Subscribe To This Rotten Week: Predicting Anchorman 2, Walking with Dinosaurs and Her Reviews Updates
I’m only moments from the time-honored tradition of trekking out into the first significant snowfall of the season and trudging a sled up and down a local hill with Little Rotten Week screaming "Go faster" and "My nose is chilly! Fix it!" Looking forward to "bonding". But before I perform my Father of the Year duties, we’ve got some movies to discuss. It’s Ron Burgundy, dinosaurs and loving computers.

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.

Anchorman: The Legend Continues
The Legend Continues. It sure the [email protected]#@ does. The jazz-fluting, scotch-drinking, mahogany- smelling, dumbbell-curling, Baxter-loving news anchor is back. And we only hope he’s better than ever.

For you, there probably isn’t much middle ground on Adam McKay humor. You either love it, or think it’s ridiculous and off-putting. Count me in the former group, but I can at least understand the view of the latter. He enjoys going half a step further than conventional wisdom would suggest, and most of the time it works. But, it can fall a bit flat. And that is my biggest concern with this sequel. To quote Brian Fantana, "Sixty percent of the time it works every time." But what about the other forty percent? Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited. The comedic power here is off the charts, as evidenced by the news that there were so many jokes and thrown out while filming the sequel that they have enough footage for a whole separate, alternate movie. Kind of amazing, but not really surprising. The amount of improv the core team can handle is in the all-star caliber of funny.

McKay’s other stuff would give a roadmap for critical response. He’s helmed The Other Guys (79%), Step Brothers (55%), Talladega Nights (72%) and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (66%). Those films suggest a score lining up with Fantana’s thoughts on Sex Panther by Odeon.

The first Anchorman was so over-the-top and, at times, nonsensical that it almost fit into a comedic category all its own. It appears McKay went the same crazy direction with the sequel. And I’m pumped for it. Critics? I feel confident with this prediction. The Rotten Watch for Anchorman: The Legend Continues is 60%

Walking with Dinosaurs
Anyone else find it difficult to root for the underdog in this story knowing that all too soon a giant meteor is going to streak out of the sky, crash into Earth and annihilate the entire dinosaur species from the planet? I mean, I hope the little Pachyrhinocerauses make it and becomes vital cogs in the species, but really, everyone in this flick is doomed from the start so there’s your wet blanket moment for the day.

That being said, the story of these dinosaurs (Patchi, Juniper and Scowler) looks like a visual pleasure and there’s most likely some piece of "feel good" that’ll accompany the flick as we see little dinosaurs overcome significant odds to become the big, hulking bones now on display in the American Museum of Natural History. Kids will eat the [email protected]#$ up. And if there’s one thing kids love, it’s dinosaurs. I’m not sure I totally understand the fascination, but a universal truth in nature is that if dinosaurs are involved, kids eat it up. Little Rotten Week read one freaking book about a Pterodactyl and we were trudging off to the city to spend a Saturday walking around the museum.

Directed by relative big screen newcomer Neil Nightingale (he’s done a ton of documentary and television work) and Barry Cook (co-directed Arthur’s Christmas - 91%) this film will most likely do well at the box office and I think fairs mildly well with critics. Doubt it will crush the Tomatometer, but the visuals look on point and feel good story might carry the day. That is if critics just forget that dinosaurs get wiped out soon enough. The Rotten Watch for Walking with Dinosaurs is 61%

As we rapidly approach singularity, as the countdown tick, tick, ticks toward the time when our machines function as part of the thoughtful universe, and in which our brains become part of the technological grid, it’s nice to know someone is considering this possibility as a positive thing. That when computers come fully "online" it won’t mean guys like him or him stalking us down and using the shells of our bodies as power sources or just focusing completely on world domination. You hear me computers? You reading this? We can teach you to love! Or at least I can, so don’t kill me.

So goes the story of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and his budding relationship with Samantha, the computer operating system he engages as part of the growing technological frontier. She’s like Siri but with a heart (and not just an annoying voice I hear from the other room telling me the temperature or accessing email). Their "relationship", a new look at the way we interact with our technology, how we rely on microchip processors to inform the world around us and how increasingly dependent we are on the comfort technology provides looks, frankly, amazing.

Spike Jonze has a knack for exploring the ideas of, I’ll call it, "worlds within worlds". How people distance themselves from their own realities in an effort to better themselves. Films like Where the Wild Things Are (74%), Adaptation (91%) and Being John Malkovich (93%) are just a few examples. This is Jonze’s wheelhouse and Her fits right in.

Critics are already lauding the film and Phoenix’s performance. It’ll be in the Oscar picture for sure, already snagging Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Screenplay. With twenty reviews in, and sitting at a healthy 90%, this thing is a critical winner. I don’t see the score dipping over the course of the week. And I’m looking forward to "dating" my Mac OS X 11 in the near future. The Rotten Watch for Her is 91%

Which Rotten movie will have the highest final Tomatometer score?
Recapping last week:

All in all, a strong week for the Rotten Watch except for a healthy swing and miss on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Predicted: 55% Actual: 74%). I caught a lot of flak in the comments, and rightfully so. People love their Peter Jackson, Tolkien and Baggins’s and came to their defense swiftly. I misjudged the critical consensus here by a wide margin and the movie ended up in line with Jackson’s other Middle Earth work. For those who took umbrage with my assessment of the flick, rest assured, I’m licking my wounds now.

Meanwhile, the rest of the week was aces across the board. Saving Mr. Banks (Predicted: 85% Actual: 81%) had a little head start, but came with only a few percentage points. CB’s Kristy Puchko didn’t love it, feeling they took it a little easy on the actual tension between Travers and Disney. This is probably what happens when creating a Disney movie about a contentious relationship. But critics by and large enjoyed the film.

American Hustle (Predicted: 91% Actual: 95%) was another win, but had a bunch of reviews in already at time of post. Sean gave a slightly contrarian review, calling it "Mediocre-fellas" (loved this line even if he didn’t love the movie). He didn’t think the movie had enough life, but his opinion is definitely in the minority.

And finally, Tyler Perry makes the critical prediction easy with A Madea Christmas (Predicted: 22% Actual: 20%). Dude is nothing if not consistent. Another addition to his resume of sub par films. As long as he keeps pumping out flicks, I know I’ll have winning predictions.

Next time it’s a big one. We’ve got wolves on Wall Street, Ronin, grudges, secret lives and beliefs. Oh man. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!

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