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This Rotten Week: Predicting Abominable Reviews

Hollywood is taking things a bit slow this week, and only giving us one new movie in wide release on Friday. That being said, it’s an interesting one, as it’s the third bigfoot/sasquatch feature we’ve seen released in the last year. Get ready for Abominable.

Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.

Dreamworks Animation isn’t quite Pixar or Disney when it comes to pumping out critically acclaimed animated films, but they aren’t all that far off. Some of Dreamworks’ latest include How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (91%), Captain Underpants (88%), Kung Fu Panda 3 (87%) and Trolls (75%). But they’ve also got The Boss Baby (52%) and Home (50%) mixed in. There are a few too many “misses” to really compete critically with the heavy hitters. That makes the arrival of Abominable a bit hard to precisely target.

That being said, Abominable looks like it will clearly land as one of their better flicks based on the reviews that have already been submitted to Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is currently sitting at 86% with 14 reviews posted following a debut at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier in September. Critics seem to appreciate the story of a young girl finding a Yeti on her rooftop, leading to a journey to return him to Mount Everest. Director Jill Culton has another animated movie under her belt in Open Season (48%), but that one was for Sony, and didn’t do so swell with professional reviewers. This one may see its current score dip over the course of the week, but I suspect that the discourse about the feature will stay consistent.

Last week at the box office was a much busier affair, with three new movies in wide release, but overall it was a good week for the Rotten Watch with all three movies falling within 10% of my predictions. That being said, for the first two flicks, considering there were a bunch of reviews in already, I probably should have been within five percent on both. Ad Astra (Predicted: 78% Actual: 82%) got there, and was a critical win. The Brad Pitt-led space odyssey left critics generally pleased. They praised Pitt’s performance as the astronaut seeking cosmic answers, but also lauded the visuals and overall story. The only negatives centered mostly around a “boring” tag, but those were fewer and far between.

Meanwhile, I should have been a bit closer on Downtown Abbey (Predicted: 78% Actual: 85%). I expected the score to drop some over the course of the week, but it really didn’t move all that much. In fact, it ticked up some. The general gestalt of the reviews is that as a standalone movie it is solid, but it’s ultimately geared primarily to fans of the television series.

And finally, Rambo: Last Blood (Predicted: 39% Actual: 29%) just sneaks in to the win zone. This wasn’t looking all that likely, but about four mostly positive reviews in the last 24 hours got the score within striking distance. Critics couldn’t get on board with the retread of the famous franchise. This isn’t all that surprising considering the violent nature of Rambo’s return without the tongue-in-cheek aspect we’ve seen from other well-reviewed killfests (think: John Wick).

Next time we’ve got a big one, as we will be seeing the arrival of Joker. It’s gonna be a Rotten Week!

The 5 Best Space Movies To Stream In Honor Of Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra

Interstellar 2001: A Space Odyssey Apollo 13

Ad Astra means “to the stars” and it’s far from the first movie to head there. It’s interesting how many Oscar-worthy showcase roles have come from pretending to explore space. Not all movies in the genre focus on one character fighting the odds, but that does tend to be a favorite angle. It’s hard picking just five space movies to stream in honor of Brad Pitt’s new movie, so I cheated to add a few more suggestions. Please feel free to note your own favorites!

2001: A Space Odyssey closeup red tint

2001: A Space Odyssey

A masterpiece in general, and THE space masterpiece. It’s still hard to believe Stanley Kubrick made this movie in 1968. It’s worth re-watching 2001 to appreciate the ambition and artistry, and note how it’s been referenced in so many later films. Countless filmmakers were inspired by 2001, including Star Wars‘ George Lucas and Close Encounters of the Third Kind‘s Steven Spielberg. In honor of 2001’s 50th anniversary, Interstellar director Christopher Nolan presented a mastered 70mm print at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Stream 2001: A Space Odyssey on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, iTunes, or Google Play from $4 up. It should be on Netflix at all times, but it isn’t.

Apollo 13 cast Bill Paxton Kevin Bacon Tom Hanks

Apollo 13

Houston, we have a problem — this one isn’t available on Netflix either. Not as of September 2019, anyway. I saw Apollo 13 five times in the movie theater in 1995, and listened to the soundtrack far more times. As Alien likes to say, “In space, no one can hear you scream,” so it’s funny how often space movies have striking soundtracks to pair with awe-inspiring visuals. (Gravity, I’m talking to you.) James Horner’s chill-inducing score was a perfect complement for the tension and power of Ron Howard’s movie. This is a space movie that’s only partly set in space, and even though Tom Hanks is the face of the movie, it’s a true ensemble. Kind of like The Right Stuff more than First Man.

