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January is always classified as a dumping ground for cinema. All the dreck that studios didn’t want to release during awards season starts trickling out and sometime it is indeed garbage. But you should know by now that we love a good, MEDIUM movie. For the uninitiated, we classify medium movies as movies that don’t fall into the blockbuster category, aren’t Oscar-bait, and generally just seem a little weirder or off the beaten path. You could also say medium movies are those standard, predictable comedies. Well we’ve got one of each today with Underwater, and Like a Boss.
Underwater has had our attention for a while. It stars Kristen Stewart as a deep sea driller in a near-future rig planted at the edge of the Mariana Trench. Already spooky. Well she and her team find themselves some creatures, the Descent style, and chaos ensues. It sounds like it could have been totally crap, but it wasn’t. Underwater was actually really well done. It was funny, exciting, and actually really interesting to look at. It cost about $50m to make, according to ye olde interweb, and it is flopping HARD. The thing is, you really see that money. The sets are incredible, the suits they wear are super cool, and the creature CG really works. It’s was surprisingly good. Sadly, the fact that it got caught up in the Fox/Disney merger, and co-stars TJ Miller who is having some #MeToo trouble, hurt its performance. Plus I mean it released against 1917…
Like a Boss cost $30m, which probably mostly went to the actors, and it’s also flopping hard. But we liked this one too! Yes it’s extremely predictable and nothing you haven’t seen before. But that is kind of the point of a medium movie. Sometimes they’re great, and sometimes they’re comfortable. This one is comfortable. We laughed at all the jokes we knew were coming, we felt heartwarmed when the two stars became friends again, we did what the movie wanted. And that’s fine. Is it going to win any awards? Of course not. But will it get watched a lot when it comes on HBO or TBS? Absolutely.
We’re big proponents of the medium movie. They let filmmakers get their feet wet if they’re new, or take big swings at lowish risk. Losing money isn’t everything to these studios. In fact, it’s actually good for their taxes. We say, go support the medium movie and you may wind up finding something great. For now, suit up and settle in for today’s episode of So…I’m Watching This Show!