I haven’t watched many movies lately, partly because I’ve been preoccupied and partly because there aren’t a lot of new ones that have caught my attention. But today I had some free time and two Netflix DVDs sitting on my end table, so I gave them a gander – The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Jack Reacher.
Both movies came out in 2012 and couldn’t be more different.
The Perks was much better received by critics and audiences, with a Rotten Tomato rating of 85% from critics and 90% from audiences. By contrast, Reacher received mediocre scores from critics (61%) and audiences (68%). The Perks is a coming-of-age movie with a no-name cast, while Reacher is a Tom Cruise thriller. Not surprisingly, the no-name, much-loved movie grossed less than $20 million domestically and about $15 million internationally while Cruise in a mediocre movie brought in $80 million domestically and $135 million internationally.
In an amazing coincidence, both movies were filmed in Pittsburg and even more coincidentally, they both highlighted a tunnel leading into downtown. My son Jimmy attends a college about 40 miles from Pittsburg, and he’s previously mentioned how much he enjoyed taking that tunnel into downtown, so the next time I’m in the area, I will make it a point to experience it.
How did I rate the movies – Reacher gets two and a half stars because, although there’s nothing very special about it, it did keep my interest throughout. The Perks is a bit better at three stars, but coming-of-age for high schoolers is too young for my taste.