It's an underwhelming week for the Rotten Watch as a trio of completely uninspiring movies hit theaters. I'm still angry at one of my predictions from last week which I'll get to at the bottom. But before that Los Angeles is under attack aliens that aren't the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Amanda Seyfried deals with the big, bad wolf, and aliens need some motherly love.
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 what This Rotten Week has to offer.
Battle: Los Angeles
There are two terrifying possibilities keeping me up at night. One is that my daughter dates a Jersey Shore cast member. The other is that an impending alien invasion wipes out human life in grandiose fashion. I'm terrified of this eventuality. Many, many movies have dealt with this theme before, so it's easy to see why I'd have it on my mind. But on the big screen there is always a small group of people who band together to stop the destruction of human life and preserve our world. Let me be very clear here folks: if aliens come to Earth looking to take it over, we are f#@$ed. In what scenario would pitiful Earthlings be able to combat a species with the capability to mount a full scale attack from another galaxy? We are totally screwed. So, any aliens out there reading, let me be the first to say, I welcome you, love your plans for Earth and am here to do anything I can to make the transition easier. I'm your guy.
Battle: Los Angeles is just another in a line of flicks dealing with aliens looking to colonize the planet. All the big name actors have already fought them off. Will Smith, Tom Cruise, Arnold, those dudes from Cloverfield. Actually, come to think of it, who hasn't done one of these movies? Only Aaron Eckhart was left and now he gets a chance to fend off the little green men.
I'll be honest. This one's a tough call. There's a certain grittiness to the way director Jonathan Liebesman (The Killing Room - 67%, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning - 13%) has put together the film. He's eschewed the big, over the top, special effects and seems to have focused on making a war movie that just happens to pit humans against aliens. From that standpoint, this could be good. On the other hand, it appears to have just so much freaking stuff going on, that I worry the picture becomes a muddled mess. So let's keep the score closer to the middle, trending downward a bit. The Rotten Watch for Battle: Los Angeles is 45%.
Red Riding Hood
Red Riding Hood is a classic example of a movie that appears visually creative, could have a little suspense and will be completely forgotten about by the end of the year. Will anyone ever talk about this flick ever again? It just looks so freaking forgettable.
Amanda Seyfried (Dear John - 28%, Letters to Juliet - 41%) stars as the girl trying her best to not get eaten by the big, bad wolf. But this isn't your beast -in-grandmother's clothing, morbid fairy tale. Instead, it's a beast-in-sexy-guy-clothing morbid fairy tale. Director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight - 50%, Lords of Dogtown - 55%, Thirteen - 82%) has a red-caped Seyfried running this way and that trying to avoid getting eaten. Looks like fun.
Hardwicke's slightly above average track record probably keeps this movie from being a complete stinker, but it's hard to imagine it blowing critics away. Because, behind the fairy tale remake aspect, this looks like just another werewolf movie. The Rotten Watch for Red Riding Hood is 38%.
Mars Needs Moms
As seasoned movie fans, I'm sure you've heard of the Uncanny Valley where viewers can only take "realistic" animation up to a certain point, and then we want to puke our guts out. Well, my uncanniness level drops off a serious cliff with this flick. Oh man, it's all I can do to just get through the trailer. Doesn't the whole production look super creepy?
On top of the nausea building animation, Mars Needs Moms has some other reasons to think it'll underperform. First, this was the last movie produced by now defunct ImageMovers Studio which gave us other Uncanny Valley culprits The Polar Express (56%) and A Christmas Carol (52%). Second, director Simon Wells has a stable of lackluster movies on his resume including The Time Machine (29%), Balto (50%), and We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (27%).
Mars might be short of parental figures, but that doesn't mean we need see the problem play out using performance capture. The Rotten Watch for Mars Needs Moms is 29%.
Recapping last week
I've been mad at myself for predictions before, but never as much as my one for Beastly (Predicted: 43% Actual: 21%). I knew it was going to be a pile of garbage, completely slammed it in my writeup, and yet still threw up a number close to fifty percent. That is a monumental error that has the Rotten Watch reeling. What was I thinking? Uggh.
Meanwhile, The Adjustment Bureau (Predicted: 65%, Actual: 70%) and to a lesser extent Rango (Predicted: 72%, Actual: 88%) were closer to the mark. so the week wasn't a total waste.
Finally, Take Me Home Tonight (Predicted: 64%, Actual: 30%) disappoints both critics and my hope for another awesome eighties movie. Some commenters made the case last week that I should have considered how long this flick was on the shelf before hitting the theaters. That was an oversight on my part and should have played into the prediction. What can I say? I'm blinded by retro.
Next week, Bradley Cooper has no limits, Matthew McConaughey makes a comeback in the courtroom, and Paul the alien makes his U.S. debut. It's going to be a Rotten Week!