In the Northeast we’ve been getting crushed by weather, the snow piling up. What better time than to sit down and watch a movie?

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.

It would seem like the threat of a volcano erupting all over everything you know and love would be enough drama for one little movie. But oh no, this movie posits that it can get even worse than that. You might actually be denied love because of your slave upbringing AND get scorched by molten lava. Now that’s some kind of bad luck.

The story of Mount Vesuvius’ destruction of Pompeii (kind of what you get for building your town beneath a volcano) is interesting in a historical sense. It helped preserve the town in volcanic ash so historical folks could learn a bunch about the ancient culture. Also, it makes for a decent tourist attraction. But a full movie about it? Even a brief reading of the Wikipedia entry (the only real source for information these days) suggests that many of the people of Pompeii died instantly from heat exposure after the volcano’s eruption. This meant they burned to death, like nuclear bomb style. This would make a pretty boring and quick movie. So instead this film produces a prolonged eruption sequence to add a little Dante’s Peak (or probably Titanic) to the proceedings. Play out the drama while the world burns.

Whatever you want to think about the trailer, there isn’t much denying that it looks like someone took all the worst part of every Roman-style movie ever and then put a volcano in the background. We can get an idea of the film as a whole by glancing at the director’s previous work. Paul WS Anderson has a bunch of Resident Evil movies averaging around 28%, The Three Musketeers (24%) and Death Race (43%) as parts of his resume. This isn’t exactly encouraging when determining how Pompeii will score with critics. Here’s where you can now insert a bunch of puns involving "burn" to describe how it will finish on the Tomatometer.. The Rotten Watch for Pompeii is 22%

3 Days to Kill
So the premise of this movie is so ridiculous that I think it actually could crest over the realistic mountain and down into the valley of the sublime, relying on the idea that we, as moviegoers, are willing to accept pretty much anything in the way of plot mechanics. And once we do that, once we get over that hump, we can just sit back and enjoy the ride down the slope into the valley of Entertaining Action Movie. At least I hope that’s the case. Because if not, this thing looks terrible.

Kevin Costner’s character has multiple issues. He is a killer who doesn’t want to kill anymore but needs to keep killing because if he doesn’t he won’t get the antidote for the mysterious illness he’s contracted that will kill him in three days (deep breath, and exhale). As I said in the first paragraph, these are elements of your standard action movie. But then we get the family element. All of this is going on while Costner is tasked with watching his teenage daughter for the long weekend. This is done, presumably, for comedic effect.

These kinds of movies can work. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a good example. Or they can fall massively flat. Director McG knows a little about this having had success with Charlie’s Angels (67%) but then missing the mark with This Means War (26%). It’s a fine balance, the high octane action/ comedy mashup.

If you can’t tell that I want this to be good you aren’t reading close enough. I feel a bit like I’m grasping at straws, hoping there’s a redeeming piece to the proceedings. And while wishful thinking can help in some ways, I think that’s all we’ll get here. The Rotten Watch for 3 Days to Kill is 37%

Recapping last week:

It’s been a rough start to the year. I might be losing my edge. To begin with, I had one of my worst prediction in quite some time with About Last Night (Predicted: 35% Actual: 76%). It’s one thing to be off by a bunch of percentage points when I had the feeling for the tone of the reviews. This one was way off the reservation because I thought it looked ridiculous and critics actually really liked it. Shocking. But it appears the remake did some justice to the original and is worth a look.

Meanwhile, Winter’s Tale (Predicted: 54% Actual: 15%) was a wreck. I thought it looked incredibly hacky, but kept my score close to the middle because of the players involved. The big names weren’t enough to save it from the gutter. This is such an incredibly low score.

Robocop (Predicted: 42% Actual: 50%) actually ended up in range and was the one win for the week. While I don’t have any real desire to see the movie and wish they could have left the original the hell alone, at least it wasn’t unwatchable.

And finally Endless Love (Predicted: 27% Actual: 14%) was another case of thinking something looked dreadful and then me lacking the requisite balls to have the prediction near the single digits. From the trailer it didn’t appear as if the film maintained any redeeming qualities. I was right on that front, but just didn’t put the score in line with my assumption.

Next time around we have a non-stop flight and meet the son of God. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!
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