Stream Apollo 13 right now on Starz with a subscription, or by paying $4 to rent on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, etc.

Interstellar Matthew McConaughey Anne Hathaway


Like Ad Astra, Interstellar is one of those space movies tied to a threat to human life. Both movies also have a parent/child connection. Then again, I may have just described Armageddon too. It’s not the most unique set of circumstances. Some movies, like Apollo 13, are based on real events and others — like Sunshine, etc. — use a futuristic threat to the planet as the impetus. Interstellar rises above so many stories thanks to being directed by Christopher Nolan and co-written by the director and his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Their tag-team efforts have given us Memento, The Prestige, and two Dark Knight movies. Sometimes space movies can be cold and distant, but I found Interstellar very moving. (Not that I cried as much as Matthew McConaughey on screen or Timothée Chalamet off-screen.)

Stream Interstellar for $3 to rent on Amazon, YouTube, or Google Play. iTunes and Vudu also currently have it for $4. I wish Netflix had any of these movies. You should probably yell at them for that.

Moon Sam Rockwell


Director Duncan Jones made his feature film debut with Moon, which is a fantastic showcase for Sam Rockwell. Roger Ebert’s 2009 review of the movie makes several references to 2001 and even a nice one to Bruce Dern’s Silent Running, but I like this note in particular:

Moon is a superior example of that threatened genre, hard science-fiction, which is often about the interface between humans and alien intelligence of one kind of or other, including digital. John W. Campbell Jr., the godmother of this genre, would have approved. The movie is really all about ideas. It only seems to be about emotions. How real are our emotions, anyway? How real are we? Someday I will die. This laptop I’m using is patient and can wait.

Stream Moon on Sony Crackle, or for $3 currently on Amazon or Vudu. Maybe by the time you look for it, it’ll be on Netflix, but as of September 2019 it’s not there.

Silent Running Bruce Dern robots

Silent Running

Going for a deep cut on this one, instead of something more current. This 1972 sci-fi classic is a showcase for Bruce Dern, and also follows a future where Earth is basically falling apart. (The sci-fi genre is pretty sure we’re doomed.) A movie focused on the environment, in a future where plants are becoming extinct, has a timely ring to it. Plus, the lead character is a botanist, which seems like a cool tie to Matt Damon’s botanist in The Martian. It didn’t help Silent Running to come out just four years after 2001, since few films benefit from a comparison to Kubrick’s space classic. But at the very least you should watch this retro classic for Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

Stream Silent Running for $4 to rent on Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, etc.

Gravity Sandra Bullock

BONUS: Gravity, The Martian, And More

There are way too many space movies to list just five. Sandra Bullock’s 2013 award-winner Gravity was another great space showcase role, with a fantastic soundtrack. I cannot get enough of Matt Damon’s The Martian, even if I’m not sure I would see it as a “comedy,” as it was entered through the 2015-2016 awards circuit.

I also hope by now you’ve seen Sunshine, another We Have To Save Earth movie, but one of the better ones thanks to director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland. I’m still fond of Jodie Foster’s Contact, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming National Geographic TV series adapting The Right Stuff. Speaking of TV series, I hope you’re caught up on The Expanse, aka Game of Thrones in Space, as it’s often billed. I love those books and the Amazon series is launching Season 4 this December.

Some great space movies mix with other genres, like the sci-fi/horror of the Alien franchise. Other great space movies aren’t actually set in space — like Arrival, which was profound enough to take my breath away, and Hidden Figures. You can also have fun in space, with comedies like Spaceballs, not to mention some major franchises you might’ve heard of called Star Wars and Star Trek. I’m not as up on animation as I should be, but maybe some fans can also recommend some great space anime.

If you’re looking for more streaming recommendations, check out these past features:

There’s plenty of space to stream, so what out-of-this-world titles have you been streaming lately?

Blended From Around The Web


Affordable Makeup Celebrities Have Worn in 2019

We don’t have to tell you that red carpets are fancy affairs. As one of Hollywood’s greatest traditions, the red-carpet arrivals are when you can expect celebrities to really do it big. After all, we’re talking about awards shows and after-parties that give away vouchers for $1,900 vampire breast lifts and luxury TP in their gift bags. So it’d be unsurprising if the beauty products too were accessible to only the 1%, right?

