Things are starting to ramp back up in the movie world, as we have three films coming your way in wide release this weekend. Get ready for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Norm of the North, and Ride Along 2.

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.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Rotten Watch Prediction
I’m not sure what to make of Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. It stars John Krasinski, and who doesn’t love Jim? Even if he is without Pam in this situation. But I’m getting an uncanny valley kind of thing going on with him out there shooting people and not just shoulder shrugging the camera.

See what I mean watching the trailer for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi below:
This is the story of the group of soldiers who took action during 2012 attacks of an American embassy in Benghazi, Libya. It’s a controversial story in that it’s still very much in the public discourse over who knew what and who should or could have done more.

Directory Michael Bay has a long and illustrious career in getting crushed by critics. His Rotten Tomatoes page is just a death train of rotten scores. It’s almost too long to mention in this piece so I’ll just screen shot a piece of it.
Michael Bay Resume
Whether it’s directing, producing, executive producing, acting, whatever. If Michael Bay is involved, critics seem to hate it. I don’t know if it’s causal or correlated, but it probably doesn’t matter, and I suspect Bay doesn’t care either. He does what he does and doesn’t look back. In fact, we have to go all the way back to The Rock (66%) to find something he did that critics enjoyed (and I did too, love that flick).

I can’t imagine this one strikes a chord either. This latest one looks very heavy-handed. And while it’s a tricky situation, from an analysis standpoint, to denigrate (which I’m sure it will be viewed as) the story of a bunch of guys who lost their lives trying to save other lives, it doesn’t necessarily the movie will be a good one. That’s where we need to keep things in mutually exclusive territory. It can be a heroic story and not be a good movie. I think that’s where this one will fall.

Ride Along 2
Rotten Watch Prediction
One thing I love about cop comedies like these are how willing the movie makers are willing to push the reasonable bounds of believability when it comes to how officers actually operate. It’s kind of awesome because having been around many a police officer friend in my day, none of them are even remotely like the guys portrayed in movies. It’s great how so often we just say fuck it, let’s just pretend cop-life is like this and move on.

See what I mean in the trailer for Ride Along 2:
Tim Story is back directing after pulling off the original Ride Along (18%). That one wasn’t warmly received by critics, though dollar bills rule the industry, and because the first one made $155 million at the box office on just a $25 million budget, we of course get a sequel. That’s the way the industry works, and I have no problem with it. Cash rules everything around it, and if you can get big names like Kevin Hart and Ice Cube back together again for a ridiculous story, then so be it.

This one appears to follow the exact same game plan as the first. Hart is a dweeby cop-wannabe type and Cube is the hard-charging tough undercover dude who’s saddled with Hart because the latter is marrying the former’s sister. It’s a film made for one-liners with the most superficial (yet overly flashy) story going on in the background.

It looks fun enough I suppose, and those who enjoy these two actors will probably like it. Story’s other work includes Think Like a Man (53%), the original Fantastic Four (27%) and Taxi (10%). That lineup doesn’t lend itself to a bunch of critical faith and there’s little reason to suspect this latest will be anything different.
Norm of the North
Rotten Watch Prediction
As a life-long guy who seats - a dude who could perspire in even the most temperate and mild of conditions - settling down in the Arctic doesn’t sound so bad. Frosty conditions, a lot of reasons to stay inside, never having to derobe to get into any inconvenient pool or anything? Yes please. And of course, optimal non-sweating conditions. Sign me up. That probably wouldn’t be too cool with the lead character in Norm of the North, however.

Check out the polar bear who doesn’t want you migrating to the Poles in the trailer below:
All animated movies are not created equal. There is, of course, the Pixar catalogue that comprises some of the best movies (animated or otherwise) we’ve seen over the last decade or so. Then there’s DreamWorks Animation, which isn’t coming too far behind in the animated Pantheon - putting out some real quality flicks as of late. Then we have all of the other stuff - including Norm of the North’s production company, Splash Entertainment. Never heard of them? Me neither. They’ve given us a bunch of stuff I’ve never heard of. Will this flick put them on the map? I don’t suspect so.

Directed by Anthony Bell, who also brought us the animated feature Alpha and Omega (16%), this latest will probably follow suit. The story looks cute enough, but a key point in many well-received animated flicks is the story and jokes land for kids and adults alike. From the trailer, this doesn’t appear the case. It looks corny in all the wrong ways, and while not a total throwaway, I’d be shocked if critics like it.

The story of a polar bear going to the big city to make a case for the non-development of the Arctic should be a somewhat timely and possibly educational tale. But I suspect this one misses the mark. Even if I do think it would be a great place to move.
Which of my predictions do you think will be closest?

last rotten week The Forest (Predicted: 24% Actual: 12%) stunk as predicted, but I just missed with the prediction because it was even worse than I expected. Critics thought it was convoluted and confusing, even for the horror genre. Many agreed that it has some promise from the beginning, but quickly devolved into nonsense (again even from a horror standpoint). Like I said last week, these kinds of movies come around all the time and are usually eminently forgettable. This one joins the list.

The Masked Saint (Predicted: 14% Actual: 0% - Only three reviews) calls into question whether it’s better to be hated or ignored when it comes to the critics. I’ve been writing this column for a long time, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a wide-release movie get only three reviews. That may be a fate worse than getting slammed. It’s just being forgotten. Brutal. The flick looked heavy-handed and ridiculous, but plenty of movies appear like this at first glance.

Next time around it's Dirty Grandpa, The Boy and The 5th Wave. It’s gonna be a Rotten Week!
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