Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Future Market 2009, Part III: July

Already, summer is under way, and we still have work to do. The future, after all, cannot be expected to predict itself.

With this in mind, we return to the task at hand, blindly guessing how critics will react to various films and setting arbitrary guidelines for attendance. The Estimated Tomatometer accompanying each description represents the former: my best prediction for how the critics will respond. The Minimum Tomatometer is the lowest possible level the rating could slip to and still expect to receive my money. Of course, I reserve the right to go anyway, but then I've no one to blame but myself.

If you've missed the first two installments, perhaps you should consider yourself lucky. My estimates for Wolverine and Star Trek were far from the mark. Nevertheless, this is the internet, where links are cheap and space is wasted. Therefore, for better or worse, parts one and two can be found by following the respective links.

Part three can be located here, but using that link could trap you in an infinite recursion from which escape is impossible or, at the very least, somewhat unlikely. Let us therefore state this in no uncertain terms:

The Middle Room strongly discourages the use of the link in the above paragraph.

But enough of such things. Let us go on.

July 1: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Estimated Tomatometer: 34%
Minimum Tomatometer: 95%
This appears here, because there are dinosaurs present. In The Middle Room, we've a great deal of appreciation for endangered life forms, and, if time travel technology does not advance soon, we may one day have no chance but to formally declare these proud creatures extinct. But there seems little hope that Ice Age will engage such pressing issues: instead I anticipate mindless high jinx and pointless CG (but not in a good way, like with Transformers).

Our estimate is based on simple mathematics: the first Ice Age was given a rating of 78%, while the second received 56%. We are presuming critical reaction to be geometric in this case.

July 1: Public Enemies
Estimated Tomatometer: 65%
Minimum Tomatometer: 85%
It is difficult to predict the quality of this movie: I can't, for the life of me, tell whether this is an action adventure, a dark comedy, a drama, or something else. As much as the leads intrigue me, I seldom venture to the theater on the strength of the actors alone. If the film is received well enough, though, I may decide it's worth the money.

Movies with Johnny Depp (iD&Di: .48) tend to be well received, but the lack of advanced word gives me pause. I'm hedging my bet at 65%: time will tell if this is accurate.

July 10: Bruno
Estimated Tomatometer: 80%
Minimum Tomatometer: 95%
Borat is certainly a film I enjoyed and found immensely funny. But it's one I caught on DVD, and I don't believe that format lessened the effect. I would need to see very positive reactions from this to make the journey to the theater. Though, to be honest, it is unlikely the critical response that will determine my attendance. This is the kind of movie that is seen - or skipped - on word of mouth.

The estimation of 80% is something of a shot in the dark: Borat received a 94% approval, but I find it highly unlikely critics will be as kind now that its star is well known.

July 17: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Estimated Tomatometer: 85%
Minimum Tomatometer: 60%
I eagerly await the next installment in this franchise, which I've enjoyed from the start. I should add that I've never read the books, though I've heard they're quite good. At any rate, I've come to expect these films to be entertaining, and I find it highly unlikely that I'll be disappointed.

The estimate is merely an average of the last three movies. While the directors have come and gone, the quality has been surprisingly consistent.

Already, our four part series is three-fourths of the way complete. I leave it to you, dear reader, to complete the math.

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