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This Rotten Week: Predicting Dark Skies And Snitch Reviews

Coming off just a terrible, rotten week we are looking for a little bounce back around these parts. It won’t be easy as I went 0-4 last time with my predictions. The only thing that can get us back on track is a little Rock and some more haunted houses.

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.

Dark Skies

So Scott Stewart sits down on the patio of his palatial estate with a modest tumbler of Macallan and decides to get the creative juices flowing. It’s time to write a freaking movie. He’s thinking to himself, “Well I’ve already covered vampires and the post-apocalyptic scene in the much-acclaimed, and dare I say, genius Priest (16%).” He takes another smokey sip and looks to sky for inspiration. “And I also hit the demonically possessed angle, again with an apocalyptic flavor in the action-packed and dare I say, transcendent Legion (20%). I need to change it up again. Come on Scott, you can do this, think man.”

He looks to the heavens again, just as a cloud obscures the bright Los Angeles sun. So he starts with a title Dark Skies thinking that really could cover a number of different movies, not wanting to box himself in creatively. And then man does the pen just start moving, he’s like, “This thing needs a haunted house. And maybe your typical suburban family. Ooh and there should be like a possession or something. And maybe some creepy symbols, like on people’s skin. Oh, oh, oh and aliens! Yeah definitely aliens. That’s where the dark skies thing comes in, like aliens come from the sky!” The pen flies across the paper. The world is silent, there’s only a man, his ideas, and ten thousand worn out movie cliches. Twenty minutes later Dark Skies is completed its time to shop that bad boy.

And though I only imagine that to be Stewart’s creative process, the smorgasbord of bad movie ideas on display in this film is really off the charts. Bird flying into windows, unexplained phenomena, a dimwitted family who refuse to move even though their lives are riddled with creepy stuff happening 24/7, possessions, some societal outcast who’s an “expert” on this kind of thing because it “happened to him”, and aliens. Freaking aliens. It’s almost more than this cynic can handle.

*Quick sidenote about aliens, who are relevant now because they crash landed in Russia a few days ago. If a race of extra-terrestrials possessed the technology/power to come all the way to Earth, is it reasonable to expect them to spend all their time haunting a family or two here or there? Having not seen this flick there could be more to it than that, but it doesn’t appear that way. Why would these powerful beings aim so low?

Dark Skies is the kind of movie that shows up six to seven times a year on the big screen. The faces change a bit, the major conflict has subtle (though irrelevant) differences and the whole production is rather indistinguishable from others in the same genre. We’ve come to expect these movies and it looks like they’ll be around forever. The Rotten Watch for Dark Skies is 31%

Since having a daughter I look at the world a little differently, especially in regards to the decisions she makes and how they effect her learning process and understanding of right and wrong. It’s important for me to instill a general sense of ethics and morality, to make her see the cause and effect relationship of her decisions and subsequent consequences both tangible and implied. It’s a delicate balance and a constantly changing landscape. All that is to say, if on the way home from daycare she got pinched by the feds for muling drugs across town in her diaper bag, well guess what little lady? She’s paying the price. Hard f#$@ing time and daddy ain’t going undercover to bail anyone out either no matter how insistent she is on being “set up” or “innocent”. There’s a lesson in everything.

The Rock sees things a little differently. That could be for a couple of reasons. Maybe he’s a helicopter parent more inclined to believe his kid than I am. It might also be because he’s built like a Greek God on steroids and doesn’t succumb to basic forms of physical intimidation because he can twist most dudes into pretzels without breaking a sweat. He can also lift up big guns and shoot them whereas I have an aversion to loud noises. Maybe he just loves his family more. Whatever it is, when The Rock’s kid gets picked up on a drug charge, daddy volunteers to go undercover and dismantle a violent drug cartel just because sonny boy can’t do a simple ten year stint without whining like a little b#$% (I blame the parenting. See how The Rock enables?) Directed by Ric Roman Waugh (Felon-61%) this movie deals with family, guns, drugs, and a referendum on the decline of the empowered child. How’s this kid going to learn when daddy does everything for him? But it does look better than other Rock-led movies, most notably Journey 2: Mysterious Island (41%), The Tooth Fairy (18%). It appears a more serious turn while also incorporating the blow-em-up aspect you’d expect from Dwayne Johnson. I don’t think critics love it, but it won’t be a basement dweller either. The Rock’s just too good a parent to let that happen. The Rotten Watch for Snitch is 52%

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Recapping last week:

Well this is the very definition of a bloodbath. One of my worst weeks ever and throws off all the mojo I’d been steadily banking since the start of 2013. No reason to stall here, just need to rip the bandaid off. Here goes.

A Good Day to Die Hard (Predicted: 56% Actual: 16%) ended up sucking and might mean the end of this franchise. That’s probably a good thing, though one might’ve liked John McClane to go out on top. This was, by far, the worst Die Hard movie and grossly underperformed even the lowest in the series. What a shame.

Meanwhile, Beautiful Creatures (Predicted: 63% Actual: 45%) ended up in that Twilight range of teen angst, supernatural mediocrity. For some reason I thought it would outpace Edward and Bela’s story, but no. It fell right in disappointing line.

Then there was Safe Haven (Predicted: 31% Actual: 13%). I bagged on this Nicholas Sparks film and knew it’d finish near the bottom. But this is bad even for a Sparks-based flick. Most of his other book-turned-movies ended up in the mid-to-high twenties. This one pulls up the rear on an already corny collection of films.

And finally, I had a hunch on Escape from Planet Earth (Predicted: 39% Actual: 24%) but just couldn’t get the prediction in range. All in all just a terrible week of predictions. *Hangs his head in shame*

Next time around we slay giants, perform another freaking exorcism, get on a submarine and celebrate a 21st birthday. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!

Doug Norrie

Doug began writing for CinemaBlend back when Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles actually existed. Since then he's been writing This Rotten Week, predicting RottenTomatoes scores for movies you don't even remember for the better part of a decade. He can be found re-watching The Office for the infinity time.