Subscribe To This Rotten Week: Predicting Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Unfriended and Monkey Kingdom Reviews Updates
There are three movies hitting theaters this weekend, and weirdly enough there’s a little something for everybody - at least if you are a younger member of the movie-going audience. It actually might be tough for adults to get too excited for this lineup, as we have the return of Paul Blart, social media killing people, and cute monkeys flying around the screen.

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.

Paul Blart
Rotten Watch Prediction
You didn’t think you had seen the last of Paul Blart, did you? You just assumed that one movie about an overweight, super-intense shopping mall security guard was enough for a lifetime? Think again. Because this is Hollywood, we were guaranteed to get another story about the nation’s hardest working man in blue (?) and Blart is back with the same jokes just in a new setting.

See what I mean in the trailer for Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 below:
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (33%) but grossed over $180 million at the box office. It’s that number that serves as the sole reason a second film was made. The first was a massive money-maker, pandering to some fairly low denominators looking for laughs, but funny enough for kids or adults that are a lot like kids. So Paul Blart is back, and this time he’s going on vacation mold of sequel we see often. Take the same character and same general premise, but this time put him in a new setting. Run out most of the same jokes as the first one, but this time it’s in Vegas baby!

Kevin James co-wrote the sequel, and it’s directed by Andy Fickman. Fickman’s resume reads in line with this current flick, sporting titles like She’s the Man (43%), You Again (17%), Parental Guidance (18%) and Race to Witch Mountain (43%) – all entirely forgettable films that were light on the laughs and heavy on the hokey.

Kevin James’ filmography looks much the same, with just about everything he does not faring too well in critics’ eyes. But these guys do one thing well: turning a buck and their movies are generally profitable. That tells the whole tale with something like Paul Blart. It doesn’t need to be good. It just needs to make the green, and it will.
Rotten Watch Prediction
I’ve always known computers were going to kill us, I just thought it was going to be Skynet taking control of our nuclear arsenal and obliterating the human existence into a smoking pile of rubble. But computers instead may be taking a more subtle, long-game approach to the human problem. Instead of just wiping us out in one fell swoop, they are instead turning us against each other in the form of social media. Very devious computers, but I’m on to you.

See how computers are used to take some serious revenge in the trailer for Unfriended below:
Unfriended is a new kind of movie, with the entire affair brought to the screen through a variety of social media outlets. In the story, a girl gets embarrassed on Facebook and ends up killing herself. A year later, her friends (or acquaintances at least) are all on Skype with each other when someone starts picking them off one-by-one. It appears your standard, take them piece-by-piece, horror fare just told through an entirely new lens. I’m intrigued, though not overly excited. It appears quite the undertaking, telling the whole story through "real-time" Skype calls interspersed with some other web stuff as a group of kids is brutalized for their role in ruining the victim’s life.

Early reviews are generally positive as it sits at 83% right now, though I suspect it drops somewhat over the course of the week. One theme in some of the reviews is that the movie tends to bend over backwards to make sure all of the action can stay on "screen". But otherwise, folks were pleased.

First time big-screen director Levan Gabriadze helms this piece as a criticism on cyber-bullying and the insidious nature of attacking others from the safety of a keyboard. I can imagine there is a big population of kids right now who can relate to at least someone in this story, the protagonists or antagonists, (though admittedly, it seems hard to distinguish who from who).
Monkey Kingdom
Rotten Watch Prediction
If you don’t think these monkeys look like the cutest things in the world, then something may be very wrong with both your head and your heart - and you probably should seek therapy immediately. Like seriously, go now if need be. I showed this trailer to my four year old and she nearly lost her mind wanting to see the flick. And to be honest, so did I.

Get your emotional intelligence examined in the trailer for Monkey Kingdom below:
Monkey Kingdom is the next film from DisneyNature studio, an offshoot of the mothership that delves specifically in documentary-like films about the animal kingdom. The DisneyNature studio has explored other animals before with Bears (89%), Chimpanzee (74%) and African Cats (71%). These are safe, visually appealing movies with just enough story around the animals to keep the viewer engaged. It’s tough to imagine a large group of critics panning movies like this (not to say it is deserved), simply because the stakes are very low. They are meant as family watching, a chance to delve into nature and live with real animal characters we don’t often interact with outside of the other side of the bars at a zoo.

Again, these are highly visual, low stakes movies for the studio. I am sure they require an insane amount of production, getting enough film to fill up a whole movie’s worth of "story" about a particular group of animals. But the outputs are worth it as they become wholesome and educational films that pretty much everyone can enjoy without pretense. The scores won’t ever range to the very top simply because there probably isn’t enough story to cover all of the bases. But that’s fine. I would be psychotic if I ripped this movie. I’d have to check myself into the crazy ward.
Which of my predictions do you think will be closest?

last rotten week Nicholas Sparks fare is nothing if not predictable. I nearly scored a direct hit with The Longest Ride (Predicted: 25% Actual: 29%), as it continues the run of Sparks books-turned-movies populating the wrong side of the critical bell curve. Just about all of his stories end up turning into crappy movies. It is worth mentioning that Cinema Blend’s Mike Reyes was one of the critics who kept this movie from being in the total basement. He gave it four stars in his review thinking it was a well-told love story. Again, this was the minority opinion as critics who dislike it, really disliked it. Many had not-too-kind words to say about the script and the production as a whole.

What we do know is that Sparks’ movies all fall within in a certain range. They end up in the high teens to low thirties (Sparks’ age demographic coincidentally) and when it comes to predicting their score you can basically set it and forget it.

Next time around we will live in the Age of Adeline, and experience miracles with a Little Boy. It’s going to be a Rotten Week.

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