After a few slow weeks with only a few new releases, we have a packed one scheduled this time around, folks. So let’s not waste any time diving right into them. Get ready for Bridge of Spies, Goosebumps, Crimson Peak and Woodlawn.

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.

Bridge of Spies
Rotten Watch Prediction
I’d be a terrible government negotiator. I’m admittedly highly motivated by self-preservation, and don’t rank super high where empathy is concerned. That combined that me with being a monster huge wimp would stop me from ever getting the best out of a deal. Those two things aren’t necessarily virtuous in the political espionage/ negotiations field – but Tom Hanks’ character in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies doesn’t quite look to have those kinds of weakenesses.

You can watch the trailer for Bridge of Spies below:
Based on the book Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers, Bridge of Spies tells the story of lawyer James Donovan’s task to A) defend a Russian spy in court and B) barter an exchange for said spy and a U.S. pilot shot down in Russia. Donovan’s story is interesting in that he essentially gained the trust of the Russians by being the only American lawyer who’d actually take the case of Rudolf Abel once dude was caught shipping American secrets over the Rooskies.

While I’m sure Bridge of Spies takes a massive amount of liberties in some of the action sequences and general tension behind the whole affair, this is Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks we are talking about. Those two are a recipe for success. Though it’s been awhile since they paired up, their rich history together includes Saving Private Ryan (92%), Catch Me if You Can (96%) and The Terminal (61%). That’s a lot of critical acclaim to throw around, and this latest looks like it lines right up with the first two movies.

Spielberg’s recent work has been successful including War Horse (77%) , Lincoln (90%) and The Adventures of Tintin (75%) - flicks that show a guy who hasn’t lost his fastball by a long shot. And critics are eating up Bridge of Spies. It’s at 89% on the Tomatometer at this time, and doesn’t appear like we’ll see much if any drop over the course of the week. Critics love the Hanks performance, and while they aren’t calling it a perfect film, the praise is there.
Crimson Peak
Rotten Watch Prediction
When writing about movies I typically like to make some quip about putting myself into the shoes of a character, but this flick looks so freaking weird that I’ll never be able to one-up the oddities and freakiness. This is Guillermo del Toro we’re talking about here. It looks like one dark bad dream that oozes creepiness.

See what I mean in the trailer for Crimson Peak
Honestly, if I saw this trailer with no background information on the movie, I’d probably dismiss it. It appears both weird and a bit boring on the surface. But having Guillermo del Toro as the director makes me at least perk up some. The dude’s track record with this sort of out-there fare gives the film a long leash in my opinion. After all, he’s put together flicks like Pan’s Labyrinth (95%), which was weird not just for the sake of it and visually amazing. The aesthetic here look equally mesmerizing, though in a completely different way. It’s a period piece about a haunted house. You wouldn’t think there’d be too many more directions to go with "things that go bump in the night", but Crimson Peak looks like both a psychological thriller as well as a bloodfest. Mixing the two in a critically acclaimed kind of way can be tricky, but del Toro is one of the few directors out there who can pull it off.

The director’s resume is somewhat eclectic, as he’s ranged between the weird horror-ish film and the bigger budget fanboy stuff like Hellboy and Pacific Rim. He has range, and this movie looks like it combines some elements of different styles as well as a fantastic cast that includes an always creepy Tom Hiddleston and the fantastic Jessica Chastain.

Crimson Peak should do well with critics who’ve always responded to del Toro’s work and should do so again here.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Considering there are about 160 books in the main Goosebumps series, it would have been rather unrealistic to begin a franchise with book one and keep making sequels to infinity. So the filmmakers here went a different direction: they put all of the books into one movie. It’s rather genius if you ask me.

Check out what I mean in the trailer for Goosebumps below:
R.L. Stine is like the James Patterson of the kid’s literature world, in that he seems to be some sort of writing machine - able to churn out an unreal amount of content year after year after year. The guy has just been churning out the words for going on two decades now, and it wouldn’t shock me if he just kept going until something that goes bump in the night finally greets him. He has a formula, it works, and there doesn’t appear any reason to stop.

The movie adaptation of the books takes an interesting path with the series. Jack Black plays Stine who has locked all of the scary demons from his work in books. A local kid accidentally unlocks them, causing major problems when all the ghosts, ghouls and other baddies are released. It’s got a Jumanji feel to it with just a little Cabin in the Woods thrown in, as the monsters wreak havoc everywhere.

Director Rob Letterman is best known for his animated work after helming Monsters vs. Alien (72%) and Shark Tale (35%). That’s a mixed bag for sure and this latest is his first directorial foray into live action. Early reviews are trending positive with most critics agreeing it’s a nice kid-centric flick in time for Halloween. While surely not on its way to winning any kind of award, I suspect it appeals to the younger crowd who still eat up Goosebumps and will go for the monster thrills.
Rotten Watch Prediction
Typically, historical sports movies are heavy handed enough on their own. They play up the underdog angle, or the town in turmoil angle, or the against all odds angle to infinity and really heavily lay on the shmaltz. It’s just what happens with these kinds of stories that are meant to be feel good flicks, but can quickly devolve into a corny mess. Woodlawn looks like it would be that kind of movie on its own, but doubles down by laying on the Christianity angle over top.

See what I mean in the trailer for Woodlawn:
I’m not trying to say that Christian-based faith flicks aren’t worth the watch, though I suspect that unless you fall strictly into the demographic, the movie will just get on your nerves after a while. Heck, even the trailer started to bother me after only a few seconds – and I really love sports films and am willing to overlook some of the heavy handed angles if the story is enjoyable.

Woodlawn tells the story of how God stepped in and helped Tony Nathan rise above racial segregation and societal turmoil to star in Birmingham, Alabama high school football before playing for Bear Bryant and eventually getting to the NFL. Though it appears Nathan should be the star of the film (after all he’s the athlete overcoming the racism and whatnot), the filmmakers instead focus on Sean Austin’s character, who gives speeches to the team about coming together. Even though he’s not the coach. Man this thing looks like a mess. But the football scenes at least look realistic, so that’s good.

It’s directed by the Erwin Brothers who’ve helmed pieces of crap like Mom’s Night Out (18%) and October Baby (21%). This latest will fall right in line with those movies.
Which of my predictions do you think will be closest?

last rotten week Only one movie last week and I missed on my prediction. Pan (Predicted: 40% Actual: 23%) saw its score plummet over the course of the week as critics took it to task. Most of the central complaints revolve around the story being ultimately unecessaryand the visuals coming out a mess. That’s a dangerous combination. This crew whiffed on both, and the score dropped well into the basement. Though I had a head start on the score and knew it would finish below 50%, I didn’t think it would drop this far. Alas, it did this thing totally bombed.

Next time around we’ve just got another big one with Jem and the Holograms, Rock the Kasbah, Last Witch Hunter and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension. It’s gonna be a Rotten Week!
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