While that might be the case for “penis facials,” many of the hair, makeup, and skin care products glam squads use on the awards circuit are refreshingly affordable. Brands often broker deals with makeup artists and hairstylists to use their newest launches for red-carpet looks. And why not? As the “who are you wearing?” question proves, celebrities on the red carpet are essentially walking billboards. Plus, this is good news for the rest of us. We might not be able to drop thousands on a designer gown, but $11 on a lipstick Viola Davis slayed at the Emmys in? You bet we want—and can have—that.

Ahead, keep tabs as we track the most affordable makeup and hair finds from the red carpet. Something tells us you’re going to want to make a pit stop on the way home from work.

Read Every Word of Michelle Williams’ Powerful Emmys Speech About Equal Pay

On Sunday, September 22, Michelle Williams won the Emmy for her performance of Gwen Verdon in the FX drama miniseries Fosse/Verdon. And once on stage to give her acceptance speech, she dedicated her time to a very important cause: equal pay.

“Thank you so much to the television academy for this and to the incredible cast and crew who have worked so hard to make this TV show, especially you Sam Rockwell. I know how hard you worked,” she began. “I see this as an acknowledgment of what is possible when a woman is trusted to discern her own needs, feel safe enough to voice them, and respected enough that they’ll be heard.”

Williams then explained that every time she asked for anything she needed in order to do her job—big or small—she heard “yes” in reply. “When I asked for more dance classes, I heard yes,” she said. “More voice lessons, yes. A different wig, a pair of fake teeth not made out of rubber, yes.”

She continued, “All of these things, they require effort and they cost more money. But my bosses never presumed to know better than I did about what I needed in order to do my job and honor Gwen Verdon.”

More important, they didn’t just support her with props and lessons. They supported her with equal pay.

“And so I want to say, thank you so much to FX and to Fox 21 studios for supporting me completely and for paying me equally because they understood that when you put value into a person it empowers that person to get in touch with their own inherent value. And then where do they put that value? They put it into their work,” she said. “And so the next time a woman and especially a woman of color—because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white, male counterpart—tells you what she needs in order to do her job listen to her. Believe her. Because one day she might stand in front of you and say thank you for allowing her to succeed because of her workplace environment and not in spite of it.”

She finished the speech with a shoutout to her daughter. “Matilda, this is for you, like everything else.”

Fans quickly took to social media to share their praise for Williams’ speech.

“That Michelle Williams speech belongs on a plaque,” one tweeted. “Michelle Williams thank you for acknowledging that there is a far greater wage gap for women of color than literally everyone else including white women,” another noted.

Celebrities including Kerry Washington and Debra Messing also took to Twitter to celebrate Williams.

Fans also called out how supportive Williams’ best friend, Busy Phillips, was during the speech:

For the record, Williams is spot on with her speech. August 21 marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, the point in the year when the average black woman’s wages finally equal what a white man earned the year before. It’s time we all start talking more about pay disparity—on the Emmys stage and off.

Mandy Moore Reveals the Inspiration for Her 2019 Emmys Look

Maxwell also included a special touch for Moore, embroidering her name on the label of her look. “He’s a class act, that Brandon Maxwell,” Moore said. “I hope that means I get to keep it, and that I’ll get to pass this on to my kids one day.”

Kevin Mazur

A gown custom-made for her wasn’t even the most luxurious part of her look: Moore accessorized with $225,000-worth of Forevermark diamonds. “I think there’s nothing more classic than diamonds. Simple diamonds,” she said. “There’s a lot going on in the dress. So I wanted to make sure that the jewelry was sophisticated and really emphasized everything that was going on.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Mandy Moore, jewelry detail, attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)Frazer Harrison

“I feel like if you’re lucky enough to get to come to any of these kinds of events at all, you kind of become the quintessential girl and you fantasize and think, cool, now what do I want to do,” she said of the look. “And it’s all an opportunity to express yourself and do something a little different.”

The Game of Thrones Cast All Reunited at the Emmys, and People Are Emotional

The Game of Thrones cast had an epic reunion at the Emmys on Sunday night (September 22). Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie, Alfie Allen, and Carice van Houten all hit the stage together to pay tribute to the show, which ended this summer after eight glorious seasons.

The audience gave them a standing ovation when they first walked out, and the emotion was palpable. Each cast member had a chance to talk briefly, and their words were met with rapturous applause. When it came time for Christie to speak, fans screamed so loudly they muffled her speech. What can I say? This fandom runs deep.

Allen captured much of the reunion on his Instagram Story. Check out this cute selfie the group took before hitting the stage:


And this warm hug that Turner and Harington shared? I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Allen took two separate photos with Williams and Christie, whose outfit set the Internet ablaze.


