmen was originally a comic series created in 1985 which depicted the lives of retired superheroes against the backdrop of a world edging closer to nuclear annihilation. Writer Alan Moore gave us not only fallible, but thoroughly human protagonists, lacking true special powers save for the nuclear-age spawn Dr. Manhattan. Moore created a story so skillfully interwoven with the sociopolitical history of America and with such compelling characters that it rightfully elevated the comic book medium to a new level of legitimacy.

And ultimately Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Watchmen will hinge on the believability of the characters and nothing else. Critics are unlikely to give the movie a 'bye' if it only succeeds in capturing the visuals and given the quality of the source material that is more than fair. There's nothing wrong when you're thrown a script and the rights to a couple of back issues of The Punisher but when you're dealing with Watchmen you better at least try and get it right.

Visually, Snyder's Watchmen is a beautiful rendering of the comic, in the trailer alone you can pick out three scenes constructed shot for shot from the comic. The heroes also look quite good in their costumes, Rorschach in particular is a highlight with great attention paid to his inkblot mask. The effect comes off perfectly and I look forward to seeing what expressions Rorschach is given for different situations. I watched the behind the scenes exclusives on YouTube which show the impressive detail that went into the set and character designs, needless to say they spent a lot of time on it.

But, as with all comic book movies, the acting is the area that merits the most attention and concern. Much of the trailer dialogue comes right out of the comic book and mostly lacks the emotion to give it weight beyond plot exposition. Again Rorschach is a bright spot in the acting , but at times it feels like without his rasping drawl he would be as flat as the next hero. Dr. Manhattan is the shakiest in the trailer, with a voice that comes off as whiny and pinched, but that's just my personal preference for a guy who can mess with physics to have a voice that matches his power...

A big part of the acting issue is also that they're reading lines straight from the comic book. I maintain that the vast majority of comic book writing is not meant to be read aloud. That is why I am a huge fan of directors following their own interpretation of source material rather than just using the novel as a visual screenplay.

Overall the movie feels like too much of a direct translation of the comic book and that will most likely dampen the creativity needed to properly bring Watchmen to the screen. It will get serious points from fanboys for being true to the look but probably lose for being so dry in the acting area. Expectations are high and the movie can certainly expect to get hit critically if it does not live up to them...this isn't a Street Fighter movie after all....60%-79%

Friday, February 27, 2009

Quick Ones

I don't have the time to do full previews, so here are some quick score-only previctions.

All About Steve - 20%-39%
Race to Witch Mountain - 40%-59%
Sunshine Cleaning - 60%-79%
The Horsemen - 20%-39%

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire Wins Everything

Slumdog Millionaire? Really? Apparently I am one of the few who don't hold this movie in such high glistening, gold-plated regard because I am dumbfounded that it won 8 Oscars last night. The most surprising of all being the award for Best Picture.

The movie has a hokey and extremely predictable plot with steady, but average acting at best. It is a very good movie with a lot of heart, but not a great movie by any means. I'll not go into further since there are several thousand other blogs and forums posts about this movie, just registering my general confusion.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fired Up: Another Cookie Cutter Pie

Basically here's what went through producer's mind.

Wedding Crashers + American Pie 2 = Fired Up = MONEY

One of the guys even looks like Owen Wilson (to throw you off it's the guy with brown here though).

There's not too much else to cover. It's shot exactly how you would expect a teen movie to be, it's written the same way, and i'm sure it pulls it off the same way for the same audience. Slightly boring actually since it's not really good or really bad.

Street Fighter: the Legend of Chun Li

Street Fighter: the Legend of Chun Li : Trailer 1 @ Apple

Oh my, oh my, oh my...I never thought this movie would see the light of day but apparently some desperate producer decided to push it through the B-movie pipeline. So now, for our viewing pleasure, we have the hairclog of movies that is sure to be Street Fighter: the Legend of Chun Li (Street Fighter from here out).

The movie has some horrendous shots in the trailer...IN THE TRAILER. In the very piece of medai that the vast majority of people are going to use in deciding whether to give you money or not. That alone is a very, very bad sign because it suggests that the rest of the movie is hiding even worse visual surprises. The costumes are a rare plus mainly because they made the correct choice of not making Kristin Kreuk wear the Chinese dress and Princess Leia hairmuffs (donuts?). After that the positive comment well starts to run a little dry. The action looks horribly choreographed and shot from the most boring angles possible with a slow-motion effect added in by iMovie. Vega's mask is straight out of the nearest Halloween party store and reminds me far too much of something from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And the final shot includes a Chun-Li shooting some kind of lethargic mist cloud at us instead of the fireball she's supposed to have. Needless to say the movie fails quite emphatically in the visual and CG portion of the test. Does anyone have good money on the acting to be even passable? I have a bridge to sell you as well if you do.

