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How was everyone's holidays? The highlight of mine was spent finally seeing Rogue One. A distant second was spending time with family. As for this week in cinema, Hollywood is experiencing a bit of a post-New Year's hangover with only one film in theaters: Underworld: Blood Wars. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!
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 This Rotten Week has to offer.
So the Underworld franchise is still kicking around, huh? Well, okie-dokie. I didn't really see that coming, but apparently folks are still interested in Kate Beckinsale's Selene and her Death Dealer exploits, fighting some form of werewolf. These things look utterly unwatchable to me, and apparently they're unwatchable to most critics as well, as they've basically panned the series since day one. On the Tomatometer, it never got any better than the original Underworld (31%). From there it was Underworld: Evolution (16%), _Underworld: Rise of the Lycans _(29%), and _Underworld: Awakening _(27%). Now they may very well hit a new low. With about 20 reviews already logged on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is sitting at 10% - and there's very little hope in sight for an uptick over the course of the week. Hell, even the positive reviews read almost like apologies.
This is director Anna Foester's first foray into the big budget movie sphere, and though eyeballs may get out to theaters to stare at it (presumably fans of the series and no one else), it looks like it's going to be an unfortunately rotten debut.
It's been a couple of weeks since I last made predictions, as the very end of December was wont for wide releases, but I went four-for-four last time around with each educated guess coming within 10% on the Tomatometer. I did have a head start on a couple of these with early reviews coming out before I published, but history will only remember the clean sweep.
First off, Why Him? (Predicted: 37% Actual: 40%) didn't finish as high with critics as you'd expect a Bryan Cranston/James France pairing to go. But that can happen with these types of comedies if they aren't hitting on all cylinders. Sometimes taking extreme situations like the one posited here can get grating rather than funny when dragged out for a feature. That appears to be the case with this falling under 60%.
Along the same lines, I don't know if I would have been this close on Passengers (Predicted: 30% Actual: 31%) without a couple of early reviews. The trailer had it appear visually stunning and the team of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt seems good enough for a bunch of positive reviews. But critics were non-plussed with the plot and story structure, mostly citing it as a mess. This one is a shame as I'm sure the studio had much higher hopes for this kind of space/love drama.
Assassin's Creed (Predicted: 25% Actual: 17%) was easy to see coming because video games almost never make for good movies. I don't know if it's because the producers are too hamstrung with the "source" material, or if it's an uncanny valley kind of thing, but not a single video game-turned-movie has ever worked out well with critics. This one was no different, and another legit movie star in Michael Fassbender succumbs to poor reviews.
Finally, the one critical bright spot on the week was Sing (Predicted: 65% Actual: 69%). The animated flick looked, at first glance to me, like an American Idol ripoff with animals instead of people and no real story arc. But critics were generally positive and the film finished close to fresh.