Joe Jonas Couldn’t Attend the Emmys With Sophie Turner—So He Did This Sweet Gesture

I have some bad news for people who were hoping for a Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner red carpet moment at tonight’s Emmy Awards. Sadly, Jonas couldn’t attend the show because he’s playing a gig in Kansas City, Missouri with his brothers Nick and Kevin. But Turner, who’s nominated tonight for the first time, is clearly on his mind: Jonas took to Instagram a few hours before the Emmys aired and posted a sweet tribute to his wife.

It’s been a busy year for Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, who tied the knot this summer in the south of France. (The couple legally married in May after the Billboard Music Awards.)

“I’m still like, Holy sh*t! I’m engaged,” Turner told Marie Claire in 2018 after she and Jonas got engaged. “There’s this weird misconception that being married is the greatest thing that’ll ever happen to you. But I’ve always found that my career is something I work for, and when I achieve something, there’s a sense that this is the greatest thing I’ll do in my life. It’s lovely to be engaged. Not like I achieved anything, but I found my person, like I’d find a house that I love and want to stay in forever. There’s a sense of peace that comes with finding your person. But there’s a drive that comes with your career.”

But back to that Emmys tribute: “I am so proud of you,” Jonas wrote on Instagram. “You are nominated for an Emmy! You are incredible. I love you.”

It’s a short and sweet but incredibly heartfelt message. Check it out for yourself, below:


Game of Thrones, which officially ended this year, racked up a whopping 32 nominations at this year’s Emmy Awards, including acting nods for Turner, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Gwendoline Christie, Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Peter Dinklage.

Red and Pink Gowns, Curiously, Were All Over the Emmys Red Carpet

On Sunday night, Hollywood came out for the 2019 Emmy Awards. As usual, there were some broad fashion themes among the women on the red carpet—light blue and dramatic ball gowns were two this year—but in the case of Mandy Moore, Susan Kelechi Watson, Taraji P. Henson, Marisa Tomei, and Zoe Kazan, the style similarity was a little more … specific? All five women rolled up to the Emmys in red and pink color-blocked gowns, either rebooting a decade-old trend or participating in an unfortunate coincidence.

Moore’s Brandon Maxwell gown featured a pink long-sleeved top and a red slit skirt, accessorized with Forevermark jewels.

Steve Granitz

Moore’s This Is Us co-star Watson (did they not talk before?!) went for bold pink statement sleeves on a red sheath dress by Badgley Mischka.


Henson opted for a different silhouette—a pleated, plunging, caped number by Vera Wang—in the same color combination.

Frazer Harrison

Everyone Was Feeling the Pink-and-Red Combo on the 2019 Emmys Red Carpet

On Sunday night, Hollywood came out in full force for the 2019 Emmy Awards. Each and every single person to hit the red carpet most certainly looked ravishing—and, in the case of a few attendees, like they had coordinated their outfits ahead of time.

A handful of actors—including Mandy Moore, Susan Kelechi Watson, Taraji P. Henson, and Marisa Tomei—all rolled up to the Emmys in bold pink-and-red gowns, setting a clear color trend for the night.

The outfits were all quite different (Moore went for an old-Hollywood off-the-shoulder moment, Henson had a flowing cape that made for great photo opps). But it definitely made for a funny style coincidence. It appears pink isn’t exclusively for Wednesdays anymore.

Moore’s Brandon Maxwell gown featured a pink long-sleeved top and a red slit skirt, which accessorized with Forevermark jewels.

Steve Granitz

Her This Is Us co-star Watson went for bold pink statement sleeves on a red sheath dress by Badgley Mischka.


Gwendoline Christie Is Serving Serious Lannister Vibes at the 2019 Emmys

If anyone is owning the 2019 Emmy Awards, it’s Gwendoline Christie. Not only did the Game of Thrones actress submit herself for an award (and score a nomination because of it), but she also showed up looking like an absolute queen—and we mean that literally.

On Sunday, Christie walked the red carpet in a look that made her look more like a Lannister than a Tarth. Her satin, long-sleeved gown came complete with a draped neck, sequin- and bead-embroidered trimmed, and two lion-head medallions.

Gwendoline Christie arrives at the 2019 Emmys.

Jeff Kravitz

The whole ensemble was plucked from Gucci’s Cruise 2020 collection, down to the accessories: Christie wore chandelier metal earrings with an aged gold finish, triple0wrap rings in 18-karat yellow gold, along with a five-band ring in 18-karat yellow gold, white and black diamonds, and red topaz, according to a statement from the brand.

Frazer Harrison

The Lannister vibes are almost too much for fans, who have taken to social media to rave about Christie’s look.

Frazer Harrison