A lot going on this week. And by “a lot” I mean mostly a bunch of terrible movies with one Wachowski-led exception. We’ve got our head in the clouds, high school all-nighters, killer waves and silents hills.

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.

Cloud Atlas
When a movie releases an almost six minute-long trailer that barely even scratches the surface of the scope and story, well I think you can determine there is quite a bit going on in the flick. So goes Cloud Atlas, an interwoven, layered and sweeping work that might just be genre-bending, fitting loosely into a number of spaces without being defined by a particular category. Based on the David Mitchell novel, it tells the story of lives spanning hundreds of years, connected through the spirit of the human soul, reconnecting through fate and circumstance. Do I sound excited enough about it? I hope so.

Movie critics and internet peeps have been writing about for it a more than a month now including a fair amount of coverage here on Cinema Blend. Katey gushed about the film in this piece and Sean talked about the Toronto International Film Festival reaction here. Both are quality reads that begin to give the scope of what the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer have put up on screen. “Begin” being the operative word, because most agree this thing is big baby.

And while it isn’t universally adored by critics (currently at 80% through thirty reviews) those who loved it, “looovvvveeedd" it. And most, even not adoring it as a whole, at least admit the flaws stem more from a “bit off more than you could chew” conceit. Hell this is a novel on the short list deemed unfilmable that has eventually made its way to the big screen. Very few would have even tried. These guys appear to have pulled it off.

The Wachowskis have some experience in delivering movies that upend the common conceptions around genre (see: The Matrix-87%) but also have been known to extend beyond their (or the medium’s) capabilities (see: The Matrix Revolutions-37%). They employ a “Go big or go home” strategy, that when firing on all cylinders, represents a gamechanger. And when it fails, it gets real bad, real quick. I think Cloud Atlas falls into the former group and begins challenging what film-making can represent when filmmakers “believe” they can make something bigger than the screen. The Rotten Watch for Cloud Atlas is 83%
Fun Size
Think back to high school. Forget, for a second, your out-of-whack hormones, terrible skin, destructive angst, anti-authoritarian rebellious streak, under-developed sense of humor and just general malaise about life as a whole. Instead, think back to what you would consider to be your “craziest” night of high school. Does it get anywhere close to what movies would have you believe is the typical high school experience? Do you ever remember a time you participated in an increasingly escalating series of events revolving around your sole mission (Let’s get to that rager already!) only to learn some important life lessons about the beauty of friendship, fleeting nature of youth and inner resolve needed to survive a cruel, unforgiving world beyond the safe confines of “home”? Me neither. Mostly I remember asking to use my parents car and pretending I loved the taste of Busch Light. So, yeah, the movies have this genre a little crossed up.

Granted, there exist the high school one-nighter flicks worth the watch--Superbad, Dazed and Confused and even Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist come to mind. But Fun Size will not soon be joining them.Instead, this movie will employ oft-used hammy hijinks with characters who embody subgroups of the Hollywood high school hierarchy (good looking cool kid, good looking shy girl, good looking nerd, good looking supporting cast) while getting them into all kinds of s#$% along the way (the more stuff they accidentally destroy the better). It’s a tired theme done poorly many, many times.

Director Josh Schwartz hits the big screen for the first time after creating crazy popular “high school” television shows The O.C. and Gossip Girl. His first foray into the movies though looks dreadful: girl wants to go to party, girl has to babysit instead, girl loses baby brother, girl goes on mission to find him, girl will almost definitely find him at said party. (She’ll also find out that (insert cheesy message here).The Rotten Watch for Fun Size is 20%
Chasing Mavericks
*Quick note: this entire section is written with the help from the good people at Rippin H2O who helped me learn the absurd lexicon of the surfer.

All right brah, here’s the deal brah, this little kid is out watching heavies too close, pulls a kali and gets completely rag dolled. Along comes this grey who saves this squid and they end up forming their own two-man tribe. The little dude wants to do some carving of his own and who better to teach him than this senior? So the little brah grows up, and since he’s only got a Pula Kahula of a mom (Elisabeth Shue), no dad in the picture, he’s looking to this older brah (Gerard Butler) for fierce guidance from the swamy.

See there’re these things called mavericks and they are [email protected]#$ing nar nar. Little brah is sick of navigating the speedbumps and wants to score a fierce big mama. But older brah is worried about little brah getting fat shacked so they start doing a Daniel San/Mr. Miyagi thing. (Shue knows all about this) They go through all the master-grasshopper paces to get ready for the crunchers. Oh and also, little brah is trying to get with a Aliham and she’s no swamp donkey, believe me. They want you to think this movie is going to be boglius, completely boss. But really, this fibro flick looks pretty lamo, nitchen and dare I say, weak sauce.

Anyone else exhausted? I know I am. Curtis Hanson (Lucky You-29% 8 Mile-76%) directs this thing, and I think the stinker potential is very, very high. It’s got all the hallmarks of a contrived disaster with cheesy music, retread storyline, and dialogue that sounds like it comes from the “inspirational movie” factory. Example: “When you get a chance to change everything...take it.” and “This is about more than just surfing...it’s about choices you make in life.” What are the opposite of chills? Those are what I’m getting right now. Bottom line: this movie looks completely bogus.The Rotten Watch for Chasing Mavericks is 15%
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
Now, your latest installment in the series Sequels No One Asked For! (And if you did ask for it, then I am sorry, you are a nobody). It joins last week’s addition to the Paranormal Activity franchise and a probably about million others in rehashing a story most people had forgotten ever even existed in the first place. Silent Hill everyone...clap, clap, clap.

When a movie looks like it was imagined by a group of middle schoolers using a white board to fill in the brainstorm “Things that would totally be scary” it probably doesn’t deserve to see the light of day. This list presumably included, but was not limited to the the following: spiders, things written in blood on a wall, high school, carnival rides, darkness, Hell, moving to a new town, making new friends, new friends getting dragged into hell, old ladies in rags, young possessed girls, medallions, fog, more fog, symbols, being stuck with no friends, demons.

Alas, this flick miraculously made it through every phase of production and will hit theaters in time for Halloween. (In 3D for a little extra cash grab) Written and directed by Michael J. Bassett (Solomon Kane-63%), this movie comes in the aftermath of the disaster Silent Hill (29%) and tells the story of...nevermind, nobody cares. The Rotten Watch for Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is 10%

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

Well, on the one hand I’m tempted to say last week was kind of a win, but my own metric I really can’t. First of all, Alex Cross (Predicted: 29% Actual: 13%) was predictably crappy, just worse than I expected. I should have bumped this score down a bit, as I completely destroyed it in my write up, but chose to hedge a little. It was a mistake as critics universally panned it. Tyler Perry adds another piece of s#$# to his critical resume (already written on toilet paper).

Meanwhile, Paranormal Activity 4 (Predicted: 44% Actual: 29%) was also bad, but scored lower than I thought. I expected it to come within range of its predecessors but it fell below their mark. Overall, I felt last week was correct in a certain sense, but I can’t count either predictions as wins.

Next time around, Denzel takes to the skies, the RZA does martial arts and Ralph wrecks it. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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