Contender #1: Unstoppable
Synopsis: After a train carrying dangerous chemicals goes haywire, a veteran engineer and his young conductor must work together to stop it before it wrecks havoc upon an unsuspecting town.
In Five Words: Unstoppable train is eventually stopped.
Denzel Washington as Frank
Chris Pine as Will
Rosario Dawson as Connie
Ethan Suplee as Dewey
Kevin Dunn as Galvin
Theater Count: 3,207 theaters
“From the story itself to the way it’s told, Unstoppable is a hymn to stylish, unpretentious competence.” Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“An adrenaline-infused runaway-train flick that perfectly distills director Tony Scott’s talents and limitations.” Andrew O’ Hehir, Salon.com
“There’s a train. It can’t be stopped. What else do you really need to know?” Ty Burr, Boston Globe
Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics Consensus: “As fast, loud, and relentless as the train at the center of the story, Unstoppable is perfect popcorn entertainment — and director Tony Scott’s best movie in years.”
Rotten Tomatoes’ Score: 87%
Metacritic Rating: 69 out of 100
IMDB Score: 6.9 out of 10
How the hell did this happen? In no way, shape, or form was I expecting this word of mouth to come out of critics. It’s an action movie about a freaking train! But yet, people seem to really like it. I’m baffled, but oddly curious. Is this movie that good a movie? Or are critics just overplaying it? I guess I’ll just have to see for myself.
The Edge: Great cast (including star in the making Chris Pine), great word of mouth.
The Sharp End: Tony Scott has a rather bad track record when it comes to trains, looks rather ridiculous.
Showdown Score: 4 out of 5
Overall: Unstoppable should be seen sometime during its theatrical run.
Contender #2: Skyline
Synopsis: After peculiar lights start appearing over the city of Los Angeles, human beings begin to find themselves sucked up into the sky by a nefarious race of aliens bent on sucking the planet dry of all lifeforms.
In Five Words: Like Independance Day…but worse.
Eric Balfour as Jarrod
Scottie Thompson as Elaine
Donald Faison as Terry
Neil Hopkins as Ray
David Zayas as Oliver
Directors–Colin and Greg Strause
Writers–Joshua Cordes and Liam O’ Donnell
Theater Count: 2,880 theaters
Critics Say: Nothing! As of this writing, Skyline has not been screened for critics, which of course means it’s the best film of all time.
Viewers Say: Once again, nothing. Did Universal do any advanced screenings for this film? Regaurdless, Twitter buzz is pretty toxic, with some calling it one of the worst films of the year. Ouch.
TMP Says: Yeah, can’t muster much enthusiasm for this film. Other then looking pretty good on a shoestring budget, Skyline has nothing working for it.
The Edge: Relatively pretty.
The Sharp End: Terrible viewer word of mouth, wasn’t screened for critics, lackluster trailers, directors have a bad track record,
made in some dudes apartment, unknown and strange mix of actors.
Showdown Score: 2 out of 5
Overall: Skyline probably isn’t worth ever seeing.
Final contestant to the ring…
Contestant #3: Morning Glory
Synopsis: After being fired from her previous job, Becky Fuller turns to the low rated news show “Daybreak” for a new source of income. But when the decision to hire veteran news anchor Mike Pomeroy backfires in her face, she must find a way to navigate her stressful work life well at the same time dealing with her budding romance with a fellow producer.
In Five Words: Devil Wears Prada–News Edition
Rachel McAdams as Becky Fuller
Harrison Ford as Mike Pomeroy
Diane Keaton as Colleen Peck
Patrick Wilson as Adam Bennett
Jeff Goldblum as Jerry Barnes
Writer–Aline Brosh McKenna
Theater Count: 2,518 theaters
“Has moments of sparkle, but the screenplay disappoints and the luminous Rachel McAdams overdoes it.” Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times
“Morning Glory isn’t terrible. It has a lot of craft, a lot of star power, and a fair number of laughs. What irks me is that the filmmakers settle for so little.” David Edelstein, New York Magazine
“The rom-com equivalent of a glass half full.” Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Rotten Tomatoes Critics’ Consensus: “It’s lifted by affable performances from its impeccable cast, and it’s often charming — but Morning Glory is also inconsistent and derivative.”
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54%
Metacritic Rating: 57 out of 100
IMDB Score: 6.6 out of 10 (242 votes)
TMP Says: Morning Glory is a perfect example of disposable comedy. You don’t NEED to see it, but you may get a couple chuckles out of it. Judging how it’s split down the line for both critics and users, it’s one of those “Like it or Hate it” movies. And we have a word for those types of movies here at TMP: It’s called “The Used DVD Bin.”
The Edge: A rather great cast, in addition to the always trustworthy J.J Abrams‘ producer skills; The writer of The Devil Wears Prada, another pretty good rom-com featuring veteran actors/actresses being
The Sharp End: Mixed reviews, rather generic, sub par trailer.
Cinema Showdown Rating: 3 out of 5
Overall: Wait a couple months and catch Morning Glory on DVD.
And the Pick of the Week is…
Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that a movie about two guys stopping a train would be my Pick of the Week. But stranger things have happend. And to be fair, the guys in question are Chris Pine and Denzel Washington, two pretty great actors in their own rights. And well Tony Scott hasn’t had the best track record as of late, it’s still better then his brothers. Yes, that was a burn, Mr. Ridley.
I’m sorry, I love you.
Regardless, I can’t fight great word of mouth or Chris Pine’s whirlpool eye, so I hereby dub Unstoppable the Pick of the Week. Congrats Unstoppable, maybe the box office grosses can go to finally separating Tony Scott and Denzel Washington from each others hip. Seriously, how many movies is this now, 20,000?
Well this week was pretty paltry in comparison to last week, it’s still mostly just filler until the monolith that is the second to last Harry Potter movie. Will that film manage to overcome the competition to be our glorified pick of the week for next week? Well, I guess you’ll just have to wait until then to find out. Hint: Yes, yes it will be. Damn, I shouldn’t of said that. I REALLY shouldn’t of said that.
Until then, I wish you luck in your weekend movie watching endeavours, and may the cinema gods be with you!