I’m running a little behind after my annual trek to the holy and sacred ground known as the Monmouth Race Track for our yearly Memorial Day extravaganza of beer and yelling at little men atop horses. But there are also the important things in life. We have some flicks to discuss don’t we? It's not all about hops and gambling. This week we’ve got Angelina and dying in the West.

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
It’s hard to say no to your bosses. Offering a contrarian opinion to those above you can have some seriously bad pitfalls. Namely, you can get fired. So I understand the concept behind agreeing to take part in something that logic and reason suggest would be a failure - or at the very least, just too weird. This brings me to Maleficent. This is the kind of project that makes me wonder about the sort of "yes circles" that form in Hollywood, with people just nodding their head and agreeing with every two-bit idea for a movie that comes across a desk. How else to explain what is happening here? I’ll get more into it in a second, but for now check out the Maleficent trailer:

There are so many conceptual issues within this movie that I’m struggling to even summarize my feelings in one coherent write up on a flick I’ll never see. First, let’s take a look at the story. In what surely is a tale no one was asking for, we get the backstory on the witch from Sleeping Beauty. Presumably borrowing from the Wicked template (telling stories from the antagonist’s point of view), we get a look into the world of Maleficent - a name I had never even heard of before taking Little Rotten Week to see Frozen at the movie theater last year. Who wanted to know this story? Unclear.

The second issue would be target audience. Who do you feel is going to see this movie? I’m asking this as a serious question. Please leave a comment below if you have an idea who this appeals to. Kids? No chance. It’ll scare the crap out of them. No? Take a look at why Angelina Jolie’s daughter was cast in a roll. Cliff’s Notes are these: Jolie’s costume was sending kids to early psychiatrist office trips. I suppose a black witch’s outfit with impala horns will do that to the tykes. Parents aren’t going to be bending over backwards to take their kids to this. Teenagers? Nope. Adults? Which ones exactly? I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but it is to only illustrate my confusion.

Director Robert Stromberg takes his first turn in the director’s chair after winning the Academy Award for visual effects on Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. And I will admit this flick does look visually appealing. That may end up saving the day. And Jolie is a quality actress. Those won’t be the issues. The big problem is the dead zone this movie falls into with audiences. That may or may not translate to critics, who tend to watch films in a vacuum and offer opinions based on the film’s merit rather than broad appeal (or at least that’s the idea). So yeah, I’m confused about the score too. This might be the worst I’ve ever felt about a prediction. I really have no idea. Anywhere from amazing to terrible wouldn’t shock me. What I do know is that audiences will be as confused as I am now.

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