During the development of this film I think there might have been an extremely brief 5-second window where it could have been salvaged and transformed into something mildly entertaining. But clearly the CRAP fail-safe point was breached quite quickly and people will forever be consigned to watching Street Fighter in an ironic fashion. A similar fail-safe point is going to exist for people who see this on opening night; I figure there will be about a 5-second window (right in between the production house logos and when the first shot appears) for them to escape before they are sucked in too far to the movie and have to see how the trainwreck resolves itself.

I nominate this movie for the "First 0%-19% of 2009" award. Oh look it won!

Madea Goes to Jail: Once More into the Fray, Mad Black Woman

I've never seen a Tyler Perry trailer before, let alone a full movie of his, but it seems like he has a formula that works considering there are apparently 4 other Madea movies I never heard about. A look at the trailer and it's easy to see what that the secret formula consists of racial carictures and celebrity cameos. Hey, whatever works...

The movie looks passable enough to get a 40%. I'll start there since I have no baseline experience with Tyler Perry movies. Moving on....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Results: Batch 7

Results time! Another good batch with 3 of 4 guessed correctly.

1. Coraline - Turned out to be a critical favorite as predicted. Nothing much to comment on.

2. Fanboys - Turned out to be crap as predicted. Strangely (or maybe not so) this post gets the most hits, and flames, out of any other one. It seems that Star Wars fanboys love to argue on the internet... who would have thought.

3. HJNTIY - I missed by a 6% margin, apparently some critics were able to find the one good apple in this huge tub of sours.

4. Push - Just as bad as it looked.

Push: More Like....Mush

Quick one, especially since the movie has already been released/reviewed (I haven't looked at it of course). Incomplete sentence preview time!

People with magic powers. Gladiator-guy here. Career not going well seems. Poor guy. Dakota Fanning too? Silly girl. Many exploding things. Yay shattering glass. Ooh that will leave a mark. Now some crap about no fate. Ooh more guns.

Well that's pretty much the jist of the movie. It looks to have a plot as predictable as a parking lot and equivalent acting depth.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You: Oh My God, Like For Sure.

The first thing that strikes you upon watching the trailer for He's Just Not That Into You is that it employs pretty much EVERY SINGLE B-LIST ACTOR IN HOLLYWOOD. Just look at the movie poster, it has 9 faces on it alone. Let's think for a minute what that means. If the movie is the average 120 minutes running time, that's about 14 minutes of screen time for each of those actors to do their thing. I think it's safe to say that no one is going to be pulling an Anthony Hopkins and weaving Oscar magic out of those 14 minutes, although Mac-guy might pull out some kind of surprise performance who knows.

He's Just Not That Into You is based....ok wait, I can't even write that anymore, it's just a ridiculous amount of letters/words/20something dating speak to have in a movie title, it is hereafter abridged into HJNTIY, continue...on the popular chick-lit novel of the same title. The story follows our previously mentioned 9 protagonists and their awkward, misread signals, do-you-want-to-come-up-for-coffeee dating lives. Is the movie going to progress through a bunch of awkward dates, follow-ups, growing affection and then culminate in a series of platitudes about dating and love in general? You bet! Well it may not culminate in platitudes, i'm sure they will be sprinkled generously throughout the story.

It's not that i'm generally against chick-lit or romcom movies (I actually thought Devil Wears Prada was quite funny), it's more that i'm against movies which clearly know they're going to make a dumptruck full of money and do things like shove nine names into the tagline.

Dear reader, do try and avoid seeing HJNTIY, I think your brain will thank you for it.

HJNTIY is due out February 6th.

The Great Buck Howard: You Are Getting Sleeepy...

At first glance The Great Buck Howard is a somewhat odd movie. It sits squarely in the comedy-biopic world as it follows the fictional life of Howard, but at the same time jarringly reminds the viewer of its fabrication with cameo celebrity appearances. Maybe that's what the director was aiming for but it doesn't sit quite right in the trailer.

Malkovitch is a great casting choice, and his performance looks quite funny, I don't know if the rest of the movie is up to snuff though. I'm going to rate it in the middle because of the decent chance that Malkovitch is the only really entertaining part of it.

The Great buck Howard is due in theaters March 20th.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Here are my overall results and a nice picture of Uncle Sam for you.

I love Excel. Well except for the fact that there doesn't seem to be any good way of displaying an excel table in a blog. Unfortunately this means i'm going to have to PrintScreen and copy-paste everything. I didn't realize but I don't think anybody who has come actually was able to see the results i'm posting....I'll fix the old posts when I get a chance. Ok, the results.

Basically I accurately predicted the scores of 9 of 29 movies. Statistically I had a 10.84% chance of doing this by pure luck (specifically that is the chance of predicting 9 or more correctly, not just 9 which would be something like 5%); that means the result does not yet fall into that much coveted category of "statistically significant". Did you know that every time you say "statistically significant" a social scientist somewhere orgasms? It doesn't matter if the correlation is meaningless, it's statistically significant! I digress....

