If you haven’t read any of my other posts, you may not know that I am a noob in the Fantasy Movie League and I’m currently making over $509 million this season. On Monday morning, I saw the box office reports from over the weekend of the highest grossing films in theaters. I saw that “The Jungle Book” made $103 million and I wanted to throw up. I don’t have an aversion to children’s films with animals. In fact, the original animated version of “The Jungle Book” was played repeatedly in my house as a kid and I can still recall the lyrics to some of the songs. My disgust came from the amount of time I spent with my friend Alyssa strategizing my Fantasy Movie League “cineplex”.
It felt like we spent two hours calculating selections by movie costs, reading the players’ advice in the forums and reading critics’ reviews of the available films. To be realistic, it was more like 30 minutes, but every moment crawled by so slowly as I tried to make such important decisions. Every week, players can enter two real life drawings if they do well in the game. One is for a T-shirt and the other is for a Fandango gift card. This week, I wanted to win something in real life, gosh-darnit!
Although a few players suggested to choose “The Jungle Book” in their “cineplex” and Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a good rating, I figured they were all quacks and I was going to go against their advice. This new adaptation seemed a little too violent for modern-day-parents’ tastes and the realistic animals looked scary for young children. Monday morning’s reports greatly surprised me and I literally shouted “FML!” My lineup was garbage and I finally knew I missed an opportunity to win big this week.
I enjoy reading reviews about films before going to see them in theaters, yet some critics’ expectations and feelings clash with my own. I’ll never forget reading a review on the very first Harry Potter film, written by a reporter from a local newspaper in North Carolina–where I was living at the time. The writer said such bad things about the film in 2001 that I almost didn’t want to go see it, although I had read the book and was dying for its film adaptation. I’m so glad I didn’t let that one critic dictate my movie choice.*
Jack Rico of Showbiz Cafe calls this week’s new films “bizarre movie releases” but this guy knows his films! “Compadres” and “Elvis & Nixon” haven’t gotten much publicity (in Tom Hanks’ case for “A Hologram for the King”, it hasn’t gotten any) and are under his radar. They’ve been added to the FML list for Week 8 (this week). I think I’m going to make another gamble with my film selections this week and feature the aforementioned films in my FML cineplex.
*The late Roger Ebert was the only movie critic whose opinion I highly valued and I usually considered before seeing a film. I greatly miss reading his reviews.