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Suffering from a little Oscar hangover? Getting through the movie awards season have you tired? Too bad! The movies just keep on coming, and this week is no different. And in a few days we’ll be meeting Chappie, visit an exotic hotel and take care of some unfinished business.

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.

Rotten Watch Prediction
If there’s one thing we’ve all learned from the movie scene, it’s that if we were to give computers the chance to think and learn on their own, then the destruction of mankind isn’t too far off. Computers, again, if movies can be believed, will just as soon turn our toasters and curling irons on us before taking control of the nuclear arsenal and taking care of business on a global scale. But Chappie seems to be a different kind of tale about an intelligent robot.

See a robot that might have a different plan in the trailer for Chappie below:
Chappie revolves around a robot, built to learn and have feelings, struggling to become accepted in society. Directed by Neill Blomkamp, the movie makes the robot the protagonist rather than the thing we are trying to melt in a tub of liquid plasma. He explored similar themes in District 9 (90%) in a very different look at the idea of an alien invasion. This flick appears similar in that the writer/director flips the script to side with the robot as he fights against forces of fear. It looks interesting.

Blomkamps’ track record is short but promising. In addition to District 9, he also helmed Elysium, a decent (not great) film which the filmmaker himself realizes. His films often revolve around socio-economic class and ideas of "freedom". That he does it with unlikely characters makes his films that much more entertaining. It’s this track record that gives me higher hopes for Chappie.
Unfinished Business
Rotten Watch Prediction
I went to Germany last year, and I have to say the scenes that play out in the trailer for Unfinished Business are basically my trip down to a T. Hooka bars, leather, police barricades at riots, getting hit in the chest with darts, dominatrixes and closing a monster business deal. Honestly, it’s like the writers of the film followed me around and hammered home every cliche about Germany that is very, very far from being true. Nice work.

See what I mean in the trailer for Unfinished Business below:

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Before I get to how I think this movie will do with critics, I just want to point out that I’m a big fan of the major players in this film. I’ve been willing to give Vince Vaughn the benefit of the doubt even with the last decade or so of his work making that harder and harder. I think Dave Franco will be around the movie scene for a while, and Tom Wilkinson’s been a solid "that guy" throughout his career. Sadly, this movie is going to get shredded.

Unfinished Business looks like just another in a long line of terrible films that relies on two somewhat lazy ideas. The first is the "rag tag" group of cast offs, screw ups and/ or nobodies who come together to beat out the big bad in the flick. The other is using a geographic location that the viewer might not be used to and introduce it as a place where the craziest shit ever happens. Of course, this kind of thing can work in the right circumstances; I just don’t think Unfinished Business will be one of those times.

The laughs look too cheap (though I think some will be legit) and the movie looks like one of those films in which the insanity just continues to build and build and build with each scene trying to outdo the one before. What starts calmly enough soon becomes the trip that never deescalated. Director Ken Scott worked with Vaughn on Delivery Man (39%) and has a couple of other works under his belt. Again, I don’t think this film will be without its moments, but I’d be hard pressed to believe critics can get through the whole thing without lobbing a few grenades. When things get nuttier and nuttier the scores get lower and lower. Though I’ll probably see it just to relive that month I spent in Germany one week.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Rotten Watch Prediction
When I retire at the age of 40 (because I’ll be rich enough to), I plan on heading straight to Florida to live the high life among the geriatrics. Wake up at 5AM, shuffleboard, pool sitting, dinner by 4:30 and off to bed. Kind of sounds like paradise to me. Moving to a run-down shack in India to live with a bunch of (kind of, but not really) down-on-their-luck Brits like in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? No thanks. Where’s the bingo? The slow motion tennis? The motorized wheelchairs? Now that’s what I’m looking for in retirement.

See how another group spends its twilight years in the trailer for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel below:
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (78%) was a surprise-ish mini hit a few years back, and this one is a sequel. The film looks cute with a great elderly cast including Judy Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy as tenants still living in the same place run by Dev Patel (two movies this week!).

Though I’m not in this movie’s target audience (maybe in about 30 years), the movie is already rating well with critics. It’s sitting at 78% through about 30 reviews and even those critics who came in on the negative side seemed to do so rather begrudgingly. Director John Madden is back directing, and he’s had some other critical wins with The Debt (77%) and Proof (62%) while flicks like Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (29%) and Killshot (43%) missed the mark. I predict this latest will join the first group.
Which of my predictions do you think will be closest?

last rotten week

One hit and one miss from last time around. I was pretty much right on the money with Focus (Predicted: 52% Actual: 56%). I suspected it would be a watchable, though far from great movie, with Will Smith carrying much of the heavy weight. That seems to be the case with many critics thinking the movie was "fun" (a word you see in many a review) while also basically being a movie we’ve all seen before. Critics complained that it follows its con artist movie predecessors with many of the same beats without bringing anything new to the table. Again, they didn’t hate it, and just expected more from Smith.

Meanwhile, The Lazarus Effect (Predicted: 44% Actual: 14%) completely bombed and left me quite a bit off from my guess. Serves me right for thinking this could, in any way, have been a decent film. After all, it was your typical "back from the dead" story arc we’ve seen before in horror films. Many of the reviews boiled down to critics thinking they got a stale, unimaginative retread of a horror film. I was swayed a little too much by the cast and some creepy looking moments in the trailer.

Next time around we meet Cinderella as she runs all night. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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