We have a couple of sequels coming out this week. Typically, the sequel culture dictates a pre-determined drop in quality from the original. But not this week. We have two sequels coming out that may each be better than the first. Tatum and Hill head to college and more dragons get trained.

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.

22 Jump Street
Rotten Watch Prediction
If I went undercover into a college – and believe me, I’ve thought about it – my cover would be as the brooding, prematurely balding, intellectually-stimulating, uber-jock/musician type. This would allow me access to a number of different cliques and social groups while also sticking in my Renaissance-man wheelhouse. Where I would run into a little bit of trouble would be pretending to enjoy Skrillex music. This kind of leap would require an Academy Award-type performance. The first concert we went to would blow my cover completely.

See how Tatum and Hill get their covers straight in the 22 Jump Street trailer

When the 21 Jump Street movie came out a few years ago, I detailed my fascination with the original television series. I loved the show and it occupied many of my adolescent summers. I went back and watched the first few episodes recently, and while it doesn’t really hold up, it remains a vestige of the late 80s in every possible way. From the costumes, to the scripts that were one half step above an after-school special, the series is corny in retrospect - which is why I’m glad they took the "brand" and pivoted away from the original into this new comedic take on the late-teen undercover scene. It’s pretty genius really. And it clearly works. The first flick is hilarious even the second and third time around. Tatum and Hill work perfectly in tandem. As for the sequel? While many a comedy franchise has died in its first follow up, 22 Jump Street looks like it might rate better than the first. No easy feat.

Directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller have teamed up again for this one. They’ve partnered on The Lego Movie (96%) and 21 Jump Street (85%). They’ve got comedy chops for sure, with hits across a few different mediums. This latest doesn’t appear to slow down their winning formula. Early reviews are off the charts with 35 of the 36 early reviews rating as positive. Interestingly enough, the only negative review comes from Cinema Blend’s Gabe Toro who ranked it at two and a half stars. It’s the only critical blemish on 22 Jump Street at the moment. There will of course be others, but I doubt too many, with the early returns being so positive. I love what they’ve done with this franchise. Now may be time to throw on a tank top, get weird big plastic sunglasses, strap on about 100K in student loan debt and head back to college in an undercover role.
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Rotten Watch Prediction
I can think of at least four scenarios from the last week in which having my own personal dragon would have been a fairly advantageous:

1. Grill ignitor not working. I’m forced to use a match like a common person. Dragon eliminates this frustration.

2. Mrs. Rotten Week and I clean out garage. Bunch of garbage needs to get thrown away. Dragon incinerates it all, saving me the trip to the curb.

3. Lawn needs cutting. I have dragon "accidentally" scorch the earth. This is both a short term and long term fix.

3. Neighbor parks his work van in front on my house and leaves it there all weekend. Dragon takes care of this by eating my neighbor. Keys remain, I move the van.

That’s just me, but you can see what Hiccup and his pals do with their pets in the trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2 below:

Having never seen How to Train Your Dragon (98%), it’s hard for me to know if this one, from a fan’s perspective, holds true to the first in the series. So I’ll let the critics do the talking for me. They are loving it. Through eight reviews, How To Tran Your Dragon 2 is sitting at a cool 100% on the Tomatometer. And these aren’t your middle of the road positive scores with some "good, but…" comments. No, they are over the moon about this flick.

Director Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch-86%) is back again after having directed the original. DreamWorks Animation has a solid resume, and while it hasn’t had Pixar-level critical acclaim, the company still produce solid flicks. The How to Train Your Dragon films appear to be the studio’s crown jewels as the highest ranking of their movies. This sequel looks to continue that run in what I can only assume is a how-to guide for all of us aspiring dragon owners with tips on safety, maintenance, no-no’s and whatever else the studio deems necessary in onboarding us into the wonderful world of dragon ownership. Now, my stogie needs a light up. Where the hell is a big, scaly, winged, fire-breathing beast when you need one?
Which of my predictions do you think will be closest?

last rotten week

Not a bad week for the Rotten Watch, though I missed the boat a little on Fault in Our Stars (Predicted: 67% Actual: 83%). I realize in retrospect that is was foolish to go so low on a book so universally-loved. Though this shouldn’t be a determining factor in all book-to-movie adaptations, this one should have gotten more of a bump from me. In fact, I had a dream last night that I got into an argument with someone who was finishing the novel and I ruined it for them. This was undoubtedly my subconscious telling me something. What that message was, I have no idea. But it surely was something. Critics borderline loved the film and it did well at the box office. Sometime mid-week I read an article about how involved John Green was on the set, and I knew right then that I had blown the prediction.

Meanwhile, Edge of Tomorrow (Predicted: 90% Actual: 89%) was a win, but I had such a head start on this film that it’s tough to feel great about it. An action film scoring this high with critics is quite the feat, snagging that coveted summer-popcorn-flick-that-critics-enjoy title. Edge of Tomorrow is proof Cruise still has power as an action star.

Next time around we croon in Jersey and think like a man again. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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