So Uncle Sam is giving you attitude up there because we want to be at least 95% sure that all this is not just a big, 5-sided die flipping fluke. We'll see if the score improves as the sample size gets larger.


Fanboys: Trailer @ Official Page

Let me begin by saying that this movie looks TERRIBLE. Basically it's about a bunch of Star Wars "Fanboys" (see the nice title connection?) who hatch a terrible scheme to steal an early print of The Phantom Menace so they can be the first fans in the world to witness how terrible it is...ok well they don't know that last part, only we do because we all watched it with high hopes for seeing something that wasn't the cinematic equivalent of a CG'd dogpoo on a stick. Along the way they are sure to run into a predictable share of pot, sexy girls, and Star Wars references. These things on their own (or together) are certainly not bad things but the cast members looks like they have the delivery of a drunk milkman....TERRIBLE.

And actually there are probably a LOT of Star Wars references given that the trailer was stuffed full of them. Expect that to get old very quickly.

So really this movie has all the elements necessary for a perfect storm of TERRIBLENESS. Add into the mix the guy from Balls of Fury (one of the worst movies I have ever seen btw, not even the comedic value of Christopher Walkin was able to save it) as a main character and it's time to break out the rain slickers. Did I mention that this movie looks TERRIBLE.


This terrible concoction is coming out February 6th.

No. of times Terrible used in this post: 10

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Coraline: Creepy Fun for the Fam

I am convinced that Henry Selick lives in a grotesque, yet fun world of his own making somewhere in the foothills of Pennsylvia, kind of like an evil Willy Wonka. It must be an absolute blast to go to a house party though, someone is sure to get eaten by something.

Coraline is infused with the gothic, cute creepiness that Selick introduced us to in The Nightmare Before Christmas, although this time around the palette has been expanded a considerable amount from the black, white and orange of its predecessor. It looks quite good, with attractive animation and design for both characters and sets.

It sounds like Dakota Fanning did a great job on the voice acting for Coraline, so no beef there. Story good, voice acting good, visuals good. Solid all around. This is certainly not a Pixar movie, but what's the point in imitating someone else when you have an excellent style of your own? I think it will win big for creativity.

Coraline is due out February 6th.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Results: Batch 6 or the Winningest Week of All

Ahh a much improved week (or two) of Previction results for you. I did well, guessing 3 of 5 scores correctly. Let's do the rundown:

1. Inkheart - I was off by pretty much an entire score category, no cookies to be had there. Methinks I should not place so much stock in British accents. However, I think there is also something to be said about score deflation for Kids movies due to the "stuck-up reviewer" effect I mentioned in the previous results post. Anway, big miss.

2. Killshot - I don't really understand what this was about. This movie was supposedly going to be released two weeks ago but neither RottenTomats or Metacritic have a score, so I N/A'ed it.

3. Underworld: RotL - I continue to be able to accurately predict crap! Sure enough when it looks like a crap vampire movie, walks like a crap vampire movie, and sounds like a crap vampire movie IT IS!

4. New in Town - Score was as predictable as the movie. 'Nuff said.

5. Taken - Missed by 7%! So unfortunate. I haven't had the chance to see this movie and do want to go. Did anyone see it last weekend?

6. The Uninvited - Seems like it turned out poorly as predicted. That's too bad since it does have actors that I generally like in it.

Some people have expressed interest in seeing my overall results. I'm going to post those as soon as I can put them in a more readable format.

Re: New Logo and Not Looking Like Crap

I am tired of the generic Blogger template and I desperately need a logo and better graphics for the site. Unfortunately, being artistically uninclined is a pretty big obstacle to having an awesome looking custom site. I mean if I just needed to slap something up in Photoshop and use the 'blur' filter I might be ok, but we're talking actual original graphics here. That's way beyond my B.A. in MS Paint.

Anyone know someone who can help?

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Uninvited

The Uninvited: Trailer 1 @ AppleTrailers

The Uninvited is the second installment of the "Horror Movie Titles that Begin with Un-" trilogy due out in 2009. I'm not sure what the third one will be, perhaps a slasher flick where hordes of unemployed, zombified Americans must quench their insatiable hunger for affordable health premiums and Republican brains? Due out in October 2009, "The Uninsured"!

Anyway, back to the movie...The theatrical trailer for The Uninvited is much, much better than all the 30 second TV spots i've been seeing. It hints at many more interesting angles than just the straight "creepy new mom is going to kill us" story suggested by the commercials. Elizabeth Banks certainly looks creepy enough in her role and its nice to see her outside of the Judd Apatow-crowd. I am also a big fan of David Strathairn and think he a very underappreciated actor that always brings quality to a film.

Other than that it looks like there are some creepy visuals going on, the two girls aren't too irritating and there are hints of a good twist. I'm going to put it solidly in the middle.

The Uninvited is releasing tonight Jan 30th.