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Hurricane Irene tried her damnedest to stop the critical prediction machine from storming through another week. Nice try lady. This guy doesn’t stop for anything. In fact, this week I’m stepping up the threat level from a Rotten Watch to a Rotten Warning! Batten down the hatches, set some drinking water aside and stock up on the booze because this week we’ve got a trip to the moon, some Mossad agents looking for revenge and a shark attack.

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.

Apollo 18
Look, I’m more of a “sun” kind of guy so the moon has never really interested me. Give me a big ball of gas and fire any day over a lousy lump of rock that screws around with when and where I can get my 68 foot Azimut out in the Atlantic for a little tooling around. I hope we (NASA space program of course) never go back to the moon. Just ignore it and maybe it’ll go away.

Apollo 18 seeks to reveal, mockumentary (“We found lost footage!”) - style, why exactly us Americans never decided to man another mission to that great mysterious, lunar orb of cheese in the night sky. Seems there are parasites eating away at astronauts and cosmonauts alike. I guess the whole production looks scary in a astronomically implausible type of way, and the faux documentary “they’re not actors we swear!” bit adds a nice touch of spooky. But I’m not loving the premise and have a sneaking suspicion neither will a whole lot of folks.

It doesn’t help that director Gonzalo Lopez Gallego’s (El Rey de la montana - 86%) English language debut has fallen victim to release date jockeying (never a good sign) and finally heads to theaters a week before Labor Day. Big clues that no one really loved what they were seeing. Is that really surprising? It’s about the moon, the most boring of celestial objects. The Rotten Watch for Apollo 18 is 36%.

The Debt
The summer almost got by without any Nazis getting killed. Phew, that was a close one. In the pantheon of evil movie characters/ villains whom every reasonable person can agree to hate, I’d say the list, in descending order goes something like this:

5. Evil next door neighbors
4. The government, any government
3. Jar Jar Binks
2. Pedophiles
1. Nazis

So go get ‘em characters from The Debt. Kill that Nazi doctor real good. We’re all rooting for you.

This is a remake of the Israeli movie of the same name directed by John Madden. The best thing one can learn about Madden from his Rotten Tomatoes page? He bears an uncanny resemblance to the guy who used to announce Monday Football games and fawn over Brett Favre. Additionally, he’s helmed movies like Shakespeare in Love (93%), Proof (63%), and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (29%). And though the first one on that list got my man nominated for an Academy Award, he’s far from a sure thing. That being said, the early reviews for this movie have been positive in number (6/7 are fresh) but not completely gushing love for the complete story. What that means is a sure dip in score as more reviews come in and more reviewers poke holes in the production. The Rotten Watch for The Debt is 73%.

Shark Night 3D
Take a bite at how many unprovoked fatal shark attacks happened in the United States this year? Got a guess? For the answer just touch your index finger to your thumb, tuck those other fingers away and look at what number it makes. Sharks just aren’t getting the job done lately. Let’s face it, they peaked with Jaws and it’s basically been downhill ever since. They need to infuse some new blood into the species. Get their edge back. I can only imagine this flick being like some kind of Tony Robbins motivational speech for the superorder Selachimorpha. Go get em sharks!

One of the best jobs in Hollywood has to be the group of studio execs who just sit around thinking of the next thing/ phenomenon/ animal/ alien that’ll be able to kill teenagers on Spring Break. It’s bad enough the man is always getting these kids down. But tack on piranhas, serial killers, witches, truckers, sharks and who/whatever else has killed a kid for having a good time. Can’t they just crack open some Natty Light, chuck on a bikini and not run the risk of getting sliced and diced?

Director David R. Ellis knows a thing or two about killing people in extraordinary situations. Hell he’s got The Final Destination (29%), Snakes on a Plane (68%), Cellular (54%), Final Destination 2 (47%) and um, Homeward Bound II - Lost in San Francisco (53%). Got to have something to show his kids right?

The big question here is whether his latest flick is an obvious attempt at campy movie goodness or just an attempt at a good, scary film. If it’s the former then kudos. If it’s the latter then this thing is easily in the toilet. I think it’s somewhere close to the latter, falling just short of some kid yelling out “Enough is enough. I’ve had it with these mother [email protected]#$ing sharks, in this mother [email protected]#$ing salt water lake!!” The Rotten Watch for Shark Night 3D is 23%.

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

Last week was a classic “close, but no cigar, but maybe a little cigar because I was so close to getting the cigar, really I was” (or however that famous saying goes) kind of week for the Rotten Watch. Colombiana (Predicted: 25% Actual: 36%), Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (Predicted: 70% Actual: 59%), and Our Idiot Brother (Predicted: 79% Actual: 66%) managed to all fall within fifteen percent without any one cracking the vaunted ten percent marker. Pretty remarkable really. I think I would consider the week, as a whole, generally positive, but the two 11%’s definitely sting a bit.

Next week the Rotten Watch takes a little Labor Day, but will be back ringing in the fall after that. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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