Subscribe To This Rotten Week: Predicting Blackhat, The Wedding Ringer And Paddington Reviews Updates
The winter movie season is picking up pace with three films hitting U.S. screens this week. We’ve got hackers, best men for hire and stranded bears.

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
I’ll admit that I personally don’t know any real life hackers, but I still have a real hard time believing that any of them are as good looking as Chris Hemsworth. Granted, most real life people aren’t as good looking as Hemsworth, but I suspect the gap between your average hacker and Hemsworth is particularly stark. And now that I’ve said that, I’ll probably get hacked. Great.

See Thor turn into a hacker in the trailer for Blackhat
In Blackhat, Chris Hemsworth plays Nicholas Hathaway, a remarkably fresh-looking guy considering he supposedly has been rotting away in jail for an extended period of time to atone for his cybercrimes. But as is the case with many a movie, the authorities need to call in the criminal element to get in the mind of a new, bigger badder guy. From there it’s cinematic business as usual. Hemsworth and company go from exotic local to exotic local looking for the cyber bully. Don’t get me wrong, it looks kind of cool, but I’d be shocked if we explored any new ground here.

Michael Mann is back, directing, writing and producing. It’s the first time he’s pulled that trifecta since Public Enemies (68%), and before that Miami Vice (47%). Those movies were high on the visuals, in Mann’s signature-ish style, while light on any story to sink teeth into. We are probably going to get more of the same with Blackhat. I almost feel like this movie was made to just be a trailer and it should remain as such. That’s the vibe I’m getting at least.

It isn’t a great sign that no reviews are available for Blackhat as of this post, as studios are obviously normally happy to let critics pre-screen and cover that are actually, um, good. It’s not the death knell of course, but having no info with less than week before it hits the big screen means we are most likely getting a sub-par effort.
The Wedding Ringer
Rotten Watch Prediction
They came up with the title of this movie before anything else happened right? I’m just trying to think up any viable reason this piece of garbage got made. It couldn’t have been anything more than an excuse to get Kevin Hart into a flick and have him do his thing, because as far as "stories" go this seems to be about as bottom of the barrel as you can get.

If you can stomach it, here’s the trailer for The Wedding Ringer
I couldn’t even get all the way through the extended trailer. At the 2:14 mark I hadn’t laughed one time and couldn’t imagine the last thirty seconds or so would have changed anything. In The Wedding Ringer, Kevin Hart’s character runs a successful business pretending to be the best man in weddings for dudes who have no friends. This, in itself, is a stupid premise. But of course, successful movies have done more with thinner plots than this. So maybe there are some dudes out there who not only have no friends (not that bad of a thing really), but are also marrying mental midgets who would believe their soon-to-be significant other is best friends with someone they’ve never heard of or met. No, that isn’t the issue so much. The problem here is that the flick seems to pander to the lowest common denominators. Gay jokes. Tasteless religious stereotypes. A hodgepodge of ethnicities thrown in so none of those jokes would go unturned. Assumptions that every person in the world is an idiot. You know, that kind of thing.

I get that Kevin Hart is a star and is a legit funny dude. But the more movies like this one, the more that reputation is tarnished. Unless of course, I’m in the minority here and the collective thinks it’s funny. Stranger things have happened. I mean Two and a Half Men has been on forever, and has never been funny. Society has proven me wrong in the past. But I don’t think the critics will. I suspect they trash this film. His last starring role Ride Along (17%) was a disaster. This will fall in the same territory.
Rotten Watch Prediction
I’m not a pet guy, and now that I’ve told my daughter that I’m allergic to every animal, I won’t have to have one in my home. It was pretty simple really. Throw in a sneeze every once in a while when we are visiting people with pets, and that story will remain airtight forever. So I’m pretty certain I know how I’d react if I found a bear with a suitcase sitting at the train station on my way home one day. A little "Achoo" would be all the explanation my little girl would need to know why it wasn’t coming home with us.

See a family that does the opposite in the trailer for Paddington
Though I can get out of having a pet in the house, I probably can’t get out of having to see this movie with my daughter. There won’t be any excuses for that. But that’s fine because Paddington, according to a bunch of already-filed reviews, is actually really good. It was released in Great Britain a while ago, and about forty reviews are already in with the Tomatometer sitting at 97%. Only one critic has given a thumbs-down, and even that one was only a half-hearted "meh".

Directed by Paul King (Bunny and the Bull-65%), Paddington is adapted from the Paddington Bear stories written by Michael Bond. It hinges on a talking bear who arrives via boat in England one day, and is adopted by a family. I’ve read some of the books with my daughter, they aren’t bad. This live action adaptation could have run the risk of coming off as very creepy with the bear, but they look to have nailed both the character of Paddington and the story.

At its current pace Paddington would stand to be one of the best reviewed movies of the year, genre independent. I’m stunned and am thankful so many reviews were out so early. I don’t think I would have come anywhere close of the guess if it weren’t for the head start. Here’s to hoping this film doesn’t reignite my daughter’s need for a pet. It’s not easy faking hives.
Which of my predictions do you think will be the closest?

last rotten week Taken 3 (Predicted: 22% Actual: 11%) left me saying something akin to, "Arrgh!" What a burn. I’d rather this thing have been in the 90s and totally thrown me than to have missed by one measly percentage point out of "correct range." Of course, this third installment in the Taken franchise would be terrible. There was almost no doubt there. I just didn’t go low enough with my prediction. Gregory called it "atrocious" in his review, and that was about the nicest thing he said about it. He admits that the movie knows what it wants to be, and doesn’t shy away from the ludicrous premise, but a director knowing what they want can be very different from what the audience wants. This is the case with Taken 3. Look, good things can come to an end. And it has here. I doubt Liam is tracking down any kidnappers with his particular set of skills after this thing. I just need one lousy critic to come in and give it a positive review. Then all will be right in the world.

Next time around we meet the boy next door, find out about Mortdecai and practice strange magic. It’s going to be a Rotten Week!

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